Malcolm uses ACT@Saxon Court. He sits relaxed on a sofa at Saxon Court, next to our service manager, Andy Devitt. They have been reflecting on his life as Malcolm shares some of his ups and downs. ‘I look forward to a Thursday at Saxon Court. It gives my wife a break, I can get properly showered and clean, and there are always good people to have a mardle with.’

Born in May 1949, he grew up on a small dairy farm in Trunch, like his father and his grandfather before him. Managing a small herd of between 50 and 60 cows, the farm provided milk for local villagers. When he left school he went to work with his father and the farm was turned over to arable. They also bought a neighbouring tenant farm and provided contracting services for other local farmers. It was a busy and physical life.

One cold winter day Malcolm went to wrap the outside taps of a neighbouring house where he met Elaine. Elaine had just moved to the village and her parents were renting the house. In 1970 Malcolm and Elaine were married, they had two children and now have three grandchildren.

In September 2013 Malcolm had had a particularly busy day. He went to lie down to help ease a migraine headache. He had a stroke in his sleep and the damage to his brain means that he is unable to use his left arm and his left leg is very weak. After a week in hospital he spent three months in rehabilitation before coming home just in time for Christmas. Since then Malcolm and Elaine have had to make many changes to their life, leaving the farm to their daughter and son-in-law to run. He has sold their beloved farm house for more suitable accommodation, and they initially had home help to support with washing and changing.

Having made adjustments, the couple now prefer to manage for themselves and Saxon Court was recommended to them by the Social Services team. Malcolm attends every Thursday and Elaine uses the time for herself after dropping him off. He has a supported shower and enjoys a freshly prepared two course hot meal provided by the 5 star rated Orange Blossom café team at ACT. The team are experienced in providing balanced and nutritious food and can accommodate specialist dietry requirements.

‘I do look forward to my Thursday’s,’ says Malcolm. ‘Apart from the food and the wash, it’s something better to do than sitting in front of the television all day; I enjoy the company, meeting my friends and remembering the old times, especially talking about the old war days.’