Wigan care village resident gets new lease of life

Celia Ridyard previously required the use of a wheelchair but is now walking again and socialising after moving to Belong Wigan at Platt Bridge.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 4:45 am
Celia Ridyard at Belong Wigan

Celia moved into the Honeysuckle Court independent living apartments at the facility on Millers Lane and has been embracing the village’s activities programme, including following a personalised exercise regime.

Celia has even turned walking into a fund-raising initiative, recently joining a group of ladies at the village in raising over £300 in sponsorship for charity Breast Cancer UK by each clocking up 250,000 steps in a month.

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Celia Ridyard at Belong Wigan

However, she fought hard to regain her mobility and after six months’ rehabilitation she was able to live independently, albeit unable to do everything that she had previously done.

At the outset of the coronavirus pandemic Celia’s family, many of whom are key workers, were worried about the risk posed by Covid-19 and feared she may become lonely as a result of being required to isolate.

This, along with her declining mobility, was the reason behind Celia’s move to Belong Wigan

Having an apartment there meant Celia could retain her independence while having 24-hour emergency support and a vibrant community on her doorstep.

Initially she was sad to leave her neighbours and friends behind and missed her old home, especially as it was at the height of the pandemic and measures limiting social contact were at their strictest.

In the following months, however, as more interaction between people became possible, including the introduction of support bubbles, Celia kindled a new social life at the village.

She has since developed friendships with other residents, with whom she enjoys attending activities, including bingo and arts and crafts.

She also attends weekly keep fit classes, as well as one-to-one sessions with village exercise instructor, with exercises tailored to improve balance and lower body strength.

This has had a significant impact on Celia’s mobility.

Previously, she would only leave home with a family member and insisted on using a wheelchair.

She now goes by herself to activities up to five times a week with only the aid of a walking frame, and her support bubble meets each day at 2pm to walk around the outside of the village.

Celia’s family says that the motivation to attend activities with new friends has got her walking again.

“When she was at home, she had no reason to walk very far. Now she’s got her friends to do everything with,” said her granddaughter Katie.

“As a result, the improvement in her confidence is amazing.

“Not only has her mobility improved significantly, she’s much happier – it was definitely the right decision to make the move to Belong Wigan.”

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