Jean Parton

It’s one thing for us at St Michael’s to talk about the quality of care that we offer our residents. It`s another for a member of staff to have the trust in the care to place a family loved one at St Michaels. What gives more insight is when our residents tell their stories and share their experiences themselves. Jean Parton was one of our much-loved residents and, what’s to follow, is her story.

Life before St Michaels

With her early years spent in Wimbledon, Jean was born on 11th May 1944. While returning to the Margate area in 1982, and spending several years there, the majority of her life was spent living in Carshalton and Wallington.

Jean had spent her whole life keeping busy. With a career in retail and sales, when the time came to retire there was no way that Jean was simply going to put her feet up. Instead, she filled her time by helping others. This included volunteering at her local church café as well as becoming a keen dog sitter for her neighbour.

Whatever free time that Jean found herself with, there was still no chance of her just sitting back and watching the world go by. Instead, she filled her time with hobbies such as reading, music, crosswords and knitting. Jean was also known to enjoy the occasional game of bingo. Certainly, Jean’s retirement led to her living an active life that she thoroughly enjoyed.

A life-changing accident

Five years ago, following a tragic accident, Jean’s health began to deteriorate and this saw her quality of life decline. Whereas once she had been full of life and keen to keep busy, her health would no longer allow for this.

Jean was lucky to have the support of her family and friends at this point but it became increasingly difficult to cater for all of her needs. With Jean struggling with her mobility, and her recovery not going well. So, after a spell in hospital the decision was made that she shouldn’t return home.

The importance of family

To Jean, family was everything and her 3 children, 5 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren were at the centre of her life. While the family was split between London and Margate, that distance never got in the way of Jean having a truly wonderful relationship with the people who were special to her.

Jean had a long desire to move back towards Margate so that she could be closer to family and friends. She also had fond memories of visiting the family beach hut in Westgate-On-Sea. That meant that, when it came to choosing a care home, there was only one choice.

The best recommendation

When Jean’s family were aware that she needed end-of-life care, it was her granddaughter, Millie, who had the perfect suggestion. Having spent 12 years working at St Michael’s, previously as a care assistant and now as a receptionist and Customer Relations Officer, Millie knew that this was the right environment for Jean where she would receive the very best in care. This is what Millie had to say:

“There is no place I would rather my nan be than in my place of work for receiving the best care from my work colleagues, being close to her friends and family, and being kept comfortable and pain-free with us by her side.”

Welcome to St Michaels

Millie’s wishes became a reality when Jean joined us in June 2022. At that time, she was extremely frail and just didn’t seem like the person who her family had described. However, only a few days later, we all saw an amazing transformation in Jean. She was suddenly much brighter and wanted to get up and enjoy all that the home has to offer.

Seeing this side of Jean was truly wonderful. She would spend so much time chatting with staff and other residents, sharing all the joys that her family life had brought her.

Making the most of the facilities

When Jean felt well enough, she took the opportunity to visit the salon and get her hair done. She also loved to sit in the garden enjoying the sunshine and what our surrounding have to offer. More than anything though, Jean looked forward to the regular visits of her family when she’d spend time going through photographs, catching up on anything that she might have missed.

The members of our team all took a shine to Jean. She could always bring a smile with her dry sense of humour and loved keeping everyone on their toes with regular demands for cups of coffee.

What did Jean make of St Michaels?

While her granddaughter, Millie, had no doubts whatsoever that this was the right place for her to be, what matters more is what jean herself thought. Although she only spent 4 weeks with us, this is what she had to say:

“I’m not just saying this because my granddaughter works here, I want you all to know how wonderful the staff here are.”

Jean sadly passed away on 28th July at St Michaels, with her family by her side. It was an honour for us to get to know her and provide the care and support that she needed. We’ll leave the last words to Jean’s family:

“We hope you know how much you’re appreciated! Thank you ever so much for all of the care and kindness you showed our mum/nan/sister during her time with you.”