My dad is called George.  He is a veteran.  He served with the Royal Scots then transferred to the RAOC attached to the Royal Artillery, completing his National Service between 1949 to 1951. He was born in Bonnyrigg and lived in Mayfield, Dalkeith with my mum while raising his three children – Ralph, Diane and me, Gina.


When George was in his 80s, he moved to amenity housing in Pathhead. But more recently the care in the community wasn’t enough for his needs. My dad is 92 years young.  He was having falls at home and our family were becoming very concerned about his safety and wellbeing. I started to think his next move would be to very sheltered housing.  I investigated one very close to where I live. I thought with him living closer, I could help him more.  Despite my work with Housing Options Scotland, I don’t work directly with clients on their housing options so I wasn’t really aware of what options were out there.  Luckily, I then had a few conversations with Moira.


Moira explained what very sheltered meant and the process of social work and occupational therapy involvement. She shared her own experience with her mum going from very sheltered to a nursing home.  She asked the question… What about Erskine?  I thought the care homes were in the West of Scotland and the Edinburgh one was for the young service leavers (due to being aware of someone going through there).  Moira explained and gave me clarification. The seed was now planted. I suggested it to dad, called Erskine for information and they sent a brochure and application pack.


I had a chat with my dad, and he asked if he could go to have a look. I organised a tour mid-January. We were very impressed.  I contacted Erskine in the first instance to request an application form and then the social work department for a referral.  It was passed to the older people’s team.  An application pack was then given to his doctor to complete a medical summary. This took a couple of weeks to get organised, as well as a social work assessment.  Financial paperwork and the medical summary were given to the social worker and proof of his service was also needed.


Once I had collated everything, I emailed it all to the moving in team at Erskine.  The social worker sent her assessment and medical summary.  From the application being received at Erskine – it took 4 days to be offered a place for my dad.  We received the good news Friday 24th and he moved into his room Tuesday 28th. The moving in team were fantastic and always kept me updated.  They told me to contact them anytime if I had any questions. Which I did.


I felt supported throughout the whole process and was able to explain the process to my dad as well.


He has settled in so well.  He is loving his room, the food, and the company of the fellow residents.  The carers and nurses are available 24/7. In his own words


This is luxury.


I don’t think he realised what 24/7 care meant – until now.  He is being properly looked after and I can see how content he is knowing he has all the support he needs.  He is closer to me – only 15 minutes in the car – I can visit him more now and spend quality time with him.  One of the real positives for me with the move was Erskine taking the time with all the little details.  Everything has been thought out extremely well to make my dad’s life much easier and help is always on hand.


I have my Masters graduation in September and I happened to mention to a staff member that I would love my dad to come to this celebration. However, it is in Glasgow and seemed mere impossible to get him there as I need to be there beforehand.  They said that he could be taken, and a carer would accompany him so we can make memories as he has never ever experienced this.  Again, knowing that he has an experienced carer with him and all his needs being met, gives me total comfort and we can enjoy the day. They are happy for the family to be as involved as they wish – to accompany my dad on trips – meet me at the AFVBC etc.  It feels good to also be supported to make his elder years happier.  And he has already made a friend there.


There is so much to look forward to now.  No more falls. I am hoping his legs will improve. He is looking forward to the outings and keeping busy with activities and making more friends.  He is enjoying being looked after properly and thinks his new home is beautiful.


Only yesterday I found out that when my Auntie came to visit him a Shetland pony came for a visit.  They were bringing them round all the rooms.  My dad loved it.

Further note: Sadly, George Wilson passed away peacefully on 29th March 2023 after spending a wonderful time at Erskine Edinburgh.