COVID-19 supportline 0333 005 8735  |

Ruby Blake is a resident at The Heights nursing home in Downley, High Wycombe. We organised for Ruby to do a podcast with The Times so that she could talk about her experience of living in a care home during lockdown.

Ruby commented on how she enjoys life at The Heights – how she is still doing activities in the home and how she is still able to communicate with her family through the use of video apps and phones. Ruby says “I had a sing-song with my daughter in Nottingham…over the phone”. Ruby mentions that her daughter is currently receiving treatment for cancer, so to be able to sing old-time favourites together is incredibly meaningful to the pair.

Ruby talks about how her other daughter visits the home once a week to drop off some essentials at the door. Whilst the two can see each other face to face and from a safe distance, Ruby wishes she could cuddle her daughter. When asked what Ruby thought it would feel like to be able to hug her daughter again, she excitedly comments: “Wonderful!…you don’t realise it’s a necessity. You really need it now and again.”

Ruby shares how her family have been keeping her updated on the latest addition to her family – her first great-grandson, Noah. Thankfully, Ruby was able to see Noah just before lockdown but she proudly states that her family “always send me photos – I’m running out of space on my walls!” Apps like Familigram, email and Skype are being used across the homes so residents don’t miss out on key moments like this.

Ruby also mentioned her birthday coming up. She did not know that the team at the Heights had arranged for Ruby’s family to come and share the special day with her from a safe distance in the garden. When Ruby’s birthday arrived, just days after recording this, she was pleasantly surprised with a round of “Happy Birthday” being sung by her loved ones.

When asked at the end of the interview whether there was something that Ruby would want to say to her family that she hasn’t said before, Ruby concluded: “I’m always telling them I love them, but I am missing them dreadfully and I’ll never be able to thank them enough for all they have done for me.”

You can listen to this podcast in full by clicking the link: