Katrina Austin, Home Manager of Tenchley Manor Nursing Home in Selsey, shares a deeply personal story of love, loss, and dedication, highlighting the exceptional care provided by her team during the most challenging times. 

“Janet was my mum and my best friend in the whole world. She was a wife, a mother, a grandmother, and a good friend to all who knew her,” begins Katrina, recounting her cherished memories. “I moved to Selsey in 2011, and mum and dad followed fairly soon. We had always been so close, spending time together shopping, on holidays, getting our hair done, or simply watching the telly. My god, she loved to shop! Life was so good, and mum always made the effort to see the kids splashing about in the sea at East Beach.” 

The arrival of COVID-19 in January 2020 brought unprecedented challenges. Katrina, fully aware of the risks, took strict measures to protect her parents. “I strictly locked my parents down to keep them safe. They were just around the corner, but we couldn’t just go round and sit with them. As soon as we could get to them again, we were there in a flash.” 

In August 2020, life took an unexpected turn. “Mum had a fall and ended up in the hospital. Although they found no injury, she suddenly developed acute delirium. We decided the best thing for her, and the family was to admit her to Tenchley Manor as dad couldn’t manage looking after her. It was hard as they had been married for 55 years, and due to COVID, he could hardly spend any time with her due to visiting restrictions, but the team in the home did what they could.” 

Despite the efforts and dedication of the Tenchley Manor staff, Janet’s health deteriorated. “She began to suffer a series of strokes. I truly believe that she was in the best place, and the staff showed every kindness to her. I felt completely secure in the fact that she was there. She sadly passed away on 10 February 2021, leaving a massive hole in our lives.” 

Katrina expresses great pride and gratitude for her team at Tenchley Manor. “I am immensely proud of the team who cared for her and stand by my decision to place my own mum in my care home. Every day, I see the dedication, compassion, and care the team display to every resident. Whilst I miss her every day, I am relieved to know she had the best possible care here at Tenchley Manor.”