Facility is ‘like residents’ own home’

Ella Hamilton, longest staying resident at Colebrooke House care home, cuts the cake to celebrate the 25th anniversary. With her are Jennifer Woodside, Caroline Lockwood, Charlie Rowan and Anne Marie Rowan. INLT 42-326-PR
Ella Hamilton, longest staying resident at Colebrooke House care home, cuts the cake to celebrate the 25th anniversary. With her are Jennifer Woodside, Caroline Lockwood, Charlie Rowan and Anne Marie Rowan. INLT 42-326-PR
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Colebrook Residential Home in Larne celebrated 25 years of elderly care recently.

The home, which is located at The Roddens, opened for business in October 1988.

Colebrook’s owner and registered manager Anne Marie Rowan says that despite administrative changes, care for the elderly has not changed in this time.

“Colebrook is about the comfort of the elderly and their welfare. They are the most important people to us,” said Anne Marie.

“They are our responsibility. We take over from their families. Colebrook is like their own home. That is how most people feel about it.”

Indeed, Anne Marie says that Colebrook prides itself on the home from home care it provides. And often residents who have long lived in Larne often discover that they know each other already.

“As well as a warm, welcoming atmosphere, residents can also have their own privacy if desired.”

Colebrook has 12 residents. The longest is Ella Hamilton who has lived there for the past five years. The home was full to capacity six months after opening and the number of residents has remained constant ever since.

Colebrook is a house which was built in 1945 by the McConnell family from County Fermangh who named the property after a river in their home county.

Anne Marie and her husband Charles bought Colebrook in 1987 and spent six months renovating before opening for business.

Residents are cared for by a 17-strong team of dedicated staff, some of whom are long-serving, in particular, head of care, Jennifer Woodside, who has been employed for 19 years.

The staff were delighted to welcome friends and relatives of residents past and present for an anniversary celebration on Saturday, October 12.

“All their visitors came and we had a hooley. We really enjoyed it,” said Anne Marie.

Activities take place regularly such as light exercise, bingo and bowling as well as music and reminiscence sessions.

Visits take place by the library service, podiatrist and “Visioncall”, a mobile optician. Residents also enjoy walking around Colebrook’s extensive gardens.

Care of vulnerable adults as well as health and safety are top priorities. Good nutrition also plays a leading part in the well-being of residents at Colebrook which has a five-star rating for food hygiene.

Anne Marie says: “It is rewarding work, very stimulating looking after elderly people. You meet a lot of different people who have different stories to tell.”