Skiing wish comes true

Sunrise of Westbourne is celebrating the success of its Wishing Well after granting one of its residents their lifelong wish.

On the first Friday of every month, Sunrise of Westbourne hosts its Anticipation Club to encourage residents to try a new hobby, visit a place they’ve always wanted to go or learn a new skill. Residents are invited to write their wish on a piece of paper and put it in the community’s wishing well before team members help them to make it come true.

Resident Jean Bayley, who is 80 this year, moved into Sunrise of Westbourne nearly a year ago. Following a hip operation, Jean’s mobility was severely impaired, and it was unlikely that she would Ski again. A lifelong skier, Jean loved family skiing holidays in the French Alps and was instrumental in helping her grandchildren to learn the skill.

It was therefore Jean’s wish that she skied again.

Jean, who lives with Alzheimer’s, was supported by her family and their positivity as a plan was hatched to help her to make the journey to the Alps once again. Over the Easter holidays, Jean was driven to her much-loved village of Châtel, with family members flying in from Florida and Amsterdam to share a chalet for the week.

A Handi Ski was hired with an experienced ski guide to take Jean on the ski runs and ski lifts with the whole of her family skiing with her so that she was able to experience the thrill of the runs that she used to frequent for over 30 years. Jean was able to ski once again alongside her granddaughters, great-grandson and great-granddaughter, as well as her sons and daughter, which moved her to tears of  joy more than once.

Wendy Blow, senior director of community relations at Sunrise of Westbourne, says: “Everyone at Sunrise was delighted to support Jean in making her very special wish come true, despite their initial disbelief.

“Jean is a very determined lady and her entire family were behind her. With her granddaughter being a paramedic and her husband a practicing orthopaedic surgeon, along with other family members trained in care, we were confident that nothing could possibly go wrong!

“It was particularly lovely to see Sunrise carers get involved with helping Jean to practice putting on and taking off her ski goggles before she left for the slopes. We look forward to helping many more residents be granted their wishes.”


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