94-year-old Anita came to live at Care for Veterans in 2018. Her poor sight has seriously affected her coordination, and living alone, she was always at risk of a nasty fall.
Originally from Wales, Anita moved to Worthing at the age of 14 as she and her family needed to find work. A few years later, the Second World War started: “At the beginning of the War, they changed the age of sign-up from 18 to 17 and a half, so I volunteered. Within 10 days, I was in uniform!”
Anita served in the Women’s Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) as Leading Aircraftwoman (LACW) throughout WWII. She explained, “I was first stationed at North Weald Airfield, Epping Forest. I visited many places throughout my Service and was posted to Belgium for almost a year. I was there when the War ended, and in 1945, I served the last supper to all the top officers from the Army, Navy and RAF.”
Since being at Care for Veterans, Anita had become very involved in all the facilities available to her. She was very social and loved to chat, spending time in the Social and Recreation room every morning to be with her new friends: “There’s somebody to talk to all the time, or if I want a break, I just come up to my room.”
Anita also attended her Physiotherapy sessions twice a week. Here, the Physiotherapists worked on maintaining her abilities. Anita used the adapted exercise bike to help increase her physical tolerance, and the treadmill to improve her rhythm in walking.
Care for Veterans’ Physiotherapist, Vilma, said, “Anita is fearless. She’s so fast! When we’re walking with her in Physio, we have to tell her to slow down a little, just so she concentrates on improving her walk. She encourages the other residents too, telling them ‘keep going, come on, keep pushing.’”
Anita never complained. She was always willing to take on the task, and always with a smile.
About her time at Care for Veterans, Anita said: “Yes, it’s really enjoyable, everyone is very nice. There’s plenty to do; I go to everything as it keeps me occupied. All the staff are so good, absolutely first-class.”
Anita sadly passed away at Care for Veterans in October 2020.