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Hagley Road Village - Doreen and John Baller

Doreen Baller can now sleep at night, knowing that if her husband John walks out of the apartment a door alarm will alert staff at ExtraCare’s Hagley Road Village.

John, a former mechanical engineer who ran his own business, was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2012.

Before the couple moved to the Village in 2014, a carer was coming into their home 27 hours a week. The carer stayed overnight from 10pm to 7am, three nights a week.

“I had care for John during the night so that I could get a rest,” says 81 years-old Doreen. “He gets up during the night and may have gone out of the door or unlocked it. I had to lock it and hide the keys.”

Now the alarm has meant that 86 years-old John does not need regular care.

Doreen and John had lived in their four bedroom house for 46 years; it was where they brought up their two sons. But they decided it was time to make life easier for both of them and move to a two bedroomed apartment in the Village.

“It's an easier life, no stairs to climb, no great big house to clean up and worry about. I think it was a wise move,” says Doreen, who worked as a nurse.

She is now planning to take part in Tai Chi classes and is hoping that John will also take part in activities.

The couple already have friends in the Village. The other residents include the neighbours they had when they first married. They have known them for 57 years.