Resident: David Russell's Story

There are amazing people living in Barchester homes who refuse to let disability or age prevent them from pursuing the hobbies and interests they have always enjoyed.

David Russell lives at Barchester’s Kingsland House, a home which cares for people with a range of care needs, including those living with dementia.

David has been a keen gardener ever since his youth, when he was growing up on a farm in the South West with his parents and brother.

He later took up a career in the railway industry, driving trains and engineering. However, gardening remained a favourite pastime and one which he was very skilled at – three of his allotments were award-winning.

David moved into Kingsland House Care Home after suffering a stroke, which has caused paralysis in parts of his body. As he is no longer able to use one of his arms, daily tasks that most people take for granted have become extremely difficult for him.

Despite all of this, he hasn’t stopped gardening.

David helps keep the garden at Kingsland House looking its best for everyone else to enjoy. You’ll often find him outside in his trademark lilac cowboy hat, watering flowers and tending to vegetables for the home’s chef to use in tasty home-cooked dishes.

When Kingsland House decided to create a sensory garden for residents living with dementia, he helped bring the idea to life. He was able to share his knowledge of gardening with the home’s staff and other residents who were involved. Even though he couldn’t dig up the soil himself, he pointed to where plants should be placed and guided staff and other residents on how deep to place the seeds.

His input has helped establish and maintain a much-loved space that is full of stimulating scents, vibrant colours and home-made decorations.