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The secret to a long life according to 102-year-old St Ives care home resident

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A 102-year-old St Ives care home resident has revealed her secret to living a long and happy life.

Jean Grabaskey, who lives at Care UK’s Field Lodge on London Road, marked her 102nd birthday on 10th November. Celebrating many happy years, Jean shared that her key to a long life is to work hard and ‘not let a day pass without having a tipple’.

To mark the big day, the team decorated the home with balloons and banners and threw Jean a birthday party with her family and friends at the home. To make the occasion extra special, the home’s talented Head Chef also baked Jean a special birthday cake.

Commenting on her big day, Jean said: “I feel blessed to have reached 102 – it was lovely to spend the day with my family!”

Linda Martinez, Home Manager at Field Lodge, added: “We all had a wonderful time celebrating Jean’s birthday – she is a much-loved member of the Field Lodge family and always puts a smile on our faces.

“We work hard to support residents to lead fulfilling lives, and marking special occasions and birthdays plays a huge part in this. We love any excuse to celebrate the amazing people living at Field Lodge and Jean’s birthday was no exception.

“It was an honour to raise a glass for Jean’s special day and it’s a privilege to have her here at Field Lodge!”

Jean was born in Nottingham on 10th November 1921. In 1943, aged 22, Jean qualified as a nurse and went on to join the Queen Alexandra Imperial Military Nursing Service which saw her work in Netley, Hitchin and Botley Park War Hospital in Surrey.

During her nursing career, Jean worked across the world helping care for injured soldiers. In July 1944, Jean moved to Normandy, France, to work as a nurse for the British Land Army and, after six months, was transferred to Bruges, Belgium, before returning home in May 1945.

Jean continued her work as a nurse for the British Army in both India and Kenya. While stationed in Nairobi, Jean met her husband, Hedley, who was working as a Captain in the Royal Army Dental Corps. The couple were married in 1949 and returned back to St Ives shortly after, where they went on to have three daughters.

Following a break from her career in order to raise her children, Jean returned to nursing aged 54 and continued for seven years at Guy’s Hospital in London, travelling into the city twice a week for work – and to enjoy the vibrant social scene. 

Jean moved to Field Lodge in 2019, where she enjoys attending regular exercise classes, listening to live music, and enjoying her daily gin and tonic with her friends at the home.

Field Lodge is a modern, purpose-built care home providing full-time residential, nursing, and dementia care, as well as short-term respite care. Designed to enable residents to live enjoyable and fulfilling lives, the care home has a choice of lounges and dining rooms, along with facilities such as an activity room, cinema and hair salon. 

Open to new residents

London Road, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, PE27 5EX

Field Lodge

CQC Rating: Good
  • Residential care
  • Dementia care
  • Nursing care
  • Nursing dementia care
  • Respite care
  • End of life care
  • Day club

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