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Margaret's story

Margaret was born in 1931 in a small town near Dundee. In 1940, at

the age of nine, she was evacuated to a fishing village on the Isle of

Skye due to concerns for her safety. Although all of the children in her

class were evacuated, none were placed close to her on Skye. We

don't know all of her experiences during that time but we do know that

she experienced an abrupt interruption to her secure family life and

did not return home for two years. Now aged 89, Margaret has been

struggling at home to cope with her advancing dementia and is now

facing the prospect of admission to residential care. In planning for her

future care, she is frightened of losing the safety and security that her

own home has given her over the years. It's not just that residential

care isn't her first choice, Margaret connects her fear of losing the

security of her home where she has lived for 45 years with her

memories of evacuation and separation from her mother at that time.

She finds it difficult to trust that anyone wants the best for her when

that might mean leaving her home where her memories of her mother

are associated with her sense of safety and security. This information

has only come to light following a full exploration of Margaret's

personal history, including the attachments that were important to her.

The social worker undertaking the assessment was able to explore

with Margaret and her family how this disruption in her early life had

influenced her as a partner and a parent, and make some evaluation

of the significance of this proposed move. Her family's experience has

been of a parent who has resisted change, gathered memorabilia of

life events and changed little in her home over many years.

Understanding the impact of this early trauma of evacuation provides

valuable information to assist with the proposed transition to

residential care.


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