After Jean Sharp fell and broke her hip, she needed somewhere other than her home to recover.

Jean, who lives in sheltered housing in Alyth, Perthshire, had spent time in two hospitals after the accident. She and her family knew she needed more help while her hip healed.

So she took up an opportunity for a respite stay at Balhousie Stormont Lodge care home in nearby Blairgowrie. Short stays in care homes are offered to people who are recovering from an illness or operation, or whose at-home carers may need a break from looking after them.

Jean’s stay coincided with a period of lockdown for care homes because of the COVID pandemic. However, despite the restrictions on her family visiting her, Jean loved her stay. With the help of the staff at Balhousie Stormont Lodge, she was back on her feet in five months.

“We weren’t allowed indoor visits from family at the time, but my daughter would come to my bedroom window so the home did all they could to make visits with her happen. I also got friendly with some of the staff,” says Jean, 92, a mother of four, grandmother of eight and great-grandmother of three. She is now back at her home in Alyth. “I’m not as mobile as I was before the fall but I’m getting around just fine,” she says.

Jules Ritchie-Urry, Home Manager at Balhousie Stormont Lodge, said: “Respite breaks in our homes are a great solution for families in need of emergency or short-term accommodation. Jean’s situation is a great example of how people can stay somewhere else in comfort, have company, activities and experienced staff on hand when they need it.”

For more on respite care, contact

Balhousie Stormont Lodge in Blairgowrie.

Jean Sharp relaxing at her home in Alyth.