A blind veteran musician who left a home for the elderly after ten months to move into his own apartment said he was happy with the decision.
Freeman “King” Trott, 87, moved out of Devonshire’s Serenity Palms Nursing Home last year because he was not happy in a confined space and wanted to do more for society.
Mr Trott said his stint in the home cost $6,500 a month, paid for from his pension and government assistance.
He added: “They don’t take you for a ride or to the beach or anything.”
He explained he did not like being inactive although he is blind. Mr Trott said: “I decided it must be cheaper to live elsewhere than living here.”
He added: “These people weren’t doing anything for me, but babysitting me.
“I decided after about ten months that I’m going to leave this place because the amount of money that was being paid, I’m not getting that service.”
He quit Serenity Palms last October and now lives in his own apartment in Pembroke.
Mr Trott said he has used his musical skills to entertain other senior citizens since he moved.
He added he played congo drums and sang for seniors at two churches on a regular basis.
Mr Trott said: “I do it from the goodness of my heart. I don’t get paid for it, but I do it because I can still do it.
The gifted musician, who played the bongos and other instruments for 70 years and sang in hotels and nightclubs before he retired in 2015, said he has no regrets about the care home.
He added playing the drums kept his mind active and allowed him to help others.
Mr Trott said he had hit problems in getting financial assistance after he left the care home. Mr Trott added he had made at least seven trips to the financial assistance office before he was offered help with his rent payment.
He said: “They probably didn’t like the idea of me leaving that home.”
Mr Trott pointed out that a home of his own cost the Government far less in support.
He said: “I can live off $1,800 for the month; that is far less than $6,500.”
Mr Trott said he still has to make a small contribution towards his $1,500 rent despite financial assistance.
He added he lost his sight because of eye disease glaucoma about 25 years ago and had looked after himself over the past few years after his wife died.
Mr Trott said: “I do everything besides cook. I get food out of the store and my caregiver makes salads for me that I store.”
He said he also needed someone to accompany him on walks.
Mr Trott explained: “It’s too dangerous to walk the streets. I play it safe, I do what the Blind Society ask of me.”
The father of six said problems at his former home on Union Street in Hamilton sparked concern for his welfare from his family, who persuaded him to move to Serenity Palms.
Mr Trott added the decision to leave the home was his.
He said: “The place was fine to a certain extent, but what was bugging me was the amount of money I was spending and not getting value for it.”
He added although he lives alone, he got enough visitors to keep him entertained.
Mr Trott said: “People visit me every day. Every second I have people shouting to me. I am not left alone.”
He added he had spent last Christmas with his granddaughter and great-grandchildren.
Mr Trott said: “That was beautiful.”
He added he had no other health problems other than blindness and he could manage on his own.
Mr Trott said: “I have never had any type of operations. I didn’t drink, I didn’t smoke. I live clean.
“I didn’t abuse myself with all this crap that young men are doing today,”
He added: “Whatever happens to me, I accept it. I try to live and stay alive as long as possible.”