Despite being 28 years old I can happily extol the virtues of purchasing a flat in a retirement complex. Why? Two generations of my relatives have lived in separate developments across Leeds, and their decision to move into such developments were the best they ever made.
My Grandparents moved to Hornbeam Court in Guiseley in 2008. They lived in a four bedroom detached house with a large garden. The house was clearly too large for them and the garden, which they both loved, was becoming difficult to maintain in their advancing years.
I was passing the development with my Grandma one Friday afternoon and suggested she and my Grandad go and view. I was met with ‘oh we aren’t old enough to live in a retirement flat just yet!’ despite them being well over the age limit of 55 (or 60 if a single resident) to move in. Over the course of the afternoon they agreed they would at least think about it.
Unbeknown to me, they called the selling agent over that same weekend and arranged a viewing for the Monday. By that same afternoon they had put an offer in! Even I was taken a-back by how quickly they had made a decision. After all, they were reluctant at even my suggestion of them viewing it. It was on that viewing that they could see the merits of downsizing, especially to somewhere like a retirement flat. It was safe and secure, meaning that when they were on holiday or visiting family and friends they didn’t need to worry about security; it was maintained by a management company, meaning that if anything went wrong with the roof, doors, locks, even the heaters or appliances in the flat, then they could contact the resident house manager who would arrange repairs. They could also enjoy the lush, manicured, gardens without the work that goes in to maintaining them. Grandad could even help the regular gardener with planters and tubs as and when he wanted. They haven’t looked back. In fact, we’ve often joked that they have more of a social life than me nowadays!
Whenever I call them there is some form of coffee morning, afternoon tea, bingo afternoon, fish and chip night or trip-out in the pipeline. From our families point of view it’s great to see them living out their retirement years among like minded people, rather than being lonely in a large house spending most of their time fretting over its maintenance and security.
My mum also takes comfort in the knowledge that the resident house manager is on hand, as well as Careline, a 24-hour monitoring service; if ever they fell ill, or required assistance, help is only a button or pull-cord away. My Grandma did tie the cords up when they first moved in, but as they’ve got older and experienced ill health, it’s been invaluable. You can even get a Careline device to wear around your neck, so if you have a fall and the pull-cord is just out of reach the emergency button is right there.
My Grandad suffered ill-health last year and sadly passed away, but despite her loss my Grandma is thriving in the flat. Friends in neighbouring flats pop in, the house-manager checks-in too, and she wears the Careline device round her neck – she’s more than able, but I think it’s a sort-of “security blanket”!
We currently have two retirement flats for sale, 34 Orchard Court and 2 Orchard Court. We’ve also just agreed a sale on a flat in St Chad’s Court. It was St Chad’s Court that my other relative, my great-Grandma, lived in several years ago.
McCarthy and Stone build their flats close to local amenities. Both Orchard Court and St Chad’s Court have the Spar supermarket over the road (at the BP garage in Far Headingley), and they’re only a short walk or bus journey (the nearest bus stop is at the end of the road by Woodies) to the amenities of Headingley, which has Sainsburys, various banks, the Post Office, cafes, restaurants, bars etc. The same bus route also takes you through Hyde Park to the city centre, or the X84 bus in the opposite direction takes you past Golden Acre Park and to Skipton, the gateway to the Dales.
If you have a relative who is over 55 (or over 60 if a single resident), and you think they’d benefit from living somewhere like this, then why not suggest they take a look at our retirement flats? A simple suggestion could be all that it takes!