We care about living life.

Reflecting upon and savouring the positive moments of 2021

For auld lang syne, my dear
For auld lang syne
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet
For days of auld lang syne
Auld Lang Syne by Dougie Maclean

As 2021 draws to a close, it is a natural time for reflection on the year that is almost past. December is a time of reflection as we bid farewell to one year and welcome in the next, with a song of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ to reflect on times gone by. To say that we are living through challenging times sounds like both a cliché and an understatement. The latest worrying news about the ongoing pandemic has triggered uncertainty, sadness and anxiety about what lies ahead for many. But when people look back on the year that has passed and focus on the positives, it can help provide a new perspective and help you cope during difficult times using techniques from the field of positive psychology. Indeed, Ron Siegel, assistant professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School concurs, “Positive psychology is not about denying difficult emotions, it’s about opening to what is happening here and now and cultivating and savouring the good in your life.” This research has demonstrated that a mere ten seconds of savouring a good feeling can ‘install’ it in our neural networks which can begin to turn us slowly away from negative feelings like rumination and anxiety towards more positive feelings like appreciation, compassion and a gentle hopefulness.

Reminiscing about the past is a year-end tradition but it can also be a form of healing and is just as pertinent for those of retirement age. The team and residents across the award-winning and internationally renowned retirement communities, operated by LifeCare Residences, have much to reflect fondly upon as they look back on 2021. There has been a raft of positivity and an abundance of ‘feel good’ stories emerging from Grove Place in Hampshire, Battersea Place in London and Somerleigh Court in Dorset – from winning awards and celebratory events to fantastic fundraising functions and splendid fireworks evenings. The communities operated by LifeCare Residences provide vibrant places to live, offering a full spectrum of five-star amenities and services that not only make day-to-day living smoother, but they also help to free up time, where well-earned retirement years are lived to the full.

Instead of thinking too much about the uncertainties of what could lie ahead, the team and residents across the LifeCare Residences communities can ponder about the year that brought about many wonderful and positive things and forces for good. For example, at Grove Place, in the heart of the New Forest in Hampshire, residents embarked on a laudable fundraising effort to mark World Alzheimer’s Day in September and raised £1,242 for valuable research. The fundraising effort was led by resident Fred Tickle, whose wife passed away in 2020 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s, who said, “We are very privileged here at Grove Place to have such wonderful support and a generous community.” He was joined in his efforts by fellow residents Gail Ashworth who used her admirable needlework and design skills to create a range of face masks to sell to residents and staff and Mike Lemon, a talented musician, who arranged cultural events to generate funds. The fascinating history of Elizabethan Grove Place is something the residents also treasure, referred to by Hampshire County Council as ‘Hampshire’s Treasure’ after it was bought by LifeCare Residences in 2007 who lovingly restored it to its former glory after years of falling into disrepair. Resident Fred Tickle again, “A building that was built during the reign of Elizabeth I holds a lot of history to be explored – we are swept away by what Grove Place has to offer.” In fact, last month, in November, a fascinating history tour of Grove Place was arranged, coupled with the opportunity to experience the exceptional retirement lifestyle found at Grove Place.

Another highlight of 2021, to reflect upon with pride, is the prestigious award that LifeCare Residences won at the first dedicated HealthInvestor Seniors Housing Awards at the Landmark Hotel in London in October. These awards were put together in recognition of the fact that the seniors housing market is one of the fastest growing sub-sectors of healthcare real estate. To recognise this fundamental shift in both the housing and care market, HealthInvestor UK launched the Seniors Housing Awards which focusses on the individuals and teams operating, building, investing in and advising seniors’ housing facilities. The judging assessed entries across five distinct categories – development, services, finance and operations, innovation and advisory. The LifeCare Residences team were delighted to win the ‘Services’ category for providing the best hospitality, retail and wellness environment. It comes as no surprise that Battersea Place won in this category for it offers a lifestyle and peace of mind that very few city homes can provide. With a wide range of superior amenities including high-class restaurant, lounges, indoor swimming pool, gym, billiards room, cinema and 24-hour care (if required), Battersea Place is for individuals who wish to live in ultimate style. Residents enjoy the benefit of having exceptional service on hand – from being chauffeur-driven to on-site pampering, personal training, through to having a Lifestyle Manager and 24-hour concierge service available. Grove Place also boasts many high-end facilities on-site that the residents have use of including a swimming pool, gym, billiards room, putting green, croquet lawn and shop. In addition, there are a multitude of clubs and social activities on offer including a choir group, crafting, cards and ukulele group. The restaurant, which is housed in the manor house, serves up some excellent local dishes as well as the ever-present and ever-popular Friday Fish & Chips and much-loved Sunday Roasts.

2021 has provided residents at Somerleigh Court, in the heart of historic Dorchester in Dorset, with a wealth of wonderful moments to reflect upon as well as the strong sense of community that pervades all of LifeCare Residences’ communities. Most recently these have included their own version of the Great British Bake-Off, a Welcome Afternoon Tea for new residents, Bonfire Night fireworks celebrations accompanied by hot chocolate and marshmallows and even a fabulous cocktail soiree! On Armistice Day on the 11th November, residents and their guests were invited to mark the occasion and enjoy food and drinks from the comfort of a marquee erected in the gardens where they were serenaded by live music. On Remembrance Sunday itself, a bugler played the Last Post, coupled by a moving poem read by resident Sir Geoffrey Howlett. The occasion was toasted with a glass of sherry and a nostalgic army truck drive through the village. Staying socially active and feeling part of a community empowers self-esteem and a sense of self-worth.

At all LifeCare Residences’ communities, residents benefit from the services of a Lifestyle Co-ordinator who organises local excursions, talks from visiting speakers on a variety of topics, on site activities and functions. Many new residents find their social circle expanding once again, as they have an opportunity to meet and make friends in the comfort of their own home with like-minded, vibrant people. With numerous opportunities to socialise, including during meals, leisure experiences and outings, many residents find a restored sense of purpose and joy in their social lives once they move in. These communities boast a warm community feel thanks to the combined efforts of the teams and the residents.

Therefore, instead of thinking too much about what could lie ahead, it’s important to absorb the many good moments and take some time to ponder the year that was…

If you would like to learn more about LifeCare Residences and how we can enhance the ‘every day’ please call T. 0800 009 6950.

For those who are unable to visit in person, we are also able to offer virtual tours of our communities at your convenience.