The many benefits of moving into a retirement community earlier (rather than later)
Determining when you may want to consider moving to a retirement community is a complicated decision process. Many people wait for a crisis to occur before considering such a move; while others plan and move before something happens. Award-winning retirement community operator, LifeCare Residences, offers some sage advice for those contemplating this decision – that it is always better to be five years too early, than five minutes too late. Moreover, it is important to dispel the misconception that retirement communities are nursing homes. 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-today living smoother, but also help to free up time. Following a lifetime dedicated to a career, many now have the luxury of time to appreciate the pastimes and hobbies they’ve longed to enjoy. Retirees can be assured that the team at LifeCare Residences is dedicated to putting the comfort of the residents first by providing five-star amenities, ensuring that their well-earned retirement years are lived to the full.
A time to enjoy five-star amenities as standard
Owning and maintaining a home is a big task for anyone, so it’s no surprise that many retirees often find the maintenance involved more taxing as they age. Garden and home maintenance, personal security and other tasks can become a concern and a major chore and may end up holding someone back from spending their retirement years exactly how they’d like to. The following support services come as standard across all LifeCare Residences communities: housekeeping, laundry, room service, maintenance support, domiciliary care and courtesy shuttle, allowing retirees to relish a more active old age with fewer chores. Moreover, a dedicated 24-hour concierge service can also take the hassle out of organising daily tasks by helping with dry-cleaning, post, tickets to events, taxis and travel. The concierge team can even organise international travel for that much longed-for holiday. These on-site amenities are not something many people usually have on their doorstep but are enjoyed to the full by many residents across LifeCare Residences communities in the UK. Indeed, it can be said that these services will be enough to encourage anyone to consider an ‘early’ retirement! A resident at Battersea Place – the first luxury retirement community in London – sums up this sentiment, saying, “Google Battersea Place to see why I moved in!”
Integral to these five-star amenities on tap, is access to delicious and nutritious food. Battersea Place boasts a high-class restaurant as well as a dining room for special occasions. An ever-changing menu can be delivered straight to the residents’ apartments too. Both SomerleighCourt in Dorchester and Grove Place in Hampshire pride themselves on sourcing locally produced food; Grove Place even boasts their own kitchen garden with provides home-grown ingredients for their onsite restaurant. A Battersea Place resident adds, “That’s the other lovely thing here – having a restaurant. The last holiday I came back from, I arrived home at 7pm and thought oh, I’m going to have to defrost something from the freezer. But of course, I didn’t, I just popped down to the restaurant and had a lovely meal.”
Residents are able to look their best at all times with the hair salons and beauty treatment rooms handily on site. LifeCare Residences also offers a wealth of opportunities for residents to exercise both indoors and outdoors, enabling them to increase strength and fitness. Both Battersea Place and Grove Place boast well-equipped gyms and heated indoor swimming pools which are available for the exclusive use of residents and their families.
A time to enjoy a sense of community and social life on tap
Socialising after retirement can prove a challenge for some, with social circles becoming smaller. As a result, some may find themselves spending more time alone or relying on family for company. Staying socially active is as important to health as staying physically active. Studies have shown that older adults who are socially active handle stress better which leads to important increases in cardiovascular health and an improved immune system. Positive social interactions on a consistent basis keep one’s brain stimulated, mentally sharp and intellectually engaged which in turn can help prevent general cognitive decline. Moreover, staying socially active and feeling part of a community empowers self-esteem and a sense of self-worth. At 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, onsite activities and functions. Many new residents find their social circle expanding once again, as they have an opportunity to meet and make friends with like-minded, vibrant people – which is appealing at any age. Day-to-day living is made as easy and maintenance-free as possible in a community, as well as providing peace of mind that future healthcare needs will be met when necessary.
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. Grove Place, a beautiful retirement community, set in the rural Hampshire countryside, is now home to retirees Elaine and Philip Gaussen who made the move to begin the next chapter in their lives. They have never looked back as they thoroughly embrace the buzz and sense of community. Elaine adds, “We hadn’t realised how strong the Grove Place community was before we arrived. It’s so lovely to have nice friends and neighbours to socialise with. Everyone is so kind, and we feel at home here.” Like all LifeCare Residences communities, Grove Place provides ample opportunity for residents to meet like-minded people and even get involved in a range of activities and clubs on offer – be it board games, craft, ukulele, cards, falconry, archery, bridge or music.
A time to relish both independence (coupled with reassurance)
The sense of maintaining one’s independence is one of the key drivers for retirees moving to a retirement community earlier. It is reassuring for residents and family members alike to know that a caring team is on hand, 24-hours a day. All residences have guest apartments available for visiting friends and family. Tricia Caffyn and her husband Neville made the move to Grove Place in Hampshire and relish the sense of security that comes with such a supportive community and a sense of newfound independence. They still enjoy running their own lifestyle but with the added knowledge that they can choose between entertaining friends in their apartment – or popping out to enjoy a meal at the restaurant with other residents. Tricia comments, “We are still very much in charge of our own routine. Grove Place has enabled us to enter into the next stage of our lives with the confidence that our lifestyle doesn’t have to be compromised.” This sentiment is echoed by a resident at Battersea Place in London who feels a greater sense of independence after moving in, “Battersea Place is a great launchpad for my travels and for my volunteering at the British Museum. Moving hasn’t reduced my ability to get involved with London, I go to the National Theatre and any free museum exhibition that’s going. I have my friends from Battersea Place over for coffee, and I have some friends coming to stay in the guest apartment very soon”.
A time for future-proofing
The recent global pandemic has highlighted that none of us know what the future holds. Should your current state of health deteriorate for any reason, retirement communities provide the reassurance that help is on hand in the form of care such as domiciliary care into your apartment, visiting health professionals and even onsite nursing homes – for short or long-term nursing or convalescence. Many residents don’t rely on the care facilities that are in place at LifeCare Residences communities, but simply knowing that option is available and can be easily factored into their daily lives is something that residents find both liberating and reassuring. Elaine Gaussen, another resident concurs; “We knew when we came here, we were planning for the lives we live now – but also for the changing needs or circumstances that might arise in the future. It feels like Grove Place can cater for all eventualities.”
Moving to a retirement community earlier can give retirees back their independence and a renewed sense of living life on their own terms. Freed from chores, less reliant on family or friends for assistance, and with more time and energy to enjoy friends and hobbies – many residents feel happier and healthier in their new lifestyle, so the temptation to move earlier has never been greater.
If you would like to learn more about our offering 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.