Friends & family
Read our guides for friends and relatives who are helping elderly parents or loved ones to find a retirement home, downsize or move closer to family.

Christine moves closer to family to help out

A benefit of seniors moving closer to family is that they can lend a hand with grandchildren – and many are very happy to help. Read Christine’s story.

Christine and her grandson Thomas
Friends and family
Posted 12 July 2023
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Enjoying the benefits of moving closer to family

When her husband died in 2020, retired hospital administrator, Christine Holdsworth, 75, decided to move closer to her family: her daughters Alison and Linsey, and her grandchildren, Thomas, Nicole, Jasmine and Jacob. She chose McCarthy Stone’s Cranberry Court retirement living community for the over 60s in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.

Christine says: “The girls thought it would be nice for us all to be nearer one another as we’ve always been a close-knit family.”

Alison continues: “When our dad passed it was a very difficult time for the whole family. I went with my sister Linsey to view Cranberry Court together, before mum did and we fell in love with it. We never thought she’d go for it but she immediately loved it too. It’s so beautiful – like a hotel. So lovely and clean all the time and the people – well, you couldn’t get a nicer bunch.” 


Looking after grandchildren in retirement is a joy

With both parents working, Christine has regularly looked after Alison’s youngest son Thomas, now 14, since he was a baby and that strong relationship continues.


Christine with her daughter Alison and Grandson Thomas

“I regularly look after him during the holidays, and equally he’s great with me so it really is a two-way thing! I’ll often have him to stay in my spare bedroom and we have such a fun time baking together. This Valentine’s Day he really impressed the homeowners – he helped me set up the room and took time to chat to everyone…he even helped with the washing up! They keep asking when he’ll come again!”

She is also visited weekly by his older sister Nicole, for a ‘natter with nan’.


“And I have a really close relationship with Linsey’s children, Jasmine (15) and Jacob (18)… Linsey – and the children – all know I’m there for them too, whether that be a helping hand or in emergencies, thanks to me living close by.”

Alison adds, “Mum is always there if we need her and having her so close by is a godsend. Thomas absolutely adores spending time with her. Probably because she spoils him!

Retirement living gives peace of mind – and more time for family

Christine continues: “Before I moved to Cranberry Court, demands around the home such as gardening, keeping on top of the allotment or simply sorting things around the house would have taken up a lot of my time, so downsizing has removed some of those demands and freed me up. As a result, I have more time available to be able to support the family. It’s always been nice to help the girls out. It gives me huge happiness knowing I’m making a difference and I never tire of it. ” 

…and more time for friends…

Locally, Christine is an active member of the local U3A and swims at the sports centre – when she can drag herself away from Cranberry Court that is.

“There’s so much going on at Cranberry Court that I have a brilliant time doing lots of fun things I wouldn’t have had time to do before I retired, and I’ve made lots of friends as a result. From games nights to fitness and crafts, through to coffee mornings.…I know this is what my husband would have wanted for me, and it’s the best thing I could have done moving here. I absolutely love it and have made so many friends in a short space of time. I’m hoping to rope Thomas into some baking for a charity coffee morning,” smiles Christine.

Alison adds, “It’s so great to see how well she’s settled into Cranberry Court – she really hasn’t looked back and compared to when she moved in, she’s like a different person. We’re so happy we made the decision as a family we did – McCarthy Stone supports her in every way she needs it to and was definitely the right choice at the right time for her. We invite her to dinner as often as we can but normally, we’re fighting off one of her neighbours - she always seems to get a better offer!”


Want to convince your parents to move closer?

If you’re feeling inspired by the benefits of moving closer to family read our tips on how to have the conversation and everything you need to consider.

Convinced? McCarthy Stone developments span across the UK so you can find beautiful retirement homes near you, conveniently located in the heart of the local community and with plentiful amenities on the doorstep.

Browse our retirement properties near you now, or if you want to speak to a member of the team get in touch online or call 0800 201 4811


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