Don’t suffer in silence and do listen to how you’re feeling
After coming to terms with the loss of his wife of 51 years, Dr Hubbard, a retired head engineer from Great Yarmouth, decided along with his family that he wasn’t going to suffer in silence like many others do – and as a result, now wants to help others decide to do the same.
Dr Hubbard, who is 80 years old, says: “for me, loneliness was the feeling after my wife passed and the gap in connection between what I once had and was now without. What amplified this was the fact that I had to take care of our large family home in Gorleston on my own."
“I have many fond memories of that place, but maintaining such a large space by myself became too much for me to manage which added to the pressure I felt, and I found myself rattling around the empty rooms.”
“The most important thing to do is not to lock yourself away”, he said.
A new chapter helped enormously
Stephen with the help of his family, began to investigate different properties in the Great Yarmouth area where he could benefit from the companionship of like-minded people. He came across Foundry Place, a Retirement Living PLUS development exclusively for the over-70s in Beccles, Suffolk.
“Beccles is an excellent location”, he says. “Not only do I have the railway station right on my doorstep, but my children also live close by, meaning I can see them as often as I please.
“I’ve mostly lived in Great Yarmouth, so it was important to me to stay in the local area, and when I visited the development, I immediately got a warm welcome from both the McCarthy Stone staff and fellow homeowners which he now counts as friends. It was somewhere I knew I could feel secure, and which would give me the peace of mind that help was nearby. Moving to a smaller property also meant I no longer needed to worry about the maintenance issues that were mounting up at my old property, or some of the rising costs associated with this. My new apartment was ready to move into and everything was brand-new and pristine which made it much easier."
“With more time available and less stress, I've been able to indulge in some of my passions such as music, economics, astronomy and current affairs.”
Stephen was one of the first homeowners to move to Foundry Place and is now a very popular member of the community and very happily settled in his two-bedroom apartment.
“It’s such a close-knit bunch here”, he says. “I’ve been surprised about just how much there is to get involved with. From film nights and knitting clubs, to coffee mornings and many other gatherings. I’ve formed some lovely friendships in the past year or so and had I not moved here, I feel I would have become more and more socially isolated.”
“I really appreciate that here, there is always someone to talk to, but equally, we all respect one another’s privacy, which means you can be as sociable or private as you like. One thing’s for sure, you never feel alone.”
It’s not just the homeowners who are keeping spirits high. With an experienced team on-hand 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Stephen and his family have peace of mind that everything is taken care of.
“Everyone here is very friendly and always go out their way to support you.”
Keen to help other retirees who may find themselves feeling lonely, Stephen says Foundry Place has been crucial to him in his independence and building shared connections.
“One of the great things is that no two people are the same, but that’s what makes it such an exciting and vibrant community. We all share the same values, and respect one another as individuals.”
He continues: “moving to a retirement living development may not be something you’ve considered before. You may not think it’s right for you now, but it’s about future proofing.”
When asked about the moving process, Stephen said it was ‘smooth and hassle free’.
Feeling happy and content in his new life, Dr Hubbard is now counting down the days to his upcoming solo Mediterranean cruise.
“I’m really looking forward to exploring Madeira, the south of Portugal and Morocco. I know it’s going to be great fun, but it’s also going to be a bit of a test for me, as it’ll be my first time going abroad by myself. It’s been fun sharing my ideas and some of the places I plan on visiting with my fellow homeowners.”
Find your own place