What’s it really like to downsize in a pandemic?
Meet three intrepid ladies who haven’t let COVID19 stop them from getting on with enjoying life. They moved to Scott Place, our retirement living development in Lichfield, in August 2020, and became firm friends — enjoying a socially distanced drink together every Sunday.
The three women share similar stories: having lost their beloved husbands, they realised, despite lockdown, it was the time to downsize – but was it the right decision?
Sheila Walters, 85“My husband Trevor and I looked around Scott Place in May 2019, but he wasn’t keen on moving. I loved it, but there’s no point if it’s just one of you.” Sadly Trevor passed away soon after and around a year later Shelia decided to visit Scott Place again. “I loved it the first time, I loved it even more the second. Absolutely loved it. Everyone here is so happy. The apartment is so light and spacious with its two bedrooms and it’s three minutes from Lichfield town centre.”
How was moving during lockdown?Sheila was not at all worried about catching the virus when she moved - everyone wore masks. She says, “the Smooth Move service was so good, all we had to do was walk out the house, they did everything, if you leave a dishcloth on the side, they even pack that. I was delighted.”
What’s it like living in Scott Place?“It’s a very nice community. The lady downstairs left a bunch of Sweet Peas outside the door when I moved in. When I returned the vase, I gave her some chocolate. [The House Manager] Julie is lovely. Never interferes but is there to help when you need it. There’s company if you want it. I’d recommend it to everyone. My daughter’s mother in law came to look around my apartment and now she wants one! … I can’t quite believe I’m here. I love it.”
Jacqui Morgan, 80Jacqui also moved in August, but this time from Newport in South Wales after the death of her husband Ivor. It was a big move – both in distance and emotionally, “but I’m like that, once I’ve made my mind up I’m off.”
How was moving during lockdown?“I felt all I could do was take sensible precautions … everything was in lockdown at the time, no one was going out and I didn’t really feel like it made the move any more difficult. McCarthy Stone had everything nailed with safety, their approach is sensible, straightforward and cautious.
How do you feel about your move?“I love my apartment, it’s so light and warm and my daughter is only 20 mins away. I’m looking forward to the end of the restrictions – I want to be able to make the most of the social life on offer… like coffee mornings and Christmas parties, but I’ve not missed my old home at all. I think if things had not worked out so well, I might have done, but surprisingly I’ve not missed it…I have no regrets. How lucky am I?”
Jean Taylor, 86
Jean lived with her husband Benjamin in a large house in the outskirts of Walsall Wood for about 50 years – after he died it took her five years to make up her mind to move.
“The children persuaded me. I looked around [Scott Place] in February and I said yes straight away, I was very happy and put down a retainer so no one else could have it. Then in April I started having doubts. It’s the time my husband died and it brought back memories of everything we did in our old home... It was absolutely a wrench leaving.” Jean decided to come and take another look at the apartment. “When I saw it again, I definitely knew it was right.”
Is this a good time to move?
“I wasn’t worried about the pandemic at all, I took precautions, everyone else took precautions. The actual move was easy. I would definitely recommend it. I am much less isolated than I was in my old home... I sleep so soundly now. It’s absolutely safe and secure. The community is really friendly. I’ve got to know a lot of names already and we have WhatsApp chats. Jacqui and Sheila are nice girls, we go down to the garden and take out our wine glasses and someone usually brings a bottle.”
Safe as houses
McCarthy Stone create award-winning retirement properties for sale or for rent —our homeowners turn these developments into vibrant communities. This style of retirement living came into its own during the coronavirus crisis. Having a private retirement apartment allows our homeowners to protect themselves against the virus more easily while also being part of a sociable community with spacious shared gardens to enjoy (safely) and help on hand if they need it.
Article published 16th October 2020