Good friends become good neighbours with retirement rentals
Barbara Higginbotham, 87, and Dorothy Leake, 88, have been friends since they were 14 years old. Dancing partners, Barbara and Dorothy used to enjoy many nights out together in their teens and Barbara was even a bridesmaid at Dorothy’s wedding.
Now in their 80s and both sadly widowed, the pair have tried their best to stay in touch over the years. Nowadays however, the two ladies see each other more than ever, since they became neighbours - moving within a week of each other to McCarthy Stone’s Fairway View Retirement Living development in Brough.
Making the right choice
Barbara comments: “When Dorothy told me she was moving to Fairway View on the advice of her daughter, it really spurred me into thinking about my own situation. I normally go away at Easter but this year the cruise I had planned was cancelled last minute, which meant I spent much of the holiday on my own. I didn’t really see anyone and it made me realise just how lonely I was.
“It was a decision I needed to make for myself and I gave it a lot of thought. But the fact that my friend Dorothy was so taken with it, gave me a lot of confidence and prompted me to ask her to come with me and see it for myself.
“When I did, I was so impressed with the décor, the facilities, it felt really homely and the people were incredibly friendly. I’d been waiting for the right time to move and with my friend by my side this was it.”
And Barbara didn’t waste any time. Her cruise had been rearranged for one month’s time and she knew that if she waited until she got back, she would be putting off the inevitable.
Barbara explains: “I knew there and then that if I went on the cruise with the prospect of moving hanging over me, I wouldn’t have enjoyed myself.
“I wanted to get it out of the way so when I got back I could go straight into my new apartment without having to worry about packing and boxes and sifting through all my belongings.”
A quick and painless move
For Barbara rental was the perfect option. It allowed her to be in her new apartment in a matter of weeks while she put her existing property – a semi-detached bungalow on the market. Instead of waiting for the sale to go through, with the help of her two nieces, Barbara took only what she needed and got to take her time deciding what to do with her furniture and other items – whether to sell them or to give them to charity.
She continues: “The thought of a mortgage at my age just didn’t’ appeal to me. I didn’t want my money to be stuck in a bank. I wanted to be in control of it, and to be able to use it for what I needed. It was also important to me to be able to give something to my nieces and help them along in their lives.
“If I had to sell my property before I could move into Fairway View, who knows how long I could have been waiting? With chains, solicitors, surveyors the opportunity to rent was a welcome one. It gave me the flexibility I needed and the ability to move on my timescales.”
A new lease of life
Barbara has been enjoying an active social life since moving to Fairway View with Dorothy, and the many new friends they have made there.
“We’re never in”, says Barbara. “We get the bus all over as the bus stop is right outside the development. We like to do a bit of shopping, go for meals and explore different towns. There’s also lots we get involved in at the development – coffee mornings, dinners, drink nights and trips to the garden centre.”
The biggest change though has been the positive impact the move has had on Dorothy’s health.
Barbara explains: “For a while she has struggled to walk very far and needs oxygen to breathe. Before we came to Fairway View, she couldn’t get across the doorstep! But now, you wouldn’t believe she was the same woman.
“We still need to take it slowly, and when we’re out and about we stop for breathers and she needs regular rests, but the improvement has been vast.”
Barbara praises the efforts and support of the Fairway View staff, who she says “couldn’t do enough for you”, and have been great in assisting Dorothy with her needs.
McCarthy Stone aims to help retirees stay independent for longer and make the most of their retirement, which Barabara and Dorothy certainly demonstrate.
For the two of them, Retirement Living is the perfect solution, as it offers the independence of your own front door, a warm community, as well as the comfort of knowing help is on hand should they ever need it.
The option to rent has allowed the ladies to move quickly, without fuss and without compromise while the sale of their existing properties goes through.
“We’re having the best time,” says Barbara. “I don’t think we’ve ever looked back and we only wish we’d moved sooner.”
She continues: “I’m a well-travelled lady. I’ve been to Australia, the Caribbean, the Mediterranean and many more locations all over the world, but since I moved to Fairway View every day feels like a holiday.”
For more information about Retirement Living, or to find similar McCarthy Stone properties, please call 0800 201 4811.