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Retirees making new friends in Standish

Three ladies who’ve become firm friends in their 80s at their retirement development in Wigan say you must embrace change to stave off loneliness.

a group of women sitting on a couch with a dog
News and community
Posted 28 May 2024
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Pam, Rita and Anne have been firm friends since moving to a McCarthy Stone community

Pam, Rita and Anne (pictured in that order), three single ladies in their 80s, met when they downsized to the same Retirement Living community — Brideoake Court in Standish, Greater Manchester and became firm friends.

Pam hoped to expand her social life

In 2022, Pam, aged 80, decided to move from her three-bed home in Bolton, where she’d lived for 40 years. Pam had lots of friends in the area, but many were becoming less mobile, so while she’d talk with them regularly on the phone, days could go by without seeing them in person.

Pam says: “One day I was at home feeling a little lonely as my daughter was on holiday and I hadn’t seen many of my friends.  A leaflet for a new McCarthy Stone development came through the door and it looked perfect–even better, it was nearer to my daughter and cut the travel distance from my son in half.”

She continues: “After 40 years, deciding to downsize and move away from my established life in Bolton was certainly a wrench. However, the things I loved most were getting harder to manage, such as gardening…I started to realise that if I didn’t make a move sooner rather than later, I never would.”

Rita wanted to feel more secure

Before moving, Rita lived on her own in a three-bed detached property with open fields at the back which had been her family home for 20 years. She had good neighbours but couldn’t help but worry about security. The cost of upkeep was also high for just one person. Rita expressed her concerns to her sons and one of them suggested Brideoake Court.

Rita says: “It’s a funny thing, but as you get older, you don’t feel quite as safe as you might have done.  I’d always set the burglar alarm at night, but once it went off for no reason – probably a spider triggered it –it certainly gave me a start. That’s when you suddenly feel quite alone, and you start to wonder what you’d do should something happen.”

Anne desired less maintenance

Anne moved to Brideoake Court with her beloved dog, Ollie, from a four-bed detached property. Her husband had passed away, and her family could see that she needed something more manageable.

Anne says: “Our house had outgrown me and was too much for me to manage on my own. The move forced me to get out there which was great, but looking back, I did initially wonder if I had done the right thing. Moving at my age was very daunting!

“I soon learnt that you do need time to embrace change and let things settle. I now have plenty of time to do more of the things I enjoy, and finding new friendships has been a big factor in that.”

Finding kindred spirits

They each moved in within a matter of weeks of one another and the House Manager, Gemma helped facilitate regular meetings with homeowners in the lounge.  The women soon struck up a rapport and today they’re rarely not seen together.

“The first few days of settling in it felt a bit like being back at school again. I would politely make people’s acquaintances in the corridor and then one day I went into the lounge and bumped into Anne, and after a little while Pam… well the rest they say is history! We now chat for hours on end without ever getting bored,” says Rita.

a group of people standing next to a planter with flowers

A strong community

Anne says that the move has given her ‘a new lease on life’. She explains: “I’ve met a whole heap of people since moving to Brideoake Court. I now go out in groups, and this often leads to meeting other new people. I’ve even booked an organised coach tour to Scotland with Rita as she’s not been away for almost a decade!"

Pam agrees: “One of the things I love most about Brideoake Court is that it offers the best of both worlds, meaning you can be involved in things as much or as little as you like. If you don’t see someone for a week they’ll ask, ‘what are you doing?’ Sometimes they’ll call or knock on your door – ‘do you fancy popping to the shops?’ And that helps you feel connected... Whether attending doctors’ appointments or providing a lift, we can always rely on each other.”

Plenty to do on the doorstep

Anne continues: “From drinks parties in the lounge, to trips to the local pub for fish and chips, I can honestly say that my social life is better than ever.”

“The location is simply perfect,” says Rita. “We have everything we need right here on our doorstop. I’ve even given up driving because of how convenient it is. There is a fantastic garden which I love to sit out in, and the best thing is you don’t even have to maintain it or mow it, it’s all taken care of beautifully for us.”

Avid gardener Pam adds: “Myself and Anne - we miss gardening, and the nice thing is that we can still tinker about with pots on patios or have fun planting out flowers or veg in one of three garden beds.”

Rita adds, “Without a doubt, it is the best move I ever made.”

Learn more our retirement homes near you, call our friendly team on 0800 201 4811 or contact us online for more information.


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