I didn't think I could be as happy as I am now

Shirley Tyler was struggling with the upkeep of her large home. Now she’s happier than ever

My old three-bedroom house was getting me down. To be honest, I was only using half the house and the rest of it was gathering dust. I never used the lounge or the conservatory. There was a lot to upkeep and I thought, enough is enough.

I’d been there for 22 years since I shifted over from Oz. My husband was English and when he retired, he wanted to come over and spend his time with his family in 1995. Unfortunately he passed away in 2002, which means I’ve been on my own for 15 years. Moving to a McCarthy Stone development had always been at the back of my mind. When I discovered they were building in Bromsgrove, I thought it would give my family peace of mind knowing that I’m being well looked after when they go on holiday, rather than being on my own.

We saw an advert in the paper and went to the open day at a local hotel. My family wanted me to come here for ages – it was me who took some convincing. I think my daughter-in-law wanted to kick me up the backside for being so stubborn.

At first, I thought the annual service charge was too high but when I realised what was included – an hour’s housekeeping each week, water rates, a subsidised three-course meal each day – plus all the things you’re not paying for such as buildings insurance and gas, it’s really good value.

I didn’t think I could be as happy as I am since I moved here. It just shows you, your family does know best.