Call us now on

0800 201 4811

Part Exchange: Bringing Families Together

Mark Gale

Mark Gale

Author

Lifestyle

When Janet and Jim Mair moved into their McCarthy & Stone apartment, they didn’t just gain a lovely new home, they also gained closer relationships with their family. Here, three generations of the Mair family explain the difference the move has made to all their lives.

Until recently, Emma’s contact with her grandparents was limited by the 50-mile distance between them. ‘I only really saw them on special occasions, such as birthdays, Christmas and Mother’s Day,’ she says. ‘Mum was always driving back and forth to see them, but I couldn’t go with her because I was at school.’ 

Like many retired couples, Janet, 91, and Jim, 87, valued their independence. For 20 years, they’d lived happily in their three-bedroom villa in Livingstone, near Edinburgh, with regular visits from their three children and eight grandchildren. Then Janet’s health began to deteriorate. ‘Mum developed short-term memory problems and then, three years ago, she broke her femur and her mobility suffered,’ says their daughter Moira (Emma’s mum). The distance between them, once quite manageable, suddenly became a source of great stress, especially for Moira, 50.

‘I lived nearer Mum and Dad than my brothers, who both live in the Newcastle area, so I saw them most. I began staying with them most weekends, leaving home early on Friday morning,’ she recalls. ‘While I was there I’d clean and sort out the house, take Mum out and try to give Dad some respite. Allister [Moira’s husband] managed to keep everything going at home, so we survived, but it was grim.’ For nearly three years, Moira managed as best she could. ‘The stress levels were high. I always had an emergency bag packed and waiting at home – just in case they ever needed me in a hurry.’

Then last year, a colleague showed Moira a McCarthy & Stone brochure for a new development in Paisley, called Ashwood Court, just a 15-minute drive from Moira’s home. ‘I’d been trying to persuade Mum and Dad to move for years, but they’d always been reluctant,’ says Moira. ‘I was afraid to look at the development, in case I built my hopes up.’ But with persuasion from Allister, she finally agreed to take a look. ‘As soon as I walked through the door of Ashwood Court, I knew it was the right place. There was something lovely about it, I could feel my heart beating faster,’ recalls Moira.

‘When I entered the flat, it had lovely views and was so bright and spacious that I thought, “I could live here, and if I could live here, Mum and Dad could too.”

‘I stood in the living room – it was so peaceful. Then I phoned my brother and said, ‘I’ve found the right place.’” Thankfully, Jim and Janet were equally impressed when Moira took them to see it, and after carefully weighing up the pros and cons, they made their decision. Moira was determined the move would be as stress-free as possible.

Using McCarthy & Stone’s part-exchange service, Janet and Jim received a ‘very fair’ price for their house, and within six weeks they were ready to move. ‘My brother took them out for the day, while we did the move,’ says Moira. ‘The removers were brilliant and friends came to help too. We were exhausted, but by 7pm we had their new apartment sorted. When Mum and Dad arrived back, the family was waiting to welcome them home.’ Fortunately, Janet and Jim loved what they saw. ‘They came in, sat on the sofa and gazed around at their furniture and all their pictures on the walls. I said to Dad, “Are you a happy man?” He smiled and replied, “I’m a very happy man.” That’s all we wanted.’

Six months later, all the family are enjoying the benefits of the move. Moira’s brothers and their family visit regularly, taking advantage of Ashwood Court’s guest suite. ‘The great thing is that when my brothers visit Mum and Dad, I can see them too, whereas before it was just too far to travel. So now we’re all seeing more of each other and it’s definitely brought us a lot closer together.’ Moira still can’t believe how lucky she is to have her parents nearby. ‘It’s been 30 years since they lived this close to me … to be honest, I never thought I’d see the day. The difference is unbelievable.’

Best of all, she can enjoy their company instead of just worrying about them. ‘I’m not exhausted from the driving. I can just pop in whenever I want to, knowing they’re both safe and secure.’ Emma is reaping the benefits. ‘Grandma and Grandpa are more involved in my life. When I finished my last dress, a heavy Victorian design, I took it straight round to show Grandma, which is something I could never have done before.’

Jim and Janet are also developing a new social life at Ashwood Court, much to their family’s delight. ‘I can go to coffee mornings with them and I’ve been to several social events too,’ says Emma. ‘Just having other people to natter with makes a difference, especially for Dad,’ says Moira. So what do Jim and Janet make of their new home, now they’ve had a chance to settle in? ‘Everything is easier because our family is so close to us,’ says Jim, who is certain they made the right move, at the right time.

‘We have a delightful family, always looking out for each other and for us. And the apartment is right up our street. It feels like home – well, it is home.’

As for Moira, she no longer needs to have that emergency bag. ‘One of the greatest gifts elderly parents can give to their children is peace of mind and that’s what I now have,’ she adds. ‘It’s worth its weight in gold.’

Like this article? Subscribe to receive updates...
Subscribe to receive notifications when we post new articles to our online magazine.
By subscribing to these updates you’re agreeing to receive email updates when new articles are published to the McCarthy & Stone online magazine.
We’ll never send you spam or sell your details. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Related Articles

Lifestyle

Sheffield – The Steel Centre of the World

Famed for its industry and innovation, the green, modern cityscape now replaces the smoking chimneys from the industrial revolution. There’s a friendly, independent and alternative spirit that can be hard to find in other cities alongside a thriving cultural scene. ...Read more

Lifestyle

The Top 11 British Hidden Gems

Where are the best locations in the UK to visit... that you've probably not heard of? We've ranked the best hidden gems around Britain, that are easy to access, and offer a great weekend away with the family. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Do Pets Make You Happier?

Whether you're a pet owner or have a pet free home, animals of all kinds have been proven to improve the happiness of their human counterparts. To find out more McCarthy & Stone conducted a survey to see how pets enrich their owners lives. Here are the results! ...Read more

Lifestyle

Let’s Dance 

It’s sociable and fun, and it’s good for your health and your brain – time to put on your dancing shoes  ...Read more

Lifestyle

The Thought Behind Your Home

Prospective homeowners will be delighted to know all aspects of their new living space – including the communal areas – have been considered during the design process, helping to make their lives more comfortable and a little easier  ...Read more

Lifestyle

Making your memories last forever

It’s never been easier to keep your most precious memories alive. From personalised photo albums and keepsakes to specially commissioned biographies and films, there are many ways to create a very special legacy – and have a lot of fun while you’re doing it. Here are a few ideas to inspire you  ...Read more

Lifestyle

5 Recipes For A Royal Wedding

We look into the perfect recipes to pair with a royal wedding. We've picked out the most delicious, as well as the quintessentially British for the special occasion! ...Read more

Lifestyle

The Best Golf Courses in the UK

Now is a great opportunity to get out on the fairway and get practising. We've looked into some of the best golf courses in the UK, including golf courses in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland to get you ready and eager to tee off this spring and summer. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Small is Beautiful - Balcony Gardening

Creating a beautiful outdoor space on a balcony can bring a lot of pleasure to you and your visitors for minimum effort. Balcony gardening offers the joy of plants but without the work that usually goes with a garden – you shouldn’t have to do much weeding for a start, you won’t get slugs, and there’s no lawn to worry about! ...Read more

Lifestyle

Advice For Low Maintenance Gardening

Let’s be honest, we’d all love a gorgeous garden that would blossom with just the wave of a weed-wand. But I can’t be the only one who finds that a few minutes pottering turns into hours of pruning, trimming and raking at times.  ...Read more

Lifestyle

Great British Outdoor Experiences the Whole Family Can Enjoy

Finding an activity that the whole family can enjoy together can sometimes feel like a tall order, especially amongst the hectic schedules of our day to day lives. However, spending time together in the great outdoors is the perfect way to leave behind those digital distractions and create some precious family memories that will last a lifetime. ...Read more

Lifestyle

Inspirational Retirement Stories

You may wonder just how you will spend your retirement or worry that you will not find enough activities to fill your time. This can be far from the truth, these active retirees share their inspirational retirement stories  ...Read more

Lifestyle

How Do You Want To Live Your Life?

Enjoying a fulfilling retirement isn’t just about where you live. How you live plays an equally important role when it comes to getting the most out of what ought to be an extremely rewarding time of life.  ...Read more

Lifestyle

Dating for over 50s: how to find love in later life

Love in later life can seem daunting. If you’ve been married for some years and are recently divorced or widowed, looking for love is a whole lot different today than it was back when you were young. But that’s no reason to be put off – you’re never too old to fall in love! ...Read more

Lifestyle

Behind the Scenes

There’s a vast team working all year round at McCarthy & Stone to make sure that every homeowner in every development receives the best of the best. Here we talk to three of them… ...Read more

Lifestyle

How we help every step of the way

McCarthy & Stone knows that communication is key when it comes to making a decision as big as moving into a retirement development, which is why it has staff ready to talk through the process, says Rachel Halliwell ...Read more

Lifestyle

Return of the Spider Plant

Remember when trailing greenery hung from macramé pot holders in every bay window in the country? Well, the good news is house plants are back in vogue. Here’s how to make the most of them ...Read more

Lifestyle

Inspirational Generation

Are you member of the Inspirational Generation? We want to hear your stories. Enter our competition and tell us why - you could be in with the chance of winning £2,000! ...Read more

Lifestyle

Starting a new chapter in your life

Many people feel apprehensive about selling their family home, says Rachel Halliwell. Yet McCarthy & Stone managers see the worry and weight being lifted from the shoulders of homeowners once they move in. It’s like being on a permanent luxury holiday, said one ...Read more

Lifestyle

What we don't miss about being younger

The study by leading retirement housebuilder, McCarthy and Stone, reveals sitting exams, enduring the daily commute and the stress of running a family, are among some of the things the older generation DO NOT miss about being younger. ...Read more

Lifestyle

The Teams Behind the Scenes

McCarthy & Stone has a vast team working round the clock to make sure that every homeowner in every development receives the best of the best. Here, we talk to three of the key players...

...Read more

Lifestyle

Behind the scenes: Interior design

A lot of work and careful planning goes into creating the beautiful interiors of a McCarthy & Stone development. Interior designer Hannah Gernon explains how she arrives at the finished results ...Read more

Lifestyle

Childhood memories at Waverley House

Mary Kent lived at the first McCarthy & Stone Development to be built, Waverley House in New Milton. Here, her granddaughter Tania Harland shares wonderful childhood memories of spending time there, which inspired her to work for McCarthy & Stone when a job opportunity came up 10 years ago. ...Read more

Lifestyle

5 gardening tools for the elderly

Whether you've been a gardening enthusiast for years or only recently discovered the joys of green fingers, getting your hands dirty in the garden can become more difficult in later life. We look at tools that can make this hobby easier. ...Read more

Lifestyle

GrandFest

Come to GrandFest and join us throughout June and July for a celebration of heritage skills in partnership with the Royal Voluntary Service. ...Read more

Lifestyle

A Date To Remember: 1977

It was a year of social unrest, high inflation, patriotism and punk rock. It was also the year that John McCarthy and Bill Stone built their first retirement apartments. As McCarthy & Stone celebrates its 40th anniversary, we take a look back at the highs and lows of 1977. ...Read more

Lifestyle

40 Years On...

Celebrate 40 years of retirement living solutions with McCarthy & Stone. Discover how we are commemorating this special event here! ...Read more

Lifestyle

Finding Love In Later Life

They'd both lost their partners 9 years ago and moved to a McCarthy & Stone development, but little did Ann and Robin know they were about to start something very special...

...Read more

Lifestyle

Frontline Extra

We are excited about the next few months! Mother’s Day, the feel good movie of the year could well be perfect for your mom this Mother's Day! ...Read more

Lifestyle

Finding love

Meeting someone new in later life, for companionship and love, can seem impossible, but these couples show that it can happen! ...Read more