To help make your home full of Christmas cheer, we’ve spoken to Claire Gibson, Head of Interior Design at McCarthy & Stone who’s provided her top Christmas decorating tips. ...Read more
“As I sit writing this blog, my two tabby/Burmese cats, Mackerel and Cappuccino, are sitting beside me on the desk, like furry bookends. One is purring quietly and other is licking her paws. It is bliss.
I am not alone in loving to live with my two pets. They greet me at the door when I come home (yes, really, cats do that, not just dogs). They cuddle up beside me on the bed, bookending me again from either side and they hop up on my lap anytime, anywhere. They follow me into the garden when I prune or have breakfast, stretching out in the sun, yawning. They are my feline shadows.
It has long been established that domestic animals can give us a great deal of solace and happiness, especially as we age. I am fairly newly divorced, and my daughter is at University, so the ‘empty nest’ has not been so horribly empty, thanks to my cat companions.
Whether you are in midlife, like me, or later life, a pet can create an enormous sense of comfort, especially after a loss, a marital breakdown or a change of circumstance. Pets make a house, a home. Even the humble goldfish, or tropical aquarium, can soothe nerves and create a sense of peace.
Dogs are the most obviously gregarious of pets, and people bond with them, emotionally and psychologically, as they demand regular exercise, feeding and care. Stories abound of dogs sniffing out their owners’ illnesses, or being able to sense their mood swings. For owners, this sense of relationship can offer a valuable service in lonely or difficult times.
The benefit of having to walk a dog or dogs regularly means older owners have to get out the house, get some cardio-vascular stimulation and actually chat to people in the park. Late love may even bloom over doggie stories and antics!
Stroking a cat or dog can also lower our rising blood-pressure, and stir oxytocin and endorphins in our blood streams. This means having a pet, and cuddling or stroking it, can actually improve our own sense of wellbeing. Oxytocin is the same hormone released through breast-feeding or kissing: it makes us feel good.
Cats, dogs, horses, goats, rabbits, even small pets, like hamsters and goldfish, will respond to good, humane treatment. It gives us a sense of connection, as humans, despite the objects of our love being animal. We are human animals after all.
The relationship people have with their pets is not to be ridiculed or maligned. It is true many of us choose pets (dogs especially) who look like us. But this is really part of our need to have a family, a community, somewhere to belong. It gives us a sense of place, and a sense of meaning and purpose, in life.
Of course, some people feel they can’t have a pet as they can’t face the loss. It is true that loss in inevitable, just as for Shula in The Archers, who is about to lose her favourite horse. Pets’ lifespans are simply shorter and we have to accept we will feel grief at some point.
However, the pleasure and meaning we get in the present far outweighs the grief we will experience. If we can accept that our dear pets die, we can grieve, and simply start again – after a decent spate of mourning – with a new puppy or kitten. Don’t feel bad about loving your animals, or doting on them. I think it is well-established that the psychological benefits far outweigh the stray hairs and poop scoops.
I had a wonderful rescue cat called Splat, who simply moved in with me, many years ago. He chose me. I’d always been allergic to cats, and found that now as an adult, my allergy had reduced. Splat got me through a difficult time in my life, nursing my parents to their end.
When he died, the whole family grieved, but after a few months we missed the companionship and so took on our two furry rascals, who had been abandoned by their mother outside a dry cleaners. They were three weeks old and barely filled the palm of my hand.
Thirteen years later, they are still with me and central to my family life. I send pictures of them to my daughter at Uni. She even pays a £1 to charity once a month to pet puppies, as the University understands the need for animals in students’ lives as a de-stress factor. The first thing my daughter does, when she comes home, is rush towards the cats and pick them up: they are family after all.
About Corinne Sweet.
Corinne Sweet is a well-established and respected writer, broadcaster, psychologist and psychotherapist. Corinne has a long journalistic background, as ‘agony aunt’ in magazines, newspapers and on radio and TV. She was a Big Brother Psychologist and trained on BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’. She still appears regularly on TV and Radio as an expert. Corinne has published over sixteen books, including self-help titles, such as How to say No (Amazon), The Mindfulness Journal and The Anxiety Journal (Pan Macmillan). She has been a teacher and university lecturer, and campaigner for women’s rights, is a screenwriter, and is currently Chair of the Books Committee of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain. Corinne works as an individual and couples psychotherapist in the Barnsbury Therapy Rooms in North London.
To help make your home full of Christmas cheer, we’ve spoken to Claire Gibson, Head of Interior Design at McCarthy & Stone who’s provided her top Christmas decorating tips. ...Read more
Find out about volunteering & fundraising for our charity of the year, Beanstalk. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone discuss how you can find and pick antiques with James Constantinou from Prestige Pawnbrokers and TV’s Posh Pawn. ...Read more
Many people find that later in life that their home is far bigger than they need. Downsizing can bring a variety of benefits, including both financial and practical ones. That said, it can often be an emotional or difficult time. ...Read more
Home recycling is incredibly important. To coincide with National Recycling Week, McCarthy & Stone spoke to First Mile to see how more people can recycle at home. ...Read more
From succulents to spider plants, the demand for indoor foliage is showing no signs of slowing down. No matter what the season, low maintenance house plants are ideal for brightening up the look and feel of a room. ...Read more
At McCarthy & Stone, we like to make the process of selling apartments simple. To help you, we’ve put together this guide on how to sell your apartment. ...Read more
Tracing a family tree is a fun and exciting pastime. With the help of genealogist Tony Griggs, McCarthy & Stone teach you how to trace your family tree. ...Read more
Selling a family home can be difficult, but at McCarthy & Stone, we’re here to help. Read our guide on how to sell your house today. ...Read more
If the time has come for you to downsize and you want to be able to move quickly and easily, then Part Exchange is a good option to consider ...Read more
With just two per cent of UK housing designed specifically for older people, the pressure is on to build more affordable and high-quality housing options for our ageing population. ...Read more
It's not easy making the decision to downsize but there are plenty of positives to making the move. ...Read more
Maximise your chances of selling your home quickly with these tips on how best to stage your home during the viewings stage of the selling process. ...Read more
Here in Britain, we love a holiday, but the journeys involved – especially when heading abroad – can be challenging at times. So, we’ve put this guide together to explain how you can make your holiday travel more comfortable. ...Read more
Get out and about this summer and discover for yourself the joy of picking your own fruit ...Read more
Whilst there are most certainly plenty of benefits to owning a home during your retirement, renting is another fantastic option that provides many with a flexible and easy way to make the most of their retirement. ...Read more
We’ve partnered with the National Trust to select the best secret National Trust locations near to the UK’s favourite ‘hidden gems’. Read on to find out our 10 best secret spots. ...Read more
We love spending time outside, and what a great time of the year to get out and about with your grandchildren. Spend some quality time together, make memories which will last a lifetime and make the most of the great British sunshine! ...Read more
Find out why Yorkshire is considered by many to be the best county to retire in, including the residents at some of our Yorkshire retirement communities. Find out more. ...Read more
Mary Jones from Bath moved to McCarthy & Stone’s Lambrook Court development just down the road from her old home. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone homeowner Sylvie Morgan recounts her tour of the UK, visiting developments and staying in our guest suites whilst visiting friends and family. ...Read more
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The summer season is packed with a variety of events to appeal to a range of interests and ages. Savour the delights of new and exciting cuisine, enjoy the thrill of world-class horse racing and discover the latest super cars, at events taking place across the summer months. ...Read more
Sparkling white beaches, deep blue seas, sugar-cube villages and venerable ancient sites make the
Greek islands an idyllic holiday destination for many. Tourists can immerse in the Greek cuisine,
century-old sites and local culture each island has to offer, while enjoy luxurious accommodation
and the locals’ warm and welcoming hospitality. ...Read more
2019’s summer fashion trends provide plenty of great options for retirees. Here, McCarthy & Stone provide a rundown of the very best. ...Read more
Looking for an exhilarating and challenging activity that brings a sense of serenity and calmness? We think we’ve found the perfect catch. ...Read more
A McCarthy & Stone Retirement Living Plus apartment is about getting more from life for the over 70s. It’s the perfect combination really - company when you want it, help when you could use it, care when you need it. And all in the comfort of your own stylish new home. ...Read more
Although warmer weather can be a welcome sight for many, the increased temperatures can lead to
added risks for some, particularly those with health issues or those that are more vulnerable. Stay well with these tips. ...Read more
Father’s Day is the perfect time to thank fathers and father figures for their help and support. In this post, McCarthy & Stone look at the history of Father’s Day. ...Read more
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Colin and Pat Mackay are looking forward to making the most of their retirement following their move to North Berwick....Read more
You don’t need an outdoor garden to have a green thumb! We speak to journalist and gardening expert, Jane Perrone, about the best plants for an indoor garden, providing useful tips for you to use in your retirement property. ...Read more
Graham Oakley's intricate, detailed drawings of fictional characters over the years have captivated families, becoming bedtime story favourites. ...Read more
Are you ready to move somewhere smaller? We lend our expert advice and explain how to effectively downsize. ...Read more
Our research shows that one in three over 55s in Britain are looking to downsize their home. Here we explore our findings. ...Read more
The world-famous RHS Chelsea Flower Show. It’s the most glamorous day out in the gardening calendar.
The grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea are once again blooming with flora as the Royal Horticultural Society prepares to welcome 157,000 spectators to their annual five-day flower festival in May. ...Read more
With summer just around the corner, why not start to plan some trips away to explore some of the
UK’s hidden gems? ...Read more
There are many reasons why Brits are choosing retirement properties by the sea. Take a look at our top five reasons why people retire to the coast. ...Read more
Last summer, we honoured eight inspirational over-60s whose impressive feats were changing the lives of the people around them. Our North London Inspirational Generation winner, Jean Hoare, was invited to an exclusive event thanks to her work. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone have introduced a new range of rental and buying choices that can make retirement living even more accessible. ...Read more
Bettys Cookery School tutor Jenny Culver shares her favourite food moments and tells us why Bettys is still one of the UK's favourite places for afternoon tea, 100 years on. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone has officially launched its charity partnership with Beanstalk, a national children’s literacy foundation. ...Read more
McCarthy & Stone have carried out a survey to determine the UK’s top 10 favourite pieces of ‘mums’ advice’. Read on to find out more. ...Read more
If you’re looking to book a holiday and need some inspiration, then take a look at our selection of some of the best UNESCO World Heritages Sites to help you plan what could be the trip of a lifetime. ...Read more
eharmony’s relationship expert, Rachael Lloyd explains why online dating can be a great choice for anyone over 60. ...Read more
There are many extra demands placed on our bodies as we progress through life and because of this our nutritional needs also change as a result. It is never too late to revamp your nutrition and nurture your body with a healthier diet. ...Read more
We understand the problem of loneliness amongst older people and we want to do something to combat it. That’s why we have created our latest Pen Pals programme, an outlet to connect older people with other older people in communities by the writing and exchanging of letters. Click to find out more. ...Read more
Friendship is hugely important at every stage in life, and retirement is no exception. What’s more, in retirement you could make the most of the extra free time you have to discover different experiences and meet new people – leading to new friendships and relationships. ...Read more
After decades of 9-5 and routine, the newly-found free time that retirement provides can feel overwhelming. ...Read more
Rather than being a time to slow down, retirement can be a chance to try new experiences and become the best version of yourself. ...Read more
The McCarthy & Stone intergenerational living project encourages customers to spend time with children from their local primary school. ...Read more
Why should retirement stop you from trying a new passion? Angie and Edson Chace, prove that age is just a number with their newfound acting success. ...Read more
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
Following the appointment of John Tonkiss, as McCarthy & Stone’s new Chief Executive Officer in September, we speak to him about his vision for the future.
Popular North Gate Court customer Wally Blazey moved into their McCarthy & Stone apartment with his wife Gladys seven months ago, and the couple have just celebrated their 72nd anniversary. At 92, Wally is one of the two last surviving drivers of the Flying Scotsman, the most famous steam locomotive in the world. ...Read more
Loneliness, being closer to family and downsizing are just a few reasons why moving into a retirement apartment can become a better option in later life. ...Read more
2018 marks 100 years since the end of conflict – a year to remember the bravery of those who fought, lived and died in the First World War. ...Read more
The passing of a life-long partner is, of course, devastating and changes your life irrevocably. Regardless of how near they lived to you, or how resilient your character, a feeling of loneliness is inevitable following your loss. ...Read more
With darker days and cooler weather heading our way, there are plenty of interesting and exciting things you can do with your grandchildren this winter. ...Read more
From recipes that grandchildren will want to make, to seasonal dishes ideal for a night in, our selection of Halloween themed recipes will bring out everyone’s wicked side. ...Read more
Plant containers are a space-saving option for the garden that's easier than working the soil. Leigh Hunt, Horticultural Advisor for the RHS tells us all that's needed to know about upcycling them. ...Read more
Marie Bird, who is 91 and a homeowner at Bilberry Place, Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, tells us how moving to a Retirement Living PLUS development has helped her achieve her ambition of living the retirement she always wanted....Read more
Property owners, Cecilia Smith and Jean Ryder, both 64 live at Charlotte Court, Ainsdale, Southport and Grove Court, Crosby, Merseyside. Here, they tell us why moving to a development has transformed their lives for the better....Read more
Stylish apartments, exclusively for retirees who are looking to enhance their lifestyle, are McCarthy & Stone’s trademark. Here’s what to expect from our property types on offer....Read more
September 23rd marks the first day of autumn with cooler days, darker nights and annual harvests ahead. But how can you prepare for the season? ...Read more
As summer fades, England’s largest history and culture festival is back. This September, hundreds of historic monuments and buildings throughout England – including many usually closed to the public – will throw open their doors for free. ...Read more
Discover Inspirational Generation winner and former Olympian, Marjorie Carter’s inspiring story, with a sports career that spanned over 70 years and a refusal to ever give up gymnastics! ...Read more
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
Helen Bostock, Senior Horticultural Advisor at The Royal Horticultural Society shares her advice on creating the perfect environment for butterflies, by making the most of your outside space no matter what its size. ...Read more
Here we put the spotlight on two retirees whose hobbies have taken them on trips all over the world. ...Read more
Retiring to the seaside – isn’t that every person’s dream? We’ve ranked your ten favourite British seaside destinations in order of preference. ...Read more
Discover coastal properties for sale all around the UK and Ireland with McCarthy & Stone’s unique locations and luxury developments. ...Read more
Wrap up warm and get walking this winter with us! Discover new trails across the country and explore new scenery with McCarthy & Stone. ...Read more