Age is no barrier to choice and nor should retirement be

Blog posted

24th September 2018

Two very different stories hit the news in August, yet they shared common themes – freedom and choice. Group Sales and Marketing Director Sarah Burgess takes a look.

The sad news that Barry Chuckle had passed away in early August was one that surprised many fans and those who grew up watching the slapstick duo in Chucklevision.

Barry and his brother Paul, renowned for their ‘To me, to you’ routines, had scarcely been off the telly since the late 80s. In fact, the pair had just completed a new series for Channel 5, so when news of Barry’s death hit the headlines the tributes flooded in for someone who was unanimously seen as a thoroughly nice chap.

People fondly remember Barry for his positive approach to life, his puzzled looks whenever his brother came up with new schemes in their on-screen guises, his infectious smile and, of course, his moustache.

Barry and Paul have been in show business for a long time and Barry continued to do what he loved right up until he died at 73. He could have retired years ago or moved into other lines of work, but he chose continue with what gave him joy and perhaps was behind his bundles of energy.

Metal FestivalIt’s sad we won’t continue to see him on television as one half of the Chuckle Brothers, and sadder still for his brother and best friend Paul – yet, I have a sneaking suspicion Barry would have had one final chuckle at a couple of nursing home residents who broke out to attend the world’s biggest rock metal festival in Germany.

The pair had absconded from their care home and were later found in the crowd at 3am at the Wacken metal festival, in Germany. Reports said the two gentleman were a little dazed, but were also reluctant to leave the festival after which they were offered a taxi home.

While we would never encourage or endorse care home residents to go AWOL (and without the full details of what actually happened, just newspaper headlines) there is something rather inspiring and radical about two pensioners breaking the norm to pursue something they wanted to do, even if it meant bending the rules.

It’s a reminder that metal, or any other ‘movement’ for that matter, is not just for the young. The older generations still have new ideas, still demand freedom and equality, and perhaps most importantly, want to retain their independence and freedom to choose.

Independence, freedom, and choice are all things we want and those are the values that are regularly high on the agenda for our residents and for those about to retire or move into a retirement development.

These values are at the heart of what we do. It might sound cliché. It might also sound like the sort of thing you’d expect from a retirement development company – and it’s fair to say we probably wouldn’t be in business if we didn’t abide by those values. But then, which organisations thrive by having negative values anyway?

Active ElderlyBesides, the proof is in the pudding. Our residents regularly tell us the reason they moved into a retirement village is because of the independence it affords them, while also offering additional support if they need it.

It’s the residents who run the social life here – we provide the venue and facilities, but it’s the people who make the community in our villages. Just like Barry Chuckle or the two pensioners determined to go to a rock festival, our residents value their freedom, their independence and choice.

If you’d like to know more about the lifestyle at Retirement Villages, request a copy of our Village Life magazine or call 01372 383950