When retiring, one is faced with a number of decisions – not only where to put down your roots but also consideration for your family. In the case of my wife and myself having lived in lovely rural France for ten and half years, the ‘where’ was uppermost in our minds. Having decided to live within a reasonable distance of our daughter and her family (to minimise any travelling) the ‘when’, due to my wife’s health issues, was whenever possible.
Our decision to move into a retirement village seemed to be the ideal solution, particularly one with the benefits and essential requirements that would assist as we age. Cranleigh in Surrey has a nice feel to it, not too large yet with all the attractive ingredients, interesting shops, a theatre, a well stocked library and of more importance a medical centre with a number of specialist doctors, two of whom have surgeries in Elmbridge retirement village twice a week.
Our daughter and her husband, together with three sons, live in Cranleigh about two miles away from Elmbridge Village. Having three grandsons living nearby, the youngest now 21, all fit and well, though not always at home, does provide an extra pair of hands which are often needed when one is ‘reaching’ a mature age or for something on a high shelf!
The benefit of close proximity works for our grandsons and ourselves, as they have priorities and needs, which my wife and I can help to provide. Money, is an absolute necessity when you are starting out in life and of course together with another level of security, we are able to support them financially and with worldly advice. Families are a wonderful way of passing on experiences of all the things us oldies have done, and we can learn too from younger and more active minds.
Of course, with modern technology even greater distances are brought into your living room and onto your lap. My son who lives in Cheshire has a daughter and a son. His son lives even further north and has provided us with an addition to the family, a new great-grandson who links with us daily through technology.
We have times where we all meet, for family celebrations in some country house. We cook, play games, and discuss our lives and where to meet up next time. Clearly there is a lot of give and take but the net result is a feeling of a family togetherness.
The photograph shows how we met together for a special birthday in Italy.