A ‘child’s’ perspective: Emma Cornelisse, Elmbridge Village

Elmbridge Village Pond
Emma Cornelisse, daughter of longstanding Elmbridge resident Judith Parvin, travels a lot with her husband Eelco and her sister lives in New Zealand. So it gives Emma great peace of mind to know that mum has the support and friendship of the village’s tight knit community, especially during difficult times.

“My parents moved to Elmbridge together but unfortunately my dad eventually became ill and passed away,” said Emma. “This was a tough time for mum and indeed the rest of us. My husband and I live in nearby Rudgewick but we couldn’t be by her side constantly. Elmbridge turned out to be a godsend. In the time my parents had been there mum had built up a good social circle and they all rallied round her when dad was poorly, helping to look after him and being there for her when he died.”

To Emma, knowing her mother had people round her during this difficult period, many of who had been through the same experience and completely understood how she must be feeling, was a great comfort.

Of course, Elmbridge residents come together socially for happy occasions too. This might be a Sunday lunch or trip to the local theatre, both favourites of Judith. Seasonal times of the year are special at the village too, especially Christmas.

Emma commented:

“Mum usually comes to us for Christmas Day but one year there was a power cut and we couldn’t cook anything. We packed everything up, took it to mum’s place at Elmbridge and had a lovely time together. Then in the evening mum’s friends, ‘the girls’, who are shall we say an eclectic group showed up for a party. It was great fun.”

There is a wealth of Christmas events and activities to get involved with at Elmbridge, including a carol service with mulled wine on tap. Judith is in the village choir so takes part in this every year.

With it being cold and dark at Christmas time Emma is glad her mother lives at Elmbridge. “Mum is 78 and fit as a fiddle, but that doesn’t mean I don’t worry about her,” she explained. “People in later life can be vulnerable during winter and there are increased risks of slips, trips and falls so it gives me great peace of mind to know staff and residents at the village are close at hand.”

Emma admits that she was surprised when her parents first told her they had bought a property at Elmbridge Village and had her reservations about their decision, but these were soon put to rest!

“I thought mum and dad were too young to move to a retirement village as they were both in their sixties,” she said. “However, I quickly realised they were right to do it while they were active enough to involve themselves in Elmbridge’s thriving social scene. Retirement villages have a lot to offer but ultimately it’s what you make of it that matters.”

Emma also questioned the regular service charges paid by residents of Elmbridge, which cover amenities such as domestic assistance, cleaning, laundry and property maintenance. But almost immediately she saw that in fact these were excellent value for money.

Emma explained:

“The services provided to residents at Elmbridge are of impeccably high quality and very reasonably priced. They make mum’s life a lot easier, which is one of the main benefits of moving to a retirement village. I’d also like to add that the staff at Elmbridge are absolutely fantastic, the village is a credit to the Retirement Villages group.”