79-year-old Maureen previously lived in a bungalow in Hindhead, Surrey with her husband. But after he passed away in 2015 and her own health deteriorated, she knew she needed to move somewhere safe and secure whilst remaining independent.
Maureen said: “I was beginning to feel really quite isolated and on occasions because of health issues, I was unable to drive. As I lived at the bottom of a steep hill, they only way to get up was to drive, so I quickly felt I was lacking independence. After hearing more about Retirement Villages, I knew it would be the perfect answer to both care and social activities.”
An easy decision
As worries began to mount up, Maureen’s daughter researched the best village for her mother. Choosing the village was the easiest part of all.
Maureen explained: “When we visited Elmbridge, we were immediately struck by the atmosphere and everything about it – it’s such a friendly environment. We came here a few times before picking a property and each time we became even more convinced!”
After taking a look at the mix of modern private apartments and cottage style homes, Maureen decided on a first-floor two-bedroom apartment. She enjoys the rural location and her property even looks out onto two fields where she can sometimes see some sheep!
Maureen said: “It’s a lovely property that suits me down to the ground.”
After just a few months at the village, Maureen has settled in well: “The staff and residents here are kind and cheerful. I’ve been made to feel so welcome. I feel I’ve been here a lot longer than I have.”
She continued: “My friends and family are now really pleased they don’t have to worry about me anymore. The location is perfect too, it’s not too far from nor too close to my children! Cranleigh is a very convenient and nice little town.”
Renting at Elmbridge
Maureen said: “In today’s economic climate, I wasn’t prepared to buy. I’m 79 now, I’ve been renting since 2012 and I have no intention of buying any further properties, so it suits someone in my situation.
“But there were so few retirement villages that offered rental options. It was great to find that Elmbridge Village could offer this, especially as rental includes the service charge.”
Brilliant social scene
The Elmbridge residents host a whole variety of groups, clubs and classes for anyone who wants to join in.
Maureen said: “I’m dipping my toes into most things now. There’s a croquet lawn, boules pitch, lots of indoor activities and exercise classes. There are so many groups to join, and there are a lot of sitting activities too if you’d prefer that. The list of things to do is really quite substantial – but talking remains my favourite activity!”
She added: “The facilities here are great and there’s a bus service that drives into the village if you want to head into the centre of Guilford or Cranleigh – which is wonderful because there are plenty of nice restaurants and entertainment there!”
Potential to unlock a new lease of life
Maureen is really pleased to have made the move and banish all worries that arose at her former home.
Dismissing common misconceptions about retirement villages, Maureen said: “It’s not the end of your life when you move into a retirement village, it can actually be the beginning.”
Maureen advised: “I think it’s better if you can bring someone with you to visit the village to help with the decision-making process. Although my children encouraged me to make the move, they certainly didn’t enforce it. And if you’re really unsure then you could do a Try Before You Buy Scheme.
“But overall, I advise to take every day as it comes, enjoy every moment and just go for it!”
For more information about Elmbridge Village just click here or call 01483 271477.