Diane Swift, Lime Tree Village

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“Showing my mum my new retirement property.”

Diane Swift shares her experience of moving to a retirement village at the age of 57, including how she broke the news to her mum……

“My late husband, Bill, was a few years older than me and we decided we needed to make a five-year plan in order to enjoy our retirement and get the very most out of our life together. My husband didn’t want to be decorating and doing jobs, we wanted to get ourselves settled into a lifestyle that worked for us,” explained Diane.

The couple searched for their ideal retirement location and discovered Lime Tree Village, a private retirement village on the outskirts of Rugby with 153 properties and 19 acres of landscaped grounds.

“It did seem odd showing my mum around my retirement property when it should have been the other way round,” admitted Diane. “But she came for a visit with me, had a good look around the apartment we had chosen and the village itself, and she loved it.”

Diane and her late husband moved in and enjoyed their time together before Bill sadly passed away in 2013.

In a strangely positive way, Diane says that living in a retirement village actually became a big plus at a time when she was at her lowest.

“It did take me some time to adjust but the village was a real comfort for me and continues to be so,” explained Diane. “I possibly wouldn’t have moved here at all in my 50’s but I am so pleased I did.

“One of my main issues was my safety and peace of mind, suddenly becoming a lady on my own. My security became a major priority for me.

“But I didn’t need to worry,” she added. “I always lay my head on the pillow at night and feel safe and secure.”

Diane has since moved within the village – she swapped her apartment for another (with a dining room this time).

“I go on lots of holidays and never worry about leaving my apartment. I would go as far as to say I could leave the door unlocked and know it would be safe and secure while I was away, but I’m not planning on doing that!”

When she’s not on holiday, Diane is the village’s allotment co-ordinator. Together with a team of residents, she is responsible for creating 11 plots complete with tool shed, greenhouses, herb garden and even a wormery.

“There is a real sense of community here and people stop and talk while you’re working on your plot,” explained Diane. “It’s a great social place and we now have a waiting list of people wanting their own patch.”