Retirement Villages proves you’re never too old to find new friends
Two residents from Lime Tree Village share their experiences of moving to a retirement village alone – showing that you’re never too old to make new friends….
When you’re a twenty-something, you have no problem making friends – surrounded by an ever-growing social calendar. The same goes for the years when you’re a parent of growing kids.
However, when you reach a new stage of life – retirement – making new friends and companions can be a little trickier. Friendship has so much value whatever your age, but in later life, having a lack of friends can sometimes lead to loneliness and isolation.
Well, two residents from Lime Tree Village in Warwickshire, explain how this is not always the case and that making new friends doesn’t have to be a challenge the older you get.
Mr. Robert (Bob) Hargrave, 90 and Mr Derek Bush, 88, are next-door neighbours. They both live in ground floor apartments at the beautiful Lime Tree Village, surrounded by mature landscaped grounds. Mr Hargrave, moved to Lime Tree in 2010, followed by Mr Bush, who moved to Lime Tree in 2013.
Mr Bush explains: “It was my daughter who suggested the idea of moving to a ground floor apartment at Lime Tree. Not only was I living on my own, but things like the stairs and maintaining the garden became hard.”
“At first a change can seem daunting but I’m glad I moved here. There’s such a close community and the grounds are beautiful. I never feel on my own here. I attend most coffee mornings to socialise with other residents and I get involved with all the events. You can do as much or as little as you like here, it’s what you make of it. Nothing is forced upon you but it’s there if you want it.”
Mr Bush continues to explain how he’s able to maintain an active life at Lime Tree: “I go for walks every day in the grounds and I usually meet Bob halfway. When I lived in Stretton-on-Dunsmore I couldn’t walk into the village, but Lime Tree is flat and easy to walk around. The parkland is relaxing and maintained so beautifully by the staff. I feel young here, apart from my legs”, laughs Mr Bush.
Mr Hargrave said: “It was also my daughter who suggested moving here. My daughter knew of Lime Tree and she loved the concept of village life. So I decided it was the best thing for me and moved here on my own 5 years ago.”
“When Derek moved in I was peering out to see who it was! But our friendship really started when we met in the resident’s bar at Cawston House. We both go to bar at 11am for coffee most mornings, we sit together and talk to other residents.”
“It’s really easy to meet people here, try new experiences and take advantage of all the communal facilities and events on offer. For example, I’d never, ever played croquet until I moved here. I’d found a new hobby. I joined Lime Tree’s croquet club and become the runner up the first year and then the winner for two years running”, explains Mr Hargrave.
The friends are definitely an inspiration and a true example of how getting older doesn’t always mean growing lonely and feeling isolated.
They are certainly taking full advantage of everything on offer at the village, which underpins all that Retirement Villages is about – creating a community of like-minded people, where residents have a ready-made calendar of activities, special interest groups and events to enjoy.