“I would certainly recommend anyone to consider this option” – reflections on living in a retirement village

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Having the opportunity to take on fulfilling new challenges, being part of a supportive community and avoiding loneliness during lockdowns are amongst the reasons Jane Machin is pleased to have moved into independent retirement accommodation at Middleton Hall Retirement Village.

Jane was reflecting on her own experiences of living in one of the Middleton Woods apartments at Middleton Hall following the findings of the 2020 Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) report showing the widespread benefits of living in a retirement community.

Since buying her retirement apartment in December 2019, Jane said that she has enjoyed embracing the many new opportunities available to her at Middleton Hall.

“I never imagined I would actually go to the gym but did, a first for me, and actually enjoyed it,” she said.

The former Lieutenant Colonel with the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps (QARANC) relocated from Harmby, Leyburn in Wensleydale.

“I finally decided to move after many visits over several years for several reasons including the fact that I have no close family in this country.

“I also liked the idea of the care services that are on site should I need them in the future, meaning that I could sell my apartment without the worry of finding somewhere to go.”

Middleton Hall Retirement Village is set within 45 acres of woodland and parkland and Jane added: “Coming from a rural area I wanted open space around, but my large garden was becoming more of a chore then enjoyable.

“My apartment has far reaching views to the Cleveland Hills and I’ve enjoyed watching the wildlife, foxes and birds from my window and I’ve learnt a lot about the life of the squirrels. I have one of the allotments on the estate so I can continue to grow my vegetables during the warmer months and it has been another sociable place to chat.

“The apartment is also large enough for me to continue with my hobbies and I turned the second bedroom into a craft come office room.”

The majority of the time Jane has lived at Middleton Hall has been during the coronavirus pandemic.

“I certainly never imagined a pandemic and lockdown happening just three months after moving in,” she commented.

“Living here during the last year has made life easier during the pandemic with the on-site shop, delivery service for both groceries and meals when I get fed up with my own cooking. And all the virtual activities and outdoor exercise classes have been brilliant.

“The staff make regular phone calls to check everything is alright and, when I’m out walking in the grounds, I almost always meet someone to have a socially distanced chat.

“If I had not made the move life would have been lonelier and more difficult to get shopping and so on during this pandemic so I certainly feel I made the right decision. It’s very stressful moving and wondering if you are doing the right thing but I would certainly recommend anyone to consider this option and I have no regrets.”

The DHSC report, which was published at the end of last year, was based on research conducted by The Kings Fund and The University of York which found that older people living in retirement communities are healthier and more independent and require reduced levels of health and care support.

After conducting an extensive review of available evidence and research on the health and social care value of the new generation of retirement housing – known as housing-with-care – the report finds strong evidence of significant benefits including improvements in overall health, fitness, memory function and life expectancy.

A range of independent retirement living options are available at Middleton Hall Retirement Village. Our Waterside bungalows offer high specification, spacious, zero-carbon accommodation in a spectacular setting and our award-winning Middleton Woods apartments feature one and two bedroom retirement apartments, substantially larger than typical retirement homes and set in beautiful grounds.

The spacious, comfortable apartments of Middleton Grove also offer a unique lifestyle to those who enjoy their independence and privacy but would appreciate the benefits of support, companionship and security within a small, friendly community.

Fur further details visit www.middletonhallretirementvillage.co.uk

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