17 Aug 2015
When it comes to later life, at Anchor, we understand that it can be difficult to imagine moving from your family home to somewhere new.
However, for many older people, living in an assisted living community can be greatly beneficial in later life. Purpose built assisted living apartments and developments offer all the benefits of living in your own fully-accessible home, without the worry of maintenance. Assisted living aims to help residents feel at ease, the friendly support available with general day to day tasks that may have become more difficult in recent years, as and when it is needed, is designed to give you peace of mind and enable you to maintain your independent lifestyle.
If being surrounded by independent, like-minded people, and living somewhere where autonomy is key is what you want for your retirement, assisted living could be the right choice for you. Anchor’s assisted living apartments at Bishopstoke Park and Hampshire Lakes retirement villages have been designed specifically for independently minded older people with care needs. They offer vibrant communities, easily accessible amenities and beautifully built homes. This type of property comes with optional degrees of assistance available, be it social, practical or medical, so you can rest assured that there’s always somebody friendly and well-trained on hand.
First-hand experiences – Kevin Young
We’ve spoken with Kevin Young and Pauline Forbes who both have first-hand experience and have seen the new lease of life that assisted living can provide.
Kevin Young is the General Manager at Bishopstoke Park, one of Anchor’s newest retirement villages in the heart of Hampshire. Overseeing the whole retirement community, Kevin has seen how moving to a retirement community with assisted living has benefitted residents.
“You’ve seen the development of these new communities, can you tell me more about the features that are particularly popular?”
Our customers choosing assisted living apartments are often interested in features around security and safety; many get peace of mind from knowing that, among other things, we can provide protection from cold-calling salesmen and trades people. The reassurance of living in a safe environment cannot really be overstated.
In the village there’s a friendly environment to help with the forming of new friendships, companionship remains really important to all of us at every age and this setting gives families comfort, knowing that their parents are safe and part of a community of like-minded people.
With the aging population in the UK and the need to release capital from property due to recently underperforming pension plans, there’s an increased need for people to budget for living costs in later life. One of the main draws for many people coming to live with us is that we help to remove the stress of maintaining their property and carrying out unexpected repairs.
“Which hesitation would you most like to allay in people considering retirement villages and assisted living communities?”
I’d say the hesitation around what retirement properties, housing with care and assisted living developments are and how people live within them. I’d like to highlight that we are not an ‘institution’ and that residents will continue to have complete choice over how they wish to live their lives here. We are here to help, not hinder, we promote independence and the support offered is designed to help to manage the bits of people’s lives they don’t enjoy, giving them more time to focus on the bits they do enjoy.
“What do you think surprises residents the most when they move here?”
I think the aspects most commented on include how professional and friendly the staff are, the level of customer service, the helpfulness of individuals and the amount of activities we offer.
Additionally, the quality of the food, which our residents really look forward to, plus the amount of time residents have to relax and enjoy later life often surprises them.
On hand to help - Pauline Forbes
Pauline Forbes works alongside Kevin as the Care Manager at Bishopstoke Park and is responsible for care delivery across the village. As a key point of contact for all residents, Pauline has a great understanding of what the village as a whole offers and the benefits for people with varying support needs. We asked her to share her thoughts.
“What are the main benefits to moving to an assisted development?”
From my experience, the fact that all the facets of care and support people may need to assist them in their daily living are here on site and easily accessible, but that the individual remains in control, has their independence and autonomy is a real benefit.
There is also the opportunity for social interaction by partaking in organised activities which can be hard to find when living in other settings.
“What levels of care are available for the changing needs of residents?”
The varying degrees of care available to support peoples’ changing needs can include assistance with dressing, bathing and showering, the ordering and administration of medication, shopping and accompanying residents to appointments.
“What do people worry about the most before moving?”
One concern we frequently address is around the day-to-day ups and downs of life and we reassure people that care here is available on an ad-hoc basis. A relative recently commented that his mother would have good days and bad days and wanted confirmation that there would be a response on a “bad day”, which of course we can support.
Another situation that can cause worry is the difference in care needs between people living together. We have couples living with us in assisted living apartments where one person has dementia and as a team they manage well. We explain that our staff take their lead from residents and aren’t here to interfere with routines, we simply offer support and respite when it is desired. We can provide companionship to one partner allowing the other to go shopping, socialise, attend an activity or simply have some much needed “me time”, if that is all that is needed. But, should more support be wanted, if things change, this can of course be increased in line with residents individual needs, we are here and you will have had time to get to know us.
Step into a vibrant retirement community
For a look at what village life could be like for you or a loved one, why not take get in touch with one of our friendly village team.