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Community Remains Priority For Elderly House-Hunters

Posted 12 January 2022 by Keith Osborne

Many 60+ house-hunters find that the move to a like-minded community is just what they needed...

The latest research, published by Age UK, revealed that a staggering 1.4million people aged 50 and over in England feel lonely. This number is expected to increase to around two million people by 2026. Loneliness amongst the elderly continues to be one of modern society’s key issues and forward-thinking property developers have taken this on board to create friendly and engaging living solutions.

One such solution is Orchard Yard in Kent which Norton Harries (75) has been calling ‘home’ since October 2021. He said: “It’s easy to feel that you belong here; there is a very strong community feel. We often have people from the village walk past our garden on their way to and from the High Street, and they always make us feel very welcome, saying hello and stopping for a chat. It’s a very friendly place.”

Orchard Yard opened its doors in June 2021 and offers independent retirees the chance to live among like-minded individuals as part of a thriving local community. Located in Wingham, Kent, it offers 15 contemporary and beautifully appointed homes that are designed specifically for the over-55s in an agricultural vernacular, offering communal facilities and support services. Residents benefit from a communal space called the Clubhouse, which is located at the centre of the estate as well as gardens that feature a large oak table that can sit up to 10 people for gatherings with friends and neighbours.

Wadswick GreenWadswick Green

Cognatum Property, who manages the estate, invites residents to take part in local activities and workshops that are also open to non-residents from the surrounding area, meaning there are no barriers between the estate and the rest of the village to encourage mingling with the wider community. Prices at Orchard Yard start from £560,000.

Another prime example of a modern later-living lifestyle community is Wadswick Green, set over 25 acres in the rolling Wiltshire countryside. Managed by award-winning later-living specialist Rangeford Villages, all of the apartments and grounds have been designed with the needs of over-60s in mind and help promote independent living together with an incredible sense of community.

Resident Hilary Flack said: “I am involved with many of the social groups and activities available. Having been in a book club in Salisbury for almost 40 years one of the first things I did when I arrived here was find a fellow resident who shared my love of books. We worked together to launch a book group and found there was enough interest to set up two separate groups; an excellent way to make new friends.”

The embracing of new or existing hobbies amongst UK retirees has indeed been trending over the past years. According to latest ONS research, those aged 65 and over spend an average of seven hours and ten minutes a day on leisure activities. It comes as no surprise that integrated retirement communities have started taking this into account by creating diverse hobby groups for its residents – even during the challenging time of the pandemic.

Dinah and BillDinah and Bill

Hilary added that “there are a wide range of activities available onsite” with aqua aerobics, Zumba and Qi Gong topping her list of favourite pastimes. Agreeing with her are fellow Wadswick Green residents Dinah (72) and her husband Bill (78), who moved to Wadswick Green in December 2019 from their small village in Devon because they felt too remote and wanted to move closer to services and amenities. “It was very easy to settle in and the staff are just wonderful. We found them very delightful and helpful; we were very impressed. They really do look after you, and that made it easy to feel at home straight away,” Dinah explained.

In addition to the services on offer, it was the amenities that set Wadswick Green apart from the other retirement village that Dinah and Bill had visited during their property search. These include a swimming pool with Jacuzzi, sauna, steam room, gym, spa and a hair salon.

Dinah says: “Wadswick Green was just substantially nicer. It felt well designed, very modern and had more amenities - it was a couple of rungs higher. We really like The Greenhouse restaurant as well because it’s a beautiful place and it’s nice that you can take your family in.”

Prices for the properties still available for sale at Wadswick Green start from £219,950 Find out more at www.rangefordvillages.co.uk. Find out more about Orchard Yard on www.orchardyard.co.uk.

 

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