We were honoured to receive nearly a full page article on Richmond Villages in the Daily Express on Friday 14th October. Journalist Deborah Stone wrote an article titled 'Living life to the full' which explained how retirement villages can reduce stress for all the family. The article included quotes from Richmond Villages managing director, Paddy Brice, as well as from Liz Smith whose father moved to a Village Suite at Richmond Letcombe Regis.
Below is a transcript of the article - the article can also be viewed on the Daily Express website here.
Retirement villages can reduce stress for all the family, says Deborah Stone
HELPING elderly parents remain in the family home can be just as stressful for grown-up children as it is for the pensioners trying to maintain their independence. But few people want to see their parents in a care home. That’s why more people are beginning to think of moving to a retirement village while they are still well enough to enjoy its facilities, and which may offer health care further down the line.
“Deciding what’s best for mum and dad is an issue facing an increasing number of families as the population ages and one we hear frequently,” says Paddy Brice, managing director of Richmond Villages.
“Keeping people in their own home is often only achievable with a great deal of support from a network of family, friends, neighbours and public services, and the stress on everyone can be considerable.”
The UK Office For National Statistics recorded that there were around 11.4 million people aged 65 and over in the UK in 2015 and this figure is expected to rise by more than 40 per cent to 16 million in the next 17 years.
“Families and friends usually do as much as they can to help but frequently they’re not living close enough and have other commitments and demands on their time. It’s a real conundrum,” says Brice.
It was the need for support such as having meals, laundry and cleaning provided that persuaded Liz Smith to look for a retirement village for her own father.
“My father had been widowed for a number of years and had lived independently in the family home. But as he got older he was struggling with day-to-day life,” she says.
“I looked around at several places but the thing that impressed us all about Richmond Villages, including my dad, were the facilities and the fact it was very much a social community as well.
“It was really important to my dad that he owned his own property and that was something that Richmond Villages were able to offer.”
Liz’s father bought a Village suite apartment at Richmond Letcombe Regis in Oxfordshire that has a large bedroom with a walk-in wet room.
It also has a separate living room with a kitchenette that has a microwave and washing-up facilities.
“His meals are provided, his washing, laundry and cleaning are done and in fact everything is done for him,” says Liz.
“The food here is great, too, and I feel he’s getting really well-balanced, nutritious food.” Liz describes the Richmond village as, “like living in a five-star hotel” and says her dad really enjoys using the swimming pool.
“There are various exercise classes, as well as lots of clubs and societies he can belong to should he choose to.”
And she adds: “For myself and my family it’s given us peace of mind that dad is living in these glorious surroundings and is being well-cared for.”
Richmond Villages has five luxury retirement villages in Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire, with its new village at Witney, Oxfordshire, now opening and construction at Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire, under way.
Its villages have three types of accommodation: two-bedroom apartments for independent living and one-bedroom Village suites for assisted living, plus 24-hour nursing and dementia care.
Village suite residents can pay for an Independent Living Package that includes all food, daily cleaning, laundry and utilities, and Personal Care Packages are available from Richmond’s on-site domiciliary care team.
Owners pay a service charge to cover 24-hour emergency call services from the on-site care team, plus external property and grounds maintenance.
It also covers buildings insurance, security and access to all village activities and events.
Prices start from £185,000 for a one bedroom suite at Richmond Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire, and £385,000 for a two-bedroom apartment, while a one-bedroom suite at Richmond Witney, Oxfordshire, starts at £225,000.
One-bedroom apartments at Richmond Letcombe Regis are from £245,000 and up to £435,000 for a two-bedroom apartment.
“Meeting up with friends is a great social occasion for most people and the social aspects are enhanced by our activities and events team who arrange everything from bridge clubs to cultural festivals,” says Brice.
“We also have our own vehicles and drivers so shopping and other trips mean not having to rely on taxis or family and friends if you don’t drive any more.”