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20/01/2023 Wadswick Green, General
After the isolation of successive lockdowns, and with a troubled NHS and record waiting times for ambulances, it’s not surprising that some over-60s are consideringdownsizing to retirement communities with on-site care and support, while at the same time hoping to combat loneliness and reduce their heating bills.
Even before the recent strikes affecting ambulance services and nurses, Robin and Jo Dolman realised that slowing paramedic response times might be a problem because of their health issues.
Jo, 77, has the chronic fatigue syndrome ME and says: “My husband and I have had health scares in the past and the thought of not receiving prompt care raised concerns for both of us, should we require to be taken to the hospital quickly.
“This has led us to decide that a move to a property with on-site health services would provide us with the safety net and peace of mind we desire.”
The couple had downsized from their family home in Devon to Bramley in Hampshire 12 years previously because they hadn’t thought of living in an over-60s retirement community. When they decided it was worth finding out if one would work for them, they were initially disappointed and felt “defeated”, says Robin.
“While many of them offer on-site care, the overall atmosphere of these villages didn’t reflect our way of life,” he explains. “We are quite young at heart so we wanted to find a property in a community that is vibrant and offers plenty of lifestyle choices.” Then they decided to visit Wadswick Green, a Rangeford Villages community 75 miles away in Wiltshire. Six weeks later – last June – they moved into a new two-bedroom apartment there, near the market town of Corsham. “From the restaurant, the beautifully kept grounds and gardens, to the hair salon and spa, the development really won us over,” says Jo. Wadswick Green, which is a 30-minute drive from Bath, on the edge of the Cotswolds, is a contemporary-design development of lowlevel apartment blocks set in 25 acres, with landscaped gardens, allotments and walks.
The domiciliary care team can help residents live independently, if required, and offers paid-for flexible packages tailored to each resident’s needs. There’s also a housekeeping team offering paid-for packages. Jo says that having plucked up the courage to sell up and downsize, it was the best thing they have ever done: “There’s never a dull moment and the lifestyle that our new home provides is a far cry from our bungalow back in Bramley.
“Since moving in I’ve actually learned how to swim, which is something that’s been on my list of things to achieve for a very long time. “Thanks to the on-site pool, it has been possible for us to go swimming together regularly. This has had an extremely positive impact on my health as well.” Robin is also delighted and says: “We wanted to move now, while we are still active, so that we can indulge in all the on-site amenities and live a more carefree retirement.” Only six new apartments remain for sale at Wadswick Green, all have two bedrooms, and prices range from £439,500 to £480,500 (0800 135 7420; rangefordvillages.co.uk), with three resale two-beds from £435,500. As for the cost of living crisis, all sales which have been completed by March 31 include a four-year reimbursement of energy bills up to 3,000 a year.
By Deborah Stone, The Daily Express
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