The following message was received from Ken Peters, one of our earliest members, who moved to a retirement home in Hampshire :
Poole Heart Support Group has now been in existence for quite a few years giving many the opportunity of living a full and enjoyable life but as some graduate from the keep fit classes in the gym to the sit fit exercises there comes a time to contemplate the next move.
Of late the media has been debating the freedom of individual home living and residential accommodation for the infirm and aged but these arguments take little account of the personal circumstances of those concerned so I thought I would set out some of the points that led us to buy into sheltered accommodation and leave our delightful bungalow that we had so enjoyed for 25 years.
At the time I was approaching 90 years old and having difficulty walking, using a stick and often a rollator. The small but pretty garden was more than I could manage. I could no longer cope with any building maintenance. My wife was disabled and we needed help with the housework and cooking had become difficult.
On top of this many of our friends and neighbours had moved away or passed on so we were becoming isolated and getting around was becoming more difficult so we stated to look around for assisted living.
We did really want to stay in Dorset as it is such a lovely county with so many facilities but alas anything that was suitable was either sold out or not as yet built so we ended up here in Grove Place as the best alternative.
Before anything else one has to consider the finances involving such an upheaval and believe me it is an upheaval and a lot of paper work.
Surprisingly for us it costs less for assisted living than staying put despite the monthly service charge. There are many subsidised facilities available including an extensive menu. This includes a lounge with free tea/coffee, cakes and biscuits all day, snooker room, swimming pool, gymnasium, jacuzzi, subsidised bar, hairdressers and large gardens all of which are kept in good order. At a small cost housekeeping and care staff is available to help. Milk and papers are delivered daily and there is a small shop for minor items as well as our own bus for shopping and social trips.
We residents are an eclectic bunch of professionals and artisans that go to events, outings and trips. If you have a question there is usually someone with the answer. We get on very well and are never lonely.
So in old age there is a choice to make; do you stay put with home care if needed, find a care home or try assisted living. Much depends on circumstances and advice from family and friends as to the choice one makes to give “Old Hearts” a bit of TLC.