Annie and Richard's story

Annie and Richard moved into Plus Dane’s Heath View extra care scheme a year ago.

They had lived in their own three-bedroom home for more than 50 years, but over time Richard had begun to suffer with mobility problems, and the upkeep of the house started to become too much for them both.

The couple, who have been married for 61 years and have two children living nearby, searched for the right property for a couple of years, hoping to downsize to a bungalow before putting their names down for Heath View, where their brother-in-law already lived. After some time on the waiting list, they were offered an apartment in the scheme.

It was the opportunity they were looking for; however it was difficult for them to leave the family home behind.

“It took a good while to let go, it’s not easy to move on,” said Richard, a retired bricklayer. “But you’ve got to look ahead, and it was better to do it while we were still well enough to manage it. We didn’t think we’d have any chance of getting a place here, we know how in demand it is - so we took it straight away.”

The move into supported housing keeps them close to family and in the town where they have lived all their lives.

And they make sure they take advantage of the opportunities to socialise with other residents of Heath View, attending their weekly coffee mornings, bingo games and lunches and more. Richard benefits from the extra care element of the scheme, with pull cords in their flat and personal pendant alarms which they both wear to call for assistance from on-site carers at any time, should they need it.

“We settled in right away. The staff are very good here and have been brilliant at dealing with things,” said Annie, a former seamstress. “We’re happy here – everybody mixes, and we have a laugh. We’re not isolated like we might have been in a bungalow.

 “Places like this are needed now that people are living longer, and I think we’ve done the right thing coming here to a place where there is 24 hour care.”