When Marjorie Harper and her husband Derek relocated from the Isle of Man and bought a two bedroom apartment in Chester, they thought it would be ideal for later life. But when Mrs Harper lost her husband two and a half years ago, she found living in an apartment block very lonely, especially in winter.
“Although we were lucky enough to live in the Isle of Man for 26 years, both my husband Derek and I were Chester born and bred and all our family is here. So when Derek became ill we moved back to be near our families. We bought a beautiful two bedroom apartment, but after I lost Derek in 2013, I found it so very lonely.
“It was so quiet and even though I left the apartment two or three times a day to run little errands like collecting the post or putting the rubbish out, I didn’t meet a single soul to pass the time of day with. I couldn’t face another winter on my own in the apartment block.”
Mrs Harper, who is 84, decided to sell her apartment last summer and move to Churchill Retirement Living’s Eaton Lodge in Chester and is enjoying everything about living in her new home.
“It is so different here - there is always company if you want it; there’s complete security and I’ve no worries at all. I was finding that the winter months were the worst in my previous apartment because it was more difficult to get out and about and see people. But all that has changed now. At Eaton Lodge it’s the little things that have made such a difference, for example, you get your post delivered to your door and there’s always a hello and a smile – so even if you don’t leave the building you still have the opportunity for a little chat. I enjoy the social side of things. That’s what I loved about the Isle of Man - it was like one big village. I love being part of a community again.”
Mrs Harper, who has three daughters, six grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, four great grandchildren and another on the way, says her family has noticed the difference in her.
She said: “My life has changed so much. I am so much happier and more cheerful. My family say I am I’m back to my old self again.”
She’s still in touch with her good friends on the Isle of Man and having so many relations, she will be taking advantage of the Guest Suite at Eaton Lodge. She said: “We downsized from a bungalow, to a two bedroom apartment and now I’ve downsized again to a one bedroom home. I wanted this apartment because it’s on the sunny side of the building, but I didn’t worry about a spare bedroom because I knew I could always use the Guest Suite here, where you can have friends and family to stay. I’m regularly in touch with my friends on the Isle of Man; I know I’ll be using it. But first, one of my grandsons is coming to stay before we go off on our big family trip to Italy. I’ve got so much to look forward to this year!”
The Eaton Lodge Show Complex on Hoole Road is open daily from 10am to 5pm. For more information on Eaton Lodge or Churchill Retirement Living, call 01244 439 643 or click here.