Everyone who attended the Official Opening of Atkins Lodge in Orpington last week not only had the chance to share in the celebrations as the development was officially unveiled, but also had a unique opportunity to meet one of Britain’s favourite TV personalities, Dame Esther Rantzen DBE.
Atkins Lodge on Orpington's High Street, comprises 50 one and two bedroom private, self-contained apartments specially designed for retired Owners, many of whom were able to meet and chat with Dame Esther, and share her experiences and tips for a happy and healthy later life.
Churchill Ambassador Dame Esther, has worked tirelessly to champion the needs of the elderly. In 2012 she founded The Silver Line with the aim of combating loneliness in isolated older people, and has worked closely with Churchill Retirement Living to set up The Churchill Awards, the annual celebration of the achievements of the over 65s.
“Growing older is something to be celebrated,” she declares. “Older people have so much to offer. People of retirement age who are lucky enough to be able to stay as active and as involved as possible, and can spend time doing volunteering work, trying new hobbies or socialising with friends and family find it gives them a great sense of achievement and purpose.”
Her philosophy, which exactly reflects Churchill Retirement Living’s own, is that the retirement years should be anticipated in a positive way. Older people should be supported so that they can find out what’s on offer for them and enjoy life to the full.
“As I get older it’s my ambition to have as much fun as I can. If I were Prime Minister, I would make it a legal requirement that every older person must have fun at least once a day. In fact, I think we should all make sure we laugh at least once a day!”
Esther says: “I believe wholeheartedly in keeping your mind active as long as you can, by finding company that you enjoy, sharing time with people you like and doing things that you find engaging. Working in a team also gives you companionship, so the Owners’ Lounges and the social events like the coffee mornings seem to be a great idea. It has been heartening to meet the Owners of Atkins Lodge and hear so many positive stories from them.”
At Atkins Lodge, Owners have been keen to take advantage of the range of features designed to make later life easier; such as the Owners’ Lounge and Guest Suite, a Laundry Room and security features such as a video-entry system, a 24-hour emergency Careline and Lodge Manager.