It’s often sons and daughters who are influential in suggesting that Churchill Retirement Living’s Owners consider the change to retirement living, and this is certainly the case for Iris Jones, who now lives at St Francis Lodge in Solihull.
Iris had lived quite contentedly in sheltered housing nearby for about 17 years, where she had enjoyed an active social life in the local community, but her daughter Linda Neale began to realise that her needs were changing. Iris was finding it less easy to get out and about, and there wasn’t much like-minded company in her housing development. She even tried to organise some social events herself, but they were not well supported.
Linda felt that her mother’s main need now was for some sociability close to home, with people she could reminisce and chat with. Linda takes up the story: “I began to do a bit of homework. Then one day I was stuck in traffic in Solihull and decided to take the back way. That’s when I spotted St Francis Lodge in Cornyx Lane. It was about quarter to five and even though it said closing was at five, I decided to pop in and take a look. I met the Sales Consultants in the sales office and they were very helpful, no pressure.”
Linda subsequently took her mum back to join in one of the coffee mornings at St Francis Lodge. “She thoroughly enjoyed it, and put her name down for the Christmas lunch, even though it was only September!” Four more visits followed, and eventually number 12, a one-bedroom apartment, was chosen. Linda says, “I let her decide, but I knew what would be right for my mum. This one just felt really cosy, it was on the first floor, which she wanted, near the lift and the Laundry Room, and the view was good.” Linda liked the safety features, such as the emergency call button on the bathroom floor, as well as the fact that the apartment was ready carpeted. She is a busy professional woman, a Clinical Case Manager for Birmingham Community Healthcare Trust, and, she said: “The last thing I wanted was to go round every carpet shop in Solihull with my mum. I must admit I was thinking about myself there too!”
Throughout the whole buying and moving-in process, Linda and Iris felt fully supported by the Churchill team. “I couldn’t fault with the Sales Consultants at all, they have excellent customer skills, and so does Kate the Lodge Manager. I’d give them all 12 out of 10.”
Iris took possession of her new apartment at the end of November 2012, and was welcomed with the gift of a beautiful greenery arrangement. And now, as Linda says, “She’s all excited. She loves her little Juliet balcony and her kitchen, loves the view. She gets lots of company, invites people in for a cup of tea, and even goes out shopping with one of the other Owners who’s 92!”
All in all, the choice of St Francis Lodge has been a wonderful success story for Iris – and for Linda too.