Keeping active is the key to a healthy retirement

When Derek Holley, 76, sold his Spanish villa to return to the UK full-time following some health issues, the one bedroom apartment he owned in Huntingdon soon became unpractical as his permanent residence.

Mr Holley knew he needed to move, although having moved several times in his lifetime, the prospect wasn’t very appealing: “Moving home is stressful at any time of life but as you get older, it does become more difficult. I’d already packed up my life in Spain, so selling my apartment as well wasn’t ideal. However, the property quickly felt too small for me and, when my granddaughter came to stay, one of us would have to sleep on the floor.

I knew I wanted a property that, like my apartment, was low maintenance. However, I needed somewhere that would offer me the peace of mind that I could just lock up and leave, as I spend much of my time travelling. It was also important that I moved somewhere that was practical longer term.

Mr Holley had regularly driven past Churchill Retirement Living’s new development, Moorhouse Lodge, when it was under construction so he decided to pop in to find out more. “I’d never bought a new build property before and I was pleasantly surprised,” he explains. “The development was well-built and the design of the apartments was suitable for my long term needs. I noticed lots of useful features too, like illuminated light switches and emergency call points, which I thought would be helpful in later life.

I was able to choose a two bedroom apartment on the first floor, which meant my granddaughter could have her own room when she came to stay, and I knew I would feel really secure whether at home, or away travelling. Previously, I would hide away all my valuables when travelling. But Moorhouse Lodge is very secure. Everyone has a fitted camera entry system and there’s a Lodge Manager who keeps an eye on things as well.

“My new apartment is ideal for my needs and I like the fact I’m living within a community of like-minded people. There are shared facilities, such as an Owners’ Lounge and Guest Suite, that I can make use of if I wish, and the location is perfect. Since Huntingdon’s redevelopment, the town offers everything I could possibly want or need – and I can just walk into town from the Lodge. While I have a car, I may wish to give that up as I get older. The train station is just eight minutes away and the bus links are very good too.”

Mr Holley moved into his apartment at Moorhouse Lodge in March. “I took advantage of Churchill’s Home Exchange scheme,” he continues, “which was very helpful as it guaranteed me a buyer for my apartment. I also used their removals service and that ensured move day ran smoothly without any of the usual stress.

I’ve been here almost six months now and for me, the best thing about living at Moorhouse Lodge is it allows me to live the lifestyle I want to live. I love to travel. I’ve recently returned from a trip to Northern Russia and I’m planning to revisit a friend there in September before enjoying a walking and photography holiday in Croatia and Montenegro.

"And I’m a bit of thrill seeker too. Last year, I zip wired across a 2000 foot high gorge in Colorado – and loved every second of it! I took up oil and acrylic painting last year and I have a company directorship too, which means I attend regular board meetings when I’m at home. For me, the key to a healthy retirement is keeping the brain active. Living somewhere that’s low maintenance and suited to my needs really allows me to do this. I feel very lucky.”

Moorhouse Lodge comprises 47 one and two bedroom self-contained apartments, that are specially designed with the over 60s in mind. The fully fitted, stylish kitchens include a built in fridge and freezer, hob and an oven, located at an easy-reach height, to reduce the need for bending. All of the properties benefit from easy-turn lever taps in both the kitchen and bathroom and illuminated light switches for added convenience.

Owners enjoy ultimate peace of mind from a fitted camera entry system for the highest level of security and a 24 hour emergency call system. With less to worry about, Owners have more time to do the things they enjoy, including taking advantage of the host of other benefits which will be on offer, such as having family or friends to stay in the development’s well-appointed Guest Suite and enjoying a chat with neighbours, or attending one of the many events, in the Owners’ Lounge. There is a Lodge Manager, employed by Millstream Management Services, who oversees the running of the development.

For further information, please contact Moorhouse Lodge by calling 01480 802751 or by visiting the show complex, open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10.00am to 5.00pm. Alternatively, please click here.