Keeping it in the family at Tamarisk Lodge

Ageing parents, for whom daily life is getting increasingly challenging, is a worry for anyone. There’s so much to think about including the property they live in, their care for the long term and who will keep them company, if they need it, from day to day. Not to mention the additional requirements if you don’t live locally.

When Glennis Murphy’s father, Eric Bates, was approaching the age of 90, despite having always sworn he would live his last days in his bungalow in Orpington, things were becoming quite tough for father and daughter, which prompted them to think about other options.

Glennis says:

Dad had lived in our family bungalow for 40 years and always said he was ‘going out of there in his box!’ However, after my mum passed away nine years ago, gradually the large detached bungalow became too much for him and was falling into an increasingly neglected state. Every time something went wrong with the property, it was causing dad a lot of anxiety.

Having moved to Spain with her husband in 2002, Glennis no longer had a property local to her father which was why Mr Bates purchased a caravan for her locally, in Bracklesham, to ensure she had somewhere to stay in the event that Mr Bates had to move and the bungalow had to be sold.

Glennis says: “My husband and I have made a life in Spain but I’ve had to return to the UK more and more over the past 10 years because of dad’s health and the support he has needed. It was whilst we were buying the caravan that I noticed that Churchill Retirement Living were building in East Wittering. Although I knew he wouldn’t be interested, I mentioned it to dad in passing.”

With the growing pressure of maintaining the bungalow, and unbeknown to Glennis, Mr Bates called Churchill and requested a brochure to find out more.

Glennis says:

I was surprised to learn that dad had made enquiries but relieved that we could explore this option for him. Dad never even saw the property we purchased - my husband and I did everything. It was vital dad didn’t go from his spacious bungalow to a very small place, where he would feel cramped, but we found a fantastic, light and roomy two bed, two bathroom apartment which we bought off plan.

Mr Bates utilised Churchill’s Home Exchange service which provides a simple and effective alternative to selling on the open market.

Glennis says: “The Home Exchange service worked out brilliantly. I was surprised at the great deal that Churchill offered us and it helped us hugely because it took a few months for Churchill to sell dad’s place so we would have lost the apartment we wanted to buy if we’d have been selling the bungalow ourselves. It was simple, hassle free and really quick.”

Mr Bates celebrated his 90th birthday on a Friday and moved into his new Churchill Retirement Living apartment at Tamarisk Lodge on the Monday.

Glennis says:

Apart from one next door neighbour, dad never saw anyone when he was living in the bungalow so the companionship available for him is wonderful. The Lodge Manager is fantastic and has been so helpful, particularly with some of the health challenges dad has experienced since he moved in. The Owner activities and social events are great and we’re looking forward to enjoying more of them as the community grows at the Lodge.

Purchasing a two bedroom apartment at Tamarisk Lodge means that Glennis has a permanent place to stay when visiting from Spain and caring for her father. It also means that there is a space for a live-in carer, something the family is currently considering, for periods of time to provide some relief for Glennis.

Glennis says: “Unfortunately Dad’s health hasn’t been great since he moved to Tamarisk Lodge so we are looking at longer term care options for him, which his apartment can comfortably accommodate, which is another long term benefit of the move. When dad does eventually pass away, my husband and I are also really happy to have the Churchill property for our own later years - we’ll definitely be keeping it in the family!”

Tamarisk Lodge offers a collection of 26 one and two bedroom privately owned retirement apartments and shared facilities, designed exclusively for the over 60s. Apartments boast spacious rooms throughout and an ideal combination of design and functionality. The fully fitted, stylish kitchens include a built in fridge and freezer, hob and an oven, which is located at an easy-reach height. All of the properties benefit from illuminated light switches for added convenience. Owners also enjoy ultimate peace of mind from a fitted video entry system for the highest level of security and a 24 hour emergency call system.

With less to worry about, Owners will have more time to do the things they enjoy, including taking advantage of the host of other benefits which will be on offer including 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. They can also take advantage of Churchill’s Reward Card which gives them access to exclusive deals and discounts on a variety of national brands and local retailers.

The development is set in landscaped grounds in a central location, just a short distance from public transport links, shops and all the local amenities on offer in East Wittering. It's located close to Witterings & District Bowls Club, providing an ideal place to socialise and stay active within close proximity.

East Wittering is a peaceful, quiet seaside village approximately six miles south west of Chichester. The village centre and seafront can be found within half a mile of Tamarisk Lodge, offering a comprehensive range of facilities for day to day needs, along with a vast array of independent shopping facilities.

The show complex is open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm. For more information on Tamarisk Lodge or Churchill Retirement Living, call 01243 717 007 or click here.