Salisbury MBE recipient finds new lease of life with Churchill Retirement Living

For many, moving house to somewhere new can be very daunting and unfamiliar, particularly when you’re in your 80s; but for Caroline Caunter, her move to Sarum Lodge in Salisbury offered her a new lease of life in her retirement years. Caroline has always been an active member within her community, and in 2010 was awarded an MBE by Queen Elizabeth II for her services to the community within Salisbury.

Caroline explains: “I was recently diagnosed with a brain tumour, and thought I had no choice but to go into a nursing home. I’m very independent and lived on my own for 30 years since my husband died, so I felt too well to be spending my time sitting in a care home, but wanted the security of being somewhere surrounded by people and with an emergency care system.

My nieces recommended retirement living to me, and after some searching around, we came across Churchill’s Sarum Lodge. Straight away I knew moving here would be the best decision for me. They have a 24-hour Careline system, which gives my nieces the peace of mind knowing if I do fall ill, I can contact the emergency services. Having the Lodge Manager here throughout the day is great too!

“I’m very used to being independent, but it’s also really lovely to be surrounded by like-minded people. Having the shared Owner’s Lounge where we can spend time together and take part in the Lodge events is also lovely - we recently had a coffee and cake morning for Macmillan, as well as a Cheese and Wine night. As I’ve stayed within Salisbury, I’m also still near all my old friends and the Lodge is really well-placed for me to go out and see them, even though I am slightly limited with my walking.

My ground-floor apartment here is fantastic. While downsizing can be difficult, living somewhere smaller that’s easier to maintain makes life so much easier, and I still have a lovely little patch of garden in front of my apartment that I can look at, but not worry about having to manage.

Explaining how she earned her MBE, Caroline continues: “When I lived in Farley, I was quite involved in a few of the groups including running the local Age Concern branch, as a Churchwarden and also as Chairman of the Almshouses. The Almshouses provide a strong sense of community for vulnerable people, offering them safe and secure accommodation, making it possible for those in need to continue to live independently in a locality of their choice, often near to families. It seems quite apt that I’ve moved into retirement living, which has given me safety and security, in the location of my choice.

I have always loved offering my time to other people and would do it happily without reward, but to be given an MBE for my efforts really was amazing. It was the Queen who gave it to me, and it was quite an occasion.

“The life I can now lead at Sarum Lodge is so much more fulfilling, enjoyable and sociable than if I’d have stayed at the nursing home. I would definitely recommend anyone in a similar position to take the leap into retirement living; it’s the best decision I could’ve made.”

The apartments at Sarum Lodge, on Endless Street, boast spacious rooms throughout, which have been considerately designed with the over 60s in mind. The fully fitted, stylish kitchens include a built in fridge and freezer, hob and an oven, which are located at an easy-reach height. All of the properties benefit from easy-turn lever taps in both the kitchen and bathroom and 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.

A Lodge Manager oversees the day-to-day running of the development and Owners can take advantage of the host of other benefits on offer, including having family or friends to stay in the development’s well-appointed Guest Suite, or enjoying a chat with neighbours and attending one of the many events in the Owners’ Lounge.

For further information on the apartments available at Sarum Lodge, visit the new Show Complex, open Tuesday to Saturday from 10am to 5pm, call 01722 622383 or click here.