‘Right-size’ your way to happy retirement living

For many retirees, the thought of selling the family home and downsizing can be destabilising and troubling. But one retiree in Manchester is promoting a radical new look at downsizing, which could be summarised as ‘right-sizing’ - in order to make a decision that’s right for you. 

Dr Eric McPherson, owns a one bedroom apartment at Churchill Retirement Living’s Brindley Lodge development, on Hope Road in Manchester, which he purchased last year after taking the plunge to sell the family home and opt for something more manageable and appropriate for his retired lifestyle. 

He comments: “Taking up residence in a retirement apartment is, for most people, the final move, and as such it can be accompanied by unexpected considerations and detailed analysis. The sale of one’s family home will often follow a significant change in circumstances, for example, the loss of a spouse or the loss of some mobility. Therefore it’s often a testing time as it is, never mind the undefined emotional overtones of the prospect of ‘downsizing’ and the anticipated traumatic experience of ‘the move.’”

Dr McPherson was widowed a number of years ago but continued to live in the four bedroom detached family home. He took the decision last year to sell the house and purchase an apartment.

He comments: “I experienced all the natural anxieties around downsizing but came to the conclusion that they are certainly not going to be solved by thinking of the move as simply a shrinking of the possessions, facilities and activities one has in order for them to fit into a smaller box! I decided a careful, if not radical, look at the situation was called for. For some people gardening is their thing and the thought of not having their own garden is daunting. For others, it’s cooking and entertaining and the worry creeps in that this won’t be possible in a retirement apartment. For me, writing, computing and researching is my passion so I had to consider where my study could go and the necessary relocation of familiar furniture and equipment to avoid a filing cabinet in the bedroom! But one must replace what we think are the negatives with what we know to be positives! The resolving of many of the problems is often unappreciated until the decision is taken. For example, I have many ‘green fingered’ neighbours at Brindley Lodge that take great pleasure in the communal gardens and look back and smile on all the maintenance they used to have to do!”

A Churchill apartment offers comfortable, secure, independent retirement living and just three weeks into his new life at Brindley Lodge, Dr McPherson was enjoying a newly found peace of mind.

He comments: “I very quickly swapped my old worries about the state of my washing machine, with all its squeaks and servicing needs (remember all this is supplied, maintained and worried about by Churchill!) and whether the noises in the small hours was someone trying to break into the house, in exchange for an incredibly reassuring feeling of security and comfort. There are so many features of apartment living at Brindley Lodge that more than compensate for the loss of the storage space provided by two garages, a shed and two empty bedrooms which the long married children still fill with their rubbish, maintain is essential and will be collected ‘very soon’!”

A Churchill Retirement Living apartment comes complete with a carefully thought out combination of comfort, design and safety with the smallest details considered.

Dr McPherson comments: “The apartment itself with its state of the art heating, (complete with heated towel rails), new everything, sound proofing, amazing insulation and elevator for those difficult years is ultimate comfort for me, not to mention all the added extras like the luxurious owners’ lounge, guest suites, secure parking, provision of emergency cover, no gas standing charge and plenty more. I also delight in the disappeared responsibilities of removal of trees, leaking gutters, vacuuming the stairs and window cleaning!”

Dr McPherson faced the same anxieties that many retirees do at the thought of moving on from their family home and into the unknown of a different lifestyle but having made the move, he really hasn’t looked back!

“I now realise that a retirement apartment is not simply a smaller living space; some kind of lilliputian conversion with the resident or contents miraculously shrunk! One has to realise that a new world and a new life has opened up; a new existence with new opportunities where many of your former duties, responsibilities and worries are shuffled off elsewhere. The community, superb quality of staff and immaculate finish of everything just complete the picture. If you’re daunted by downsizing, you may be surprised, delighted and ‘right-sizing’ before you know it!”


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