Nearly three years ago Paul and Heather Wagstaff decided to leave their Cheltenham townhouse and move to the luxurious surroundings of nearby New Court.
Swapping a three-storey property for a one-bedroom apartment in a retirement living community was a step into the unknown for the couple but one from which they have never looked back.
“I was nervous about living in a community because I hadn’t done it before but it has completely exceeded my expectations,” said Paul, aged 84.
“Since coming here we have found that one of the real big benefits, is the community as well as being with people who are generally like-minded. I now have friends that I didn’t have before.
“When we came in here, which was more out of curiosity than anything, I particularly liked the apartment and the way it was laid out; I liked the ambience of the place.”
Heather, an 82-year-old former biochemist, commented: “I had not thought of a place like this, I was just thinking about an apartment somewhere. We lived in a townhouse on three floors and that was alright unless you had to carry things from one floor to the other so we wanted something on one level.
“I think probably for a lot of older people there is a reluctance to get involved in anything they see as a ‘care’ home but it’s nothing like that.
“The lovely thing about New Court is that you can do your own thing entirely but there is that opportunity to get involved. You might only have an interest in the book club or art but you can always find somebody who you can chat to.”
The couple, who have three children and used to live in the United States when Paul worked for a manufacturing company, have also been impressed with the way their lifestyle has been accommodated.
“The big thing for us was that we could bring our dog,” Heather explained. “It was the first question I asked and we were told that we could.”
Paul said: “The facilities here have been very much to our liking. The staff are exceptionally good and I can’t speak highly enough of them.”