Date: May 2016

MY PARENTS ARE TRYING TO STAY FIERCELY INDEPENDENT, BUT SIMPLY AREN’T COPING - IS A CARE HOME REALLY THE ONLY OPTION?

A lot of elderly people want to retain their independence and stay in their own home – that’s completely understandable.  But what is the best thing to do when they start needing help with day-to-day living and you can see they aren’t coping? Is a care home really the best option available?

Liz Smith whose father has been living in a Village suite at a Richmond Village for five years
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Richmond Witney bowling green
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A typical Village suite at Richmond Letcombe Regis
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Richmond Painswick Village suite sitting room
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“Buying-in care is a possibility, but it doesn’t solve a lot of the other ‘unspoken’ issues such as loneliness and keeping occupied,” says Paddy Brice, managing director of Richmond Villages.  “Deciding what’s best for mum & dad is an issue facing an increasing number of families as the population ages (see note), and one we hear all too frequently.  Keeping people in their own home is often only achievable with a great deal of support from a network of family, friends, neighbours and public services, and the stress on everyone can be considerable.”

Note:  There are now some 11.4 million people aged 65 or over in the country, and this is projected to rise by over 40 per cent in the next 17 years to over 16 million. Source: UK Office for National Statistics, 2015.

“Families and friends usually do as much as they can to help, but frequently they’re not living close enough and have other commitments and demands on their time.  It’s a real conundrum,” says Paddy.

So what is the alternative?  In the past the only other solution has been residential care, but this might seem like a step too far when, with just a little extra care and support, an elderly parent can continue to enjoy a more independent lifestyle.

The answer could be a Village suite at one of the retirement villages operated by Richmond Villages, part of Bupa.  Here people purchase their own apartment and enjoy a level of ‘assisted living’ support which takes care of all meals, the cleaning, laundry and household chores, and with the provision of personal care 24-hours a day as required.

“Most people living in a Village suite will have at least one meal a day in the restaurant with friends, or can have meals brought to their apartment,” continues Paddy.  “Meeting up with friends is a great social occasion for most people, and the social aspects are further enhanced by our activities and events team who arrange everything from bridge clubs to cultural festivals, all designed around the interests and wants of the people living at the village.  We also have our own vehicles and drivers so shopping, routine journeys and other trips mean not having to rely on taxis or family and friends if you don’t drive anymore.”

Liz’s story

Liz Smith’s father has been living in a Village suite at a Richmond Village for five years.

“My father had been widowed for a number of years and had lived independently in the family home, but as he got older he was struggling with the day-to-day running of life.

“I looked around at several places but the thing that really impressed us all about Richmond Villages, including my dad, were the facilities, and the fact that it was very much a social community as well.

“It was really important to my dad that he owned his own property and that was something that Richmond Villages were able to offer.  There’s a very large bedroom, and with a walk-in wet room so there’s no chance of slipping.  He has a separate living room with a little kitchenette with a microwave and washing-up facilities as well.  His meals are provided, his washing, laundry and cleaning are done, and in fact everything is done for him. 

“The food here is great, too, and I feel he’s getting really well-balanced, nutritious food. 

“There’s a very close relationship between my dad and the staff.  They’re very caring and just monitor him closely.  It’s a really, really friendly place.  I describe it as like living in a five star hotel.  There is a health spa with a swimming pool and gym - dad really enjoys swimming, and there are various exercise classes, as well as lots of clubs and societies he can belong to should he chose to. 

“For myself and my family it’s given us peace of mind that dad is living in these glorious surroundings and is being well-cared for.”

You can see Liz talking about her experience here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-0g118Rvn3o

Village Suites - example properties currently available:

Richmond Witney, Oxfordshire: - from £225,000 - £295,000 (1 bed)

Richmond Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire: - from £185,000 (1 bed) - £385,000 (2 bed)

Richmond Letcombe Regis, Oxfordshire: - from £250,000 (1 bed) - £435,000 (2 bed)

Richmond Painswick, Gloucestershire: - from £230,000 (1 bed)

Richmond Northampton: - from £195,000 (1 bed) - £290,000 (2 bed)

Richmond Nantwich, Cheshire: - from £235,000 (1 bed)

Richmond Bede Village, Warwickshire: - from £110,000 (1 bed)

- ends -

Richmond Villages - the ethos

Richmond Villages, which is part of Bupa, understands that social interaction, physical activity and mental stimulation are vital to a happy and fulfilling later life.  Its villages are designed to allow residents easy access to a range of facilities, services and social events with the reassurance of on-site care and support if required.

The villages provide three types of accommodation, from large two bedroom apartments offering an independent lifestyle, one bedroom Village suites, to 24-hour nursing and dementia care.  The key element is for people to retain as much independence and choice as possible, whilst helping them retain their ‘zest for life’.

Village suites
These assisted living apartments are situated within the main village centre building and designed to help people maintain their independence.  Apartments typically include a lounge, kitchenette and en-suite bedroom.  To remove the daily chores, these apartments come with an ‘Independent Living Package’ which includes all food, daily cleaning, laundry and utilities, meaning you can spend more time doing the things you want to do and maintain your independence.  Personal care packages are available from Richmond’s own on-site domiciliary care team.

Service charge
A service charge is made per property to cover emergency 24 hour call service to the on-site care team, ground maintenance, external property maintenance, a mini-bus service to and from shops and events, buildings insurance, access to all village activities and events, window cleaning, administration and security.

About Richmond Villages

One of the pioneers in bringing the retirement village concept to the UK, Richmond Villages has been designing, building and operating its own villages for almost 20 years.  The company currently operates five luxury retirement villages located in Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and Warwickshire, with its new village at Witney, Oxfordshire now opening, and construction at Aston-on-Trent, Derbyshire already well underway.

Richmond Villages is one of the leaders in the retirement living sector, and has an established reputation for the provision of quality service and care, and won numerous awards.

For further information about Richmond Villages, please visit richmond-villages.com or telephone 0800 0987 094

About Bupa

Richmond Villages is part of Bupa.  Bupa’s purpose is longer, healthier, happier lives.

As a leading global health and care company, it offers health insurance, medical subscription and other health and care funding products; it runs care homes, retirement and care villages, primary care, diagnostic and wellness centres, hospitals and dental clinics.  It also provides workplace health services, home healthcare, health assessments and long-term condition management services.

Bupa has 29 million customers in 190 countries.  With no shareholders, it invests its profits around the world to provide more and better healthcare and fulfil its purpose.

It employs almost 80,000 people, principally in the UK, Australia, Spain, Poland, New Zealand and Chile, as well as Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, India, Thailand and the USA.

For more information, please visit bupa.com

To download hi-res images via the LawsonClarke PR online press office go to: Richmond Villages image gallery

Issued by:                                           Jeremy Clarke/Tracey Bretherton
                                                          clarke@lawsonclarke.co.uk
                                                          tracey.bretherton@lawsonclarke.co.uk
LawsonClarke PR
                                                          Tel: 01285 658844
                                                          Fax: 01285 650080
                                                          lawsonclarke.com

Ref: RV21/2016