Bill's Story

Bill lost his wife two years ago and found it hard living in a place constantly surrounded by so many memories and photographs. Here’s his story of how he extended his thinking into the present and took hold of a new future.

Time to create new memories

I lost my wife over two years ago – we'd been married 61 years, and I was getting very depressed living in a four-bed house all on my own. Everything around me triggered my memory of her, which made it hard to think about my future; little good comes from rumination.

My daughter suggested I go live with her, but I said I didn't want to disrupt her life. So, my son went online and found Queensgate Apartments, had a look at it and said, 'it's lovely, nice people there, lovely restaurant, bar if you want a drink…' so I said OK.

My daughter came with me, we met Katie, had lunch together, and she showed us around the various apartments, and we were both very impressed. My daughter said, 'Dad, to be honest, this is a perfect place for you,' so I said I'd think about it, but the next day, I rang her and said I think you are right; I've got to go. I signed a contract the next day and have been here ever since, and I don't regret it one piece.

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The second I got here, I wanted to go down and have a look around, and there were seven women chatting together, so I walked over and said, 'Do you mind if I join you?' They said, 'of course not; what's your name?' So, we introduced ourselves and I've been with them ever since. I'm their DJ. I've got loads of LP records, so we play music every afternoon, have a singsong, and enjoy a coffee, lunch or a glass of wine together – it's brilliant. We're even clubbing together to get a pool table…

I'd recommend this to anybody. I'm a jovial person, so we crack jokes and laugh, and it makes my day to go down and join them. 

At first, I was a little daunted at the prospect of moving...

...but my son, daughter, daughter-in-law, and my granddaughter helped me get organised and go through all my cupboards and wardrobes. Asking 'Dad, do you need this anymore? When was the last time you used this? I'd say I don’t know about five years ago… he laughs. In the end, I sold all my furniture, everything and bought new furniture to make a brand-new start; it was time to create new memories.

What advice would I give gents in my shoes? I'd say come over and have a good look around. Talk to people here. Look at all the facilities you've got and give it a trial (you don't need to sell your home to do that) – see if you could fit in. You need to be able to talk to people, and you'll thoroughly enjoy yourself here and be made to feel very welcome.

Ready to make yourself at home?

To find out more about a Birchgrove retirement community call us on 020 3929 5599 or complete form. Our show suites are open and viewing is highly recommended.

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