Come and see for yourself

Therese had been thinking about moving into a retirement community since her husband died, and when her daughter told her she was moving away to Yorkshire to follow her lifelong dream, she knew she couldn’t delay any further.

Here’s her story of how she beat the lockdown clock and observations on life in a time of Coronavirus from her new home at Queensgate Apartments, Sidcup.

I had my name down for a flat in Sevenoaks near my son but was number 24 on a long waiting list – so thought I’ll never get there. Then a leaflet came through my door from Birchgrove, which made me want to know more, so I asked my daughter to investigate, and we visited the show suite. There we met Nigel, who was incredibly kind and put my daughter (who is very good at finance) in touch with a financial advisor who reckoned I could afford to stay here until I was 100, which I do hope not to become!” she says with laughter.

I confess when I first saw the building, I didn’t find it inviting, but once inside everything changes.

I am particularly pleased with the design of the kitchen and bathroom – everything is so user friendly and such a high standard.

The other thing I truly value is the freedom to please myself. There are no rules about what time to get up or go to bed, whether you can walk around the garden – you can live and socialise as you wish. And if you ever need help, the people here are incredible.

Matt is so patient and dedicated, always helping me with the computer. We never go hungry because Spencer, our chef spoils us - he makes the most wonderful cheese scones I’ve ever had in my life.

I do admire Honor’s commitment and Karen does the shopping for us – it’s lovely to be with young people, they are so energetic and go to endless trouble to keep everybody amused.

I love the quizzes – good for the mind – and the singing. One resident left her grand piano here, and her daughter gives us a singing hour once a week - out of doors now with social distancing. There’s also skittles, croquet, Pétanque, and the VE celebration was so memorable for everybody.


When I think of friends in similar situations, a lot of them hang on to their houses for their offspring. Then end up, with no choice, in a nursing home with worries of staff coming in and out – whereas here, the team stayed in with us during the lockdown and we are free of this virus – a great relief.

I was very fortunate to get in just at the right time. If I’d delayed any further, I’d be stuck at home, very much on my own. I rang an old neighbour to see how she was doing. Her husband’s in a care home, and she’s not allowed to see him – yet she’s going shopping just ‘to get out of the house and not go potty.”

I had to give up my car because of my eyesight, but here I can walk into the high street so don’t need it.

What would you say to someone hesitant to move?

“Come and see for yourself.'

Just because there are choices, doesn’t mean there is a wrong one. You just need to find what’s right for you.”


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.

Find out more