When Pam Bradley’s husband passed away in 2012 the former convenience store owner was left isolated in her four bedroom house in Plymouth where she had lived for over 30 years.
The 83-year-old had talked about such a scenario happening years before but her fiercely independent husband, himself a police chief inspector during his working career, had dismissed the idea preferring instead to stay in their family home.
“I came to stay with one of my three sons who lived in Fradley (Staffordshire) but he worked all day and around the same time I also had a nasty fall which meant my mobility was impaired,” Pam explained.
“After three months I really missed my friends down in Plymouth, had lost my independence and had become quite lonely. I was thoroughly fed up if I was honest.”
It was her son who then spotted an opportunity to move to Bromford’s Beacon Park Village retirement living development in Lichfield town centre and three years on she says she hasn’t regretted the decision for a second. Moving into her ground-floor one bedroom apartment, Pam has come to know and become friends with many of the couples and other single residents living at the 135-bed scheme.
“The apartment is a really good size and French windows which look out on to the communal garden. I’m on the ground-floor so I feel safe and have a pull chord if ever I was to feel poorly – it has really given my family that peace of mind,” Pam says.
“Bromford take a lump sum every month so I haven’t got to worry about my bills and I really feel that since I’ve moved here I’ve gotten my independence back and I see it as my time now.”
Beacon Park Village, like all of Bromford’s retirement living schemes, has an emphasis on facilities to bring the community together and it boasts an onsite restaurant, bar, fitness suite, beauty and therapy room, hair salon and village shop as well as a library, IT suite and launderette.
Pam said: “I don’t think I’d have coped anywhere else and you really do buy into the lifestyle here. It was sad getting rid of my house because I’d spent a lifetime of memories there but you have to be realistic.
“There’s always stuff going on and during the recent bank holiday we enjoyed the parade before coming back here to enjoy a singer and some bingo. We also take it in turns to visit each other’s apartments to watch films so you really do become part of the community.”
But for Pam the biggest plus was the location, with Beacon Park Village situated just a short walk from the high street. Bromford’s two new retirement living schemes currently under construction in Stourport and Banbury are also very centrally located.
“Here you have the beautiful Cathedral, shops, the park and pool just minutes away so the location is ideal. When I volunteered as an ambassador for the sales days at School Gardens in Stourport I was really impressed with the location too and the apartments were lovely. I think it makes a big difference,” she added.