By David Gledhill, Marketing and Communications Officer.
Do any of us really plan for later life, or is it something that just happens to us? Suddenly.
So often you hear people talk about the speed of life – one minute at school, married with children, the next, onto grandparenting and suddenly there it is. You are old(er).
An academic, mechanical engineering professor, Adrian Bajan is about to publish a paper on how clock time and mind time are two totally different things and mind time appears to speed up as you get older, and whilst we might not have been able to prove it as fact, we could have all told him that.
But how much of our time and lives are planned? How much of it should be planned? Or is life simply not like that.
As I approach 60 I can look back, and the words echo in my ears, “where did that go?”.
Thankfully I don’t feel much different, my mind is as young as it ever was (allowing for a modicum of cynicism and forgetfulness) and physically most of the bits remain workable and in the right places.
And yet with the benefit of hindsight, there were very few stages of my life that I actually planned. I knew I wanted to be a daily newspaper editor which was all-consuming for at least 25 years of my life.
The only other decision that was life-changing and within our control was the decision to move here to Torbay.
But even that had been a long time coming, it was a smouldering ambition to live within sight, sound and smell of the sea, and after a lot of research all the way round the south west coast, Brixham turned out to be the ideal location.
We did all the sensible things when planning our later years – like checking out how good the bus service is. Is it regular, it is reasonably priced and where does it go? You never know how soon you might have to give up driving.
What are the doctor’s like? How far away is it and how does it score among its existing patients – there are various websites on Google that rate doctors for friendliness, waiting time etcetera. The same goes for hospitals.
We also made sure that wherever we chose to live did not have a high proportion of holiday homes for fear of being sat by ourselves in Winter months and overwhelmed in season. In the same vein we also checked that businesses were open all year round
Whilst hunting for what might well be our last home, we also checked to make sure that the community had its own notice board – there had to be a lot going on, and things advertised on community noticeboards tend to be for younger and older member of the community.
There were various other factors, that were less important, like is there a hardware shop (showing a pride in the community) and is there more than one road in and out (a fail in the case of Brixham).
And finally what are the pubs like?
Only now with my work at Ageing Well Torbay has the real potential impact of our decision and the ridiculous level of risk we took in moving, begun to hit home. We have left all our family and friends of more than 25 years behind in Bath.
The support network that we unwittingly built and nurtured is no longer on our doorstep and if things do go wrong, then we will could become isolated. A daunting prospect.
But we knew that, and we decided to take the risk anyway. Fingers crossed because not for everyone is a move to Torbay a happy one, Illness can strike either partner or mobility becomes an issue or perhaps the money in retirement does not go as far as expected.
Ageing Well is here for just all those reasons and aims to reduce isolation and loneliness in the over 50’s. What is more, it is working, but you might know someone who needs it. It might be you.
If so, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and contact us on 01803 212638.