My 72-year-old mum has routines that structure her week. Every Tuesday she has arts and craft, on a Wednesday she does her grocery shopping (perhaps popping into the clothes shop for a new top unbeknown to my dad!), and she always buys lotto after 3pm on a Saturday.
These routines might seem old-fashioned or restrictive to someone else but they shape her interactions with her community, providing connections and comfort. She likes the fact the grocer knows her name, that the girls at the lotto kiosk expect her and say hello, and the arts and craft ladies are always ready for a gossip.
She can enjoy these routines because she has her independence and freedom. I can’t imagine what would happen if she fell ill and it got to a point where she had to move into residential care. Maybe she’d make new routines but most likely – given she’s an ex Matron of a country hospital – she’ll tire of other people’s schedules and prescribed activities.
Since residential care facilities are generally on the outskirts of town, she’ll also grow frustrated with being removed from her community and potentially out of reach of the people she used to see on a regular basis.
At Evermore, we want older people to be able to remain in their community. What’s more, we want them to have access to the people and the services they are familiar with, whether that’s being close to the hairdresser, local butcher, or the bridge club they’ve been a member of for years. That’s why you won’t see an Evermore built out-of-town or even remotely near a retail park.
Instead we’ll be building Evermore villages at the heart of the community because we understand how retaining connections can positively impact an older person’s wellbeing. And quite simply it makes them and us happy, and that’s what it is all about.
Follow Rebecca @BeccaanneJ