After a major life event in February 2019, Edna Giddens wanted to move to an apartment with a friendly community and some practical support.
Edna was born in a village just outside Southport and her husband, John, was from Southport too. They met when she was 18, got married a few years later in August 1960 and were happily married for 58 years.
“I met John with a crowd of people that used to go to a coffee shop in Southport. He used to be in the RAF and then when he came out he was an accountant in the Manchester area and I was a knitwear designer in a factory for Ladybird and Marks & Spencer.”
Following a brief spell in Ormskirk, they moved back to Southport and, after moving locally a few times, spent the last 36 years in their bungalow in Birkdale.
“When my husband died in February, I didn’t want to live there on my own. I had a nice bungalow, but I hadn’t been very well and I wanted to move to an apartment. I thought I needed a bit more practical help, but the main reason was emotional. I just knew I had to go and if I left it, I might not ever move. I know people that have left it too late in their 80s and then they just can’t move.”
At the time, her daughter thought it might be best for Edna to move to live near her in Derbyshire.
“I have a daughter and 19-year-old twin grandchildren, a boy and a girl. They all live in Derbyshire. My daughter came home to see her dad quite regularly when he was ill and then when John died, she wanted me to go and live up there. It’s a lovely area, Derbyshire, but I said no because I would miss my friends.”
Edna had lots of friends in the local area and had been a golfer for more than 40 years at Hillside Golf Club.
“I still play bridge at the golf club, even though I don’t play golf anymore. We don’t go at the moment, because of the lockdown, but I’m looking forward to having a friendly game now and then when we can.”
Edna’s son-in-law came with her to have a look at The Sailings in June 2019.
“That was before the show apartments were ready to view, but we looked around and saw the brochure and it was just what I was looking for. I wanted a ground floor apartment because I like my plant pots and flowers, so we just chose my apartment and I moved in on 6th December.
“I’m very happy to call The Sailings my home now. The staff here are very, very good. When I moved in, they were all so kind and helpful and I’ve got to know them all really well.
“It was very nice that first Christmas because only a few Homeowners had moved in and we all had our Christmas lunch in the restaurant, which was lovely. My daughter and son-in-law came to stay over Christmas and stayed in the guest suite here for three or four nights and my granddaughter stayed in my spare bedroom.”
All Adlington Retirement Living apartments are fitted with a 24-hour emergency call system linked directly to the on-site team, for added peace of mind.
“I suffer with Meniere’s disease, which is vertigo, and I go dizzy. When it happens, I just don’t like being on my own. I’ve had to press my alarm button twice since I moved in. The two occasions were both in the daytime when I had one of these severe attacks of vertigo and needed help. Karen (the general manager at The Sailings) came straight away, which was great, so I feel really safe here.
“You can socialise when you want to and you can also be on your own when you want to, which is great. Just before lockdown, we were having get togethers in the Homeowner’s Lounge. We had a ‘knit and natter’ group which some of the ladies from the WI joined us for, and we’d have afternoon tea and a good chat whilst we were knitting.
“During the lockdown, I was shielded so I couldn’t go to the shops or anything but I’ve been having meals delivered to my apartment from the restaurant. They’ve done it very well.”
When the elegant restaurant at The Sailings had to temporarily close for a period of time, the catering team offered the same high standard of freshly-prepared, delicious lunchtime meals and delivered them directly to our Homeowners’ front doors, always maintaining social distancing and sanitising trays between deliveries.
Team members also shopped for Homeowners, collected prescriptions whenever help was needed and created a ‘pop-up shop’ to provide a safe and easy way to pick up everyday essentials. And some Homeowners continued to enjoy each other’s company from the comfort of their own homes by taking part in a weekly online quiz night and a virtual Physiofit class.
“I had my first massage again yesterday, now that the therapy room has reopened. I went quite regularly before lockdown. The hairdresser has come back again now too, so I had my hair cut in our salon here last week and I’ll be having it cut once a month again now.
“I still haven’t been to a shop since March but I just don’t want to yet. We’ve been so careful for so long that you don’t want to go and spoil that.
“It’s nice to have the gardens and the outdoor space here where I can go for some fresh air and exercise without worrying about bumping into people.
“Moving to the Sailings has been very good for me. I’m sitting here now and I’ve got my flower pots outside on my patio and I’m right opposite the summer house. It’s a lovely spot. I’m very happy.”