‘Best move we’ve ever done’ has been a sentience my mum and dad have repeated to me many times over the past 3 years since moving in to Castleview.
It became very apparent early on what a special place Castleview really is! The wonderful staff, headed by Lisa, who always go the extra mile, make life at Castleview so enjoyable not only for the residents but also for family and friends too who are always welcome and they have the best sky lounge in Windsor on the top floor with stunning views over looking Windsor Castle. I can’t recommend this place enough!
It was a big move for my Mum, recently widowed, to leave the family home and relocate to a town where she had never lived before. However, the staff and residents at Castle View welcomed her like an old friend, and she has settled in amazingly well. It is a vibrant community, and Mum enjoys meals in the restaurant with her new friends, and a variety of activities and celebrations. Being able to 'go out' without needing to leave the building gives her a degree of independence she didn't have previously. 24 hour staffing also gives me peace of mind that there is someone there in an emergency. Losts keys when I was away for the weekend? No problem. It also provides discreet security - anyone knocking on the door is already screened by reception. The most important thing though is that Mum is happy - she tells me almost daily that moving to Castle View was the best decision ever.
A year ago today my parents moved into their apartment at Castle View - and what a year it's been for them! Since down-sizing and relocating to Windsor, at age 78 and 79, they have made new friends, relished in a wide option of social events and activities - and - the best bit for me - is they're much closer to my family and they're able to enjoy more time with their grandchildren.
Looking back, it's easy to say that moving into Castle View was the best decision they could have made, the timing was perfect and they have no regrets. However the path to making those choices was not simple or easy. Mum and Dad had loved and lived in our family home for nearly 40 years; it was a gorgeous big bungalow, with lovely gardens which Mum had tended for years. They had a wonderful, supportive bunch of neighbours whom they socialised with a lot, and they were only about an hour's drive away from us - so they really didn't feel an urgent need to move somewhere 'easier'. We were all emotionally connected to the house, which was steeped in happy memories.
My husband and I have been Windsor residents for over 25 years, we adore it here and especially since our children arrived (now 13 and 15). So Mum and Dad were familiar with the area and understood why we loved Windsor so much. It was our idea and suggestion that they make the huge step to relocate.
The initial suggestion was definitely met with resistance - they rightly told us that they had good neighbours, and were conveniently set up as a bungalow, with a bus stop close by for any such time when they might not feel like driving. But, I was getting increasingly worried about the time Dad was spending doing household maintenance, and how exhausting and time-consuming the very large garden was becoming for Mum. I worried about something happening to one of them, and them being over an hour away, and one of them being left in a large detached house on their own.
So, with trepidation we agreed we'd look round Castle View. We were all immediately impressed with the quality of accommodation and the luxury communal spaces; it certainly looked very tempting. However, the move itself was daunting and the amount of work involved ominous.
Having made decisions, after several visits and weighing up of the pros and cons, the following six months were a roller-coaster of emotions - questioning if they were doing the right thing and wondering if they'd miss the space, the garden, the friends...
Both were very brave about the downsizing and clearing out - it was a lot of work, and took a huge amount of time and effort. But they embraced the challenge really positively and "if it hadn't been used or worn for a year (or more)" then it was filtered into charity shops, auction or gifted. I was really proud of how Mum and Dad coped with all the upheaval, and how conscious they were that as they were doing it themselves, it wouldn't be a mammoth task for me to tackle when they were no longer around.
So, here we are, just past their first year anniversary of being Windsor residents. Truly they haven't looked back. They have no regrets, and haven't missed any of the things they thought they'd would. They settled in quickly to their new apartment and have made lots of new friends at Castle View. There's a definite community spirit about the place.
From my point of view, I don't need to worry about them now; help is on hand if they need it (they don't, yet) and there's always a great range of events and activities planned, from Wine Tasting, to painting, to quizzes and movie nights. Me and the family pop in and out for Sunday lunches, drinks on their balcony and we've watched fireworks and other events from the roof terrace. Even the admin of relocating doctors surgeries etc was less hassle than Dad had worried about.
It was a big move - but they timed it right. If they'd left it too much longer, the task would have seemed too daunting and the physical effort too exhausting. As it is, they spend less time on house maintenance and gardening and more time 'being retired' - going to the theatre, visiting friends and exploring Windsor and Eton.
So, a year on - and I can safely say they have no regrets and thorough enjoy life at Castle View. From our point of view as the family, we love having them closer and seeing how much easier their lives have become. We're all off to the Jubillee Pageant together this week, we go walking together, and sneak out for coffee and cake. As Dad, now 80, says "they can finally settle down to enjoy middle-age!"
“The residents at Castle View are very interesting and friendly and exude the feeling that life is to be lived in spite of COVID-19. Come and join us, you won’t regret it”
“We are very fortunate to have a good balance of social activity and responsible consideration for each other. Daily coffee mornings offer a reason to get up and dressed and to meet and chat to friends about anything and everything. Tuesday Yoga keeps us mobile, singing is uplifting, quiz nights exercise the grey matter while film nights (with ice cream), poetry nights (with Prosecco), wine and gin-tasting and parties, are a lot of fun. They say that laughter is the best medicine; if so, the future looks bright”
“It is truly amazing that at the ages of 81 and 87 Arnold and I both know 100% that we made the right decision in moving to Castle View. We have now lived here for 6 months and needless to say in very difficult times we haven’t felt even a moment of regret. We congratulate the management and their team on making Castle View such a special place to live. It really does provide EVERYTHING that we need to have a very ‘happy life’ THANK YOU CASTLE VIEW”
“We have been living here for two years. We are enjoying living in our own private apartment within walking distance of Windsor town centre. The facilities here are excellent, with plenty of activities should you wish to partake. Most importantly for our families, and ourselves, is the peace of mind of having 24hour security and the support of a dedicated management team.”
“Looking back over the hugely enjoyable Christmas period of safe socialised events we have enjoyed at Castle View, it makes me realise just how very lucky my husband and I are to live here. Management and Staff (who are involved on a happy and friendly daily basis) and residents, working together makes for a very special sense of community and belonging. There is a genuine concern for the wellbeing and happiness of all. Castle View’s default setting is smiling faces and the sound of laughter; companionship pervades the community and the beautiful building and new residents are greeted with pleasure. My husband and I feel safe and supported living at Castle View Retirement Village; we love living here”
'I waited many years to move to Castle View, I love my spacious apartment that I planned for so long and I also enjoy inviting my friends to the Castle View restaurant and sharing it all with them'
'We feel safe and secure at Castle View and enjoy dipping in and out of events as we feel like it and have held some fabulous parties in the Sky Lounge'
“When I moved in, I really appreciated the gentle welcoming community and have already made really good friends”
“I’ve never been busier since I moved to Castle View, there is something happening every day if you want it. I have definitely made some very trusted friends”
'We really enjoy our apartment and have personalised it with smart shutters and wardrobes. It really feels like home at last.'
“Castle View is a happy place in which you can be as sociable as you want to be - there is no compulsion to join in if you prefer to do your own thing. The Sky Lounge is a sociable area for parties, yoga, meetings, choir practise, film nights, quiz nights, card and board games and more serious interests. Our CEO is often visible, takes an interest in the residents and goes out of his way to make living here fun for us. All the staff are approachable and interested in the village as a whole. It’s a great place in which to spend your golden years”
I love my apartment, I have so much space here and invite all my friends from both inside and outside Castle View for gin and wine evenings!, My apartment is so bright and airy too and I have designed in my favourite colours, pinks and purples. I have never looked back since moving in, the future is bright!