AD – Thinking about the future is something that can be hard to do. It’s not nice thinking about your family ageing, you ageing but then I blink and 5 years have passed, so I know the time will tick along and I have to consider it. Will my parents manage to live independently as they get older? Will they always live where they do now? Although my parents are only in their 50s, those thoughts have entered my mind. Had I considered a retirement village like PegasusLife for their future? No I honestly hadn’t and when questioning my Mum as we planned our visit to a village in Steepleton in Tetbury, she hadn’t either.
I’ve had experience of caring for my family members already. My grandparents managed to stay in their own home until their late 80s and early 90s. They had to move into care for their own safety and to be looked after properly and they were, until they sadly passed away. I don’t think my very stubborn (!) grandparents knew much about retirement villages but I wondered would they have liked somewhere like PegasusLife in their younger years?
I was really keen to find out more and one very rainy Tuesday, my Mum and the little guy headed down to Steepleton, Tetbury to find out.
More About PegasusLife
PegasusLife was established in 2012, knowing we had an ageing population and wanting to meet their retirement needs. Not only can physical health be an issue in older age but mental health too, including loneliness. PegasusLife aims to address these needs.
PegasusLife retirement villages aim to allow people to keep their independence and pursue their interests, taking the wants and opinions of the residents, even very small details, into account. Quality facilities and service are also at the forefront, focusing on well being.
Visiting a PegasusLife Retirement Village
PegasusLife, Steepleton in Tetbury (a beautiful part of the Cotswolds) houses 60 apartments and is aimed at both single residents and couples. Each block of apartments is like a street and each has its own front door. Cars and pets are allowed.
We arrived after a very rainy drive to a lovely welcome from Claire who was going to show us around. I had to feed the little man, so we sat down in the beautiful communal area for the residents and were brought tea and home-made lemon cake.
There was a lovely atmosphere and nice smell to the place. I felt at home immediately. Everything we saw was immaculate too. The communal area can be accessed by residents with a key fob they are given (as well as a the spa). Lovely to come to and rest, have a drink and play games.
We then found out more about PegasusLife and the village at Steepleton, which has been open for 18 months and is for people aged 60 and over.
What was made very clear to me was PegasusLife was all based on wellness. Healthy eating in the restaurant with vegetarian and vegan food offered. Having the option to exercise in the gym. To use the spa for the hydrotherapy pool, steam room and sauna and to relax. To take part in Tai Chi or have a massage.
Also independence is at the focus. Residents have full safety and security, can join in with many activities, socialise and get involved in events BUT they keep their independence. They clean and shop for themselves and ask for help when needed. I liked this idea, as I know my proud grandparents wanted to keep as independent as they could for as long as possible.
The security and safety aspect impressed me too. All residents have pendants to wear and can press if feeling unwell or they need help. They can be located if not in their apartment. All apartments have the option to speak to a member of staff via video link or phone and if needed they can be communicated via a speaker. There is a 24hr manning warden and night security.
At this PegasusLife retirement village some brilliants events are offered for the residents if they choose, such as Greek, Italian and Chinese nights, pub quizzes and even a games night. They have a Wednesday coffee morning to bring everyone together (as everyone is busy) and the main restaurant does get busy on certain days, as people get together or residents have guests.
I also liked how residents can make suggestions to what they like to do event-wise and make changes within reason.
After a friendly chat with Claire, we were given a tour.
We started with the restaurant with amazing decor and we tried the food at lunch. It was the best meal I had eaten in ages. We both chose cod and it was perfect. I loved that the food was current and healthy. All is freshly cooked.
We were shown the private dining room which can be used by residents upstairs and it just looked stunning.
We then had a look at the guest rooms available to book for a fee for relatives or friends of the residents. These were so well presented and breakfast is included! Always a plus and nice for residents to not feel overwhelmed in their apartments if people staying.
We then had a look outside. There is an outdoor pool that is very cold but is believed to be lovely to swim in and then to warm up in the sauna and steam room. We were told every full length of the pool swam added 15 minutes to your life! It’s self-cleaning too. In the warmer months residents can relax outside too.
There are communal gardens that residents can tend to but they have the option to garden around their apartments if preferred. For example some residents had flower tubs and small statues.
We then had a look at the spa and gym. I was so impressed and if we didn’t have the little guy with us, we would have had a dip and a chill for a bit on the heated seats.
The gym has specialist equipment that is safer to use and to avoid injury. Many residents do use it, we were told.
We were then shown the treatment room where residents can go for a manicure or a massage and they are given plenty of time to relax with Holly, who does the treatments. Nails are done at a table in a large kitchen and it was very pleasant and gives residents time to chat with Holly too.
We then were taken to see the apartments which are all leasehold.
The pictures are show apartments I must say, so bought apartments would be empty on arrival but they were beautiful. There are 2 bedroom and what they describe as 1.5 bedroom apartments available. All come with underfloor heating and all appliances like washing machine and dishwasher. They can be easily connected to broadband for residents prior to moving in.
Of course these rooms can be decorated and amendments made and all residents are given an induction over a two day period, including a welcome book.
There is the option to try before you buy and potential residents stay a couple of nights to see how they feel. This allows them to meet other residents too.
We had a sneak peak in the on site cafe too: Perrys which is open to the public as well. This serves tea, coffee and cakes, as well as salads and paninis.
Both my Mum and I really enjoyed our visit. Claire was obviously very passionate about her job and the residents and this shone through during the tour.
It was such a immaculate, well-designed and well thought-out place. It just seemed so much had been considered, with luxury and wellness being at the forefront.
I had never considered a retirement village before and I often thought of one to be similar to a care home with people possibly being a little too fussy over the residents.
I was completely wrong after visiting the PegasusLife Village at Steepleton. I loved the luxury of the spa, food and the beautiful apartments and my Mum agreed. It would be reassuring for me to know she was living in such a lovely place but had her independence and social life and was safe and secure at all times.
My Mum and I both had our eyes opened and both said something like PegasusLife would now be somewhere we would consider. The wonderful lifestyle, care and community would be fabulous in later life.
Disclosure – we were invited to visit PegasusLife and write about our experience and were compensated for our time. All thoughts and opinions are our own.