The first resident of a new independent living scheme in Harrogate has been given a special welcome into his new life.
Norman Brown, 86, was presented with flowers as he became the first person to make the newly opened Martin Grange his home on Tuesday 5th April.
The 29-property development is part of MHA, the national charity providing accommodation, care and support services to 13,500 older people. Most of the apartments have been sold or reserved, but a number are still available for sale.
Mr Brown said, “The more I see it, the more I like it – it is just perfect for me. There’s a little kitchen, so I can look after myself that way and I shall enjoy doing it. The heating is good – at 86, you do feel the cold!
”My independence is very important to me. I am diabetic and have glaucoma and some damage to my heart that affects my balance. I have an electric scooter, which is a terrific help. The layout of my new flat is all on the ground floor, and it has two bedrooms so I can have guests to stay.”
As well as being conveniently located near The Stray and local shops and amenities, Martin Grange residents also benefit from round-the-clock specialist care on site and the option of care packages tailored to their individual needs. They also have a shared lounge, café and even a salon and therapy room.
Prior to moving into Martin Grange, Norman was staying in Fewston Reservoir in a log cabin belonging to Lucy Bowman, one of his three daughters.
His wife, Jean, has dementia and lives in a care home in Winchester, where the couple used to live.
Norman added, “It was difficult being on my own in Winchester. Sometimes I would feel very lonely. I was married for 62 years before Jean went [to the care home]. It’s a long time to be together and then move.
“But at Martin Grange, I am getting the support I need – the staff are marvellous, they could not be better.
“I am also going to be near some of my grandchildren and Lucy will be in the Harrogate area almost every day. I have already met some of my new neighbours and they all seemed very nice. I won’t be alone. I am looking forward to this very much.”
Norman plans to visit Jean as often as possible. The couple’s other daughters are Trudie Ford and Hilary Underwood. They have six grandchildren.
Diane Stone, Sales Co-Ordinator at MHA, who welcomed Norman with the flowers, said, “Norman is our first resident here, so that is quite significant. We were all very pleased to welcome him. It’s so exciting to see people start to move in after watching this project grow.
“At MHA, we are dedicated to helping people and making their moves as smooth as possible.”
Linda Howes, Senior Sales and Marketing Manager, said, “Our care is all about what an individual needs. It’s what underpins MHA’s values.”