Homeowner stories - Mr Jones shares how he made 'the decision'

David Jones is 85 years old and was one of the first customers to move into the Brio Retirement Living development at Button House in Hackbridge.

Supported by his large family, David is now living close to all four generations of Jones’ and loving his new lifestyle – where he happily shares that ‘his every need is met’.

Thrilled with the Button House team and his new home, here he talks about why he chose to purchase the show-home and the new lease of life he’s discovered in Hackbridge.

“Moving to Button House was the best decision we’ve made as a family”, says David in his youthful tone. “Although my eyes are letting me down now and I’m not as sprightly as I once was – I’m definitely embracing living here and enjoying everything life has to offer!”

David, a retired electrician, sadly lost his wife to cancer when she was only 58 years of age, but his two children, three grandchildren and nine great grandchildren have all rallied around him and ensured he’s embraced life to the full.

Moving from the family home in Battersea, David then settled in a three-bedroom house in Kingston and has lived there ever since. “I’ve had many happy times there but as I’ve inevitably got older, my eyesight isn’t what it used to be along with other aches and pains!

“My family and I knew it was time to look for something more manageable and with optional support if or when I needed it. Then along came Button House – just at the right time and perfectly situated just ten minutes away from both my son and daughter.”

David’s journey to moving into Button House started earlier this year when he called into the Slate & Grain coffee lounge located on site in Hackbridge. “My kids obviously knew I wanted to move, and they’d seen Button House advertised locally. I was out with my son when he suggested we have a cup of tea and a slice of cake in Slate & Grain, and we decided to have a look around the homes there and then.

“We were impressed with everything; from the homes, the outside areas, to the gym and of course the fish and chips night! I opted to buy the two-bedroom show home – the best option as my furniture either needed updating or it was fitted in my old house – so it completely made sense on all levels and was certainly a fresh start.

“I sold my house almost instantly so moving in was a quick and easy process. I have a spare room for family to stay, and plenty of space to enjoy, but one of the best things about Button House is the team here – they’re like family now, extending my already large gang.”

David’s move may have been plain sailing, but soon after moving in he suffered what he called a ‘funny turn’, collapsing in his new home. “The team were absolutely amazing,” David says. “From the moment I called for help to the moment the ambulance came, to being safely back home, they couldn’t have done enough for me. I was dehydrated so I’ve upped my water intake massively and luckily, it’s proved just a one off - but it’s reassuring to know the team are so on the ball should people like me need that extra bit of support.”

Now fully recovered and enjoying his new neighbourhood to the full, sociable David has embraced the facilities in and around Button House. “I’ve enjoyed popping for an Indian meal over the road with the other Mr Jones who lives here.  We enjoy each other’s company – especially our chats about football.

“I also love chatting to the other homeowners and locals who visit Slate & Grain for food and drinks, as well as the wider onsite team here including Doreen – her husband often pops in for a game of dominoes with me so it’s all great fun!

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“When I’m back home I do enjoy an early night, so I have my audio books to listen to and my kids bought me an Alexa – so I can listen to music and all sorts via that. Because I bought the show-home the only new thing I needed was a TV which I mainly use as radio company due to my eyesight. I’ve even booked a cleaner to keep on top of the housework for me – why not I say! I only have one pair of shoes that I love so I’ll just replace them when they wear out – life is for living and I can’t take it with me!”, David explains with a wink.

“It’s just brilliant here – I’ve got the Dr’s and chemist next door if I need anything and Sainsburys is just down the road, so the team here pop out and pick shopping up if I need anything, and in the warmer weather we all sat out and enjoyed the gardens – a great place to enjoy family time too.

“We’ve got a gym too which I’ve used, and we’ve got some armchair yoga sessions coming up which I’m certainly up for giving a go! We’ve recently opened up Slate & Grain as a Warm Hub too, so it’s been nice to chat to other locals who pop in for hot soup and a roll – a brilliant idea!”

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As he ponders more social activities, David says he is looking forward to more new homeowners moving in soon, finding more friends to share new experiences with as well as reflecting on their pasts. “With my family and new friends alongside me I know I have a lot to enjoy here.

“I’ve seen a lot in my time – from being evacuated up to Manchester when I was a boy and sleeping on two tea-chests pulled together, seeing a V2 land 50 yards from us and my mum slinging me under a table, to suffering from malnutrition and my hair turning white! It’s been quite a journey so far, but I’m loving my time here at Button House and have Christmas with my family to look forward too.

“What better place to be!”