Mrs Silk is 89 years old and was the first customer to move into the Brio Retirement Living development at Button House in Hackbridge. Retired, with a sparkle in her eyes and an enviable talent for crafting, Mrs Silk has already won the hearts of the dedicated team that work there – enlisting their help as she plans her milestone 90th birthday.
Here, she talks about party planning, moving home and why she wishes she’d moved to Button House much sooner…
“I’m very happy here”, says Mrs Silk with a smile on her face. “The past year has been difficult for my family in many ways, but now all the stresses have lifted, and I’m very settled.”
Prior to moving to a brand new two-bedroom apartment at Button House, Mrs Silk lived in the three-bedroom family home that had been in her family for 82 years. Her busy life saw her start her career at Gossard on Regent Street before then focussing on bringing up her two children – a son who lives close to Button House and a daughter who now lives in Suffolk.
“I never thought I’d leave the family home,” she adds. “As I got older my son began to care for me. He’s wonderful, but also has my granddaughter to care for and she has special needs. Then last year when I had a fall it was time to reassess things and take some pressure off my son.”
She and her son then began the hunt for the perfect home – somewhere which would allow Mrs Silk to maintain her independence, her love of live, but would offer around the clock help should she need it. “We visited a few places but for one reason or another neither of us liked them – especially as many were too small! But then we found Button House, and we knew it was ‘the one’. It’s so lovely and new.
“I chose a two-bedroom apartment as I love painting and crafting, so it meant that I could have my very own ‘inhouse studio”, explained Mrs Silk with a wry smile. “It means that I can keep all my pots and paints in there and just shut the door without having to tidy everything away all the time – it’s perfect!”
Mrs Silk’s passion for crafting has been further fulfilled with the art sessions arranged by the team at Button House. “A lovely lady comes in and hosts arts and craft sessions for the homeowners, and it’s been a joy to join in. We’ve also done flower arranging classes which I’ve very much enjoyed – I find being creative very therapeutic”.
As Button House’s first homeowner, Mrs Silk is now settled and enjoying meeting other homeowners as they move in. “I definitely see more people now than I did living in my old house – so it’s lovely. The team here are wonderful – very friendly and ever so helpful, and it’s nice to see lots of new faces moving in too. We all get to know each other over a drink at our coffee house – which I must say does a lovely cup of coffee indeed!”
Mrs Silk injected her eye for arts into her new home when she moved in in April 2022: “It was a blank canvas when I moved in, but now all my things are just where I want them – it’s so homely.
“My son helped me set it up and he visits lots as he lives close by. My daughter lives further afield but she’s been to Button House and loves it too – in fact she’s visiting very soon with my eldest granddaughter, and I can’t wait to see them both again. I genuinely don’t know why I waited so long to take the leap of moving to a retirement development – but Button House was perfectly timed for me and I’m very happy here.”
Julie Shaw, Sales Advisor at Button House, is a key member of the team who helps new homeowners settle in. She added: “Mrs Silk is a delight to know! I’m so happy she was our first homeowner to move in as she’s certainly set the standard! Our reception team here hold Mrs Silk in very high regard, and they love spending time with her. A lovely lady who loves her arts and crafts – so much so, we’re currently adding more to our timetable of events here for her to enjoy, and we also have an onsite craft room.
“Button House is about making retirement as easy and enjoyable as possible, and aside from having great practical amenities in reaching distance such as a doctor’s surgery, a supermarket, and a pharmacy – we’re all here to make life fun for the homeowners. As we welcome more and more new people over the coming months, Mrs Silk will be a key member of this growing community, full of knowledge to share via her warm personality. I love working here and I’m looking forward to a very bright future with our superb team and like-minded brilliant homeowners. Button House truly is a super place to live!”
Karl Hallows, director of operations at Brio concluded: “At Brio Retirement Living, we put people first, creating well-designed communities that offer customers over the age of 65 a healthier, happier lifestyle. We’re thrilled to see how happy Mrs Silk is at Button House, and as our very first homeowner here, she’s certainly set a precedent. It’s wonderful to be part of the growing community as we continue to raise the bar on modern retirement living.”
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Mrs Silk, Button House