Enterprise Retirement Living (ERL) is using the lessons learned during the pandemic to shape changes to its existing villages and those planned for the future
During the height of the Covid crisis ERL’s retirement communities went into lockdown, with the rest of the country, and immediately introduced enhanced hygiene measures to protect owners and staff.
It also enabled its head office team to work from home, and provided additional help and support for those living in the villages to ensure they stayed as safe as possible.
This included obtaining medical and food supplies, delivering meals from the restaurant to owners’ front doors, making daily phone calls to everyone to check on their wellbeing, and providing virtual entertainment in the way of newsletters, quizzes, reading material and DVDs.
Whilst visits from friends and family were discouraged, those who took advantage of the Wifi provided to each individual property were able to connect with loved ones through the various social media platforms.
Neil Davison, ERL’s Managing Director, said: “When a crisis like Coronavirus hits, older people are particularly vulnerable.
“Many live alone, with little or no family on hand to help, and the anxiety and isolation can have a serious impact on their health and wellbeing.
“We’ve received a lot of positive feedback from owners in our villages about the support provided during this very difficult time, and we are thankful that, with no cases of the infection in those communities, we were able to keep everyone safe.
“This is due in no small part to the valiant efforts of the magnificent teams on the ground in our two villages.”
Now, in the cautious stage of a return to some sort of normality, support teams are starting to get back to normal service, whilst still being available and more than willing to continue offering additional help for as long as is required to those who still want or need it.
The sales offices has also reopened, with strict hygiene and safety procedures in place, offering viewings by appointment, or video tours for those who still prefer not to venture out.
It’s evident that virtual viewings appeal to many and this is likely to continue for some time, even beyond the current social distancing regime, and ERL intends to retain this option for customers in future, together with the chat facility recently introduced on the website.
With the experience of Covid-19 and how it has affected existing owners in our villages, sales teams are now able to reassure potential purchasers of ERL’s properties of the additional benefits of living in a retirement community in such a situation.
Going forward, whilst ERL always chooses town or city locations (albeit on the outskirts to provide the benefit of a secluded and natural environment), with the desired local amenities and transport accessibility for its sites, there are certain additional elements that proven crucial when planning future developments.
ERL’s communities have large and beautifully laid out grounds and gardens, and the importance of these has been highlighted in recent times as they enable owners to get exercise, enjoy nature and the fresh air, and have contact with their neighbours in a safe environment.
This will continue to be prioritised as will providing extra private space by means of more balconies and patios.
Extra-wide corridors are already in place, essentially for the less able-bodied with mobility aids, but have also proved invaluable in ensuring adequate space for all owners and staff to move around without crowding, and this, too, will be an essential feature in ERL’s future plans.
Finally, as internet connectivity has proved to be such a lifeline for many, fast broadband access will be a must-have for all our future projects, as will extra hygiene measures such as hand-cleaning points near entrances.
ERL’s retirement villages aim to continue to provide not only a desirable option for retirees seeking an independent, enjoyable and carefree lifestyle, but also security, peace of mind and support in both ‘normal’ times and at times of crisis.
For more information about ERL’s developments; the Red House in Ripon, Boughton Hall in Chester and Mount Battenhall (under construction) in Worcester and to arrange a tour please visit www.erl.uk.com