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There is no doubt that older people living on their own are not only suffering from loneliness but a fear of catching a deadly virus that is sweeping the world.

But if you are lucky enough to live in a safe haven, a retirement community, you will not only be looked after but can rely on experienced staff to provide meals, shopping and medication without you having to leave your front door.

Retirement operators are bending over backwards to make sure owners and tenants do not feel isolated – offering virtual quiz nights, fitness sessions and help to connect with family and friends.

Martin and Susan Bean moved into a spacious bungalow chalet bungalow last year, measuring 1,415 sq feet at Terlingham Gardens, a retirement enclave built by Pentland Homes in Folkestone.

The couple moved from a second floor two bedroom flat in Broadstairs, because they wanted more space.

“We moved mainly for the garden,” explains Martin, 74, a retired RAF aircraft engineer.

“We never had one at the flat.” He and Susan, a retired administrator, also have an upstairs bedroom and bathroom and two downstairs bedrooms with one en-suite. “When we can’t manage the stairs we will just move downstairs,” adds Martin.

There is also a stairwell large enough for a lift and separate carport.

Since the lockdown the couple have also enjoyed added benefits they would have had at their previous home including; regular vegetable and newspaper deliveries, visits from a fish and chip van and a roast dinner on Sundays, which have all been arranged by their residents group.  www.pentlandhomes.co.uk

Karrina Oki, sales and marketing director at Kent-based retirement housebuilder Pentland Homes has seen an increase in demand for larger properties over recent years.

‘As people are living longer, they want somewhere they can thrive knowing they won’t have to move again in the future, with space to host friends and family.’