MP’s praise for North Walsham retirement apartments

Norman Lamb MP visits Linford Court in North Walsham. Norman pictured chatting to Vernon Hale in his apartment.
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY Norman Lamb MP visits Linford Court in North Walsham. Norman pictured chatting to Vernon Hale in his apartment. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Sophie Wyllie sophie.wyllie@archant.co.uk
Monday, June 2, 2014
7:00 AM

A retirement apartment complex which allows people to remain independent as well as being able to access care has been praised by a Norfolk MP.

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Health minister Norman Lamb visited people at Linford Court on Yarmouth Road, North Walsham, which was completed in 2012.

The development, owned by Norfolk-based Guild Retirement Housing, includes 23 apartments from penthouse accommodation to flats with balconies.

Currently there are 21 people aged from their early 60s-96 at Linford Court and everyone who lives there has bought the 125 year lease of their apartments.

Additional care can be provided for owners, daily meals can be cooked and activity sessions include exercise classes, trips out, a memory lane club and card games.

Mr Lamb, who represented north Norfolk, said: “I’m really impressed. What is very striking is how everybody is so positive about their experience here. It is the perfect balance because it allows people to maintain their independence but have the assurance of support.

“The owners have companionship and it is clear they are getting on and doing things together. This is the sort of thing we want to see more of.”

He added the concept behind Linford Court could be adjusted in other places to allow people who could not afford to buy “assisted living” apartments to rent them.

Vernon Hale, 79, a former highways and traffic engineer for Norfolk County Council, moved to the complex two years ago with his wife Mary, who died on May 10.

He said: “It has been tremendous living here. I have everything I need. I have close neighbours and I can keep myself to myself. It is a good all round combination.”

The complex employs seven staff and owners come from North Walsham, other Norfolk communities and across the country.

People who receive extra care pay for the service.

Michael Day, technical director of Guild Retirement Housing, said: “If you don’t need support you don’t need to pay for it. We try to keep it as non-institutionalised as possible.”

Guild Retirement Housing also runs a similar development called The Limes in Acle.

What do you think about elderly care in north Norfolk? Email sophie.wyllie@archant.co.uk

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