Remaining Independent in Later Life

Hilary Inglis, 84-year-old resident of Lee House, a residential care home in Wimbledon, shares her journey of finding a fulfilling retirement with Abbeyfield.

Hilary found Lee House to be the perfect solution when she needed more help living independently. She enjoys the peace, friendliness, and sense of community, all while being nearby to her son. While she cherishes her private space, she also thrives on the social activities and outings.

In her own words, here is her story:

“I first learned of Abbeyfield and Lee House about six years ago. My son lives up the road and I remember thinking that, when my time comes and I need some extra help, it would be a very convenient option for me.

“Being near to him is very important. He is the only family I have, so with me living here he gets to visit me a lot. It made a big difference as I previously lived in Downton, near Southampton, so it was a long way for him to travel to see me, whereas now I am just around the corner. He tried to visit me most days.

"My initial impressions can be summed up as comfort, friendliness and peace."

“I’m very happy here. One of the things I found is that everyone is immediately made to feel welcome. A bit of peace and quiet from the traffic noise was also something I was definitely after.

“It’s nice to have my own private room and I can get away from the lounges and be on my own when I want to be. It is absolutely as I would wish it to be – a garden view and plenty of space to put things, so there is not a lot of clutter. I have room for a lot of the books I couldn’t bear to be without. I’m an avid reader and I even steered my son to work for the publishing house Penguin. I had to get rid of about 3,000 books in order to be able to get into my room!

“Moving into a care home has been a very good move for me, and at Lee House I have no worries. Downton was very nice but also quite isolating, and I didn’t like the feeling of being alone or that the only person who I would call for help if, say, I was unwell, was so far away.

“I get on with the other residents and I have made a number of friends, and I do like the fact that there is quite a strong sense of community. I don’t necessarily join in with all the group activities, but I like to be where my friends are just a for a good chat, and I like to listen to what’s going on.

Discover Lee House

Lee House is a care home situated in the idyllic Wimbledon village, where there is something for everyone. We are a five-minute walk from the quaint village centre where you’ll discover an array of chic shops, cafes and bars, as well as a selection of restaurants from around the world.

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“I also like to go out occasionally, but only if there are other people with me. Occasionally one of the women who works here take us into the village for a coffee and it’s nice to get outside once in a while – it makes me feel human again. Some of us also took a coach trip recently to the English-Welsh border. It was a real treat and I hope to go on more of those in the future.

“The lovely garden is particularly important to me. I’ve only been here since September 2023, so I’m eagerly awaiting the summer when I’ll be able to get outdoors and move around a bit more. I enjoy looking out at the garden through my French doors, it’s absolutely perfect. I used to love gardening and I’ll happily help if they will let me.

“If someone was looking to move to a care home, I was certainly advise them to come to Lee House, without a shadow of a doubt.”