Riviera Reporter
Riviera Reporter

Rent an apartment at the new “Albert” residence for seniors

A new prince in the name and shape of Albert is arising to give home, security and succour to senior citizens downsizing on the Cote d’Azur. Albert was, of course, the much loved husband of Queen Victoria and now his princely presence is taking root in a residential complex for seniors in Mouans-Sartoux, virtually next door to the maison de retrait known as Victoria, which is managed by Emera.

Work on the 33-apartment block – officially known as Emerys Albert – is due to be completed early in 2016 and Albert has enhanced his reputation with several renters already signed up. Yes, folks, you read that correctly, paying guests. The Sunny Bank Association and the commercial partners Emerys and Emera will take care of all your worries in return for a monthly rental. Albert will give its guests an air of great independence and a four-star state of comfort. All the rooms are airy and delightfully fitted out with the very latest equipment. Renters can bring their own furniture and pets; there is a communal laundry and a spa. Services include a Monday to Friday concierge, and the restaurant offers half-board to full-board, and even those special occasions can be catered for.

Victoria retirement homeVictoria retirement home in Mouans-Sartoux, run by Emera, offers flexibility in the length of stays, 24 hour security and hotel-standard comfort with a variety of leisure activities. Next door you’ll find The Grange, Sunny Bank’s Charity Centre in close support of residents.

The district of Mouans-Sartoux offers a great shopping opportunity, specially for the ladies, while the local cinema and many very good restaurants are also close by. You can get groceries virtually at home by merely stepping across the road to the Casino supermarket.

Albert’s welcoming staff will be taught English (in addition to French, of course) and are very aware of the huge decision made by guests in giving up a much loved home. They are determined, as their leaflets boast, to help renters enjoy their new lifestyle in a secure and, they say quite rightly, tranquil environment.

The Queen at Victoria

The walls of her sitting room are lined with paintings drawn by her husband, Commander Kenneth Buckel RN, and despite her failing sight, widow Trixie, 97, looks at them every day. For such are the wonderful memories of the 70-plus years they shared with each other. Yet this indomitable lady, loving and effervescent, does not live in the past. She is currently de facto Queen of Victoria, as sharp as a knife, witty, clearly spoken and anxious to meet new friends from Albert. She shows me the card from the other Queen, sending warm congratulations on her Platinum Wedding, and her face lightens with sheer happiness to have been remembered by Her Majesty.

Trixie BuckelTrixie Buckel, 97, proudly shares her congratulatory card from the Queen on the occasion of her 70th wedding anniversary.

But Trixie’s achievements before and since Kenneth died, have been great. She is teaching English to French staff at the Victoria retirement home and is full of praise for them. Trixie says that she gets her pupils to write in big block letters so she can see them and uses the magnifier on her iPad. Sunny Bank certificates are given to staff that pass language tests, and I am sure encouragement is always on her lips. She says she loves teaching and, clearly, her students love her. Trixie has two grown up children and obviously even at her stage of life, loves living and having friends around her. She sets a fine example to others that age has no limitations. Mrs Trixie Buckel is a gem, a highly polished one at that.

Oxford Historian, financial journalist and man about Mougins, Russel Taylor and his actress wife Nora, think Albert is the bee’s knees, and already signed up for a two-bedroom apartment some time ago, yet were still most enthusiastic when the Reporter spoke to them late July. Russel in particular was in ecstasy, comparing Albert with the harsher environment he found after a long spell of hospitalisation. “We booked rooms at the top of the building and the views are just wonderful. But, for us, the main joy is that moving to Albert will ‘give us independence’. We spent a long time talking it through and Nora and I came to the conclusion that we could not care for each other if we become older and infirm.”

Nora added, “You have to give up a large amount of your life by making a move like this but, in exchange, you are getting wonderful amenities and a great style of living.”

They feel that Sunny Bank and Emerys have left no stone unturned in their quest for perfection. Russel furthered, “We both think that this is the best move we have ever made. We really are looking forward to living in our new home … Albert suits us down to the ground.”

To find out more about 1-bedroom apartments at Albert, contact Alex Toledo: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. – 06 34 45 06 90.

The charity, Sunny Bank, provides financial and social support to the Anglophone elderly in the southeast of France. Visit www.sunny-bank.org or drop by every Thursday and 3rd Saturday.

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