OVER the past year I have been investigating the retirement options open to people as they grow older.

I am seventy-years-old and I have this feeling that if I don't sort my future out then I will sleep walk into a care home or nursing home. No offence to the owners of such homes but it's not what I want.

I want to be in control of my life not social services or even my family. I am happy where I am at the moment - nice bungalow, nice village - but I know that staying in my own home is not a guarantee of staying there until the end. Today a report from the ONS stated that only about a third of people die in their own home. Not a nice thought but neither is the time when the social services or the family say "time to move to a care home as you cannot take care of yourself."

There must be another way but have you looked lately at what is available in the area - not really anything that will allow me to stay until 'you know when' except maybe the Extra Care facility but I'm looking to stay part of the community at large not be segregated.

So it's down to me to try to sort out living arrangements which would keep me in the community, within a community of ages 55 and upwards say, a place where help increases as I need it (with this help being the background not the foreground), a lockable door to a private domain that is an upgrade, not a downsize.

This could be a good project for you to be in on, so anybody interested in bringing retired living into the 21st century and making your family and friends jealous as you upgrade your life?

No firms, companies etc are associated with this project (except the Wales Co-operative Centre who have seen the proposal); it is my idea to ensure a good retirement to the end for my wife and myself and others.

Ian Hooper

Adenfield Way