We were curious to see what Eugene Marchese, Guild Living’s co-founder, had to say about future Guild Members and what they can expect to experience at a Guild Living Community. So, we decided to ask him a few questions to try to get a clearer picture.
In this Q&A with Eugene, we look to uncover who would benefit from living in a Guild community, how people might first react when moving in, and what people would love the most.
Why is Guild Living focused on urban centre locations?
We’re focused on urban centre locations because we believe that the next generation of people looking to move into later living will want to remain connected with their existing social network, infrastructure, amenities and services within their communities.
Can you describe what types of people you think would benefit from a Guild Living community?
I think people who want to maintain their independence for as long as possible would benefit from a Guild community. People moving into their third age who want to remain active and connected, people who want to continue contributing to society in a way that they’ve done their whole lives, will find that a Guild Living community suits that lifestyle.
How do you think people will first react to moving in and how (if at all) do you think their perception might change over time?
From my experience, we talk about these things, but people don’t really grasp them until they see them. People have this preconceived notion of what a retirement community looks like, just because of what is out in the marketplace. But I think there’ll be a lot of surprise and a lot of appreciation that there are other ways of doing later living.
What do you think is going to be the biggest challenge for people who are not yet, but potentially thinking of becoming a Guild Member?
From their perspective, I think the most difficult challenge will be this notion of leaving the security of the family home to an unknown destination. I think that’s driven by the fact that the current offerings in the UK don’t really meet what their needs and expectations are.
I think that by understanding what they really do need by doing research ‒ from a cognitive, emotional, physical and financial wellbeing perspective ‒ we can provide something substantially better. And I believe that will help them overcome the fear of leaving the family home.
What do you think people will love the most about moving into a Guild Living community?
From previous experience, I think the overarching answer I got from people is that they have all of a sudden repurposed their lives. They end up being able to have a very compelling reason to wake up every morning and be part of the community again – be part of a reason for being again, rediscovering their sense of worth, and understanding that their lives do matter.
Do you have any additional comments about our target audience or future Guild Members in general?
Our target audience, or future Guild Members, I believe is everyone that’s looking to live their best lives. I have parents, aunts and uncles who are in their 80s. Some of them have lost their sense of purpose and have fallen into this day-by-day, same routine and unfulfilling life. This is what really drives me personally because I think once we deliver our first project, the realisation will come that we can actually do better. That message will get out, and it will spread.
There is no doubt that each Guild Member will have various needs, come from various backgrounds, and have different motivations for moving. But, one thing that is for certain is that each one will be profoundly unique. And we hope that we can partner with all to provide the best environment for each Member to live an extraordinary third age.