Making the journey from the family home into a retirement village is a change that can be equal parts exciting and daunting.
For some people, leaving a place they have called home for years – sometimes decades – and going through the process of downsizing and embarking on a new life stage can feel chaotic and stressful.
Once they are settled in though, Carinity retirement village residents invariably report that making the move was the best decision they’ve made.
New residents are often looking for a place that is accessibly designed for senior living; a village that is safe; where the people have Christian values; and ideally placed close to family, friends and health amenities. It is a juggling act to find the perfect place to retire.
For Bev and Bill Kippen, their move to the Carinity Brownesholme retirement village in Highfields meant a new lease on life.
As Bev puts it: “We have the freedom to enjoy a good quality of life. We’ve had a lot better health. I think we got everything that anyone could ever ask for. I love it. I sit out here and think, ‘Aren’t we lucky?’”
Bev and Bill relocated from a remote country town where they travelled up to two hours for access to health services and specialists like the optometrist, dentists and x-rays.
Bev said since moving to Carinity Brownesholme, she and her husband are able to enjoy a better quality of life knowing health services are easily accessible and they are able to continue doing the things they enjoy.
For Patti McNaught, a new resident at Carinity Brownesholme, the downsizing process was challenging. However, she was able to hold on to some items of sentimental value because of the spacious size of her retirement villa.
Transitioning into retirement from living on acreage offers great peace of mind for Patti because of the welcoming Carinity Brownesholme community and extensive security system.
“I lived on small acreage before I moved here and because my husband was in hospital most of the time in the nine years before he passed away, I was often frightened to be on my own,” Patti said.
“The first time I slept here I felt safe. We have the Tunstall (security call system) and with one call we are asked if we need an ambulance, plumber or police. Plus we have sensor security lights fitted. This is what my family wanted for me. A safe environment,” she added.
Carinity Wishart Gardens residents Margaret-Anne and Barry Hyde have embraced their new life in retirement and community living. Margaret-Anne is the Resident Secretary at Wishart Gardens and Barry is the buggy driver – supporting residents with mobility issues by picking up and dropping them off. Similar to Patti, downsizing took some time to get used to.
“The hardest thing about leaving our home was leaving the broom cupboard door behind. It showed the height of our grandchildren from toddlers to teenagers,” Margaret-Anne said.
But the effort to make the switch to a retirement living village was worth the effort, with the Hyde’s enjoying the freedom their new community provides.
“At first, moving into a lovely unit, freshly outfitted felt like moving into a holiday home. Barry really felt the weight lifted from his shoulders with the wonderful gardeners here taking that burden from him,” Margaret-Anne said.
Carinity’s Retirement Village Manager, Maddison Jones, said residents of Carinity’s five retirement communities “come from all different backgrounds and places.”
“The common requirement is a place that is safe and secure to give residents confidence about their belongings and their own wellbeing,” Maddison said.
“Additionally, the social side and mental health of residents is important, and we have beautiful communities that genuinely care and check in with one another in this significant life change.”
Read more stories from Belong: Summer 2023 | Edition 28