09 December 2019   

Daphne Outten's life was transformed when she moved to Cardinal Freeman three years ago

A few years ago, Daphne Outten was one of many Australian seniors who would describe their lives as lonely and isolated.

Then living in a flat in Dulwich Hill, Daphne had spent the previous eight years helping care for her husband Keith, who was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s in his mid-fifties. But when Keith’s condition reached the stage where he needed full-time care and had to go into a nursing home, Daphne began to hate living alone in what she describes as an “empty, old flat”.

“Once I got home from work in the evening and closed the front door behind me, I felt very lonely by myself,” Daphne says. “I had friends, and I spent a lot of time with Keith at his nursing home in Croydon, but I found living alone in that flat so isolating and cut off from everything.”

Today however, the 65-year-old’s life has been utterly transformed - and all because of a chance visit to the site of the Cardinal Freeman village in 2015, while investigating nursing home options for her husband.

“The thought of moving to an over-55s village had never occurred to me,” Daphne relates. “Instead, I was just thinking about downsizing from our twobedroom to a one-bedroom flat, located as close as possible to wherever I could manage to find a suitable nursing home placement for Keith.”

But visiting Ashfield’s Opal Aged Care facility one day as part of her search, Daphne noticed signs advertising brand new apartments then under construction in the Cardinal Freeman village, adjacent to Opal, and decided to find out more.

“As soon as I discovered all the services and facilities on offer in this village and the quality of the apartments’ fixtures and fittings, I decided to purchase off-the-plan,” Daphne says. “I moved in three years ago, to the first block in Cardinal Freeman to be opened, and it’s been absolutely wonderful, every single minute of every day.

“Moving here has helped me so much. I’m meeting new people all the time and have never had such a lovely group of friends. And as for my apartment; I tell you what, it’s like living in a luxury hotel or holiday resort. The day I first walked in, I sat down and thought to myself, ‘I’m home!’ “And that feeling has never left me.”

Only recently retired from full-time work, Daphne now volunteers three days a week at a local Vinnies and spends time almost every day with her husband at his nursing home in nearby Croydon. In between however, her social life is absolutely packed.

“You don’t have to join in any village activities if you don’t want to, it’s entirely up to individuals to decide for themselves what they wish to do. But the choice is so wide, there’s something for everyone,” explains Daphne. “A group of us were having a glass of champagne in the clubhouse the other day to welcome a new couple who’d just arrived, and the lady said: ‘We looked at so many places, but just fell in love when we came here’.

“And that’s how we all feel; loving every minute.”

Find out more about Cardinal Freeman’s wonderful community. Call 1800 72 71 70 today to speak to Jill and arrange a tour of the stunning apartments and over 55’s community.

This testimonial contains views and opinions expressed by residents of Stockland. The views, opinions and commentary of such individuals may not represent the views, opinions and commentary of all residents of Stockland. Stockland does not accept any liability for loss or damage arising as a result of any reliance on, the views, opinions and commentary of such individuals.

You may have to pay a departure fee when you leave this village. You will have to share any capital gains received with the operator of this village.