Here at Cardinal Freeman, The Residences we have a great team of people that understand and care about the needs of our residents.Our team members work hard to ensure that you live in a comfortable and secure environment which will give you more time to do the things you love.
Meet our Sales Professional, Jill Fellowes. Jill is dedicated to helping you find the perfect home that will suit your lifestyle and requirements. Hear what she has to say as we ask her some of our frequently asked questions.
My name is Jill Fellowes, I’m a Sales Professional at Cardinal Freeman Village and I’ve been here since about February 2015 when we launched stage one.
Q: Describe your role as a Sales Professional.
A: My role as Sales Professional is to conduct interviews - lots and lots and lots of interviews. Follow-up with people doing the live telephone work, lot of tours, lot of explaining of financial contracts , that sort of thing. Which is obviously most important; if they don’t understand or don’t accept the financial structures in retirement living then they’re obviously not going to buy. So, we spend an awful lot of time explaining how things work in retirement villages.
Q: What are the home types available at Cardinal Freeman, The Residences?
A: The first two are governed by New South Wales legislation and they are independent living units and serviced apartments.
So an independent living unit is a one, two or a three bedroom apartment; people live completely independently as they do in their homes now, but they live in a nice secure environment and where there’s a great community around them.
Serviced apartments are for people who are still independent but they just need that little bit more support. They typically are like a bedsit or a hotel room, they’re given 3 meals a day, the laundry is done for them, and the cleaning of the apartment. They are still considered independent but they just need those extra services.
Then you can draw a big line underneath that, and then there is residential aged care facilities. People typically in the past called them low-care hostels or high-care nursing homes. They’re not called that anymore and there’s one title, that’s a residential aged care facility, and they’re for people who need 24 hour nursing service around them, so they’re vastly different types of accommodation.
Q: What are some of the benefits of retirement living?
A: Above all, the best thing about a village is the community, without a doubt. People will always fall in love with the property, first up. They love the way it looks, the community facilities and so on. But when they move in, that’s when it’s great, certainly from my perspective because they’ll come back and say to me, ‘I love it’, ‘I’m really, really happy’, ‘I’m so happy’, they use emotional words.
And it’s because of the community. That’s what they understand after a while is the best thing about it. They get involved in activities, they make new friends. Sometimes people move in and they’re in a bad place, by that I mean, maybe they’ve lost a partner or they’re lonely, and when they move into the village, they start to thrive, and that’s fantastic to see.
Q: What are some of the biggest misconceptions about living at a retirement village?
A: The biggest misconception would be that retirement living is the same as aged care. We don’t have to overcome that objection as much as we once did but that’s definitely a misconception. Sometimes when there’s bad press as well, as was mentioned at a recent information day, it can colour people’s opinion of how things work; financially and in every other way. But once they come to a village and sit down with a sales professional, they get to see how things really work and they can overcome any difficulties that people may have.
I think that people think they have to be old and frail to move in. Sometimes people say ‘I’m still okay’. So we have to talk to them about, well, that’s when you do move in, because you get to enjoy the community and all the activities. That’s probably the biggest misconception I think.
Q: What do you love most about your job?
A: What I like most is obviously the people, undoubtedly! It is great. In lots of selling jobs, you sell and then you don’t see people again – it’s very different in a retirement village obviously, because you get to live with them almost. I’m here every day, they drop in and see me, and it’s great. We get to know them really well, we get to know they’re families really well. It’s just a very warm, lovely environment to work in.
Q: What is the best feature of Cardinal Freeman, The Residences?
A: Well I think the clubhouse here is undoubtedly the best I’ve ever seen in a retirement village. The pool is amazing, everybody comments on the pool. The dance floor, the cinema, the craft studio is stunning as well, and then the lounge areas. I think the boys are catered for as well because they’ve got that beautiful billiards area and the bar, the pool bar basically, that they love.
The elegance of it, often people say to me they feel like they’ve walked into a five star hotel. There’s something for everyone in there to do, and the gymnasium of course to keep fit. Everybody, I think, is catered for and certainly when the village was completed, we had a lot of people saying ‘Woah!’ They did not expect it be as stunning as what it is.
Q: What would you tell someone who is thinking about making the move to a retirement village?
A: I think the best thing that they can do is come and make an appointment. To sit down with us, we’ll certainly go through all the financial information in great, great detail. People usually need to hear that once or twice that we’ll do that.
The other thing is to do is to get involved with some of the activities. Here we’ve got, on Saturdays and Sundays, the group gets together for Happy Hour from four o’clock till six o’clock. I’ve suggested lots of people go and meet the residents because by far that’s the best thing, where they’ll get a lot of information. We don’t live here, we can tell people a certain amount of information but if they hear it from the residents, it’s always better. Just come and trial it. Come and see what it’s all about. More often than not people are very surprised in a very positive way.
Book an appointment by calling 1800 72 71 70 and let Jill take you around Cardinal Freeman, The Residences at our free tours, held every Thursday at 10am.