Phyllis Carlisle moved to Bay Village to feel safe – and in the end got a whole lot more.
She loved her life in Normanville, a small coastal town in South Australia, but after her husband passed away, she felt she had lost her sense of security.
Phyllis has lived at Bay Village for 13 years but remembers her first visit like it was yesterday.
“As soon as I saw the village I thought ‘that’s it, I’m moving in,’” she says. “So I went straight to the office and there happened to be a unit available the following week.”
She did have reservations about leaving Normanville. Her whole life had been there – friends, church, clubs. “I had such lovely friends,” she says. “But the thing is, you make new friends.”
Phyllis now loves her new community and takes advantage of all that retirement living has to offer. “You can be a hermit if you want to, but you’re silly if you are,” she says.
One of her favourite activities is the monthly Benefits+ Health sessions held at the village.
Each month a different health expert visits the village as part of a lecture series to educate residents on different health matters. “The talks are so interesting,” she says. “We learn things to make our lives easier – new exercises and practises.”
For instance, podiatry tricks to make ageing feet more pliable. “We were given exercises where we pick pegs up with our toes and drop them in a basket,” explains Phyllis, who has suffered from stiff feet. “It has made such a difference.”
And a sleep specialist to help residents at bedtime. “We learnt breathing and relaxation exercises to help us get off to sleep.”
All health topics are covered, even those that are less comfortably discussed. “There was a continence talk coming up and I thought ‘well, this will be an awkward subject’,” says Phyllis. “But it wasn’t awkward at all.”
In fact, like most sessions, she says it brought the group together. “Different people piped up about different things and it was all so friendly. There was no embarrassment and lots of laughs.”
For Phyllis, these sessions are “more than interesting. As far as my life is concerned, a must-do.”
She has also greatly benefited from Benefits+ onsite consultations. A recent blood test showed she had high levels of uric acid, which if unmanaged could lead to gout, so she spoke with her village manager Terri who set up an appointment with a dietitian in the onsite Professional Room.
“I had a one on one consultation which changed my life completely,” says Phyllis. “The dietitian educated me about what I could and couldn’t eat and my health has drastically improved. It was worth every cent.”
Through the Benefits+ program, is exclusive to Stockland residents, who receive five free consultations a year followed by discounted sessions.
“It’s so wonderful to be able to tell the right person what your problem is and they will help you out,” says Phyllis.
There is also a team of people within the village who are able to help with things other than health such as the village gardener and maintenance staff. “They’re very obliging,” she says. “I have four fruit trees and the gardeners help me prune them.”
She loves her garden and the communal surrounds. “I feel privileged to live in this village,” she says. “Everything is cared for with love and it really shows.”
However the companionship of the other residents is where Phyllis benefits the most. “I’ve made lots of friends who I love,” she says. “I never feel lonely in our village.”
She enjoys many of the village outings, participates in crafts and of course the Benefits+ sessions. With Benefits+, residents also receive discounts on shopping, event tickets, travel and fuel – simple touches to contribute to a comfortable existence.
And this has proven the case for Phyllis. “I feel very glad that I did come here – very glad indeed,” she says.To find out more about all the benefits of retirement living, head to: https://www.stockland.com.au/retirement-living/life-in-retirement to find a village near you.
“I’ve made lots of friends who I love,” says Phyllis. “I never feel lonely in our village.” - Phyllis Carlisle