5 min read
In 2018, 89-year-old Robert Stanbridge was bedridden in a high-care nursing facility. His wife was living alone in their marital home in New Zealand and they decided she would become his carer and they would move to Australia to be closer to their family. Today, he is living with his partner again, walking freely without his frame and playing snooker with friends.

After relocating from New Zealand, Robert and his 83-year-old wife Cevelia now live together in their own home in Stockland’s Salford Retirement Village in Aberfoyle Park. Cevelia says living together in their own home, regular exercise, and social interaction have helped her husband reverse his premature ageing.

“Moving to Stockland has been the best move we’ve made.  My husband has a new lease on life,” said Cevelia. “We believe the change of environment has had incredible physical and mental benefits to Robert’s wellbeing. The social connections and exercise from walking and playing snooker has helped him regain not only his strength but his sense of self-worth.”

In the past nine months, as well as walking freely, Robert has started showering without assistance and can help cook dinner and hang out the washing.

The couple share a modest two-bedroom unit with a garden in the heart of Salford.

Cevelia said Robert was socially isolated in his previous accommodation, but now interacts with like-minded, similarly aged men every day.

Robert now plays snooker and indoor bowls at least three times per week and looks forward to each social gathering.  They’re a great group of chaps and we have a good laugh”, he said.

Research has shown older men who are socially isolated are at higher risk of depression and other health conditions, and often have feelings of being a burden and losing their connection to society.

Robert regularly sees the on-site podiatrist at the retirement village and has the comfort of knowing 24-hour medical support is only a button press away through Stockland’s in-home monitoring system.

Cevelia says Robert’s remarkable turnaround was by chance. Together with her adult children, Cevelia decided to move into a retirement village so she could care for Robert. However, with Robert’s new lease on life, the temporary solution has become a permanent lifestyle change.

Now Robert is about to turn 90, “I never thought I’d reach 90 now my next goal is 95,” he laughs.

For enquiries regarding Stockland’s Salford Retirement Village, please call 1800 72 71 70 or visit stocklandretire.com.au

“Moving to Stockland has been the best move we’ve made. My husband has a new lease on life.” - Cevelia Stanbridge