Did these thoughts cross your mind at Christmas? 96



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For so many people, Christmas means one thing – family. It is one of the rare times of year where the customary thing is to spend time with family and for many, it is one of the only times of year that you see some relatives.

But with seeing your family at Christmas time comes the insight into who they are and how they’re going. We look at the grandkids and smile fondly at how they’ve grown, how the conversations we have with them slowly mature and how bright they are. We look at our kids and think how busy they are, how well they are doing at raising families and juggling careers and we look at our own parents, only sometimes this isn’t so rosy.

We look at our Mum and Dad and think that this year, they’re a little slower, a little quieter and perhaps a little unstable. I know from personal experience that year to year you begin to see them ageing differently. It is a sad thing realising that your parents are starting to get older and the stress it brings people is immense. We want to be there for our parents, to keep an eye on them, to help them when they’re in need and to make their lives easier, but in our own busy lives that can sometimes be a challenge.

So while Christmas is a time for family, it is also a time to consider the options. How can we make sure our parents are safe, happy and healthy without having to spend our lives worrying about them? Perhaps, when the festivities are done and we’re slowly returning back to our normal lives, this is the best time to broach the conversation about retirement living options.

We don’t want to force them into a lifestyle they might not want, and we don’t want them to feel that we’re trying to “offload” them or give them solutions that they may not need just yet. But we can start that conversation.

It’s when we need to open their eyes to the options and why they are just as important to you as they are to them. The peace of mind it could bring you knowing that they are somewhere safe, they have help if they ever want it, they can have medical attention so quickly in an emergency, they have social support and a network of friends and knowing they are keeping active in a community, is so important.

So many people aren’t aware of the options available to them. They don’t understand that a nursing home is so different to a retirement village. Perhaps making them realise that they have independence, a community and vibrancy around them is all they need.

There are independent living facilities available that let people in village communities live the busy and active life they love while not having to worry about the day-to-day maintenance. They are small homes with up to three bedrooms and spacious indoor and outdoor living areas so you can keep entertaining like you would in your own home, just with the added security and peace of mind. Or if they want an additional level of support there are serviced apartments that give them resources like meals, housekeeping and personal care as needed, while still in the comfort of their own home within the village community.

We all want our parents to age happily in an environment where they can enjoy themselves, and you have peace of mind about it all. So if you watched your parents over Christmas, knowing you want to keep them safe, happy and healthy as they age, perhaps now is the time to start this difficult, but important, conversation.


Tell us, how do you look after your parents as they age? What have you done to help them stay happy, healthy and safe? Share your stories in the comments below…


This article is sponsored by Aveo retirement villages.  For more information on your lifestyle options take a look at the Aveo website or call 13 28 36. Please note this article was written independently by the Starts at 60 team as it provides insights to, what we feel is, valuable and relevant content for our community.

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Junket was for dessert. It wasn’t something politicians went on.

    1 REPLY
    • Think that’s a comment on another article???

  2. Oh yes, and the moral of this story? Let’s just bundle the oldies into a home, just so we can carry on living our selfish little lives! Who needs children like that. Unless I end up with severe alzheimer’s or dementia, I will choose what is best for ME, thank you very much. This is a horrible and patronising article.

    2 REPLY
    • totally agree. Makes you think about all the help you gave baby sitting etc. selfish generation.

    • I am experiencing family upheaval at the moment as my 93 year old mother and 83 year old step dad stumble through their old age . It is so sad to see as they both have health issues . Dementia at its worst. AND we cant do a thing as they want to live in their home withou

      1 REPLY
      • Without help. So for those of you out there – maybe its an opportunity to just consider what is really best for you. Because two dearly loved people I know are destroying our family.

  3. A retirement village would be hell on earthg for my wife and I.What we need is more government help to stay in our own homes.Not shut up and fogoten.

    4 REPLY
  4. My daughter thinks I am bomb proof and always will be. Such confidence in me………… I hope she will be around to realize when her Mum needs help.

  5. I don’t see anything wrong with that article …. I’ll just add only because it’s the way I feel … ‘ we seem to have a use by date’ ….

  6. This is advertisement for Aveo not a concerned approach to loving family support. Shame on you Aveo for using Christmas with family to sell your expensive option! Yes we do support but families should realise it is their right and responsibility.

  7. Remember most retirement villages and (becoming more so due to privatisation of services) nursing homes are run for profit for their shareholders, not their residents.

    3 REPLY
    • Yes choose wisely I live in one since i lost my dear husband 6 years ago & its costing me a fortune to leave dead or alive just as bad cheeroi so take care I’m lucky I have a good family so be careful if going into one

    • Yes, they are run for profit and that’s why they will do everything they can to make clients happy, to keep the profits coming. Not an affordable option for retirees with limited finances unfortunately.

  8. The trouble with retirement villages is they don’t have them in areas close to the family therefore you are shuffled off and forgotten. They are designed to make you feel old we have looked and looked but they are all so depressing and so far away if nice that it is impossible. We went for a drive down the south coast and both said so many lovely places for a lifestyle village but the thinkers out there can’t seem to see this. The good options of happy lifestyle villages are few and far between. Yes I can see the kids thinking that their folks are getting tired my children broached this with us only this week.
    I told them if you can find a great place we will do it and we agree that would be best, guess what there search also turned up a big zero and now they are are worried too. There is nothing to retire to so maybe someone who reads this may take some action. It is retirement villages it is lifestyle villages that are needed

    5 REPLY
    • Our retirement village in on the Sunshine Coast, Noosaville, not an Aveo one, and is wonderful! Our family live close enough, one 20 minutes away, another one and a half hours. Been here 5 years, resolved all maintenance, repairs, challenges. We enjoy the resort like atmosphere, and our private courtyard, and lovely new home. Brought peace of mind! Released money by downsizing, so now travel a lot. There are many like ours in Queensland. It’s important to choose one where residents are of similar age as you, then we all age together. We don’t feel old in ours, but have lots of social activity and made many new friends.

    • Glen is sounds great I know qld and Sunshine Coast have very nice retirement villages but unfortunately Sydney and even areas 1.5 hours from Sydney are lacking

    • Hi Jenny Crowley, I’m not sure if this can help you but this link takes you to a list of of Aveo villages across New South Wales. We are hoping to bring you lots of information on all of the different villages run by different organisations across Australia early this year so stay tuned! http://www.aveo.com.au/retirement-villages/nsw/

    • …..when Starts at 60, does your study, Do show the privately owned Country Club villages owned by the Gull family…they have about five in Victoria and one in Queensland. Their focus is on happy residents, and the owner, Stewart is very hands on in visiting the villages, trying to do it right!

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