Living in a retirement village saved my life

We’ve discussed retirement villages many advantages extensively with the Starts at 60 community but this week, we stumbled across a story that highlights one of the most important benefits of retirement living. Most of us don’t know, but living in a retirement village can save your life. And it did for John, a Starts at 60 community member.

John was going to sleep for the evening when he experienced a deep pain in his chest. Initially putting it down to a “golfing injury”, he went back to sleep only to wake a couple of hours later. His wife luckily had a medical background and immediately knew was it was: a heart attack. John, admitting later to being stubborn, refused to let her call an ambulance. Luckily his wife had covertly pressed the little red button in the corner of their bedroom whilst they bickered. This triggered a response that called an ambulance from the nearest hospital with the address and apartment number and also alerted village management.

The next day, John underwent a quadruple bypass. This was very unexpected – he had always been healthy. But if John’s wife hadn’t pressed that button, he probably wouldn’t be sharing his story with us today.

The next year came around, and with it came the challenges that so many people with similar conditions and surgeries struggle with. The rehabilitation process means you don’t have the ability to continue to attend to social functions and everyday activities, you can’t move much or cook and clean for yourself for the first few months and you spend countless hours in doctor appointments and hospitals.

But for John, his experience wasn’t as painful as it is for so many others – why? Because he had every bit of support he needed from his surrounding environment. Living in the village meant he could spend time with the other men, watching movies in the theatre. He could still attend social functions in the café and at the restaurant without it straining him too much. John was able to keep his social life alive and this stopped the feelings of isolation that so many people experience after going through something like he did.

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He also didn’t have to worry about cooking and cleaning for himself. Not because he had his wonderful wife there to look after him, but because when things became too much for her, they had help a call away that was facilitated through the village. They could have meals delivered and the apartment cleaned as often as suited them.

But the best part was that the medical appointments weren’t too draining on John and his wife because many of the services he required were all available on site. He could conduct his physical rehabilitations on site in the gym and indoor pool. He was able to visit the pharmacy on site and for the first few weeks, all of his medications were delivered to his apartment and his GP was able to visit the apartment for check ups as he was registered with the retirement village.

It wasn’t just the ambulance priority that saved John’s life, it was the support that he had during the rehabilitation process that helped him to get his happy, active and healthy life back. And two years on, John couldn’t be more thankful for his decision to move into a retirement village and sharing his story with us.


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. Please note that while John does not live in an Aveo village, he felt his story was important to share with the community.