The best kept secret in caring for older parents 39



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As our parents or other loved ones grow older, their ability to remain in the family home, coping well, is sometimes challenged. Illness, isolation, physical injury, loss of hearing or the loss of a spouse can be significant to a loved one’s ability to cope around the home and everyday. It can place a wieldy weight on the lives of the baby boomers who are caught looking after both parents and children, sometimes from different cities or even different countries.

And it is hard, especially when your parents are not ready for full blown “care”, but they do need some assistance to maintain their independence. A Lendlease Serviced Apartment is the ideal solution, offering independent living with assistance with daily tasks like cooking and cleaning.

Bernadette Fraser has five children, four of whom are spread across the world, and at the age of 74 decided after a run of bad health, struggling with the isolation of having to stay home, that she needed to find a different way to live.


Bernadette Fraser
Bernadette Fraser

“After retirement, I missed people around me. It is very hard to adjust to not going to work and having people around you. Being so ill, I had three weeks when I wasn’t well at all. This was a turning point in which it became clear to me that I couldn’t cope by myself. And, whilst she’s wonderful, I couldn’t really go on relying on my daughter who had a family of her own, knowing each time I fell over she would have to drop everything and come over.

It was my decision to find a solution and I made it and I am glad I did”.

Bernadette, her daughter and grandson spent a lot of time understanding the different living options in care and retirement living before settling on a Serviced Apartment, knowing it was something that offered the best of both worlds.

“My daughter and my grandson looked around Camberwell before they found Goodwin Close, a Lendlease Serviced Apartment. I was very happy to come out and have a look and when I arrived I knew it was right. I was overcome the minute I walked in by the spacious and bright feel of the village. My apartment is just the right size, with a kitchenette, so I can prepare breakfast and light snacks, a lounge, a dining area for a table and two chairs, and the spacious bedroom, with a big ensuite bathroom.

Having come from a two level house, which was becoming very hard to manage, it seemed like a godsend to Bernadette.

“And to add to it, the apartments are cleaned once a week by cleaners. All I have to do is a little dusting. I said hooray!”

Following the move the benefits for Bernadette really kicked in – “my health improved; in fact I think I blossomed having people around me and things to do with others again. I think I was getting very isolated at home. Looking back, it all started in the years after retirement. I missed having people around me and it really sent my health downhill”.

“The move was a real turning point for me. Having been a nurse throughout my career, it is very hard to adjust to not going to work and having people around you”.

Bernadette is loving it at Goodwin Close, and is thriving five years on. “I have also joined Probus and I go to water aerobics on Mondays and Thursdays and have found so many new friends”.

It is a story many of us worry about for our parents as they age and it is harder if we live a distance away and can’t keep an eye out for them.

The ability for boomers to step in and become the primary caregiver for their elderly loved ones is limited in this day and age, with the high cost of living and the expectations of people working longer.

Lendlease Victoria is holding a number of information sessions at their Serviced Apartments over the coming weeks. You will be able to hear about the benefits of Serviced Apartments, tour the village and view properties available for sale.

Events are being hosted at the following locations. To RSVP or for more information please call 1800 361 371.

Koorootang Court, Mt. Martha – Monday 31st August, 2pm-3.30pm

Fiddlers Green, Berwick – Tuesday 1st September, 2pm -3.30pm

Meadowvale, Pakenham – Thursday 3rd September, 2pm-3.30pm

Port Phillip Village, Altona – Friday 4th September, 2pm-3.30pm

Highvale, Glen Waverley – Tuesday 8th September, 2pm-3.30pm

Forest Hills, Nunawading – Wednesday 9th September, 2pm-3.30pm

Goodwin Close, Blackburn South – Thursday 10th September, 2pm-3.30pm

Classic Residences Brighton, Brighton East – Friday 11th September, 2pm-3.30pm

This post was sponsored by Lendlease. It was written as we feel it offers valuable insights into a topic important to the Starts at 60 community. For more information on this event, please call 1800 361 371.

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  1. Although I don’t live in a serviced apartment, I do live in a Village and it’s the best thing I could ever do for myself, I have lived here 6 years and never regretted for 1 minute moving here. Besides having wonderful friends you have the security of a gated community and many benefits you simply don’t have living in a house on your own, this also is a Lend Lease Village and no this is not an ad Margie Nyholm.

    3 REPLY
    • Some of the monthly service fee covers some things you would otherwise have to pay for such as building insurance, front garden maintenance and the use of all the facilities, so I don’t find it that bad.

  2. Well, in a perfect world – this would happen. Unfortunately in my family, it’s the complete opposite. Insanity rules 🙁

  3. Robyn Curtis if you read what I wrote I was referring to the LEND LEASE VILLAGE I LIVE IN, I guess some people don’t take the time to read though, that’s the problem these days.

  4. Weight loss ads and now lend lease ads. Shouldn’t the ads be separate to the stories and comments. Perhaps not. Is this how it’s done now.

  5. Robyn Curtis I prefer Virgin to Jetstar, I drive a Ford and have a loan with CBA. Oh heck! This must be an ad…. Get a life.

  6. Well good for you Trish – nice for some. Unfortunately not everyone has the money to buy into one of those corporatised, gated communities with everything laid on. Personally I would rather see genuine community living where it doesn’t matter how much money you have – it used to be called family! I would not live in one of those places even if I were given the keys to the door. Fortunately I am in a position to be able to live with my sister, sharing expenses so that we can both care for our 94 year old mother (as she did her mother before her and her mother before her) and I am well aware not everybody can do that ….. but wouldn’t it be nice?

    9 REPLY
    • Robyn Curtis why are you so angry? Yes there are vey expensive Villages around however the village I live in is affordable because there are many people who live here and are also on the FULL AGED PENSION as I am, so get your FACTS STRAIGHT.

    • Nope not angry Trish Daley – what ever gave you that idea? Could it possibly be because you are so defensive? Perhaps you could let everyone know how much you paid upfront to get into the complex so those who are considering it as an option, will know whether it is a possibility …… no thought not. Please don’t insult my intelligence by telling me it is not about money. If you’ve got it you will be fine, if you don’t, not only are you on your own but you are also deemed to be less worthy! I am not having a go at you, I detest the system where the have-nots are going to get less and less and that is in part because the more we have, the greedier and more selfish we become. Human nature I guess!

    • Robyn I feel very sorry for you because you only think you know how villages work, you don’t so maybe if you get a chance do yourself a favour and check them out , you maybe pleasantly surprised.

    • It does sound like Robyn got out of bed on the wrong side this morning Yes Trish I have friends that live in one as well & they love it & they are not what you would call wealthy people either.

    • Not for me Trish, but I would like to think that those who would like to live in such communities are not excluded because of money (or lack of it). Please correct me if I am wrong – you would surely have to have thousands of dollars to be able to buy into them. No Lyn Bradford, I NEVER get out of bed on the wrong side …. Life is far too short and I have too many things to do. Speaking of which, time I got off FaceBook and did something productive. Incidentally the point I was making initially, that the article was a Lend Lease promotion and I still stand by that

    • some of us, after bad relationships, end up with no capital and really do just survive on a pension. While this is ok, I really would like to see more rentals available for those of us who can’t afford to buy, but would rather live among people our own age

    • Phyllis while I was looking around 6 years ago I came across some villages that you didn’t have to buy into, so for people with a computer if they want that type of life style you could do a search, I’m not sure how many there were however there were several.

    • Doesn’t happen much now.
      Much more stress on the younger ones bringing up a family now. Really it is true.
      They can only help out for a little while & you shouldn’t expect too much. However a call weekly and visits and 2nd weekly outings are essential for their well being or they feel unloved.

  7. Sounding very much like one of the Sheeple Sandy Rodman. Maybe you can explain how that is NOT a Lend Lease promotion. Surely you don’t believe everything you read ….. Surely not?

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