VIL­LAGE LIFE

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Down­siz­ing and mov­ing to a re­tire­ment vil­lage was a no­brainer for Tom and Wendy Hick­mott.

The pair, in their early 80s, were look­ing for a home at­mos­phere with the po­ten­tial for longer-term care.

They moved into a large Re­muera com­plex which of­fers in­di­vid­ual liv­ing, as­sisted liv­ing, rest home, hospi­tal and de­men­tia care.

‘‘The time had come ... al­though we were very happy at Half Moon Bay,’’ Tom says.

‘‘We had won­der­ful friends there and it was a won­der­ful com­mu­nity but we felt that we had ap­prised our­selves of the op­tions and what we should be look­ing for which was a com­fort­able place, a se­cure place, a place that’s rel­a­tively close to fam­ily.

‘‘As it turned out it has been su­perbly sat­is­fac­tory.’’

The cou­ple spent their work­ing years dairy farm­ing in the Waikato and raised three chil­dren.

They moved

into

the re­tire­ment vil­lage six months ago af­ter 23 years in Half Moon Bay.

Get­ting in­formed on their op­tions was a big part of the process.

They know friends who have looked into mov­ing into a vil­lage, but that’s as far as they go. And as they get older, it be­comes too late.

‘‘The best thing is to be in a po­si­tion to make your own de­ci­sion, about where to go and when to go,’’ Tom says.

The cou­ple are happy with their three-bed­room town­house with bath­room, open­plan kitchen and din­ing and sin­gle garage.

They have a small man­age­able gar­den, se­cu­rity, and lots of ac­tiv­i­ties to get in­volved in such as golf, pe­tanque, swim­ming, crafts and the gym.

It’s like liv­ing in a re­sort, Wendy says.

‘‘We can be as so­cial as we want to be.’’ An ac­ci­dent prompted Rex Howe to as­sess his liv­ing ar­range­ments.

About 10 years ago, his wife Dora fell and broke a leg and an an­kle.

She could no longer cope with the stairs in their Ep­som home.

The cou­ple thought about putting in a lift – but Rex and his daugh­ter Gle­nis found an­other op­tion.

‘‘We looked at this house . . . and that de­cided us,’’ he says.

‘‘Gle­nis said if you sold your house and I sold mine we could af­ford to buy that house.

‘‘It was the best thing we did.’’

Rex, 93, is a for­mer fit­ter and turner who served in the navy for seven years.

He has three grand­chil­dren and, like most grand­par­ents, he would like to see them more of­ten.

He does what he can to help out with the clean­ing and gar­den­ing, though his daugh­ter does the cook­ing now.

‘‘We have an ar­gu­ment now and then which is only nor­mal. Es­pe­cially when she’s cook­ing and I might put my spokes in and say the wrong thing. But we’ve never had any big ar­gu­ments.’’

Rex says he made sure his daugh­ter was happy with the move.

‘‘I didn’t want my daugh­ter to do it un­less she was ab­so­lutely cer­tain,’’ he says.

‘‘It’s worked out good, es­pe­cially since my wife died.

‘‘Mov­ing here with my daugh­ter has been a good thing for me.’’

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