SHARED LIV­ING

Auckland City Harbour News - - NEWS -

Shirley Wright lived alone for 15 years in Nel­son af­ter her hus­band died.

But mak­ing the move to Abbey­field in Auck­land, where she shares a large house with 11 other re­tirees, wasn’t too much of an ad­just­ment.

The sprightly woman who is ‘‘nearly 90’’ has vol­un­teered much of her time help­ing oth­ers, and still vol­un­teers for Age Con­cern lend­ing a friendly ear to el­derly peo­ple liv­ing in own homes who don’t have fam­ily.

‘‘Liv­ing with oth­ers was fine by me. You’ve got your in­de­pen­dence, you’re safe and you’ve got friends.

‘‘Best of all you’re stress­free which re­ally means you can pur­sue other in­ter­ests.

‘‘I don’t think any­body is ever bored here.’’

There are 15 Abbey­field lo­ca­tions in New Zealand of­fer­ing shared in­de­pen­dent liv­ing in a fam­ily-style house.

Shirley has lived in the Auck­land house for two-anda-half years.

She pays a weekly rent which cov­ers her own room with at­tached bath­room, bills, food and cooked meals.

The only things res­i­dents are re­quired to do is make their own break­fast, clean their rooms, and buy their toi­letries and laun­dry pow­der.

A live-in house­keeper pro­vides se­cu­rity, cooks lunch and din­ners and does most of the clean­ing.

Shirley knew about Abbey­field; there are three in and around Nel­son, though she chose Auck­land to be near her son. Her daugh­ter lives in Christchurch and has enough on her plate deal­ing with the af­ter­math of the earthquakes, she says.

‘‘It was just a mat­ter of come and have a look and wait for a room that was avail­able.

‘‘It’s great here ... it’s homely and friendly. We’re more or less like a fam­ily.’’

Car­ing com­mu­nity: Shirley Wright en­joys the com­mu­nity at­mos­phere at Abbey­field house in cen­tral Auck­land.

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