Southland couple Bill and Rowena Finlay

Retirement village living is a growing option for retirees in New Zealand, an option Invercargill couple Bill (89) and Rowena (86) Finlay have embraced.

The Finlays have been living at the Rose Lodge Retirement Village for three and a half years.

“It’s the best move we have ever made,” Mr Finlay said.

“It’s home away from home.”

The couple said they decided to move after their three-bedroom family home and garden had become too big for their needs. Initially, they had intended to move into a townhouse, but after one of their sons suggested if they were going to move, it would be better to move once, rather than having to move a second time in the future, they decided to move into a retirement village.

“We wanted a stand-alone unit with a small garden and somewhere where we would be able to maintain our independence,” Mr Finlay said.

The Rose Lodge Retirement Village had a self-contained unit available which met their needs, so they moved in, made friends with the other residents, and have not looked back.

“We could not be looked after better,” Mr Finlay said.

“It’s like an extended family really.”

Moving from a three-bedroom home to the retirement village unit had meant downsizing, limiting how many of their possessions they could take with them.

“Cleaning out the garage had been the hardest part of moving to the retirement village,” he said.

The biggest surprise for the Finlays was the extra services they received in the village at no charge, such as the newspaper and mail being delivered and daily visits from the rest home nurses to check on them.

Rose Lodge Rest Home and Retirement Village manager Fiona Soper said residents did not have to give up their independence when they moved into the retirement village, they could still come and go as they pleased, but it meant someone could give them a helping hand when it was needed.

Mr Finlay’s advice to people considering moving into a retirement village was to do their research, and make the move before they were forced to.

Abridged, taken from an article by Petrina Wright, Southland Express, 26 November 2017