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Joan's Story

4th April 2018

Six and a half years ago, Joan moved to Dalkeith Heights Retirement Village in order to be closer to her daughter.

Originally from Sale, Joan is now aged 83 and enjoys living independently in her home while accessing the aged care services that Benetas provides to residents.

Joan’s house was the last one on the street for sale at the time. “I couldn’t believe it when I saw it,” she says.

“I walked in the door, the sun was shining through and it seemed to say – welcome.”

Joan comes from a large family with five children, 17 grand-children and 15 great grand-children, and there are two more on the way. Family photos are scattered throughout her cosy home alongside a collection of teddy bears given to her by members of her extended family.

Out the front is a small table setting and a manicured garden with rosebuds waiting to bloom. Through Benetas, Joan has just ordered a new recliner chair to sit at the front window in the afternoons, so she can enjoy the sun.

“I’m really happy living here,” Joan says.

Benetas provides a range of aged care services depending on the needs of each resident. In addition to the housekeeping services she uses, Joan enjoys the meals that are delivered, which removes the stress of cooking on a daily basis.

Staff also assist with changes inside the home – like arranging for a new mattress, and for Joan’s carpet to be cleaned and stretched out, making it easier to walk on.

Outside, the maintenance manager, Stuart, helps with some of the chores that Joan can’t do. These include maintaining the garden bed, washing down the walls, cleaning the windows and trimming back the trees.

“He’s great, he really is a good help,” Joan says, adding that is true of all the staff at the Village.

Joan is a member of the singing group established in the Village, which has about 18 members. Another member plays the piano to accompany them, located in the community centre in the middle of Dalkeith Heights.

“I belong to a little singing group here and we sing at some of the nursing homes.”

Another resident has set up a book group for studying some of the books in the Bible. Joan attends when she can.

Other optional social activities are scattered through the rest of the week for residents. A popular choice is Tuesday lunch at the centre, where people come to catch up and enjoy a break from cooking meals if they self-cater.

Joan likes being able to go at her own pace at Dalkeith Heights. When at home, she spends each day making sure she is up to date with her chores, doing the crossword, knitting or enjoying a bit of TV.

“It’s a lovely place. I’m very happy with the house and with the amenities that I am getting and being near my daughter means a lot to me,” she says.