With a big smile, Mary Saunders describes where she is from as ‘all over the place’. So how did she come to be living at Metlifecare’s retirement village in New Lynn? Well it’s the story that would need a lot more word space than this, but we can certainly cover the last 20 years or so!
In the 1980’s, Mary and her husband Wally were happily settled in the sleepy Northland harbour town of Whangaroa. Both keen boaties, they loved the laidback lifestyle.
“But then one day I hear the phone ring and I hear Wally talking away for a while. Then he hangs up and says ‘Mary, we’re going to Niue!’. And off we go on a new adventure,” she says.
Mary and her husband were to spend 14 years on the small Pacific island, setting up and then running Alofi Rentals, a rental car business that catered to the travellers. But after Wally fell ill and passed away, Mary’s son took over the rentals business and she made the move back to family in West Auckland.
“It was a big change, however, my daughter helped me find a nice place in Te Atatu. But not long after I moved in, I suffered a major stroke,” says Mary.
It was a long recovery with Mary spending 6 months in hospital. It was also clear that Mary was going to have long term mobility issues and that she would need daily assistance to ensure the best possible quality of life.
“My daughter in Kelston and son in Te Atatu looked at the various support options in the local area and thought the serviced apartment living at Crestwood really stood out. All I can say is they made a wonderful choice,” says Mary, who has now lived at the village for almost 9 years.
9 years of big smiles and brilliant support. “The staff here are wonderful, nothing is too much trouble. Every morning they pop in to say hello. My laundry is done. My cleaning is done. Each day I get breakfast delivered to my room and I have two meals in the dining room. Plus I have a lovely lady who comes in for two hours a day and gives me personal assistance with things like showering and treats me to a massage.”
The social side of village living has also been a big bonus for Mary. “I’ve made some great friends here and I’m always busy. I play Rummikub, 500 and Housie. I’m on the village Residents Committee and I love the get-togethers we have at Friday Happy Hour.”
With a village location that’s close to her children, family visits are also made easy, and because the staff take such great care of Mary, family can spend real quality time with her. And that’s ideal for everyone.
To find out more about the service apartment living options at Metlifecare’s Crestwood village, simply call Helena on 09 826 2018.