For years Velma Ruddy had driven past the retirement village that sits on the corner of Red Beach and Whangaparaoa Roads. Little did she know that one day she’d be living there herself and feeling it was the perfect place to call home.
Originally from the Cape Town area in South Africa, Velma’s introduction to New Zealand began when her son and daughter immigrated here 18 years ago. “My son would call us and tell us how much he loved the New Zealand way of life, so four years after my family moved we decided to follow them,” says Velma. “Even though we hadn’t seen the country before, we thought let’s just ‘live like Kiwis do’. As it turned out, we fitted in really well.”
After spending 4 years in Wellington, the couple moved north to Whangarei where they spent another 4 years. But after Velma’s husband passed away, she made the decision to be closer to her family who lived at Manly Beach on the Whangaparaoa Peninsula and on the North Shore.
“The funny thing is, I used to drive past Hibiscus Coast Village every time I visited my son. It always looked really nice but I had no idea what went on inside! Then one day I thought ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained, so I simply drove on in and had a good look around,” says Velma.
“Right there and then I knew this was the place for me. The village had a warm and welcoming feel – a really good energy about it. After coming back to look at various living options, I chose a fantastic serviced apartment that suited me right down to the ground. Plus it was very affordable and had more than enough space for my most precious possessions. After four and half years here, I can honestly say I’ve loved every minute of it.”
Another attraction for Velma was the maintenance-free living and a personal support package that includes a weekly apartment clean and change of laundry – all handled by village staff. On top of that Velma enjoys three delicious meals a day – her favourite being the yummy roasts that get served up on Wednesdays and Sundays!
The active lifestyle is also something Velma loves. She was a keen bowler, but these days you’re more likely to find her taking part in the village exercise classes or playing table tennis. “There’s never a dull moment here. There are games, clubs and all sorts of functions to enjoy. Plus we do some great little excursions like the beach walks we take in the local area,” she says.
Add in the security and wonderful staff and it’s no wonder Velma calls the serviced apartment living at Hibiscus Coast Village a dream come true. “I can’t speak highly enough of the village, staff and the lifestyle I enjoy. I have everything I could possibly want. I can be me,” says Velma.