To see Yvonne Hocking happily ensconced in her serviced apartment, it is hard to imagine that she was once hesitant to go out and had lost her confidence.
Living alone in her family home, she’d had a couple of falls which resulted in hip and knee injuries. Her daughter Clare and the rest of the family were growing increasingly concerned about her.
When Yvonne fell, and punctured her lung, she realised she could no longer “put on a show’’ that everything was ok.
Her one condition was that she would only look at Essie Summers Retirement Village which was just down the road from her Christchurch home.
Yvonne had always lived in the Beckenham area and she wanted to stay there.
Being a social butterfly, it wasn't surprising that Yvonne would obtain the lowdown on what Essie Summers was like.
A church friend warned her that if she was thinking about Essie Summers, she didn’t want to leave it too long!”
So, they arranged a visit which enabled them to form a real picture of village life.
In a lot of ways moving to Essie Summers was like "coming home.”
Even the Church service, held every Wednesday in the library, is officiated by her local priest Father Kevin.
The village was different to what they had imagined – they felt it had a lovely vibe and there were lots of happy faces.
Now that Yvonne is happy and secure in her serviced apartment, they are relieved that she is back to "being the boss” they laugh.
Or if she hears that something is happening, she is straight out to get in on the action.
It is safe to say Yvonne has certainly got her spark back.