Latest Ryman news

Diana Isaac on streak for best 'large South Island village'

Written by Alan Wood
on September 08, 2023

The Diana Isaac Retirement Village team has picked up a top Aged Advisor People’s Choice Award, with the team ecstatic to be celebrating yet another win as the best in the south.

It is the third year in a row the Mairehau, Christchurch village has won the Best Large Retirement/Lifestyle Village in the category for South Island villages. The awards, including those in 2021, 2022 and 2023, are based on hundreds of reviews and ratings for retirement facilities throughout the country.

Aged Advisor NZ, which runs the awards, provides consumer information and also news about the aged care industry and village living offerings.

Village Manager Steve Wakeman says the gong reflects many aspects of village life, including the high standard of the care provided under Ryman Healthcare’s continuum of care model.

Residents and those who move into the village are aware of the amazing facilities in the resthome, hospital and special care unit and also of the fantastic array of activities within the village that help form a wonderful community.

These are all contributors to reviewers naming Diana Isaac as a village of choice, he says.

“To me it’s pretty exciting that we’ve been able to carry on the tradition with the award. Because we’ve changed a clinical manager, we’ve changed a village manager but the village still keeps rocking, so that’s a real tribute to everybody.” Prior to taking up the role at Diana Isaac, Steve was Village Manager at Rowena Jackson village in Invercargill.

Diana Isaac also won People’s Choice awards in 2018, 2016 and 2015 and was a close runner up in 2020 and a finalist in 2019 and 2017.   

According to some of the comments, Diana Isaac is defined by its quality of care. There is a strong team of Unit Coordinators, and two wonderful Clinical Managers in Anna Scott and Shane Vargas, Steve says.

“That’s what people look at first, then that trickles over to the independent side of the village, because they have some real confidence that the village is operating at a high level.

“In the independent side we have a real push from both residents and staff to be the friendliest village in the country.”

The village continued to innovate in terms of its offering, including continually adding to its myRyman App, an online activities port, run with a strong village support team including Resident Experience Coordinator Tayara Branco and Activities & Lifestyle Coordinator Liz Robson. “I think this is a really important thing that the activities we are doing – they’re really unique and creative, everything from bonsai workshops to river cruise outings.

At Diana Isaac there are existing services such as an e-cab (an e-taxi for residents), a dedicated café, and a village redesign which is well underway.

Other Ryman villages to feature as finalists in the 2023 People’s Choice Awards include Charles Upham, Anthony Wilding, Bert Sutcliffe, Keith Park, and Ngaio Marsh in the aged care category.

Aged Advisor NZ General Manager Tania Ryan says Aged Advisor has always aimed to give everyone a voice, to provide an easy way for residents, staff and whanau to share their individual experience. “Aged Advisor is the only independent review site for our senior generation, and they love seeing the amazing reviews that come in each year for the annual awards,” Tania says.

About Ryman Healthcare:

Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns and operates 45 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia which are home to more than 13,900 residents and the company employs 6,800 team members.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Group Corporate Affairs Manager Silke Marsh on +64 27 294 3609 or Communications Advisor Maryvonne Gray on 027 552 0767.

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