Ryman Community News

Resident stories James Wattie

I intend to come in saucy, get pickled in the process & go out canned!

Written by Margot Boock
on March 03, 2021

Caroline Kells is chic and sassy and oozes enthusiasm for her new home at James Wattie Retirement Village in Havelock North.
Her architecturally designed townhouse is tastefully decorated with stunning artworks. They all have a story behind them including the bright painting of her three sisters watching over her in the kitchen.
“You don’t really know what it’s going to be like until you get here, but it’s fabulous. If you don’t want to mix you don’t need to, you can be private or go out and enjoy the fun.

“I like to be with other people and relax in my own beautiful surroundings.”
Caroline moved from Wellington where she worked 46 years for NAC and Air New Zealand but has returned to her roots where she grew up on a farm in Central Hawkes Bay.
Her family still live in the area, and on her first morning in her new townhouse she woke to the familiar smell of the earth and home. “At first I thought – ‘am I home on the farm?’
“Our parents would be so happy to think of us all back here together.1105                          Caroline in her new townhouse at James Wattie village

“Everyone looks so happy and healthy. I chose this townhouse and I have a view of the orchards, gorgeous sunsets, the big open sky and a beautiful view to the hills.

Coming into the village when it’s new is a huge advantage. Caroline has a brand-new townhouse in a location she chose off the plans along with a stunning choice of high-quality interior furnishings. When Caroline retired, she didn’t want to buy another townhouse and have the worry of maintenance, rates and insurance.

“It’s just so wonderful! If the shower starts playing up, I don’t have to find a plumber. All my friends in Wellington are shocked at the rates increases.” Buying into the village the weekly fees are fixed.* and they include rates, insurance, maintenance and 24 hour monitored emergency alarms. It’s a huge advantage for residents.

“Once I finished work, I thought, ‘Who will know if something happens to me in the night?’” It could take a long time. Here, I have support close by and emergency alarms in my townhouse.”

Caroline enjoys exploring the surrounding area with others, on the village walks and has discovered lots of new places for coffee. Mah-jong is a favourite and the village provide a communal space and refreshments for them to play so no one has the burden of entertaining as well. “Some of my friends were surprised with my move. Not everyone can comprehend that we are swinging 70’s having a fabulous time,” she laughs.

“I feel so blessed; I can’t believe it – and I did it all on my own through the uncertainty of a pandemic. I’m not young, but I’m young at heart.

“It’s the best decision I’ve made in 50 years!”

*Some conditions apply

About Ryman Healthcare:

Ryman was founded in 1984 and has become one of New Zealand’s largest listed companies. The company owns and operates 43 retirement villages in New Zealand and Australia which are home to more than 12,750 residents and the company employs 6,300 staff.

Media advisory: For further information, photos, interviews or comment please contact Corporate Affairs Manager David King on 03 366 4069 or 021 499 602 or Communications Advisor Maryvonne Gray on 027 552 0767.

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