Selling your home and moving into a retirement village can be a stressful experience at the best of times, but factor in lockdown and the challenges ramp up even more.
That’s when Evelyn Page Sales Advisors Jo Seed and Steph Griffin have seen the importance of their role amplified tenfold.
“We have had residents move in once we reached Level 3 and they are so pleased to be here,” says Steph.
“What is a stressful time in general was added to with the complications of COVID and we have done our utmost to ensure that it has all gone well.
“The whole village team has supported and welcomed them.”
Adds Jo: “We’re finding there is a great level of interest because the ‘safe haven’ aspect of village life is very appealing.
For those who had signed a contract and were ready to move in but then were unable to, Ryman Healthcare sent out a wee gift package, which was very well received, says Steph.
“One couple of mine live rurally and could not believe they got such a generous gift delivered to them.
“It really made them feel spoilt and reinforced for them that Ryman is the right place for them.”
Not only that, says Steph, the family felt encouraged about their parents’ impending move.
“It is reassurance that no matter what COVID level we are at that we will still work with them and can adapt to changing timeframes and circumstances.”
Indeed, Jo and Steph can meet with people via Zoom to share information, photos and videos.
Prospective residents are also invited to join existing residents on the weekly Zoom presentations Ryman has organised with a variety of well-known speakers.
These have included Suzanne Paul, Hilary Barry, Peta Mathias, David Lomas, Simon Gault and even a very famous face from the UK – Shaun Wallace, aka the Dark Destroyer.
“Some people can’t believe we actually had an international guest from The Chase!” laughs Steph.
Jo says: “The online events have been great for us still in Level 3. There’s been such a great range that covers so many interests.”
Residents who normally enjoy taking part in Ryman’s in-house Triple A exercise sessions have even been able to do that online too.
“They can do them from the comfort of their living room. And in some cases our prospects are also joining their friends from their lounges in the community.
“It’s been a great way to connect, says Steph.
Getting a daily dose of fresh air still comes with some great options, with residents choosing to walk around the beautiful village gardens for exercise, or the other great asset right on the doorstep.
“There’s the beautiful Orewa Beach, Eaves Bush or Millwater Parkway. These are all on the flat and easily accessed,” Steph says.
“And the same can be said for those who like to cycle, be it on a regular bike or e-bike,” adds Jo.
As well as visiting her late mother at the village, new resident Sharon has been visiting residents at Evelyn Page since it opened 11 years ago, as a volunteer for Age Concern, and says there was ‘no need to discuss’ the fact that her and husband Gary would move there too.
“I already know we will be very happy here. And the staff are wonderful!”
Now, with plenty of time to unpack their boxes, she is looking forward to settling in, enjoying walks down to the beach and getting involved with the many activities the village has going on.
Every Monday afternoon a group of knitters gathers in the lounge of Evelyn Page Retirement Village for a knit and a natt...