It’s hard to say no when all seven of your children decide that moving into Ryman Healthcare’s Linda Jones Retirement Village is the best thing to do.
That was the case for Brian and Noeline who moved into a serviced apartment at the Flagstaff village at the end of March.
“We had first entertained the idea of retirement villages about six to eight years ago but Noeline wasn’t keen on coming to a village,” says Brian.
“So we put it on the backburner until the children said they thought we’d have to do something.”
Brian says Noeline had been facing challenges with her memory for a few years but it had got to the point where the children could see their dad needed some extra support.
“We realised it would be a continuing thing,” he says of Noeline’s dementia. “The doctor suggested that probably the best thing would be to go to a suitable village.
“I think the children visited practically every village in Hamilton and came to the conclusion that Ryman was the best with Linda Jones being the best option around. And that’s proven to be the case!"
It’s been a bit of a whirlwind for them since then, but Brian says he owes the ease of first the move and then settling in so well to both his children and the team at Linda Jones.
“The girls particularly and my son who lives in Hamilton, they looked after everything.
“That was including packing up the house and arranging for friends to pick us up the day before and the day of the move,” says Brian.
“The rest of them were here to welcome us so we’re very blessed in that regard. It was worry free for us.”
The amazing welcome by the team just added to the experience.
“I can’t speak highly enough of how straightforward the transition from our home to an apartment was made by the staff.
“It was very easy and nothing seemed to be a problem, they were so willing to accommodate us and made it very seamless.”
While they initially moved into a serviced apartment, the family decided that the special care unit would be better suited for Noeline. Again, the experienced team came to the fore.
“They seemed to foresee the problems we would have with shifting and would nullify them pretty quickly but without being interfering in any way.”
The team have helped to improve Noeline’s sleep patterns and reduce any stressful triggers and while Brian misses having Noeline by his side he has taken comfort knowing she is happily engaging with other residents and is feeling content.
Meeting other residents who have partners in special care has been helpful for Brian.
“Some of them are getting together to set up a support system which I think will be good to join in with.”
Brian took up bowls in 1983 and since then has played at Napier, Northcote, Snells Beach and Hamilton, even becoming greenskeeper at the Mahurangi East Bowling Club.
Since they have moved to Linda Jones, Brian’s reputation on the green has preceded him and a few old bowls friends have encouraged him to have a go at the village.
For the moment, Brian is happy just to slowly adjust to village life and discover all it has to offer in his own time.
“The bowls hasn’t gelled yet because of my cataracts but we have been doing the Triple A exercises and we’re enjoying the music session here which is very good.
“Everyone in the team is very caring. From the housekeeper to the nurses, there are a few who understand the situation and are always happy and smiling and they all know my name.”