Peter and Frances have lived at Kiri Te Kanawa Village in Gisborne for the last five years. Peter’s career in the Fire Service had meant moving the family around the country during his working life, finally retiring in Napier.
But the pull to return to Gisborne where family lived, became stronger when Peter realised his wife, Frances’s health was deteriorating, and he was not going to be able to manage things on his own.
It had been a gradual change over ten years, but Peter had been caring for her at home for some time. “I knew we had to go somewhere,” he said.
Peter decided to return to Gisborne and move into Kiri Te Kanawa Village. “This is the best place in Gisborne,” he proudly states.
Initially the couple moved into a lovely townhouse together, they went to happy hour and quiz evenings in the village centre, but following a fall, it soon became apparent that Frances needed specialist care and the village assisted Peter with her move to the care centre.
Peter had planned for this, coming into the village knowing that as a resident if either he or Frances ever needed a higher level of care, they would have priority as residents to receive that.
“It worked out very, very well,” he said.
There can be a lot of sadness when one partner must move to receive further care, but Peter has happy memories of Frances being an avid gardener and remembers how much joy she received from that. “I wasn’t allowed to touch the garden,” he laughs. He recalls a time when she could name every flower in the garden!
Peter visits Frances twice every day, in the morning and the afternoon and when he brings her flowers to the village hospital where she now lives, he hopes they bring her joy.
It’s so easy to do this when they are both living in the village. “Being on-site makes a huge difference,” says Peter, “that’s why we’re here. I wanted it to be a village, and it had to be a good village. This was the right place to come.”
When he walks into the hospital and calls Frances by his special pet name for her, her eyes light up and he is sure she recognises him.
And Peter can still enjoy his own freedom and activities. He’s independent, drives and gets his own groceries and really enjoys happy hour, although admits sheepishly that he really needs to walk a bit more.
Thanks to his planning for the future Peter and Frances have few worries. Financially the affordable fixed base weekly fee* was important for them “and it’s very good now’” says Peter.
Ryman’s resident friendly and transparent terms offer certainty. Peter knows that everything is taken care of and there will be no hidden costs for him and his family.
Although he mainly makes his own meals at home, Peter knows he can come over to the village dining room and enjoy a home cooked delicious meal whenever he wishes.
“It’s a good feeling not having to worry about the maintenance on the townhouse, the garden, and, they will even change my lightbulbs!”
His townhouse has emergency call bells which are monitored 24 hours a day. Living on his own now, it’s peace of mind to have that extra security.
The village also has an emergency generator which ensures the care centre, serviced apartments and the village centre will be provided with power in the event of an outage.
During lockdown Peter couldn’t visit Frances for a few weeks but he knew she was in safe hands and the staff were doing so much more during that time. “They still are,” he says, “they’re magnificent - we came to the right place!”
The village was a safe-haven for residents during lockdown. Staff delivered groceries and treats to residents as well as special food parcels from their families.
“The staff do a wonderful job,” says Peter.
At the village, everything really is taken care of.
* Some conditions apply.