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It instantly felt like home

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Monica Smith can pinpoint exactly what it was that made moving into the rest home at Ryman Healthcare’s Logan Campbell retirement village so much easier.

“When I first came in here the staff were just tremendous.

“It’s sometimes difficult to make friends when you age, but the nurses and caregivers would encourage me, saying ‘come on Monica, come down to the lounge’,” she says with a smile.

“I needed that push. And they helped me to bridge the gap.”

Monica, 91, had been driving until recently and living independently for the past five years at another retirement village in Epsom when she decided it was time to change.

Says her daughter Deborah, who lives just down the road: “It had started to become a bit of a burden for Mum doing all her own meals because it’s not just about cooking. You have to think about what to have and then there’s getting all the ingredients.”

Their family GP suggested they look at Ryman’s new village on Campbell Road with its range of care options after another patient had reported having a great experience.

At that time there was still a bit of construction going on at the village and scaffolding was still up in places, but both mother and daughter instantly got a great feeling about the place.

“We met Karyn the Village Manager and Jay the Clinical Manager who were lovely, and it just felt friendly and comfortable. It felt like it could be home,” says Monica.

“We decided that the rest home would be better because for Mum it was the contact that was really important,” adds Deborah.

“It just felt like a nice atmosphere, and the staff were incredibly sweet. We’ve loved it really.”

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Monica chose a room with pretty cream and blue floral curtains and a lovely sunny spot right by the window which opens onto a Juliet balcony.

Originally from Tauranga, Monica moved up to Auckland in 2006 after becoming widowed so that she could be closer to her only child Deborah and her three children.

Around that time Monica also suffered a stroke. While she is mostly recovered from it now she still relies on her walking stick to right her balance at times.

Deborah says the whole moving process is a big deal for anyone but especially when you’re in your 90s.

“You have got all this change, you may not have been that well, you’ve been worried about moving and then you have to physically move and then adjust to being in new surroundings and new neighbours and even working out where all the lights are… it’s quite a big adjustment.”

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