Weary Dunlop Retirement Village resident Lorraine Maxfield has only known lockdown life in her new community, but her favourite aspect of the village is still how social it is.
The serviced apartment resident, who moved in in April, says regular deliveries of treats, including sparkling wine during Happy Hour, chocolates and visits from the “very, very” friendly staff have made her feel safe, settled and supported.
“I go into my beautiful room and I think ‘I’m home now’,” Lorraine says.
“I would say to anyone thinking of moving here during this time of COVID-19 ‘don’t worry about a thing’.
“You come in the front door and there is a camera, they check your temperature, and then when you have a beautiful dinner in the lounge room, they check you again, so you know every precaution is being taken.”
When Lorraine first signed on the dotted line for a “beautiful” one-bedroom corner apartment in February, she had no idea how drastically different things at the village would be by the time she moved in.
“I moved in right in the middle of the first lockdown so my family couldn’t help me unpack,” Lorraine says.
“A member of staff came and helped me instead.
“The staff have been very good with all of this; they can’t do enough for me and they are very, very friendly so I’ve got to know the names of a lot of the girls because they always stop and have a bit of a chat to you.”
Having recently undergone major arm surgery, Lorraine says the village was the perfect place for her to move.
“My friends and family are relieved I’m here because I couldn’t do the gardening and I was having trouble doing the housework,” she says.
“I couldn’t drive the car when I was at the unit where I was.
“I came over and had a look and I thought ‘this is the place for me’.”
And while many routine activities, including bus outings and gatherings in the village centre, are currently off the agenda due to COVID-19, Lorraine has still made plenty of friends.
“I’ve been walking around the village grounds and I’ve made lots of friends here because you do still get to see people, from a distance, when you are walking around,” she says.
“The village has even taken the step to have staff in the village grounds making sure we are socially distanced, that’s how seriously they are protecting us.”
Now Lorraine is looking forward to enjoying all the village has to offer, including a bowling green, library, billiards room and cinema.
“I’m very contended here; the people are lovely and when things start to improve with COVID-19 I plan to join in as many things as I can,” she says.
“For now, though, I am very happy in my beautiful apartment. It has lots of windows and I enjoy watching the traffic and things going on outside.
“This is a very good place for me to be.”