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The third and final stage of The Gracewood Community, located in Sydney’s west, has been finalised, with village residents moving in as the financial year ticked over on Thursday 2 July.

This brings The Gracewood Community to completion, with 241 apartments, a residential aged care home and BaptistCare at Home services available for those living in the village who need to access them.

The first stage opened back in 2013, and there was almost no development in the surrounding areas and along nearby Memorial Avenue. The area has vastly changed since that time, with much more development and housing surrounding the Gracewood Community now.

Stage three consists of 88 two or three-bedroom apartments, with additional community facilities like bocce court, fire pit and putting green adding to the previously existing facilities of a pool, community garden, gym, café and restaurant.

Village residents like Helen Bradey thinks that friendly, village communities like The Gracewood are a wonderful opportunity for seniors who would otherwise be living by themselves in stand-alone homes.

Following the death of her husband in 2017, 67-year-old Helen said she began to ask herself, “Why am I wandering about by myself in a four-bedroom house?”

When Helen decided to investigate retirement villages close to her Kellyville home to see whether that would be a better lifestyle option, she said various friends reacted with slight horror, telling her she was “too young” to make such a move, warning her she’d be “bored” and urging her instead to just downsize to a standard unit.

“But I thought to myself, well, how would that be any different from living alone in a house?” Helen recounts.

“I visited several retirement villages, but the very first thing I felt when I arrived at The Gracewood was the sense of community. There were plenty of people out and about and they were all so friendly, like everyone knew everyone else. It felt like a neighbourhood.

“The other thing that struck me about The Gracewood in contrast to other villages was that this place just felt so much younger, with many healthy, active residents enjoying the indoor pool and the gym, plus a really good mix of males and females, either in couples or otherwise.”

Having purchased, off-the-plan, a three-bedroom apartment in The Gracewood’s third and final stage of development last year, Helen has now happily moved in now that construction is complete. But even more then she was already an active member of the village’s Arts & Crafts group, has launched a mahjong group and also joined the gardening club.

Once moved in, she’s been enjoying the use of the pool and joining in the village’s regular Friday afternoon Happy Hour for a convivial drink or two.

“I decided to buy an apartment at The Gracewood when I woke up one morning and realised it was time for me to move on”, Helen says. “I see this as a new beginning, and it just feels so exciting.

“I don’t want to have to worry any more about fixing a broken door handle, or what to do about a leak in the roof, or whatever. The time’s arrived where I just want to have fun!”