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More choice and more fun for Pat’s next chapter

It was a desire to plan ahead for both her family and her own independence that led Pat Doyle to sit down and plan her future.

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14 January 2022

Stories | Retirement Living

It was a desire to plan ahead for both her family and her own independence that led Pat Doyle to sit down and plan her future. Having been on her own for seven years, Pat, 72, wanted to take charge of how and where she lives as she ages, so that the responsibility for difficult decisions won’t be left up to her family later. Recently, a few health challenges held her back, and while she says she’s back to “100 per cent healthy” now, the experience highlighted the need to plan the next phase of her life.

“I have four children, seven grandchildren, and I didn’t want them having to be concerned about where to from here,” explains Pat.

Once she’d decided a retirement village would give her the lifestyle she wanted and also allow her to age in place, Yarra Rossa caught her eye.

“I had a look at it and I was extremely attracted to the structure of it,” she says. “I don’t like towers, so having just the ground and the first floor really appealed to me. I also like the fact it’s got excellent facilities, and I thought in terms of value for money, it was very, very good.”

Having plenty of storage space – “probably the best I’ve seen,” she says – was another big plus.

“I was quite taken with it, and it didn’t take me long to decide that was the right choice to make.”

Pat’s chosen a two-bedroom apartment overlooking beautiful bushland, offering her privacy, while the village facilities are just a hop, skip and jump away when she’s ready to mingle with other residents and be part of the community atmosphere that Yarra Rossa will foster.

“You can make it what you want,” she says, explaining that having choices is important to her. “Depending on your personality and your needs, and how you feel on the day, you might want to go and sit and have chat with someone but you might not.”

Without the demands of running a home, Pat’s looking forward to having more leisure time to enjoy. Once she’s settled in, Pat will be making a beeline for the pool. As an avid reader, she also intends to make good use of the library, and will be hitting the village’s walking tracks with her dog.

“I am going to miss my garden so I might end up getting my hands dirty in the community garden,” she says. “I’m not so sure about the bocce, though – I’ll tell you what, if I get down I probably wouldn’t get back up again!”

Pat chose a two-bedroom apartment so her son in Sydney can still come to stay from time to time.

“I felt that my apartment was more than adequate 90% of the time when I was on my own, and equally adequate if there was somebody there,” Pat says.

“And in terms of transitioning later, they’ll either carry me out in a box or sweep me over to aged care – either way, I’ll be in a better place and other people won’t be making a decision that they’ll be agonising over.”