Across Australia, we have wonderful residents from all walks of life who are proud to call our communities home.
One of these residents is Irene, resident at Aveo Durack, who moved into the community just over four months ago after becoming a grandmother for the first time.
We reached out to Irene to find out more about life at Aveo Durack retirement community, and to see how she’s settling into her new home.
Could we start with a little background about yourself and how you ended up moving into Aveo Durack?
“I was living independently in a unit in Bribie Island with a beautiful view, and I had been waiting to be a grandmother for about 15 years. The miracle finally happened and I became a grandmother, but you can’t be one 90 kilometres away.
“So, I thought I’d come down to Brisbane, because this is my area here, to be closer and be a proper grandmother.
“My daughter also wanted me somewhere safe where she felt I was being cared for and looked after.
“Like anybody, when you get older you think you’re invincible and you don’t think you need it, but she was the one that decided that she would feel better if I was in a place where there was more care and support for me than where I was before.
“I’m not sorry I moved, I’m very happy I did it."
What convinced you that Aveo Durack was the right community for you?
“When we came back to Brisbane, we looked at a few places in Jindalee and Jamboree, but I didn’t like them. I wanted to have a place of my own and still be in a community.
“I said to my daughter, ‘Let’s go back to Aveo and see what they’ve got to offer.’
“When I came here, the people I dealt with were absolutely beautiful, and since I’ve been here, I haven’t met one person who isn’t friendly, happy and welcoming.
“I’m just amazed – no matter who you ring, no matter who you speak to, everybody treats you with respect.”
You moved into the community at quite an interesting time. How do you feel about the measures that Aveo put into place to protect residents?
“Being a nurse, I think what they put in place was absolutely amazing.
“I’m just amazed how well organised they are, how quickly they did things, how they really cared about the residents here – they couldn’t do more to make sure we are safe.
“I was already very happy here, but that really made me realise just how caring they are.”
How are community staff ensuring that everyone can stay socially connected, even if you all have to remain physically distant?
“We have a weekly magazine that comes out called ‘The Durack Breeze’ and they keep you in touch with what’s going, everything that’s happening and why they’re doing it so everybody is aware of what’s going on.
“It’s really informative. They have everything written in there, whoever you need to contact – it’s very well organised.”
How does your family feel about you living at Aveo Durack, particularly during the pandemic?
“My daughter is like me, she’s a registered nurse, and so we didn’t have a problem.
“In my day when I was a nurse, things like infection control and isolated people where a regular part of my life. It wasn’t new to me, because I had done it when I was younger.
“It was new to my daughter, but when she saw what they are doing here to prevent infection, she was very happy because she could see what they are doing here was very advanced.”
For someone that might be unsure about making the move into a retirement community, what advice would you give them if they came to you?
“Give it a try! Speak to people who have been there, or are in there. Don’t just assume, because you’ll be really surprised.
“It’s like you’re living a normal life in a safe environment. That’s what Aveo gives you here – independence, with support and assistance in a private home.
“The people here are just settled; they live their own life quite comfortably in an area where they are supported.
“The community is well designed, it has immaculately-kept grounds, and the way that the architects have designed it – your home is private and you wouldn’t know you had neighbours unless you went out and looked for them.
“Here you can be doing something all day, every day, and never get bored. Everything they have is just amazing.
“If you really want something and need it, it’s here.
"Thank you to Aveo and all the staff for the wonderful job they do."