Aveo retirement villages are filled with an assortment of inspiring individuals from an array of backgrounds. One such individual is Edith Webster of The Oaks Retirement Village, Fulham, a retirement village in the western suburbs of Adelaide.
Can we start with a little bit of background about you, namely your family, where you were born and in which city/town you spent most of your life?
"I was born in Port Pirie and grew up there but after beginning work I brought my own family up in Burra. My son now lives in Manoora and my daughter is in Bridgewater."
What was your profession prior to your retirement and at what age did you begin contemplating a move into a retirement village?
"I was a teacher but retired at 50 when I married for the second time. My husband and I travelled all over Australia but could no longer manage in the campervan. My husband’s health deteriorated so I began suggesting a move to a community. We now had seven children with our joined families but most of them were not in Adelaide or even South Australia."
When did you move into Aveo Fulham, how did you know the timing was right and how did you know it was the right place for you?
"We moved into Aveo Fulham in 2016. My husband was 92 and very isolated where we were living so, with our daughters’ help, we moved into the village. Here he found he could get out to the activities and enjoy the company that changed his life for the next three years."
How involved are you in village life and how do you enjoy filling your days outside of your immediate community?
"We both joined into community life - having lunch in the dining room once a week to get to know other residents. The social activities were enjoyable and I was happy to play the piano for a sing-along once a month. I still play our church organ and attend church functions as well as working with a class of English as a second language. I no longer drive a car so this community is ideal as I can walk to the supermarket, chemist and the local hotel for a meal."
What is the one thing your neighbours would be surprised to learn about you?
"I used to drive trucks and buses. I also drove an ambulance as I was a trained St John Ambulance member."
What advice would you offer to others thinking about entering into a retirement village?
"I would say it is the best thing we could have done. We both enjoyed the change and when I lost my husband I was, and am still, glad of the company of the other residents and staff. Even through COVID-19 meals were delivered to us and we were kept informed and supported by the staff. The friendliness of the staff and their efforts to provide interesting and enjoyable activities – as well as an efficient, smooth-functioning community – are excellent."
Article originally featured in Chapter Winter 2021.
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