Aveo communities are filled with an assortment of inspiring individuals from an array of backgrounds. Meet Julie Street, resident at Bella Vista Haven.
Can we start with a little bit of background about you, namely your age, your family, and how long you have been living in Aveo Bella Vista?
"I am 63. I’m a mother of twin 27-year-old boys. They are named Andrew and MitchelI. I moved into Aveo Bella Vista a year ago this month. I was previously married however my husband Jim had cancer and we lost him just prior to my move in here."
What was your profession prior to your retirement and at what age did you begin contemplating a move into a retirement community?
"I spent most of my life as a caterer and had my own catering business for many years. I decided to retire from that about three or four years ago."
How did you know that Aveo Bella Vista was the right place for you?
"We were living in Baulkham Hills in Western Sydney in a four bed townhouse prior to our move here but my last child moved out two weeks before I lost my husband. Jim actually died the day after we signed the agreement to sell, I think he was just making sure I was looked after. As we got a little older both Jim and I began to feel that the townhouse was just too big for us. It also had stairs which I found difficult to navigate. I originally found the Aveo apartment I’m now living in on Facebook but wasn’t aware at the time it was a retirement village. My immediate thought was “that’s great” as once we had made the decision to move from our townhouse, I didn’t like the idea of having to move again."
How do you enjoy filling your days outside of your immediate community?
"I had a hip replacement last year but I do enjoy cooking and I like to read. I also love going out, which I consider just one of the many benefits of retirement!"
What do you enjoy most about your new home?
"We don’t call it a village because it’s more like a five star resort. The staff are very caring and make you feel so at home. The facilities here are also great. Naturally it’s not completed yet but it’s wonderful having the restaurant downstairs, and the bar upstairs. Having a lift is also a big bonus. Over the past few years my safety had become a bit of an issue for me and I began to worry about it quite a lot. Yet while I’m only on the first floor here, I love the feeling of security I have. I feel quite safe and well looked after. I have made a lovely group of friends here and have even appeared in some Aveo advertising."
What is the one piece of advice you would offer others thinking about entering a retirement community?
"I think preparing to downsize is a big factor – even moving from a townhouse I found there was a lot of stuff that we had to get rid of as I didn’t have the room in my new apartment. Before deciding on which retirement community you will move into, you also need to give consideration to what facilities you may need as you age. Also make sure you do your research so you know what costs are involved. Lastly, I’d note that the more you input, the more fun you have."