An elderly lady standing in front of he garden smiling at the camera

Rita and the water feature garden space outside her apartment.

Originally published by Rita in her church newsletter and reproduced here with permission.

Our perfect climate in Bundaberg is responsible for attracting people to this city, especially ageing folk wanting to continue being independent but looking for a little extra help. We are fortunate in having a variety of options in the city to cater for all needs.

Last year, when my large home and garden (which my late husband and I purchased in 1995) was becoming a burden to maintain, I decided to look at my options. Approaching 87 and with no family or dependants, the decision to make a move and downsize wasn’t too hard to make, made easier when I saw the high standard of accommodation and care that was available.

I decided to choose Argyle Gardens which has been owned and operated by UnitingCare since 2016. They offer two choices:

  • 337 independent living homes (1, 2 and 3 bedrooms), mostly semi-detached and well spread out amid manicured lawns and landscaped gardens, each home with its own garden and garage. There is space within the village for caravans.
  • 79 serviced apartments which are within the main building, the Lodge. I chose one of these.

It is a beautifully appointed one-bedroom unit surrounded by lawns, shrubs and pathways, with ample room to entertain, a kitchenette, large modern bathroom, heaps of cupboards and drawers. The bedroom and lounge are carpeted. There is also a large, wide patio, louvred and gated, facing east – great for my many pot plants.

I retained some of my “old” furniture but had a splurge on some new pieces to suit my new apartment.

Being serviced means that all meals are included as well as a weekly clean, laundry service of sheets and towels and free laundry use and electricity. The meals are healthy and more than adequate. We are near to all shared facilities – large, cheerful dining room, lounges, libraries, swimming pool and spa, auditorium with stage and dance floor, craft room, offices and a room for visiting doctor and specialists. Each unit has its own monitoring system and, with the press of a button, help is at hand, 24 hours a day.

Activities include indoor bowls, Chi-Kung, dancing (line and ballroom), table tennis, water aerobics, billiards, card and board games plus musical evenings by various talented residents. There is even a bar and twice-weekly “happy hour”, run by volunteers on a not-for-profit basis. Our “crafty” folk organise special occasion Market Days which are well-supported.

A visiting Blue Care representative is available regularly to advise and assist residents who may need extra help with transport, mobility etc. There is a hairdressing salon at the entrance and a bus stop allowing easy access to all that Bundaberg offers.

It really is a vibrant community, a safe, relaxing, happy lifestyle and one I am embracing with enthusiasm. Come and visit and be surprised!

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