Coronavirus isolation was never going to stop Forresters Beach Retirement Village Manager, Julie Ramage, from spending quality time with her mum on Mother’s Day, because her mum, Mary Pendergast, just happens to live in the same RetireAustralia village where her daughter works.
“We were lucky enough to share a beautiful morning tea on Mother’s Day.
“Even though we were 1.5m apart, it was lovely to be able to celebrate together,” Julie said.
Julie’s parents surprised her with a sudden announcement that they were moving into the village, a decision that’s led to some special but poignant moments for her family.
“I’d been working at Forresters Beach for 8 years, when mum and dad turned up at the office and let me know they’d just been to see their finan-cial advisor and had decided they wanted to move in,” she said.
“It came as a big surprise to me.
“I think they must have enjoyed hearing all the wonderful stories I’d tell them about the village.
“Dad was able to enjoy 18 wonderful months here with mum.
“Since his passing, it’s been a blessing to have mum here as part of our community.
“It’s helped us both heal,” Julie said.
RetireAustralia CEO, Dr Brett Robinson, said family bonds were not uncommon across the group’s 27 villages, with other retirement communities also having a familial connection.
“We really are one big family ourselves and I think it’s that genuine spirit, support and connection that our residents, and their families, are attracted to,” Dr Robinson said.
And, for Julie, having her mum just a stroll away on work days has been a blessing.
“Since joining the village, mum has been able to see a different side of me,” Julie said.
“Last year, I was humbled to receive the NSW/ACT Village Manager of the Year Award at the National Retirement Living Awards, and mum was so proud.
“She’s witnessed me grow personally and professionally in this role, that’s something that wouldn’t have happened without her living in the village.
Press release, May 12
Darren Grant, RetireAustralia