A supportive and social village life for Alan


Alan Bailey says his fellow residents and manager at Bupa Parkstone Retirement Village in Ilam have been nothing but supportive during a difficult time in his life.

Alan sadly lost his wife Phyllis just before the first lockdown in 2020, after the couple moved into the village five years ago.

“They have all been so supportive when I really needed it most. I wrote them all a personal letter to thank them.”

The 90 year old, who has spent his entire life in Christchurch, says his regular expenses are down due to village living and was immediately taken with the apartment opportunity after a tour.

“The security of this place appealed to me, and it was very warm. I also liked that there’s nothing to worry about, you don’t have to think about getting a plumber in for example.”

The couple’s two daughters and son helped them both move into the village, a downsizing that was far easier than Alan thought it would be. Now with a two bedroom apartment, Alan says he really enjoys having a dwelling more compact than his original family home.

“You’ve got to adapt haven’t you, and an apartment is just so easy to keep clean and tidy. I still have a small garden and I like to grow runner beans.”

With a wool buying background and a stint as a golf professional too, Alan has had a busy career but says he prefers the quieter life these days with enough social activities, like bowls and mahjong, to keep him entertained.

Alan helped to start a village choir that now has 24 members and regular practise sessions to prepare for upcoming recitals. The grandfather of five grandchildren and six great grandchildren (pictured with artwork from one of his great grandchildren Tabitha) says he’s always open to welcoming new residents as neighbours.

“To be free of all that worry of maintenance at my time of life is a relief. Plus we could do with a few more in the choir too.”