Village safety and security a top priority for Judy


Judy Cooper makes a habit of regularly sitting in the library to read the newspaper or book in a comfy chair, as she looks out of the big windows across Bupa Parkstone Retirement Village in Ilam, Christchurch.

The Avonhead local, who had a career in aged care education and assessment, became a village resident herself just three months ago and enjoys reading in her downtime. The village library also gives her a chance to meet her village neighbours and have a chat.

Judy’s health took a serious turn a year ago, prompting her to move into the village and into a one bedroom apartment overlooking the street.

“I lived alone and my sons were worried about me because I began falling and I couldn’t get out. Then I thought I need to be sensible here and do something about it. For me it was important I stayed in the area and I guess it was important that I knew somebody here.”

After selling her house and the village team holding the apartment she’d chosen, Judy followed Harvey, her next-door neighbour of many years, into Bupa Parkstone Retirement Village. The village team had kept in contact with her for a number of months before she’d decided to move in, inviting her to regular village functions during that time.

“There’s everything going on here for you, you couldn’t ask for more. There’s a superb manager who not only manages but she’s also a social worker and everything else with it.”

Judy says the move from a house on a back section meant safety and security was a top priority when deciding on a village.

“There’s always someone here at the front desk and they have security regularly checking too. It’s so important to me.”

Coming from a big house into an apartment hasn’t bothered Judy, and now with her health regularly monitored she is really embracing retirement village life. There’s the weekly grocery shopping at the local supermarket next door and the regular Tai Chi sessions that relax her by slowing her breathing.

“I very much want to be independent for as long as I can and I get to do that here. I also get to continue with lots of reading in lovely surroundings too.”