Fish and chip night at Merle and Graham’s retirement community, Corpus Christi, in Clayton, would not be the same without one special visitor.
Their five-year-old granddaughter, Chloe, often comes along to catch up with her “friends” and to have a chat.
“She loves to go over to see her friends over there. She sits up with the men, ‘her friends’ and she has a good old chat to them and then has a good old chat to the ladies,” Merle says.
Like many grandparents, Merle and Graham help their grown children by regularly babysitting their granddaughter.
When looking for a retirement community retirees need to consider how they want to spend their time. Communal areas that are inviting and comfortable will be important for those who want to socialise with family and friends. Other things to consider may include checking if it is close to local facilities like shopping centres and parks.
Merle says they love Chloe’s visits and so do others at their retirement community.
“They enjoy seeing her. They all speak to her and smile when they see her.”
“When she goes home you think gee it’s quiet and you do miss her. She has brought us lots of joy, lots of love here. She is a treasure.”
VMCH retirement villages feature communal areas for retirees to socialise with each other, family and friends. Many also feature dining rooms where families can get together for meals and special occasions.
Basil and Christine live at St Thomas’ Village, in Greensborough, and they regularly babysit their grandchildren Olivia, 5, and Daniel, 3.
“It’s a good way to get to know your grandkids,” Christine said.
It is also a great way to keep young at heart in the retirement years, she says.
“When you have littlies around you, you really have to ‘lighten up’, stop being so serious and be prepared to be a bit silly playing ‘peep oh’ games, etc. Our neighbours here seem quite happy to join in the fun,” she said.
“It stimulates memory when we have to remember nursery rhymes and children’s games and we have to learn new things like the names of the Wiggles and the words to every Wiggles song ever written.”
Christine says retirement community is close to a park and the community centre is always a great place to visit.
They recently hosted the grandkids’ joint birthday party in the village’s community hall. They hired a jumping castle, had lots of room for the kids to run around and their family came along to celebrate the special occasion.