A big part of our decision to join a retirement community was that we had the experience of two elderly widowed mothers in our family. One was in Brisbane who stayed in her own home alone and the other was in Adelaide who moved into a village and was surrounded by people who gave her so much support.

We didn't want to be a burden to our children."

A big part of our decision to join a retirement community was that we had the experience of two elderly widowed mothers in our family. One was in Brisbane who stayed in her own home alone and the other was in Adelaide who moved into a village and was surrounded by people who gave her so much support."

"The difference in their quality of life made us really think. We also did not want to be a burden to our kids."

"Driving in here, we thought this is really something. It is such a surprise, a hidden oasis. My grand-daughter calls it our botanic garden; in fact she says she wants to come and live here."

"I also liked the fact there were so many men walking about; it's got life. With 700 people living here it is our own little suburb, but at the same time it has been very cleverly designed so that you have real privacy. Nearly all the villas look out on a garden or bush setting. You are not looking in on people and they are not looking in on you."

"We moved here from Woolloomooloo in the heart of Sydney. My husband was in the navy, so we were used to having a lot going on around us. It was important to me not to be cut off. Here we are just 2.5 kilometres from Gosford and our village bus runs into town 8 times a day. The bus is part of the reason we came here; it's so easy."

"We also wanted to think about the future. This village has excellent medical support. There are three local doctors that have rooms here and they come three days every week. We also have three levels of care. There are the independent villas and units where you look after yourself but, if required, you can order a three course meal from the nursing home for just $9.95! There is assisted living where you can have an apartment but the cleaning is done and meals are provided. Then there is also a large aged care facility with respite as well, so we would not have to leave if one of us needs more care as we get older."

"And one of our daughters lives locally, which means I can look after our grandchildren regularly, which I like. During school holidays there are so many children playing here in the village."

"I still keep in touch with Sydney, going down one day a week by train to work as a volunteer at the Museum, which I have been doing for 13 years. I help out doing DNA sequencing in the lab. I have been working on snails for the past few years but before that it was bats, comparing them from the Old World, like Spain, and the New World, around the Pacific Rim. They stick my name on the results when they get published, which is pleasing."

"I also belong to the University of the Third Age (U3A), which has lectures at various venues as well as here in the village. My husband took up bowls when we came here and now he is the Singles Champion. He is also heavily involved with the Computer Club. I don't like joining the same things as him, but we do have a drink at the bar together occasionally. It is one of our common interests!"

"We also travel a lot and have friends come here to stay with us. In fact, I have just strapped two beds together to make a king size for some visitors! Then we are off to Adelaide for a family reunion. We are planning a three week cruise of the Danube and Rhine in Germany, and will then spend a month in England. You can do that easily when you live in a village because you don't have to worry about the house or the garden. You just let people know you are going, and go."

"With the navy, we moved house 19 times in 31 years - and never got out of NSW! But this is our last move. Here we have everything we want."

Village Snapshot

Two bed / one garage home priced from $165,000 to $335,000
Monthly fee: $281 per month
Operator: Primelife

For more information on Henry Kendal Gardens please click here.