The joys of grandparenting in a retirement village
Aura Holdings’ communities are loved by generations – from the residents, their adult children and those precious grandchildren who keep everyone young at heart. Who said it takes a village to raise a child? They must have been talking about an Aura village!
Spending time with their grandchildren is so important to Jenny and Mark Everson that they split their time between a home in Canberra and their beachside apartment at The Pavilion North Kirra.
Jenny says their two granddaughters Allyce, 8, and Emma, 6, (below) are regular visitors to The Pavilion during school holidays and occasional weekends.
“The girls love coming from Brisbane to Nanny and Poppy’s place on the Coast. One of their favourite things to do is play hide and seek downstairs in the communal room. I can’t find them as the room’s so big and they just adore that,’’ Jenny says.
“They also enjoy heading down to the room to do a puzzle where there’s always a supply. They know they can’t be too rowdy.
“We have a nice routine and they are familiar with the lifestyle here. Of course, they really love the beach and ask if we’re going on a beach walk today. Our afternoons on the beach are so special.
“These girls are real outdoor kids and I think they appreciate the change of environment they get on the Coast compared with Brisbane.
“The girls have even joined Nippers here. They like their iPads just like other kids but the lifestyle at Kirra make it easier to get them off technology and outside.’’
Jenny says Mark also enjoys spending time with the grandkids and the four regularly head off on their bikes to ride the beachfront paths.
“Our granddaughters are always made to feel very welcome here and everyone seems to be happy to see them visit,’’ Jenny says. “When they see the girls in the lift or playing pool downstairs the other residents always stop for a chat.
“No one seems to say ‘gosh those kids are back again!’
“We have three other grandchildren, the eldest is 16, who live in Canberra so we head down there to our other home after winter for six months.
“We were looking for something suitable on the Gold Coast for a second home and at the same time construction had started on The Pavilion so it was perfect timing.’’
Jenny says she really appreciates having her grandchildren in their lives. “As a grandmother I now have all the time in the world, something I didn’t have when I was a mother myself.
“When I was a mum, there was school and so many other things happening that life seemed so rushed. Now I can just have fun with the grandkids.’’
Chris Lawlor also thrives in her role as a grandmother and is thrilled that her grandchildren are accepted into the community at The Avenue Maroochydore where they visit regularly.
“We have four grandchildren, aged from six to two, who live in Brisbane and near Buderim. My husband Chris and I moved from the Hunter Valley to be closer to our grandchildren,’’ she says.
“The children, Kailey, Mia, Aubrey and Harriet (above and below), really love visiting and make the most of their time in the pool, on the beach and riding their scooters.
“They are made to feel welcome and many of the other residents will come downstairs to play with them and join in the fun.
“I feel really comfortable being a grandparent at The Avenue, it’s worked out really well. Moving into the retirement community hasn’t put a dampener on our relationships with our grandchildren.’’
Chris is still in the workforce part-time so appreciates having every second weekend off to catch up with the couple’s three granddaughters and a grandson.
Chris agrees there is nothing better than being a grandparent but “it’s good to be able to give them back’’, she laughs.