What it's like to live at our Shepparton Kensington Gardens retirement village

We moved to Kensington Gardens ten months ago from Hamilton in Western Victoria. We felt it was the right time to make a move.

We were very happy with where we were but it was just too much work, and so we actually went to an Expo, a Retirement Village Expo that was run at the Caulfield Racecourse. I think it’s every year. 

And that was terrific, as it gave us the opportunity to look all around Victoria and find villages and that is how, it was Roger that found Kensington Gardens, their stand and looking at Shepparton and Albury. One of the things that we like about Kensington Gardens was the quality of the homes.

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We were quite impressed with the standard. When we came up for an Open Day, people here were very friendly and very kind to let us into their homes and we were as I  said before, we were quite impressed. 

We looked at a few of the other villages as well, with their homes and felt for what we wanted, this was better for us, more suitable and the quality was to our liking wasn’t it? Yes, it was. 

And we also, one of the things that was really good was that we had flexibility, we could pick our house or a style of a home and then we had the flexibility and that’s what you don’t get in other places. Well that’s what we found.

Other places, here’s the house, that’s it.

We probably did make quite a few to suit our lifestyle. So it makes you feel as if… This might sound silly, because it is your home, but you feel more that it is your home you’re not sort of well this is what you have to have, you’re in a retirement village, you’re getting older, you have to put up with it. You don’t have that, we feel very contented and comfortable.

The presentation of the village is very comfortable, it’s well laid out, it’s easy to get around. There’s a speed limit which is good. And you are not far from the centre of activities if you want to go up to the gym or the pool or the craft room or the movies. So just the layout is easy to operate.

When you drive in you look in you look down the main road that goes up to the centre and there’s ornamental pears down the nature strips and this time of year they look beautiful.

With the garden, we attend to some of the garden and the gardeners attend to the rest of it. They mow the lawns once a week in the growing season and we potter in the garden as much as we want to. Then the gardeners can do the rest.

The community at Kensington Gardens is very good. Everyone is very friendly and it’s probably a little bit like an estate except that you get to know a lot more people because you have functions. You can go to the community centre every day and there may be something during the day or there may be movies at night time. And every time you go to a function you are meeting more people.

So it is very friendly. Well we’ve have never lived like this before, we never lived with a gym.  No nothing like that. You feel quite safe, you feel relaxed and very contented.

For instance, a lady here, who is 92 and we keep our eye on her. We know if the blinds aren’t drawn at night time well there may be something wrong. So yes, our next door neighbours talk to us daily, so yeah everybody gets along very well and looks out for each other.

I think people get the idea that if you’re living in a retirement village you are very old, and you stop work. There are people in this village that still work that both of them work or one works and it’s just that there is a bit of a difference in our age and neither of us has worked for some time, it’s just one of those things, but you can go to work, there’s no problem there.  

My view, about the timing of moving to retirement villages. It’s probably better when you retire or within two or three years of retiring. I think I left it a bit late because I’m older than Evelyn. It took time to sell our house which it does in the country. I would think that people should get in early and get the benefit of a place like this.

One thing that we found when we were  looking around was that Kensington Gardens was very much value for money. When we looked at villages and we looked at the price of the houses and we looked at the maintenance, because you have a monthly maintenance fee. We felt it was very good.

And it was worth the opportunity for us to move from Hamilton to Shepparton not knowing anybody because we felt that this was right for us.

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