"If I was going to downsize, I should do it properly"
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Di Shogren currently lives in a three-bedroom house in the Canberra suburb of Weston, but when she moves into Yarra Rossa it will be into a one- bedroom plus study apartment, as she puts it: “I thought that if I was going to downsize, I should do it properly.”
Now in her 70s and retired from a career in the public and private sectors, including as CEO of St Vincent’s Private Hospital in Sydney, with the federal Health Department in Melbourne and a one-year posting to the World Health Organisation in Switzerland, Di says she’d been thinking about downsizing “for some time” before buying into Yarra Rossa.
“I have a niece who will be looking after me into old age, and I didn’t want to put her in the position of having to move me from my house to an aged care facility, should my health deteriorate and I was no longer able to safely remain living there. That can be a terrible process that I certainly don’t want to subject her to.
“It’s much better for retirees to plan well ahead and downsize for themselves while still relatively fit and independent - and I decided last year that the time had come.”
A person who values her privacy and enjoys her own company, Di says she likes the spaciousness of Yarra Rossa, with its low-rise complexes spread out amongst landscaped gardens, and the offer to get involved in the village’s community and social activities as much or as little as desired.
Having contracted polio as a child, Di says she also appreciates the many accessibility features, including lifts from the underground car parks and the heated indoor pool, describing it as “marvellous”.
Her biggest regret about moving is having to leave behind the garden she has nurtured, but she’s interested in getting involved in Yarra Rossa’s community gardening club and also likes that the village has a library and community meeting rooms for group activities.
“Another advantage of Yarra Rossa is that it’s run by BaptistCare, ensuring easier access to the organisation’s home care and residential aged care services,” Di says.
“It’s a considerable plus for me that there are two BaptistCare Aged Care Homes so close by, as I know from both my work and personal experiences that BaptistCare has a very good reputation. I’ve been impressed by the professionalism and caring attitudes, and commitment to supporting a sense of community among residents."