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Moving to a village apartment ‘the best decision I ever made’

Date: 22 Oct 2020

Sandra Stone has been a resident at Bupa Fergusson Retirement Village in Upper Hutt for more than two months and says her one bedroom apartment ticked all the boxes of what she was looking for.

The keen gardener was looking for brand new, no maintenance, a bus stop outside, cafes close by, views of the hills, and the sun shining through each day – tick tick tick.

Born in the Wairarapa, Sandra lived in Cottle Block in Upper Hutt since age 9. Later she went on to build her family home with her husband, situated up on Plateau Road. 

This was the family home that Sandra lived in for 54 years, where she raised three sons and tended to a ever growing garden.   

Sandra says after her husband passed away, the family home was isolating her and becoming colder to live in. Village living wasn’t on Sandra’s mind until some sudden health scares made her revaluate her living arrangements.    

“I’d had some bad health scares and luckily I’ve now improved. With a third of an acre section and big house that needed more and more maintenance, I didn’t realise the toll it was taking on me.”

The 74 year old had never sold a house before and so was grateful to have the help of the village team to support her, especially with the COVID alert level restrictions making things more difficult.

The downsizing and decluttering process of 54 years worth of furniture and possessions, meant Sandra and her family went through the house five times to ensure she wasn’t moving with too many belongings.

“The first time I only got rid of two things, so you can understand the type of person I am. The funny thing is I’ve realised I don’t need all those things, I don’t even miss them.”

Now with grandchildren, a great grandson, and a group of friends who live close by, they’ve all come to visit Sandra’s new home and they love it. Looking back Sandra is proud of her efforts and is so glad she now has a warm, new apartment to call her own.   

“It’s the best decision I ever made. I’m a different person and people have said to me I’ve got my spark back again. The whole experience has been damn well worth it.”