Sandy and Steve have lived a beautiful, vibrant life together. Originally from Slovenia, Steve moved to Australia in 1960, and Sandy relocated from the United States in 1971. They never had children but spent the last 51 years of their marriage living life to the fullest and enjoying each other’s company.
“We did lots of travel, saw lots of amazing places, and spoiled each other over the years!”, says Steve.
They spent most of their lives in their home in Cardiff that was a sanctuary of nature and wildlife. “We had 830 square metres of yard, and all kinds of beautiful birds that would fly in to feed off Steve’s hand at 4pm every afternoon! It was magical.”
After 45 years in their home, they decided it was time to downsize, and became the first residents to move into Oak Tree Retirement Village Jesmond.
The main driver in their decision was Steve’s health concerns, and having already had two knee replacements herself, Sandy was beginning to have some trouble with the steps in their home.
The big block meant they had a large lawn to maintain, and a lot for Sandy to attend to around the house.
In addition to their growing concern around maintenance, Sandy and Steve wanted to explore retirement village living in hopes of forming new connections, something they’d lost over time.
While their neighbourhood was once filled with likeminded people and friends of theirs, over the years they trickled off – some passed away or moved, and they were left living amongst an entirely different demographic.
“A lot of the social comradery we had was gone, and we no longer had people at a similar stage of life around us to connect with.”
Sandy and Steve began looking at local retirement options and came across Oak Tree Jesmond. It ticked all the boxes – completely brand new and never before lived in, with a secure garage carpark offering internal lift access to all levels. It was perfect.
“Although the transition has been hard, it’s also been beautiful”, says Steve.
Now that they no longer have to worry about maintaining the family home, Sandy is looking forward to making new friends to play cards with and making the most of her newfound free time by relaxing with a new book!
They’re both hoping to do some travel in the near future, now that they can lock up and leave whenever they want, knowing their home will be secure and taken care of by Oak Tree.
“I’d love to visit somewhere by train or even boat”, says Steve. “We have friends who live in Hervey Bay – I’d love to visit them and go whale watching!”, says Sandy.
It was Sandy and Steve’s shared desire for convenience and community and a renewed sense of adventure that brought them to Oak Tree Jesmond.
Now that they’ve embarked on a future with newfound possibilities and less responsibilities, their retirement is looking like it’ll be one of their best chapters yet!