19 December 2022

Assisted living: ‘backup’ when you need it

One of the premium apartment bedrooms at Morgan Glen Iris.

Morgan Glen Iris resident Margaret says she is thankful that support is available, should she ever require it.

Having spent the past 40 years in her own house in East Hawthorn, Margaret was ‘‘tired of looking at gutters and with general maintenance things, having to chase up trades people … also, when things go bump in the night what that does to your heart rate, thinking the world is falling apart!”
When downsizing, she wanted to stay in the area. “That was important,” she says. However, when she first saw marketing materials for Morgan Glen Iris, architect designed premium contemporary retirement apartments, she initially thought, “No, no, that’s not me – that’s too glitzy.”
Located in Melbourne’s blue-chip east, Morgan Glen Iris is adjacent to the scenic Back Creek Reserve. Friends in the area would walk along there and observed the building as it was under construction, impressed by what was revealing itself – the sculptural facade, the way the low-rise building is nestled into the wooded site, the quality of the finishes.
When one of the friends commented that she and her husband “could easily live there” (given that the shared facilities include a restaurant, Gold Class-style cinema, fully stocked library, gym and salon equipped for massage plus hair and beauty treatments) Margaret took a proper look herself.
She was instantly sold, especially on the location. “The aspect to the bushland, the bird life, the grassed areas adjoining Morgan” all impressed her and she moved in in January. Morgan Glen Iris offers a range of one and two bedroom apartments, which are ready to move into now and Margaret chose a ground-floor apartment that looks right out into the bushland.
With a walking track surrounding the property, she likes being able to see other residents taking their daily strolls, which gives her brief contact with others – a friendly nod or wave brightening her day.
“Whereas if you’re in your own home, you probably are away from the passing traffic, so to speak, and sometimes that can be a bit lonely,” she says.

In addition to a friendly retirement community of like-minded individuals, Morgan Glen Iris offers what is known as “assisted living” and has a selection of individual service packages, which mean residents can do away with things like cooking and cleaning, and just focus on sitting back and enjoying their retirement years.
At the age of 82, Margaret is still very much independent and doesn’t require any kind of care. “But I need backup, let’s put it that way,” she says. While she doesn’t require “help with making beds or showering or any of those sort of things” she is pleased to know that support is available, should she ever require it.
In the meantime, the ‘‘backup’’ she is appreciating at Morgan includes services like the concierge. She gives the example of when she dropped her remote and it fell apart. “So I just went down to concierge at 8 o’clock at night and said, ‘Can you put this back together for me?’ You can’t call on someone like that at night when you live on your own,” she says.
“It’s simple things like that which take the weight off your shoulders and give you confidence in being by yourself,” she adds. It’s also provided peace of mind for her family – her two adult children and two grandchildren – knowing “that there’s somebody there to pick up the pieces, if needs be. It’s definitely been the right move’’.

People considering retirement community living should seek professional, independent financial and legal advice.



Sunday Age, December 11, 2022