20 February 2023

Get a feel for assisted living in retirement

Morgan Glen Iris ensures residents remain active, entertained and engaged.

‘It’s great peace of mind for families as there is a higher level of support and services than there is in independent retirement communities.’ Roy Hammond-Thomas

There was once a time when, for many people, moving to a senior living community felt akin to disappearing. Seniors were left feeling like they’d been moved on from the family home, uprooted from all that was familiar and shipped off, to be effectively locked up.
Thankfully, that’s no longer the case as the sector has evolved considerably, creating vibrant retirement and assisted living communities in desirable locations. These days, the emphasis is on fostering social engagement among residents and ensuring there are plenty of options for them to remain active and entertained.
In Melbourne’s leafy east, Morgan Glen Iris take this concept a step further.
“We’re integrating with the broader community as well,” says Village manager Roy Hammond-Thomas.
Designed to nestle among the natural bushland of the neighbouring Back Creek Reserve, Morgan Glen Iris opened in 2021.
Living in brand-new, one- and two bedroom contemporary and private apartments, the growing community has been bonding through shared use of the fully stocked library, the gold class-style cinema and the gym, which has views over the creek. The on-site hairdressing salon is now also open to the local community.
“We’re offering a full service experience, which is really special and exciting,”
Hammond-Thomas says of services that include haircuts, colouring and perms, while a beauty menu is about to be launched.
“Local neighbours are getting to know what we do here, and we’re now seeing some bring their family members in, going, ‘Hey Mum, you should really think about living here, because it’s really beautiful, and I love getting my hair done, and then we can do this together.”

It is also about to launch an initiative “where members of the local community can drop in and take a Pilates class run by our experienced physios”, he says. “We want to offer these kinds of opportunities for both residents and the local area, as a way of saying, ‘We’re part of the community; we’re part of what it means to age well,’ whether you choose to live with us or not.”
Morgan Glen Iris also has an 80-seat restaurant on-site, which allows residents to socialise with each other or dine with visiting family and friends. With Mothers Day approaching, Hammond-Thomas points out that “residents and the local community can have a beautiful high teawith us as well”.
Before then, however, Morgan Glen Iris is hosting an open day from 11am on March 4, which is a Saturday so other family members
can come along.
“The best way to experience Morgan is to have a look around and to get to know the team,’’ Hammond-Thomas says. ‘‘On the day, you can meet the wait staff who would be serving you dinner or drinks on the terrace, get to know the piano players we use for our monthly family-and-friends roast dinner, right through to all the chefs and the team who operate the restaurant space.
“We want you to get a feel for what living at Morgan is like,” he says of this BASScare community which provides “assisted living”.
A presentation will explain how this helps residents maintain their independence through a tiered range of tailored services, matched to individual needs and able to be adjusted over time.
“It’s great peace of mind for families as there is a higher level of support and services than there is in independent retirement communities,” Hammond-Thomas says. “Your every need is catered for. . . allowing you to age in place gracefully.”

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


Sunday Age, February 19, 2023