14 November 2022

Assisted living and luxury combined

Residents of the spacious contemporary apartments at Morgan Glen Iris enjoy leafy views.

Residents of this Melbourne assisted living community can choose support services to bolster their independence.

Angus and Dorothy have been married for more than seven decades. “I’m looking at her across the table and she is just as beautiful as she was when we were 20 and got married,” says Angus proudly.
Last November, the couple –who have three children, 10 grandchildren and three
great-grandchildren – had another milestone to celebrate. The day before their wedding anniversary, they had signed the paperwork on a new apartment.
Celebrating this new chapter with a dinner at a Melbourne restaurant, as they were
returning to their high-rise apartment building in Southbank, where they had enjoyed
“Fantastic views” for the past 29 years, “our world turned upside down in 10 seconds,”
recalls Angus of Dorothy falling backwards down the stairs.
“Next thing I know, she’s been carted away in an ambulance,” he says. The fall was so bad that Dorothy admits she was “really in trouble in hospital, so it’s miraculous that I’m here, actually.”
The silver lining in this story is that their new apartment was one at Morgan Glen Iris,
a premium assisted-living retirement community in Melbourne’s east. Given the pair are both in their 90s, and Angus had observed Dorothy developing some dizziness
and he has some health issues of his own, they had started to think “it might be an idea to get some assistance”.
Impressed with the “five-star” facilities – which include a gold class-style cinema, fully stocked library, gym and a salon equipped for massage plus hair and beauty treatments – they were quick to sign up.

Developed by BASScare, a not-for-profit organisation with more than six decades’ experience with seniors’ living, Morgan Glen Iris is like a hybrid of a retirement village and a supported residential service.
As an assisted-living community, Morgan offers its residents service packages, which can include things such as meals, cleaning and personal support, tailored to the level of support the individual requires. Also available are a nurse, direct care workers and visiting allied health services, plus a 24-hour concierge, which means residents are supported to live independently.
For Angus, this meant he was able to get settled into their new two-bedroom
apartment, which offers leafy views of the neighbouring Back Creek Reserve, while
Dorothy spent those four months in hospital.
When she could finally move in, the burden wasn’t on Angus to be her carer. She was
given assistance with things like showering and dressing each morning. “That’s minimal now, it was really difficult first up,” he says of how the care levels have adjusted in line with their changing needs.
The duo have their evening meals, which are cooked at the on-site restaurant,
delivered to their apartment. And they love the fact they can pick up the phone and talk to the concierge “in case there’s a problem, but fortunately, we haven’t had to.”
Dorothy has no doubt that if they had still been living in their city apartment when she fell, “I would have needed to go to a nursing home”, which she knows would have been difficult to deal with.
“I’ve always just been healthy and been able to do whatever I wanted to do,” she says.
The decision to move to Morgan Glen Iris has allowed her to carry on doing that and
continue living with her loving husband. “I can’t imagine a better place,” she says.


Sunday Age, November 13, 2022