31 October 2022

Assisted living tailored to the individual

Morgan Glen Iris is a premium, assisted-living retirement community.

Residents of this retirement community can retain their independence while accessing bespoke support.

Lorna laughs a little as she reveals that a frog had kept her awake the night before. “I haven’t heard a frog for years,” she says with a tinge of wonder.
It’s probably the last thing anyone would expect her to say when talking about life in her new apartment, however she’s not living in any ordinary apartment. Earlier this year,
Lorna moved into Morgan Glen Iris.
Located not far from the junction of Toorak and Camberwell roads in Melbourne’s blue-chip east, Morgan Glen Iris is a premium, assisted-living retirement community that’s surrounded by gumtrees and the natural bushland of the neighbouring Back Creek Reserve.
There are 62 high-end apartments spread across the site’s low-rise buildings. “I feel as though I’m actually living in the treetops,” says Lorna of her two-bedroom, two-bathroom, first-floor apartment,which overlooks the picturesque creek. “I’ve also had some king parrots and eastern rosellas visiting me on my lovely long balcony,” she adds.
No stranger to wildlife, having previously lived only a few hundred metres from the beach in Blairgowrie, the “garden- mad” Lorna chose Morgan Glen Iris not only for its beautiful natural setting but for the care staff are providing her, which is allowing her to maintain her independence. Turning 90 next year, Lorna jokingly refers to herself as “The Bionic Woman”, given that over the years she has had not only both knees replaced, but both shoulders as well. With a couple of other health issues to contend with, she was finding it hard to get the assistance she required down the coast.
As an assisted-living community, Morgan Glen Iris offers its residents tailored service packages, which can include things such as meals, cleaning and personal support. The range of tiered packages allows residents to choose the level of support they individually require and adjust that over time.

Lorna, who has “grave mobility issues” and uses a walking frame and scooter, requires some of that extra support now, which means she gets help with things such as regular cleaning.
“I feel like I’m living independently, but if I want any help, if I want any food, or more cleaning, I can get it,’’ she explains. ‘‘I’ve just had the odd-job man up this morning putting a mirror on my balcony here, so there’s all these things available to me that I obviously didn’t have living alone.”
A former aged care nurse, she also values the sense of security assisted living gives her. Being at “considerable risk” of a fall, she knows that if that were to happen, help is only moments away as she has access to a 24-hour emergency system. There’s also a 24-hour concierge providing support.
“It doesn’t matter what you ask of them, they’ll see to it,” she says, adding that the staff are so friendly “I felt at home within a couple of days.” In addition to amenities such as a restaurant, gold class style cinema, library, gym and salon, there are organised social activities, which have helped Lorna make many new friends.
“There are so many things on offer, you should never be lonely, and you should never be
bored. I am pleasantly surprised with how quickly I’ve settled into this new phase of my life.’’
People considering retirement community living should seek professional, independent financial and legal advice.


Sunday Age, October 30 2022