Jim says his wife Patricia never wanted to move in to a retirement village but Patricia now says “it was the wisest thing we did.” They’ve now been at Mercy Village for 11 years, Jim is 101 and Patricia is 89. Jim shared what he believes are the secrets to a long and happy life.
Surround yourself with people
He puts his longevity down to having a loving family around him. “I have a loving wife, very practical, and I have my four loving sons to support me.”
Jim said having good connections with friends was also important.
“We have a very caring community here in Mercy Village, very caring,” he said.
Get out and about
Jim and Patricia’s family take them out for meals every now and then and they try to take part in some events with other residents at the village.
“Get out if you’ve got the ability, get out occasionally,” Jim said.
Just the other week Jim and Patricia went for a bus trip to Wungong Dam with Mercy Village residents and the following day went for lunch with a friend at short notice.
Have a sense of humour
Some of the challenges that come with ageing can get people down but Jim decides to laugh about the difficulties in life instead of feeling defeated by them.
“Just yesterday I had difficulty changing my trousers from my street-clothes to my house-clothes and I was there for about 10 minutes trying to get my pair of trousers on and then Patricia came in and she said ‘you’re trying to put your left foot in your right pocket’ because I couldn’t see it,” Jim said.
“From now on I’m going to cut my trousers from the knees, I’ll cut all my trousers,” he said with a laugh.
Prepare for down the track
Jim says people should look ahead and make provisions because situations change and the reality of ageing can take its toll.
“My advice is to look ahead, what I was like when I came here in 2007 and what I’m like now, just about as blind as a bat and deaf as a post, you never think you’ll be that way,” he said.
Jim said being in a supportive environment had not only been good for him but was glad that his wife had also made valuable friendships there.
Ask for help when you need it
Three years ago when his sight and hearing were deteriorating Jim and Patricia sought extra assistance and in-home support.
“You’ve got to realise that you do need help [as you get older]” he said.
Because they surrounded themselves with people and built friendships, they also have people living in nearby units who will assist them if they ever need anything.
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