Lifelong friendship endures at Torrens Grove

Lifelong friends Ruth and Hazel at Torrens Grove Retirement Village

That it is nice to have friends close by is something Hazel Wilson and Ruth Taylor can attest to. The 91-year-olds’  lifelong connection began in high school and has endured to today where they find themselves living a few streets apart at Torrens Grove Retirement Village.

It all started at high school

Hazel grew up on the York Peninsula and came to Adelaide for high school, boarding at Cabra Dominican College. It was there she met Ruth who was a day girl and didn’t fraternise much with the boarding school girls. The pair knew each other, they had classes together and graduated together. Little did they know, this would be the start of a lifelong friendship.

After school, Ruth went to nursing college and Ruth followed a year or so later and they both worked as nurses at the Royal Adelaide Hospital. But the parallels didn’t end there.

Both women married men named Brian, who happened to be great friends.

Ruth, Hazel and the two Brians moved into neighbouring Adelaide suburbs. Hazel and Brian had six children and Ruth and Brian had nine. The kids all knew each other – the boys went to St Michael’s College and some of the girls went to Siena College. The two families grew up together.

Leaving the family home

In 2014, it had become apparent to Ruth and Brian that they could no longer maintain their large six-bedroom family home, so they decided to move into an independent living unit at Torrens Grove Retirement Village.

“I didn’t hesitate because I knew we couldn’t stay in the big house and manage it, and I liked the units,” Ruth remembered.

“The units were airy enough and light. They were accessible because they were on the ground floor.”

Among their regular visitors were Hazel and Brian, who would regularly pop over on a Saturday night.

“They used to come over and play cards. A group of us would go from one house to the other,” Ruth said.

Ruth celebrating her 90th birthday at Torrens Grove Retirement Village.
Ruth celebrating her 90th birthday at Torrens Grove Retirement Village

While both Brians sadly passed away within a few years of each other, Ruth and Hazel kept in touch.

Knowing Hazel was living alone in the family home, Ruth had planted the idea of moving into a retirement village, but not any retirement village, Torrens Grove.

Hazel was very familiar with the village and had considered moving but wasn’t quite ready to leave the comfort of her family home. It held too many memories.

A Care Experience

Hazel’s health started to decline, she was having falls at home and was in and out of hospital. After yet another hospital stay, Hazel and her daughter agreed to try out the Care Experience to see if the move to Torrens Grove would be a good fit.

Torrens Grove Village Manager, Michelle Cheetham, says our Care Experience offers potential residents the chance to stay in a fully-furnished care apartment to enjoy all the benefits of village life.

During this time, meals, cleaning, laundry and linen is taken care of and residents have full access to the village facilities and activities.

Hazel moved to Torrens Grove Retirement Village at the beginning of the year
Hazel just after she moved into Torrens Grove Retirement Village

The Care Experience is also perfect if you need to recover from illness, injury or a hospital stay.

Hazel moved into a care apartment for two weeks. During this time, she got to know the other residents and the village team, and she had many visits from family and friends, including Ruth.

Ruth and Hazel had many conversations about what life is like in a retirement village but at the end of her stay, Hazel decided she still wanted to go home.

It was only when Hazel moved back home that she realised that she could no longer continue living there alone. It was then that she made the decision to move into a care apartment of her choosing, at the Torrens Grove Retirement Village.

Safety, security and support

Leaving the family home was a very emotional experience for Hazel but she says that she is really happy she made the decision. Hazel knows that having care and support available is exactly what she needs. This also provided her family with peace of mind that she would be looked after, especially if she had another fall.

Hazel loves the spaciousness and privacy of her apartment and what the village offers.

“You can meet up with a lot of people and they have quite a few activities,” Hazel said.

A lifelong friendship endures

Ruth and Hazel only live streets away from each other in the village and try to catch up with one another as much as possible. They appreciate having each other close by.

Although Ruth said, mobility challenges had become a bit of a hurdle.

“I’m a couple of streets away, but I’m getting older and having trouble getting down there,” she said. “I do get my Gopher (scooter) and go down.”

If that fails, there’s always the phone.

“We have always rung one another, even when she was at home,” said Ruth. “We have that connection; we call one another if we don’t see one another.”

“It’s good to be able to see her and have a good chat,” said Hazel.

Ruth simply said, “It’s nice to know she’s there”.

Be part of a vibrant, caring community at Torrens Grove

Popular for its inner north-west Adelaide location, Torrens Grove Retirement Village is just a short drive from the beach and the city centre. You’ll find the Armada Arndale Shopping Centre across the road, and transport and health services nearby.

Torrens Grove Retirement Village
Torrens Grove Retirement Village

Our tree-lined village is home to a friendly, social and supportive community. Family and friends will look forward to their visit and a stroll amongst the established gardens, while your pets* will love their new home just as much as you do. What’s more, with gardening and home maintenance taken care of, you’ll have more time for the things you love.

Torrens Grove offers a range of living options and support services to meet your individual needs. Whether that means living independently in your own unit or seeking daily support in one of our care apartments, there is an option to suit you. Should you ever face health challenges, rest easy knowing you can access additional care and support if you need it.

It is a place to feel right at home – both now and in the years ahead.

* Subject to approval so that all pets live harmoniously together.

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