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It’s a wonderful life: Elmswood Retirement Village

It’s been a well anticipated start to 2021 for residents of Elmswood Retirement Village as the newly refurbished Avon wing reopens and is now ready for occupation. Twelve serviced units have been given a fresh, high-spec makeover.



These spacious units have been designed with luxury living and entertaining in mind. Elegant furnishings blend beautifully with original features to set the tone, giving each room that extra touch of warm, welcoming ambience.

A big bonus in these serviced units is that they’re all built on ground level amongst well-established gardens and mature trees, giving residents that important indoor-outdoor flow between apartment and private patio; something we kiwis take as our fundamental right, irrespective of age!

Another benefit of these serviced units is in the care package, which allows residents freedom from the dreary chores of cooking or cleaning for themselves. Hallelujah!

A cosy social hub has been incorporated into the design of the newly refurbished wing, for residents to meet up with friends or family, relax with a magazine, or just sit and watch the village comings and goings in absolute comfort.

While large retirement villages have much to recommend, there’s a lot to be said for the smaller sized villages, like Elmswood. Smaller villages mean it’s easier to meet people and form friendships. A popular meeting place is the newly established picking garden where you can pick your own flowers.

The beauty of Elmswood Retirement Village is that it feels like a community. Just to give and receive a smile from a familiar face in passing, makes life wonderful; that’s the true community spirit.

To find out more about independent living, the Avon wing serviced units and continuum of care, phone Donna Monk on (03) 351 0974 or 021 241 9979.

Check out the virtual tour at the website below.


Aging in style: St Albans Arvida

Studies show that by 2051 there will be 1.18million people aged 65 and over in New Zealand, an increase of 165 percent since 1999. It’s an unchangeable fact that we are all going to age, so why not do so in style? Metropol caught up with Arvida St Albans facility manager Symone Bruhns to hear how the aging experience is being transformed.



How does someone know if it might be time to look at retirement village options?
“We all want to stay as healthy and well, both mentally and physically, for as long as we possibly can. As the natural process of aging occurs, people start to evaluate their quality of life and to assess if they need assistance with their day-to-day living.
“Living independently at home may start to feel challenging. A retirement village, or community as we prefer to call them, provides a good option for when factors like maintaining the family home, security concerns, companionship, access to services, day to day living and health issues become a challenge. St Albans Retirement Village offers a continuum of care from independent living options right through to palliative care.”

Tell us a bit about Arvida’s values. How do you want residents to feel in the community?
“Our vision is to improve the lives and wellbeing of our residents by transforming the aging experience. We do this though our attitude of living well pillars which are: Eating well, moving well, thinking well, resting well and engaging well. Quality of life is important for all of us and at Arvida our attitude of living well is revolutionary in aged care.”

What’s on the cards for Arvida St Albans in 2021?
“St Albans will have completely finished its construction in 2021 involving the opening of the new wings in March with serviced apartments including spacious north and west facing two-bedroom apartments, and an expansion of new care rooms for people looking for rest home and hospital level care. St Albans prides itself on continually working to better resident’s day to day living and so in 2021 we also have a gym for independent residents and a new communal area in the Totara Living Well Apartments scheduled for completion.”



Work begins for retirement

A sprawling seven-hectare retirement village is on the cards for Kaiapoi, with the first stage earmarked for completion this year. The large scale development is just the latest aged care facility to pop up in the region, as developers respond to the demand of our aging populations.



When finished, the impressive settlement will include 76 independent living villas, 267 apartments, 48 residential care beds and 36 memory care beds.

Named The Sterling, the project is in the Silverstream Subdivision in Kaiapoi and is being developed by Lime Living Limited.

Lime Living is established by Alan Edwards, Fred Rahme and Jack Lin who have backgrounds in aged care, urban planning and residential development.

The project is designed by internationally renowned architecture firm Marchese Partners, which has more than 15 years of experience creating award-winning, landmark aged care facilities throughout Australia, Asia and the United Kingdom.

Consent applications submitted to Waimakariri District Council last year showed the proposed complex to be five storeys – the tallest in the region – and included 285 basement carparks as well as a spa, hydrotherapy, hair salon, physio, medical hub, gym, outdoor patio areas and a BBQ area.

Architectural renderings also show five storeyed buildings, as well as slick on-trend design elements like exposed timber cladding and architectural tray, spacious balconies and ample shared-use green space.

The Sterling is set to be built in seven stages, the first beginning soon and welcoming residents in the second half of the year. The first stage will incorporate 18 villas, a temporary community centre along with the main reserve and green spaces.

Meanwhile, fellow aged care developer Summerset Group has purchased land to build a nine-hectare development nearby in Rangiora for over 300 independent homes.

The main building of Summerset’s Casebrook development also opened in March, with 88 percent of accommodation offerings pre-sold.

Stage 2 of Arvida’s Park Lane in central Christchurch is also set to open this year with 79 apartments, making it one of the largest multi-storey mass buildings in New Zealand.


Intelligently designed for independence: HQ Construction x WindsorCare

Eight new architecturally designed villas in Shirley offer would-be buyers the chance to live independently, while still being connected to the services of WindsorCare. The 100 square metre north-facing single storey dwellings are constructed from durable materials chosen with long-term maintenance in mind.



Opposite The Palms shopping centre and near the Shirley Golf Club – the two bedroom and 1.5 bathroom villas are a tempting offering for those aged 65-plus with time on their hands and who wish to be close to care services.

WindsorCare is a charitable trust which provides independent living and care options for resident through their retirement years, and Sales and Marketing Manager Alison Fleming says the brand-new villas are custom built to accommodate older residents.

Level entry into the units and the showers, means safe and easy access for the residents.

Wider doors and hallways allow for wheelchairs and walkers, and lower, shallow cupboards ensure easy accessibility.

Fully insulated, double-glazed, and fitted with medical call bells and heat pump – the sunny homes have intelligent landscaping to offer aesthetic appeal, with no lawn mowing or laborious gardening.

“They are directly opposite The Palms shopping centre, so it is just a quick walk across the road to do the shopping, see a movie or have a coffee,” Alison says.

HQ Construction founder Huntley Quinn says the build was initially disrupted by Covid-19, but his team made up the time since – handing the project over three weeks earlier than expected.

“There was really good collaboration between the board, the GM the architect and the builder. It’s been a transparent and open relationship right through.”

Huntley says the aluminium windows, Rockcote cladding and iron long run roofing make for easy maintenance, and interior features like tiled bathrooms make it easy clean and sleek looking.

“They are all maximised on the north facing site so the sun is shining into the living areas. The internal access garages with in-built laundries also adds extra convenience.”

Visit an open home on Saturday November 28 or Sunday December 5 from 1pm to 5pm at 16 Golf Links Road, Shirley. Call 022 6200 839 or 03 385 3179 for more information.


Plump up the pension pot

Whether it’s a comfortable three decades away or in a few short years, it’s tempting to put off planning for retirement and facing fiscal reality.



How much of a nest egg we really need can be subjective, varying vastly depending on situations and expectations.

A figure plucked out by a few professionals is $300,000 per person or $400,000 per couple.

And then there are some experts that say we need a million or two to relish our twilight years.

Ironically both can be right. We all have unique needs, dreams, and fates.

  1. Do the maths
    All incoming funds and likely outgoing expenses meld to make the final pot of gold. Calculate incomes from weekly New Zealand Superannuation, other pensions, tenants, boarders, projected KiwiSaver funds and other investments. Will the mortgage be paid off? Will there be lump sums from cashed-up investments such as property or the fine art collection? Whether it’s a flowchart of likelihoods or a list of outgoings and incomings, it pays to put pen to paper and update continually.
  2. Downsizing
    Many plan to downsize upon retiring to plump up the pension pot, but when it comes to the crunch, it might be difficult to sacrifice creature comforts. Living frugally in a nicer home might appeal to one, and a humble abode and overseas trips to others.
  3. Decide on your lifestyle
    Some people might be content living off a well-tended vege garden, for others it’s banqueting on a river cruise. Lavish or frugal – or indeed somewhere in between – decide what lifestyle fits with reality, and work toward a healthy dollar sum.
  4. Expect the unexpected
    Unplanned medical costs, helping the children out financially, global events or even new opportunities, being over-prepared brings peace of mind. If forthcoming inheritance is in the mix, be aware anything can happen. Security is planning for the worst case scenario.
  5. How much to save
    The closer we are to retirement, the larger percentage we should be stashing away from our salaries. Invest wisely in purchases that increase in value or will make money. For example, will this latest computer help increase my income? As leisure days loom faster we are more likely to work smarter than harder. Regardless, every little amount will help and it’s never too late.
  6. The bucket list
    Retirement buys the time, but not necessarily the bucks. Wish-lists invariably come with a price tag and they are generally better crossed off early, while we are fit and able. Make a list of the ‘must-dos’, and ‘would like to do’, and ferret away the required funds.
  7. Get advice from all angles
    Take on board all the workable tips from financial advisers, success stories from happy retirees, an accountant who knows your spending habits and online research. The website has useful advice and current pension rates.

Seeing retirement as an exciting staging of life makes the saving up for the adventure a pleasure.


Losing the house – are there alternatives?

If you were to go into long-term residential care, do you fear that all your hard-earned assets will be used to pay for that care? Kannangara Thomson Partner Brent Selwyn fills us in on the alternatives.




Let’s get one thing clear. Senior care is expensive and it is asset and income tested. With an ageing population, coupled with low birth rates, there will be increasingly fewer tax payers compared to the number of people in care. For that reason alone, you should know that asset and income testing for senior residential care is here to stay.

When one of a couple goes into care, the family home is not at risk. The home is exempt as an asset for the purpose of asset testing if a spouse or dependent child lives in it. In addition, the family car and other assets to the value of $126,224 are exempt. Everything else must be used to pay for the care of the partner in long-term residential care.

Another problem for the partner left in the family home is that most of their partner’s pension will now go toward their care. The partner in the family home has to make do on one pension and a living-alone allowance.

When one of a couple dies, traditional property ownership sees the family home and all other jointly owned assets pass to the survivor by ‘survivorship’. If the survivor then goes into care, the problem is exponentially amplified because the family home is no longer exempt.

The survivor of a couple going into residential care in those circumstances is allowed exempt assets of $230,495 including the house and car. Their pension is nearly all used for their care also.

For most seniors, a trust is not the answer. Although gift duty has been abolished, the Ministry of Social Development still imposes an ‘allowable gift’ of $27,000 per application in each 12-month period. Anything above that will be clawed back into your assets and used for your care.

However, there is a possible partial solution for couples. It lies in how you own the family home. If you have your home ownership structured so that you each own a distinct share of it, you can then leave a different type of will, known as a ‘life interest will’ whereby instead of your partner inheriting the whole house, you leave them a life interest in your share of it when you die.

If the survivor then goes into care, they only need to declare among their assets the share of the property they own personally.

If that sounds like a possible solution to a problem for you or an older family member, call Brent Selwyn now on 03 377 4421 to book a no-obligation appointment to see if a simple change of ownership structure could protect your assets.




Donna Monk

A family vibe: Elmswood Retirement Village

Donna Monk is the Sales Consultant for Elmswood Retirement Village. Donna tells us why she loves the village and her role there.



Donna Monk


Donna, why is Elmswood special?
It has a soul and a personality of its own. The buildings are well-established and the gardens are just stunning – there’s an area to explore or relax in around every corner and there is a genuine village feel as you come through the gates.

The family vibe is created through being small enough for everyone to know each other.

Residents can be as involved in the in-house social side as they like and maintain all of their outside interests.



What types of living does Elmswood offer?
We have a selection of living options: villas, serviced apartments and studios, the resthome and hospital-level care.

It is so important for people to be able to future-proof their choices and join us as an individual, or as a couple, at a level of care according to need.

Even for villa-living we can organise for internal and external services to be wrapped around residents, so they can retain their independence for as long as possible.

There are currently some vacancies in each option and we’d love for people to come and see for themselves.



What do you really love about this village?

I love the people. We have a laugh, the team and the residents, and I wouldn’t be here if we didn’t. We seem to have a really happy mix that makes my job a pleasure.



Russley Village

Exceptional Retirement Facilites: Russley Village

In Russley Village’s warm and inclusive community there’s always something happening. With 28 group activities on offer, residents can be as social or as independent as they want.


Russley Village


The impressive facilities at the village include a heated pool, gym, cinema, restaurant, billiard area, plus the newly resurfaced bowling green which is multipurpose and is used for croquet and mini golf. There is a range of accommodation options from villas through to serviced apartments. Serviced apartment living can bridge the gap between independent living and going into an aged care facility. Residents can add additional services if required. There is a basic hospitality package or three higher level service packages which residents can opt into, should health and medical needs change.

“The best thing to do is to come and view the show apartment and our stunning facilities, I’m sure you will be impressed,” says Nola Lamb, Sales & Marketing Manager. “It’s a special village; I’ve been here since the beginning and it really is unique. The staff and residents have created a great atmosphere.” The last phase of Russley’s journey, the Ashley Suites, is currently under construction and due to be completed in late 2019. The Ashley Suites will include an upscale boutique care facility and serviced apartments, ensuring the full continuum of care and support services are provided for within the village.


Phone Nola on 03 982 8280 for an appointment to view.


Silverstream retirement Village

Boutique Retirement: Silverstream retirement Village

The boutique Silverstream retirement Village in Bishopdale/Harewood is almost too good to be true, for the over-65s seeking the exciting,
but easy life.

Silverstream retirement Village
The boutique village for the over-65s seeking the exciting, but easy life

Walking up The Boulevard to the village’s heart, there were sounds of jazz entertainment wafting from the sunlit lounge, that adjoins the spa, lap pool and coffee area. It is a perfect spot for anniversary parties. Upstairs there’s a gym, hair salon and library; with 24/7 access to this leisure centre, it’s a holiday resort at home.

From outings to barbeques, there’s always an activity to join; residents also run their own social club. “It’s very social and friendly here,” Village Manager Donna O’Reilly says. “You participate as much or as little as you like. We provide a personal service, such as checking up if someone’s unwell. We’re central to everywhere – such as doctors, shops and the airport.”

Silverstream has 49 beautiful villas, set amongst established gardens, all architecturally designed by Weir Walker. Spacious with high ceilings and entrances, large lounge areas, ample storage and carpeted garaging, there’s no need to downsize. Pets are even welcome, with prior permission, and there’s room for visiting family. Each villa is unique, with French doors to private courtyards. These villas are built solid of mainly plaster over brick, with underfloor heating, some with gas fires, and range from 115-142sqm.

A couple of the two-bedroom villas are now available, one with street frontage and larger grounds, and a very spacious three-bedroom villa.

Viewing available Tuesday to Friday 10am-4pm or Sunday 10am-4pm, phone Donna 021 778775, email, or visit

The Russley Village

Luxury living: setting a high standard at The Russley Village

“The opportunities for luxury living continue to grow at The Russley Village, with foundations about to be poured for The Ashley Suites,” says Village Manager Wayne Thompson.

The Russley Village

The Ashley Suites will host resthome and hospital level care and the top floor will contain eight serviced apartments, enabling residents to receive resthome level care in their home if required.
Completed only last December, the Sefton Apartment complex is almost fully occupied with one bed apartments still available. The Sefton Block is home to the glorious 15m x 9m swimming pool and spa pool.

The Russley Village The residents of the existing country estate style 47 villas and 63 spacious apartments (one, two and three bedrooms), have a short stroll to the fully licensed Abode Café and Brasserie, the boutique cinema and the Pavilion which contains cardio room, group exercise space for indoor bowls, low impact exercise classes and dancing. The bowling green is soon to be upgraded which will allow its use for croquet – hoops will be able to be inserted into the green!
“The Russley Village sets a new standard for retirement villages – in terms of physical design, architectural individuality, social variety and quality of care,” Wayne says. “Demand is high, which means people need to plan ahead if they would like to join our warm and inclusive community. So book a visit, finishing with coffee in the café then a stroll around our award-winning gardens.”