The bird whisperer - Blog | Keyton

The bird whisperer

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Shirley Saunders enjoys meeting people and making friends at Eaglemount Resort. She’s even befriended a cheery bird called Charlie. She spoke with us about her experience of living in a retirement village.

There's so much to enjoy about living at Eaglemount. Since I moved in, I’ve become involved in everything that's going on here. I love people, having friends, and meeting new ones. I can be a little bit outspoken, so I get into trouble sometimes, but it's all good fun. 

I really enjoy the company of everyone and playing carpet bowls every Saturday afternoon. There's always something to do here. Whether I'm sitting at home knitting, colouring in, doing crosswords, reading, watching TV, or going down to the clubhouse. The days aren't long enough.

Everything we do is all about fun

My friend Sheila and I do an exercise class in the village together. It's sensible exercise, perfect for our age group, and it gets a little bit harder each week. Our teacher Rosemary plays great music, Elvis Presley, and stuff like that. It makes you want to dance. 

We also play cards three days a week. Everything we do is all about fun. Everyone's got something that they're good at, and I always say mine's talking.

Retirement means you should be able to enjoy your life. I'm still recovering from breast cancer, but I'm one of the lucky ones. 

Life's good. I spend my time living and enjoying myself here. 

‘Retirement means you should be able to enjoy your life.’

A cockatiel called Charlie

The best thing I ever did was move here because I love talking to people. But there's another reason I'm so happy now too. I recently inherited a bird from my friend Sheila. Charlie is a male cockatiel, and I told Sheila I'd look after him when she went away. 

We were together for a fortnight, and I completely fell in love with him. When I gave Charlie back, I thought, ‘Gee, I miss him.’ Sheila's quite a bit younger than me and out a lot of the time, and Charlie loves company. I probably shouldn't have said it to her, but I said, ‘I don't think you're a bird person! If you don't want him, I'll take him.’ Sheila ummed and ahhed for a while before deciding I could have him. Now I'm not a bird person, but I just love Charlie. If something happened to him I'd be so upset.

It sounds stupid, but we don't know how old Charlie is or what his background was. He was apparently mishandled before Sheila got him because you can't touch him with your hands. But he'll come up onto my chest and want me to talk to him. Every day he does something new. 

When Sheila comes to visit, he gets all excited and sits on her shoulder. But she says she doesn't miss him, she just comes over to say hello. I sit down with Charlie on my knee, and I'm happy just watching him. People have remarked that since Charlie came into my life, I've changed. I've mellowed a bit.

Now, it’s my time

I look at myself now and wish I was this outgoing when I was younger. I guess life experience and confidence change you. I was an only child, and Mum used to fill in my sentences for me. I never got a chance to come out of my shell. 

I've married a couple of times and had kids to look after, and now, it's my time. I've come to really enjoy life with my friends in the village, being completely myself.

Learn more about Eaglemount Resort, QLD

For more information about the lifestyle and support offered at our retirement villages, call our customer service team on 1800 550 550.

If you think your family or friends might enjoy this article, please share it with them. 

Related Stories

Choosing the paw-fect companion for you
If you’re thinking of bringing a furry friend into your heart and home, make sure you choose the right companion for your lifestyle.
You’ve always got a friend in retirement living
Moving to a new community can be scary. But with welcoming neighbours, helpful staff and an endless list of social activities, making new friends is easy.
Wellbeing benefits of living in a retirement village
Hear from residents about the social benefits of community living and how it’s improving their health and wellbeing.