Not long after moving to Lakeside Retirement Village in the early 2000s, Bruce and Dorothy Murray started a welfare group. The group of volunteers help residents who are recovering from sickness or injury.
More than 2 decades later, Bruce, Dorothy and the welfare group volunteers are still supporting the people of their community. We spoke with Bruce about his volunteer work and life at Lakeside Retirement Village.
We started the welfare group to help residents who've been sick, injured or in hospital. We’re on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We started off with only 3 pieces of equipment, but now have an arsenal of hospital equipment people can use. We have everything from wheelchairs and crutches to walkers and shower chairs. If anyone needs anything, they can borrow it. The village management even built us a storage room to keep it all in because we have so much.
As soon as someone new moves in, we send them a note listing all the equipment we have available should they need it. We also supply a list to all hospital occupational therapists and rehabs. That way, if anybody is ready to come home from the hospital, they can contact us directly. They tell us what they want, and we make sure we have it ready for them.
Before I retired, I worked in the mines. I was a first aid officer helping if anyone needed a helicopter or ambulance. So I guess looking after people is something I've always done. Nowadays, I make plenty of visits to hospitals and nursing homes to see residents from our villages who have been admitted or are in rehab facilities.
‘It makes us feel good to be able to look after people. There's still so much of life to enjoy.’
Dorothy and I belong to the Wyong Hospital Auxiliary. We run barbecues for them at Bunnings, and Dorothy and a lot of the ladies here knit beautiful garments to sell in the hospital shop. Last year, along with others, we helped raise $92,000 for the hospital. We were honoured to receive certificates for our volunteer work a few years ago, which were presented by the Mayor of Lake Macquarie. It makes us feel good to be able to look after people. There's still so much of life to enjoy.
We moved into Lakeside Retirement Village because we were travelling a lot. Our daughter lives in Busselton in Western Australia. When we visit her, it’s nice knowing our place is looked after while we’re away. We always feel safe leaving our home thanks to the sense of security here.
There's plenty to enjoy in the village on a day-to-day basis, and always so much happening. We've made plenty of friends. There are 262 villas at Lakeside and 354 residents, which is a lot of people. There are only a few very new residents I don't know. Being in the welfare group, you meet everyone.
Dorothy plays indoor bowls, and we both play table tennis. Every Monday, we drive to the tennis court for a game. We love tennis. In fact, we met on a tennis court more than 60 years ago, playing opposite each other! So it's a game we've been playing together for a while.
‘In my life, I've learnt you should always be good to people.’
My wife and my family make me so happy. We have our daughter in Busselton and a son in Newcastle. We also have 5 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren, with another one on the way.
In my life, I've learnt you should always be good to people. And if you can help anybody, you should. Getting sick or injured can be hard. So anything we can do to make life easier for people is worthwhile. I just feel lucky to be able to still run around a tennis court and play sets with my wife every Monday. It's great to be alive.
Learn more about Lakeside Retirement Village, NSW.
For more information about the lifestyle and support offered at our retirement villages, call our customer service team on 1800 550 550.
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