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“If I didn’t live here, I would have become a recluse”: How Bethanie helped a small-town country girl come out of her shell.

When Janet had to continue caring for her elderly mother living with dementia while working full-time and managing two properties, she started looking at ways to make her life more convenient and efficient. It was during this time that Janet came across Bethanie on the Park Retirement Village.

Originally coming from small regional towns including Dumbleyung, Janet said it was the character, boutique size of the Village and convenient park location that drew her to move her and her mother into Bethanie on the Park, which was only a stone’s throw away from her previous home in Yokine.

“The village provided some familiarity for me, being so close to Yokine Reserve and was also convenient for me to care for mum who lived in the apartment next to me,” Janet said.

“Moving to Bethanie on the Park helped me relax more and simplify my life, knowing that the cost of maintenance of the property would be shared, and I had help with the caring logistics for mum.”

The village offers residents the distinct advantage of living in one of Perth’s most central and convenient areas, adjacent to Yokine Reserve and just minutes from Mount Lawley and the Perth CBD.

Janet has come a long way from her small-town country girl ways. She confesses that she enjoys her own company and is quite insular, but now struggles to find time to dive into all the activities that the village has to offer.

“I like my own company, but I also enjoy spending time with my neighbours who are a lively bunch from all walks of life with different perspectives,” Janet said.

“I can choose between being solitary, fully engaged, or somewhere in between, but whatever it may be, I feel secure and happy knowing that someone’s got my back.”

“I got lucky with Bethanie, because if I hadn’t lived here, I would have become a recluse.”

She says to be open minded about meeting new, and perhaps even familiar faces, after recently finding another resident from Dumbleyung.

The former early childhood teacher\lecturer, who organises a Tai Chi group, says there are a variety of activities and social groups offered by the village for people to choose from.

Her advice to anyone considering downsizing or moving to a retirement village is to remove any misconceptions that you may have about it and says you don’t have to be retired to enjoy retirement living.

“Retirement living has evolved greatly recently, it’s not a stuffy old place for sad people, it’s a vibrant community for you to be involved in as much as you like,” she said.

“I can be sociable, but I can also find places where I can be alone in peace and quiet, sit overlooking the park, or entertain friends.

“There is plenty of life and vitality at Bethanie on the Park and that comes from the energy that staff and residents invest in making it the best it can be for all residents, staff, visitors and local community.”

Having lived at Bethanie on the Park for eight years already, the 68-year-old has much more to look forward to and has no intention of leaving anytime soon.

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