Eileen and Jim Smith are all set up and would prefer not to retire in a village, but are excited for the region's new $30M precinct.
Eileen and Jim Smith are all set up and would prefer not to retire in a village, but are excited for the region's new $30M precinct. Mike Richards GLA030217ANNIV

'Don't separate us': Preparing for worst key for elderly couple

IF THEY are finally going to build it - they need to build it right.

That's the message 76-year-old Gladstone woman Eileen Smith wants to get across to the council. She said if they want the elderly to stay at the retirement village proposed in the $30million Philip St precinct project, it would need to have "all of the proper facilities".

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Ms Smith said her and husband, Jim, 80 were retired, had three children in Gladstone and would never consider leaving.

They have lived here for 42 years, and their home is fully equipped for the pair to live in for years to come.

However, Mrs Smith said they were keeping their "somewhat limited" options open.

"If we ever had to go to a retirement home, it would probably be the one that was recently approved in Boyne Island - to stay close to home," she said.

"But Gladstone needs this Philip St retirement village, for generations of elderly to come.

"We would only consider it however, if we knew it was fully equipped to not only provide services for independent living, but also the next stage up.

"For example, if something were to happen, say I or Jim got dementia, the council needs to ensure this village can cater to those patients instead of separating people and sending them elsewhere to better facilities that can look after people who fall suddenly ill."

Mrs Smith said she's had friends sell their Gladstone homes to retire in Bargara, Bundaberg or Hervey Bay villages because there was "just no option" here.

"No one will want to go to a village that doesn't cater for the next level of care; hired care," she said.

"Not just homes for people to go, but have the right care in place, if needed.

"In their final years people want to be comforted by their loved one and stay together; don't separate us. "This is what people will be looking for in this new retirement village the council plans to build, if they expect people to stay."



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