Nine years ago mum made the decision to sell her apartment on the Gold Coast after living there for 29 years and relocate to Brisbane where my two sisters and I live.
She had been spending almost every weekend in Brisbane staying with either of us and we were getting anxious about her driving up and down the Coast.
We had been discussing with her for almost a year about her moving to Brisbane to be near us all and we wanted it to happen sooner rather than later. We kept telling her that if she moved now, she would get to enjoy Brisbane and do all the things she wanted, while she could. If she waited or put it off, it could be a decision that became incredibly stressful for her and too rushed. We wanted her to find a place that she would love.
When we all sat down with her, we found there were six things we needed to agree on before she made the big decision to move.
She wanted to remain independent and live on her own and care for herself- which was great! We worked out what home services she may require now or in the future.
The area needed to be as self-contained as possible, have shops, cafes and everything in close proximity to her new home to avoid lots of driving.
Public transport was essential so mum could easily catch the bus into the City or to other major areas she wanted to go.
We needed to find a great Doctor, Dentist and other service providers she required – and ensure she got her historical reports from each so when moving to new providers, they would have her medical and dental history.
We decided she could stay with me until she found a place she wanted to buy. We needed to set a timeline on her staying with me. Otherwise I don’t think I would have wanted her to move out – I got really used to coming home to cooked dinners and my washing done! Our timeline was 8 months.
- Settle In Plan
We agreed Mum needed to get involved in community service work as soon as possible. She wanted to and thought she would make good friends and settle faster. Mum had done some great community volunteer work over the years on the Gold Coast that she really loved.
When mum made the decision to move, things moved quickly. Mum had a quick sale on her apartment and didn’t want the stress of having to find an alternative property until she had time to find the right one.
Mum both downsized and moved in with me. For six months Mum stayed with me, her furniture stored in my house, while each weekend we’d do the Saturday morning ritual of up early, out for breakfast and pour over the paper to check out open houses.
We had particular criteria the potential new apartment had to deliver:
- It needed to be near shops, cafes and Doctors
- As close to parkland as possible for morning walks and lifestyle
- She wanted 2 bedrooms and bathrooms
- It needed to have a lift – definitely no stairs!
- Close to transport
- We wanted it to be close enough to one or more of us girls
We found a great two-bedroom apartment with a lift looking out over a park and it was two streets away from the local shopping village. It has everything you would want, cafes, post office, cinemas, major grocery store and more. She’s only a few minutes away by car to my sister and me. The bus and ferry are only metres away. The best part, it’s in the suburb she lived in her 20’s when she was an air-hostess, so it’s familiar and is a great suburb with everything around her that she needs.
I researched and found her a great volunteer job as an Airport Ambassador, helping visitors when they arrive in Brisbane. This is something she absolutely loved. She’d park and train ride out to the airport each week, and very quickly made excellent friends and got into a routine.
Having that discussion with her before decisions were made and settling on key things prior to mum moving really made her relocation so much easier and stress free.
Nine years on, she is happily ensconced in the area, she’s not a volunteer anymore but has made fantastic friends who meet up with her for coffee and lunch. She has a few more home services now like a cleaner and we help her out with getting around. She’s happy and thankfully still very independent.
by Susan Bailey