The conversations of life

Retirement villages proving key to seniors housing for regional areas


Just this week, Murray Mallee Aged Care announced they will build a 50-unit retirement village in the South Australian town of Murray Bridge to address a shortage of accommodation for retirees there.

Meanwhile, a pilot project has just seen the official opening of 23 affordable seniors units in the West Australian towns of Boyanup and Dardanup so local retirees don’t have to move to larger towns like Bunbury and Busselton to find suitable housing.

It’s a common problem. Often when people in regional areas need extra support and services, they face two choices – move into residential aged care, even if they may not be ready or want to; or leave their local community and find housing closer to the city where services are more easily accessible.

Country areas often have fewer options for downsizing seniors, but retirement villages offer a bridge between this – and mean you don’t have to move away from family and friends.

They also solve the problem that some retirees face in struggling to cover the deposit for some accommodation, even after selling their homes.

It’s a fact backed up by Murray Mallee chief executive officer Anna Howard.

“We see people who enter residential aged care because they’re nervous to be at home at night,” she said.

“In this environment you’ve got a bell … someone zips over and reassures them everything’s okay.”

Sounds great to us.

Lauren is a journalist for, agedcare101 and The Donaldson Sisters. Growing up in a big family in small town communities, she has always had a love for the written word, joining her local library at the age of six months. With over eight years' experience in writing and editing, she is a keen follower of news and current affairs with a nose for a good story.

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