Retirement options for elderly citizens are getting increasingly more complex nowadays as the percentage of retirees grows ever higher. The Lochlea Lifestyle Resort is a truly unique place designed entirely for independent living that personally caters to the lifestyle needs of every resident. The luxurious complex is situated on 6.2 hectares of land in the heart of Ashburton, a rural community close to both Christchurch and Timaru.
The independently-owned resort was established in 2012 by Les Briggs who wished to provide a sense of security to the aging community of Ashburton and the surrounding areas. Tony Sands, the Resort Manager, has been deeply involved in the process since its inception. In fact, he was the real estate agent who first sold the lot to the current owner. After he listened to the founder’s vision and accepted his offer to be the manager, Tony has worked hard to ensure that the resort would be a place where life is celebrated and where residents would feel secure in their own homes with access to as many amenities as possible.
A strong focus on independent living
Getting people used to the idea of a retirement resort was certainly a challenge, according to Tony, but that never stopped them. Nowadays, more and more people are inquiring about Lochlea while the residents couldn’t be happier with their lifestyle. Right now, the resort hosts 62 residents in 52 villas with additional agreements on villas currently under construction. Furthermore, an on-site hospital with assisted care services and a dementia unit was opened on the 17th of June, offering unprecedented levels of care in the resort. In addition to that, nineteen assisted care apartments attached to the hospital are due to be completed over the next few months, providing even more options for current and future residents.
“In terms of the hospital, one of the attractions of the resort is that residents in the resort have first option on the hospital beds as they become available. When the hospital opens up, it will provide meals to the residents in the resort and also to the assisted care apartments. There have been a lot of inquiries about that. The meals will be fresh-cooked daily and the prices will be at a very reasonable level so that they cater to everybody at the resort”, explains Tony.
Being active is a huge part of life in the Lochlea Lifestyle Resort. There’s a huge common room which has a bar and a commercial kitchen attached to it. The residents regularly hold their own events in there as there is no extra charge for using the lodge. In fact, everyone has their own access cards which allows them to come and go as they please. Aside from that, the resort has a chapel, a dedicated activities room, a library, a gym, a massage facility, hairdressers for men and women, a workshop, tool store, pool table, an indoor swimming pool, and a spa. As for outdoors activities, residents can enjoy an entertainment area, a full-size bowling green, petanque, croquet, and shuffleboard areas, and a fully equipped BBQ area.
The emphasis on independent living has been incredibly well-received by the community. Regular outings through a facility-offered minibus also provides the residents with additional opportunities for recreation in the community of Ashburton and other nearby areas. Despite the fact that there are quite a lot of residents in the resort already with additional individuals moving in soon, there is a real sense of community within the complex. Residents regularly inform Tony that they would probably never take part in such numerous activities and social outings if they lived in their own home and this generates longevity, good health, and an improved quality of life. Moreover, the resort is the perfect place to foster new relationships.
Importantly, the families of the residents are also very much welcome in the resort:
“For some of our residents who aren’t in their best of health, both their families and management becomes involved. Between us, we keep an eye on them. We have family members coming to stay in the resort and they or other guests can stay for up to 2 months. They are also welcome to use the facilities we provide to the residents and this happens often”, says Tony.
Offering a true sense of security and protection
Security is of paramount importance at Lochlea Lifestyle Resort. The gated community is protected by a number of different cameras while the grounds are patrolled twice nightly to make sure that the residents can feel safe and secure in their own homes. To that end, each villa is equipped with a nurse-call button which ensures that the management team can provide first aid to the residents as soon as possible in an event of medical emergency.
Generally, Tony’s aim is to generate an atmosphere of security, safety, and well-being in the community. Because the residents are encouraged to live exactly as they would in their own homes, there are but a few restrictions and standards they have to follow and they are always within reason such as being respectful towards one another. Of course, the resort also has various systems in place to make sure this philosophy is adhered to. The most prime example of this is the buddy system. Whenever one of the residents falls ill, the resort assigns them a buddy who looks after them on a daily basis. Even without the buddy system, however, the residents have such a strong sense of community that they always visit their ailing neighbours with a basket of food and good wishes, always on their own initiative.
Looking towards the future
Tony’s future goals are certainly to fill the village up as much as possible. The way the resort is operated, residents will always have more things to do if they can share them with more people. Right now, there is still a lot of construction going on and his aim is definitely to complete those works as soon as possible. By respecting the needs of the residents and providing them with an incredibly complex full of luxurious amenities, the Lochlea Lifestyle Resort will surely become even more popular in the years to come.
AT A GLANCE
WHO: Lochela Lifestyle Resort
WHAT: A retirement resort focused on independent living with the provision of a full range of amenities
WHERE: Lochlea Estate, 25A/25 Charlesworth Drive, Ashburton 7700