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Jean and Rose, life-long friends and neighbours at ACH Group Healthia Residential Care Home.

Every day is filled with joy and laughter

Jean Baldwin and Rose Johnson migrated from the United Kingdom more than 50 years ago to start their Australian dream in Elizabeth, South Australia.

The pair have been close friends for over four decades after meeting when their husbands played golf together.

Fast-forward to 2023, and the opening of ACH Group’s new residential care home, Healthia, proved to be the perfect opportunity for the pair to live together, in their beloved northern community, as their friendship continues to blossom.

The outgoing duo were some of the first Healthia residents, their rooms are right next door to each other. They have effortlessly brightened the community with their witty banter and infectious sense of humour.

So, let’s hear from Jean and Rose.

Jean and Rose sitting at a table, having a cup of tea and chat about friendship and life at Healthia.

Tell us a little bit about yourselves.

Jean: I recently celebrated my 90th birthday in August. I grew up in London, England during the war. I completed my education and got a job as a shorthand typist at a Scottish water boiler manufacturing company and this is where I met my husband. We were married for 66 years before he passed away three years ago. We had two daughters together.

Rose: I am 93 years old. I was born in London, England and later relocated to a neighbouring town with my family. When I was 17, I met my husband who was in the Navy. We had a son and a few years later in 1961 we immigrated to America with my sister-in-law.

Why did you migrate to Australia?

Jean: After a terrible winter in England, my husband and I decided to move to Australia to enjoy the warmer weather.

Rose: When my eldest son turned 18, I found out I was pregnant with twin boys. We didn’t want the twins to grow up in America, so when they were 10 weeks old we moved back to England. We weren’t happy in England and followed my sister to Australia and we have never looked back.

What transformation have you seen in Adelaide’s northern suburbs?

Jean: We both share a deep passion for the northern community. Over the years, we have witnessed its remarkable growth and had the pleasure of meeting some truly remarkable individuals, including well-known people.

The convenience of having hospitals, shopping centres, and everything we need within close proximity adds to the appeal of our area. We love the tranquillity of country living, enjoying picnics and leisurely strolls. It feels as though we have personally experienced the evolution and progress of this community.

What are your shared passions?

Rose: We both enjoyed our time spent at the ARPA (Australian Retired Persons Association) club, where our husbands would play golf together. We found pleasure engaging in a craft class, despite Jean’s creative talent overshadowing mine! Our shared love for socialising and engaging in activities together brings us immense joy.

At Healthia, we go to the gym three times a week together and even get involved in tai chi classes. After dinner, we enjoy community games and share a few hearty laughs.

Jean and Rose, friends who now live at Healthia, having a laugh.

How is life at Healthia?

Jean: When I saw an article about Healthia in Good Lives Magazine, and knowing Rose wasn’t happy where she was, we eagerly put our names down and now, as fate would have it, we find ourselves happily residing as neighbours. Our bold decision to relocate to Healthia in August marked the beginning of a new chapter in our lives, and we proudly hold the distinction of being the first two residents to call this place home.

Of course, leaving behind my cherished home along with the countless memories I had built with my husband and children, was a bittersweet endeavour. It was a daunting journey to process, but in hindsight it was undeniably the best decision we ever made.

Rose: With our history of working in hospitality and retail, we have used our people skills and witty humour to blend in quite comfortably and started to make new friends in the community. With each passing day, we continue to relish in the fulfillment and contentment that came from taking a leap of faith and embarking on this new adventure.

What is the secret to your friendship?

Rose: Every day we spend together is filled with joy and laughter. We have always trusted Jean to guide us whenever we go on vacation. Jean is known for giving advice, although I often choose to disregard it.

Jean: Our sense of humour is remarkably similar and we effortlessly bounce jokes off each other. We find immense pleasure in sharing laughter
and our conversations are often filled with rhymes, jokes, and riddles, creating an ongoing saga of amusement, for us and our fellow residents. We are so much alike in our take on life. We believe in taking each day as it comes.

Rose: We are happy with our lives and the community we live in and wouldn’t change a thing.

Good Lives Magazine

This article was published in Good Lives Magazine – Issue 12.

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Learn more about Healthia 

Introducing ACH Group’s first purpose-built small household care home. Healthia is the first care home in Australia to implement the innovative US-founded Green House Project model of care, creating residential care with a difference.

Contact us for more information.

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