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From Retirement Living to Residential Care Without Changing Address

Bill Hobbs of Carmelite

Bill Hobbs was born in Prospect in 1934. At the age of 10 his mother moved them to Payneham, where his grandfather and uncle had market gardens, as his father was a prisoner of war.

The family attended Payneham Methodist Church, where Bill met his wife Margaret. 

After Bill finished university and medical school, the couple moved to Woodville to start their family while Bill worked as a GP. 

Retiring at 65 after years working in the medical field and living in Burnside, Bill took up building boats and caravans.

“We had a little place at Goolwa and that was where I built the boat and caravans; about five boats from a little heron to a fibreglass catamaran that we sailed to the Whitsundays. My wife didn’t want to go but she did anyway,” Bill said.

Done with adventuring, they made the decision to move into a Retirement Living community in 2018, finding their ideal two bedroom apartment with Southern Cross Care at Carmelite in Myrtle Bank, SA.

Carmelite’s location was one they were familiar with, having lived nearby in Burnside for many years, and it offered all the facilities they were looking for.

It wasn’t until a few years later they realised how well-timed their decision was.

When Bill and Margaret arrived at the apartment, one close friend had already moved in and two more followed soon after.

Bill and Margaret’s youngest daughter Bec said, “We called them the Carmelite Mafia for a while because they kind of took over the Carmelite apartments.”

Margaret sadly passed away two years ago, and Bill continued to look after himself in the apartment for a little while, until a health condition caused him to become quite ill.

While recovering from the illness, Bill accessed residential respite in Carmelite Residential Care and given his challenges with sight, hearing and other health conditions, he decided to stay.

Now living permanently in Residential Care, just a few floors away from his previous apartment, Bill is still making good decisions about where he lives.

“The little room is not very big but it feels like home, it’s just right for someone like me who can’t see much, I can do everything by touch,” he said.

“The carers are all great, I get on well with them. I enjoy the concerts, some of them are excellent.

“The gym people are excellent too, I go twice a week down here [Carmelite Health & Wellness Centre] and once a week to exercise up there [the residential Health and Wellness Centre].”

When Bill began his respite stay he struggled to sit up in bed due to his poor health, but with the support of the Health & Wellness team he is now mobile, independent and strong again.

Bill said, “I actually got down to look for my shaver on the floor the other day and I stood up on one leg! I thought ‘gee that wasn’t bad’.”

The tight-knit Carmelite Mafia still catches up twice a week downstairs in the Bowler Family Cafe for a coffee and a chat, and Bill appreciates that he can safely access the shared space.