Sundale CEO Danielle Mackenzie shares her thoughts on the future of aged care on the Sunshine Coast and why retirees should consider calling Sundale Retirement Community home.
The Sunshine Coast has long been Australia’s most desirable ‘sea change’ destination.
With a world class hospital, enviable medical facilities, a progressive university, stunning restaurants and resort-style golf courses on our door step, it’s little wonder couples contemplating a simpler and more carefree lifestyle are investigating what the Sunshine Coast has to offer.
An influx of ‘sea-changers’ is helping shape the region. Sunshine Coast residents are seven years older than the average Australian (37 years of age), while the Census revealed over 65-year-olds make up more than 20 per cent of the Sunshine Coast population, with the figure trending up.
Younger Baby Boomers and those from Gen X, who are now in their fifties, want amenity that will evolve to suit their changing needs.
COVID-19 and the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety forced Sundale along with a host of other providers to pause their plans for the Sunshine Coast.
However, with clarity returning to the sector, Sundale is looking at the future of aged care with a renewed focus, so it can cater for the needs of the community for decades to come.
Sundale CEO, Danielle Mackenzie said exciting developments are either underway or scheduled to begin at Coolum, Palmwoods, Nambour and Tewantin.
“Sundale is a community based, not for profit, with a footprint that includes Care Centres, Retirement Communities and In-Home Care support throughout the Sunshine Coast.“Danielle Mackenzie / CEO, Sundale
“Backed by extensive research, coupled with the recommendations handed down last month by the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety, we now know what retirees want and the services they will expect in the future,” Ms Mackenzie said.
“Along with great design, couples considering a retirement community want evolving care options, to feel part of a community and access to innovative technology.
“We’re not far away from driverless cars and voice activation is becoming common place, therefore, it is no surprise technology will be at the forefront of future Sundale developments.
“At Coolum Waters Retirement Community, work is well underway on 11 brand new units which will combine the very best aspects of outdoor living and entertaining with a low-maintenance lifestyle.
“Neighbouring Stumers Creek and just moments from Coolum Beach, it’s one of the best addresses on the Sunshine Coast.
“The units will be beautiful and feature generous bedrooms, large open living, dining and alfresco spaces and a chef’s kitchen, complete with waterfall stone bench tops.”
There’s no place like home
The best way to truly understand a Retirement Community is to speak to the residents, so that’s exactly what we did at Coolum Waters – by Sundale.
Similar to many retirees, my wife Monika and I would travel to the Sunshine Coast each winter to explore the fire trails and walking tracks between Peregian Beach and Noosa.
Inspired by the lifestyle and the people, it wasn’t long before we considered relocating permanently, however, an affordable option initially seemed out of reach.
Fortunately, one of our friends invited us to her home at Coolum Waters.
We were immediately impressed by the beauty and practicality of the units and pleasantly surprised by the price, however, there was one problem – there were no vacancies.
In hope, we put our names on the waiting list, however, it wasn’t long before our dream unit along Stumers Creek became available. The Sundale community welcomed us with open arms and I quickly became known as the mad cyclist who would ride to Maroochydore, Nambour and Noosa for fun, shopping and for doctor’s appointments.
One of my hobbies is singing and strumming the guitar, and with a bit of encouragement from my neighbours, I started a singing group. Everyone is welcome and we regularly perform at village luncheons and Christmas events.
Another hobby is gardening. We were delighted to discover that almost anything grows at Coolum Waters. Plant a seed and next thing a tree or bush will grow. We have already harvested pawpaw, papaya, passionfruit, grape tomatoes and have an avocado and a lychee tree growing in the backyard.
Many years ago, I used to go bird watching on the other side of Stumers Creek and I remember saying to myself, “One day I’d like to live in that village over there”.
So, in 2011 that’s what I did and I have not regretted my decision once.
I always wanted to live near the ocean, so when I moved here with my little dog, we had the opportunity to take wonderful walks along the beach because it is so close.
I am very happy at Sundale and fortunate to have the support of a lovely team who will mow my lawn, weed my garden or fix anything in my home.
I have a generous three-bedroom unit, which lets in plenty of natural light. I’m very lucky to have a north facing unit as I love the sun, especially in winter.
A recent influx of new, likeminded residents have been a welcome addition to the village, who have brought new activities and ideas to the community.
Coolum Waters also has wonderful exercise classes, card games, indoor bowls, singing, films and a heated swimming pool for residents.
Terry & Jill Boyd
Coolum Waters is a quiet, eco-friendly place with well-spaced units and the opportunity to develop your own attractive garden (or you can leave it to the gardeners).
There is a delightful walk along Stumers Creek which we take regularly.
We have found the residents to be welcoming, active and most informative.
It is fabulous the way the residents committee organises social and exercise activities for the entire Coolum Waters community.