With Bruce Cullington (Acacia Cove Retirement Village)

bruce-cullington-1cAcacia Cove Retirement Village, established for 25 years, has built a reputation for occupying an idyllic Auckland location. Business to Business posed a few questions to its manager, Bruce Cullington, about  this award-winning village and the services it offers to those whose business days are done or are simply easing back.

Tell us about the accommodation makeup at Acacia Cove – does it offer apartments, units, villas or individual rooms?

We have 215 villas and 10 apartments with a further five apartments currently under construction.

These days, people live longer so are retirement resorts/villages attracting younger retirees and do some of your residents still work?

Our average entry age is 72 years so, yes, many of our residents are still in paid employment and many others do voluntary work at hospice, Meals on Wheels, St Vincent de Paul, Riding for the Disabled and other organisations.

What type of communal facilities within the village environment does Acacia Cove offer retirees?

We have a bowling green, indoor swimming pool, village green, snooker table, craft room, meeting room, bar, library, hair salon, restaurant and dining room.

Does your village you offer a programme of activities focused on residents staying active and engaging in special interests?

We have approximately 30 regular activities which are predominantly run by resident volunteers. The activity programme is regularly reviewed to ensure that activities offered are good for the mind, body and soul. These include outdoor bowls, indoor bowls, water aerobics, table tennis, golf, petanque, walking, snooker, whist, darts, osteo-exercises, a choir, tai chi, meditation, art, housie, a men’s group and several card and board games.

Acacia Cove’s Active Ageing Programme’ won an award at the Eldercare Innovation Awards – part of the 8th Asia-Pacific Investment Forum in Singapore. As the first New Zealand village to win an award at this competition, what does this mean to you?

It reinforces the fact that so many resident volunteers have created and manage a diverse range of activities so that their friends and neighbours can live longer, healthier and more balanced lives.

What about the social life outside the village? Do you organise outings such as day trips or to public concerts? Do some residents organise their own group outings as well?

Our social committee arranges regular special interest trips. However, many of our residents belong to outside organisations such as Probus, U3A and gardening groups and, therefore, lead quite busy and activie social lives.

What is it about life at Acacia Cove that attracts residents? Are there any restrictions on what they can do or the hours they keep?

Prospective residents often comment that they can feel that the village is different from others the moment they drive through the gates. They remark on its low density, beautiful grounds and how positive and happy everyone seems. Most residents are able to come and go as they please just as if they were living in the wider community. They advantage is they live in a safe environment where assistance is on hand if needed and difficult chores can be taken care of. We encourage residents to live as full a life as possible.

Is there anything new on the drawing board for Acacia Cove?

We are continually looking at ways to improve our services. As mentioned, we are currently building five new apartments as some residents have expressed interest in relocating from their large villas to a dwelling closer to the village centre.

Does Acacia Cove have a hospital wing? If not, what is the procedure if someone needs hospital care, especially long term?

We do not have care on site but several years ago the village owners sold land opposite the village to Bupa NZ Ltd with the proviso that our residents had priority. This has been very successful.