Ageing is not something that goes away
With Joyce Kraak, Independent Apartment resident since 2013
For Joyce Kraak, the secret to living and Ageing well is about giving back and thinking about others more than yourself. A positive and energetic person, Joyce believes you have to be proactive and ‘front foot’ life as you age.
Joyce moved into an apartment at HBH Senior Living over five years ago. Her husband passed away 17 years ago and for over a decade she continued to live in their family home in Pakuranga.
“I bumped into someone I knew who told me about HBH Senior Living’s independent apartments and I thought that would be perfect for me. I didn’t want to buy another house and I just wanted something easy. My children were surprised when I said I wished to move, but it was the right thing for me and I’m very happy here. I didn’t want to leave it too late – ageing is not something that goes away, so you have to front foot it! Be proactive and manage it,” she tells us.
Originally from Holland, Joyce and her husband moved to New Zealand in 1958. They had just got married and Joyce says that it was very difficult to buy a house in Holland in those days. “There were no houses for young married people. Many couples found themselves renting just one room.” They decided they wanted a better life, so they moved to Christchurch – and were very happy that they’d made the move. Joyce’s husband was an engineer and they loved the city, especially as it was flat so they could bike everywhere (which of course they had grown up doing in Holland).
“We had four children and a very busy family life,” says Joyce. “I didn’t work – family was very important to me.” They moved to Auckland when Joyce’s husband got a new job and lived here for 24 years.
Joyce has been involved in volunteer and community work throughout her life – and getting older certainly hasn’t stopped her from giving back. “Over the years I’ve been involved in church and the children’s activities as they were growing up,” she explains. “It’s the same at HBH. I volunteer at the hospital twice a day – at lunchtime and at 5pm and I also volunteer on outings in the bus, with bingo and church services.
The community at the apartments is also very active and I sing in the Choir, join exercise groups and go to the café when I can. HBH is like one big family – it is a lovely community.”
We love Joyce’s attitude and her belief in giving back to others. Recent studies show that volunteering is an important part of ageing well and helps to keep daily life busy and fulfilling – for both the giver and the recipients.