22 Nov 2023

Downsizing creates space for wellness

Social housing
After 34 years living in her Browns Plains home, Gloria decided a change was the best thing for her own wellbeing.

Now happily living at the Wattle Apartments at Acacia Ridge for almost a year, Gloria reflected on the move from her public housing home of 3 decades to one of Churches of Christ’s integrated communities.

Gloria’s home in Logan was full of history: her 2 children grew up there, it was where she lived when her daughter married, and was also the home she lived in when her husband of 39 years passed away. This social home provided her and her family with years of security, but Gloria admitted that she felt lonely living there on her own.

While being active in her local community helped her somewhat – she volunteered for the Salvation Army and regularly attended a local Baptist church – Gloria was also struggling to maintain her home to the standard she wanted. The large property had a big yard and was getting too hard for Gloria, who is in her mid-70s, to manage.

Gloria requested a social housing transfer*, which was approved. Following this, Gloria accepted an offer of housing in late 2022 at Wattle Apartments in Acacia Ridge. 

The Wattle Apartments is a 40-unit community housing development, purpose-built for over-55s. The units are part of a Churches of Christ integrated campus, a model that co-locates over-55s social housing, retirement living, aged care and home care services in one place. 

Gloria started the process of downsizing from her detached 3-bedroom home in Browns Plains with the help of her church pastor. She packed up her belongings – and with them, decades of memories – destined for her new home which required less maintenance and provided more support.

Now settled, Gloria says that the move has changed things for her in the exact ways she hoped it would.

“Everything’s good here,” Gloria said. “I spend most of my time [in the community centre].”

When she’s not in the community room or knitting (a new hobby she has taken up since moving), Gloria stays active by walking around the campus. On her walks, she regularly strikes up conversations with others, which is what has led her to making “quite a few” new friends, including Lorraine.

“We connected straight away,” Gloria said.

Like many residents, Gloria also spends a lot of time at activities held by the campus chaplain, which helped her break the ice when she first moved. Since then, she has developed a good rapport with chaplain Phil, who she says has “helped her through a lot”.

Gloria still keeps in contact with her neighbours from Browns Plains. One of them told her that a young mum and her 2 kids now call Gloria’s old place home – “it wasn’t empty very long!” they said.

Downsizing has given Gloria a greater quality of life, but knowing another family is able to benefit from the place she and her own family called home for so long is equally as important.

*Within the social housing system, transfers and applicants may receive an offer of public (government-operated) or community (NGO-operated) housing.