SHARE
Counting down . . . Observatory Retirement Village general manager Rosie Dwyer outside the village's main entrance. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

With opening day looming at Oamaru’s Observatory Retirement Village, general manager Rosie Dwyer is working hard to manage the flow of people who will soon move into their new homes.

Construction of the village, accessed via Stoke St, is scheduled to be completed on Monday and residents will move in on August 8.

Of those, 35 are relocating from Rendell on Reed, the rest-home that closes early next month.

Mrs Dwyer said given the nature of the move, she sought advice from rest-homes in Christchurch that had undertaken similar relocations, albeit on a larger scale.

“We are going to be moving all of our residents out of Rendell on Reed in one day. We’ve had offers of help from the Lions Clubs, rural women and volunteers .. and family, of course, are helping if a resident is able to be moved in a car.”

Contingency plans are in place to ensure residents are cared for throughout the day, and extra staff will be on hand to assist.

About 45 staff will be employed at the village.

About 250 applications were received and 84 people were interviewed.

Mrs Dwyer said the majority of the existing Rendell on Reed staff would move to the village.

“That’s an important part .. it will provide continuity for residents going forward. It’s going to be a big enough change moving – some residents have lived [at Rendell on Reed] for six years. Having staff they are familiar with and know them will hopefully make the transition smoother and a lot more stress-free for them.”

She said was excited about the opening of the village, which would be a milestone of sorts for the town.

“It’s a new environment and it’s a new concept for Oamaru to have a retirement village. I’m proud and excited to be part of that new beginning.”