Feros Village life through the lens of resident Rod Bartrim
Ever wondered what life is like for a Feros resident? Wommin Bay Village’s Rod Bartrim is only too happy to tell you!
94 years young, Rod is the self-proclaimed “happiest old man I know.” Around one year ago he made the life-changing decision to move into the Feros Care Wommin Bay Village, a hop, skip and a jump away from beautiful Kingscliff Beach.
An ex-cane farmer from Murwillumbah, Rod is bursting with praise for his newest ‘home’ and all the amazing people who live and work there.
Despite his infectious enthusiasm, Rod wasn’t always so complimentary about aged care facilities. In fact, he was strongly opposed to the idea and vowed he would never live in one.
“About 20 years ago, I went to a nursing home to visit someone and when I left, I said I will never go into one myself. That’s been my feeling right up until I arrived here. How wrong I was!”
The change he never saw coming
Rod was living alone in Kingscliff where he and his wife had resided for 17 years. Spending his life dedicated to work, family, and his never-faltering faith, he didn’t have a solid social network outside of the church.
After the passing of his beloved wife, he lived alone and didn’t have many friends close by when the need arose for a helping hand.
Rod’s son became increasingly concerned for his dad, as he was struggling with day-to-day tasks like cooking. In addition, he was suffering injuries and ongoing discomfort due to regular nasty falls.
“My son came to me and said dad, you should be going somewhere where people can look after you, and I thought oh, I can look after myself.”
With a little more coaxing from his son, Rod agreed to take a look at the nearby Wommin Bay Village and from that very first visit, everything changed.
“I went over and had a look but didn’t think I’d like it one bit. We walked into a couple of rooms and I said ‘oh my goodness, this is not like anything I saw 20 years ago. This is a lovely place and yes son, I’ll come here!’”
That day completely altered the course of Rod’s story and was the beginning of a fulfilling and joyous chapter in his life.
“The moment I walked into stay I thought, oh what a wonderful place to spend the rest of my old years. I don’t want to be anywhere else.”
When first impressions are on the money
Rod’s unexpected and immediate enthusiasm for Feros Village Wommin Bay certainly wasn’t misplaced, or fleeting. Fast forward to present day, he continues to enjoy every single moment and has nothing but praise for the facility and the people around him.
“I haven’t met someone in this place who you can’t say ‘how are you’ with a smile. I’m an old farmer and after I sat on a tractor most of my life, I didn’t meet many people until I came here. We have good times all the time, and the laughing is out of this world.”
He is also enjoying the many activities on offer, particularly golf, table bowls, and the visits from his much-loved guitar-playing Pastor from Murwillumbah (read more about this here).
“Happy as Larry”
With a cheeky grin, Rod says he’s “happy as Larry”, and couldn’t imagine being anywhere else in the world.
“I can’t be shifted! I love living here and I’m staying for the rest of my life. It’s the place to be if you’re old.”
His final words are ones of gratitude to the Feros community who have brought him so much happiness.
“You’ve helped me in my old age to enjoy life and I would like to thank each one of you very very much. I’m so pleased to be here living my last few years with you.”.
For more information on Feros Village Wommin Bay and life in our residential villages, click here.