Discovering a new sense of belonging

June 12, 2024

print this article
Discovering a new sense of belonging
Pictured above: Janet and Brian Godsell.

It’s often said community is like a tapestry woven from the threads of shared life experiences, and it was that sense of belonging that Janet and Brian Godsell were so sad to leave behind after downsizing.

The Marsfield couple treasured the stability that accompanies nearly five decades of living in the same home, a place where memories of family gatherings, children’s laughter, and happy moments were shared over a lifetime.

But as time nudged them toward change and they settled into Southern Cross Care NSW and ACT’s Marsfield Village, they discovered that community transcends physical boundaries … it resides in the hearts of those who surround you.

Janet, a retired aged care diversional therapist and Brian a retired accountant, discovered a feeling of belonging they hadn’t felt in years.

At 83 and 88 respectively, Janet is the village secretary and Brian the treasurer, as well as being active members of local groups including Probus, the Ryde Concert Band and their local church group.

They said the secret to their sense of belonging lay in the blend of like-minded people living around them.

“We’d lived in our home for 48 years, so our local community was our anchor point,” she said.

“Our children played with the other kids in the street, and over time they grew up and married and had their own kids, and we built a community of people which sustained us and gave us life and joy.

“However, over the years, some of our neighbours moved or passed away and slowly that sense of community started to disappear.

“As you get older, you come to realise that material things don’t make you happy, it’s the interaction with others that is most important.”

Latest research echoes their experience. Strong social connections enhance both physical and mental wellbeing. Stress retreats, loneliness dissipates, and depression finds fewer footholds.

Janet said they discovered that community isn’t confined by walls or street names, but resides in the shared connection, laughter, and recognition they share in the village.

“It’s not every neighbourhood, you can knock on any door and know you’ll be greeted with a smile and a cuppa, but that’s what we’ve got here,” Janet beamed.

“And incredibly, some of the people whom we had known for many, many years, are again our new neighbours living here in the village.

“I can honestly say our quality of life is so much better now than it would have been if we were in our old place.”

To find out more about our Marsfield Retirement Village click here or contact our friendly team today.

aged care news innovation aged care reform


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.

Thank you for submitting your comment!

We've submitted it for review, and it should be visible shortly