Couple remain connected at Riverside Retirement Village and Gracewood Residential Care

Couple remains connected at Riverside Retirement Village and Gracewood Residential Care

Salter Point address helps couple to remain side by side as they live next door to each other at Riverside Retirement Village and Gracewood Residential Care.

After a distinguished 44-year career in the WA Police Force, former bomb expert Jack Billing found the perfect location for retirement.

Little did he and his wife Maureen know their choice would prove so important.

Residential aged care had been the last thing on their mind when the couple moved into Baptistcare’s Riverside Village, a modern retirement village with a wealth of lifestyle features on the banks of the Canning River in Salter Point.

Enjoying life in retirement hand in hand, Mr Billing, who retired as Assistant Commissioner of Police, and Mrs Billing, a former qualified librarian, were among the village’s first residents in 2008.

The couple could often be found working side by side in the on-site library, catching up with their neighbours for dinners and barbecues, and participating in village activities.

But in 2018, Mrs Billing suffered a life-altering stroke that left her confined to her bed, unable to speak and requiring specialist care.

It was then the importance of their decision to move to Riverside Village became apparent.

While Mr Billing continues to live at Riverside Village, Mrs Billing has lived next door at Baptistcare Gracewood Residential Care for the past three years.

“We never even considered the prospect of residential care when we chose Riverside Village, but it turned out to be a really good move for us,” Mr Billing said.

The couple can still easily spend their days together, with the former forensic scientist taking the short walk each morning and afternoon to Baptistcare Gracewood.

Mr Billing spends hours reading to his wife of 67 years and telling her stories of their family, including their three children, nine grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren.

“Maureen and I have always been close, so it’s good that I can easily walk to see her and spend time with her every day,” Mr Billing said.

The team at Baptistcare Gracewood say Mr Billing’s visits always make his wife smile.

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