Palm Lake Care Residents' Stories

Bobbie, our social butterfly at Palm Lake Care Bargara

Here I am amongst friends

At 95 years young, Shirley ‘Bobbie’ Berkery is the epitome of the social butterfly.

“I welcomed you through the front gate!” she enthuses, as she meets new visitors to Palm Lake Care Bargara. And that, Bobbie does. Her authentic smile, on a face that tells decades of life stories, and those memorable mauve curls appear on Palm Lake Care advertising signs around town – and across the state.

And while Bobbie’s famous photo welcomes cars through Palm Lake Care Bargara’s entrance, she herself welcomes all with open arms. She’s a self-professed people person and spends most days fluttering around the halls of the “beautiful” aged caring community that she calls home.

“I get pleasure out of looking after people,” Bobbie says. “I’ve always done so. I love having a cuppa with others and hearing their stories.”

When Bobbie isn’t assisting the Palm Lake Care Lifestyle team with preparations for the many regular activities they host for residents each day, she’s participating in those activities herself. She’s got a soft spot for group activities that keep her mind sharp.

Palm Lake Care Bargara residents have the option of partaking in as many organised activities as they like. However, some residents prefer the sanctuary of their rooms – large, private and comfortable spaces, each with an ensuite, fridge and television, individually climate controlled, with private access to the great outdoors. Residents can simply slide back their glass door to find a healthy dose of invigorating seaside air and vitamin D awaiting them.

Bobbie admits that Bargara is far from the hustle and bustle of Sydney where she and her (late) doctor husband lived the bulk of their 60-year marriage. From their clifftop home at South Coogee to a harbourside penthouse at Drummoyne, retirement in Bargara kept the Berkerys by their beloved ocean but it gave them the benefits of a warmer climate with laidback charm in the type of picturesque location they had become accustomed to.

While Bobbie’s extended family remains across the border, she says she’s never alone – she has found a whole new family among the staff at Palm Lake Care Bargara. Bobbie says it’s this “absolutely fantastic” team that is the hands-down best thing about her aged caring community.

“I’ve got everything I need right here,” Bobbie enthuses. “And I share it with some truly wonderful people.”

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