Living Life to the Full

By PSS | Posted: Tuesday May 23, 2017

Kapa Haka, ukulele, 5km walks every second day – Peacehaven Village resident and breast cancer survivor Betty Anderson is proof that moving to a retirement village doesn’t need to slow you down. 

Betty Anderson boasts an infectious zest for life.

She’s busy, happy and, at age 76, very active and fit.

Betty moved to Peacehaven Village in 2015 and says it’s a moved she’s never regretted.

Moving to Peacehaven Village

Betty is a fit and independent, and she loves her new home at Peacehaven Village which, she says, has been an ideal fit for her.

“I was working and thought to myself where am I going to go after I finish work? I didn’t want to be dependent on my family. I have two sons who are my greatest support, but I didn’t want to live with them, or rely on them. I’m still independent.”
“I had heard about places like this, so I checked it out and it really was ideal. I’ve never regretted it. You’re surrounded with people your own age and some have been through what you’ve been through.
I’m happy and my family know I’m happy. They come and visit and that’s what’s great – they come and they can go, and my friends are the same.
They have everything here; a gym, exercises classes, craft classes, medical check-ups, everything’s here, what more could anyone want?
I’m just happy and enjoy it here.
The staff are just brilliant people.
It doesn’t stop me from doing what I want to - I can keep up with the younger ones as well!”

In fact, Betty does more than keep up – she leads in the way in numerous respects.

An Active Lifestyle

Part of what shocked Betty about her breast cancer diagnosis was that she had always been such an active person.

But that didn’t change during or after her treatment.

“I did the Relay for Life in March 2016. In spite of what I was going through, it was wonderful. We were walking most of the time for 24 hours. I had my beautiful niece Tui Harrington supporting me all the way through it, and my granddaughter Aroha, and my son.
I’d always been so active and fit, so when the breast cancer came along, well I just thought I can get there again, so with that in mind, and all of the support, I’m back where I want to be.
I belong to a Kapa Haka group, it’s for the older people but you still do have your fun, and a ukulele group. I go walking every second day to Queens Park and I do knitting and sewing.
I do relief work for a lady in a wheel chair and I’m a care taker at the Mahia Family Farm
I’m thankful I can do these things.”

In 2017 her good friend Lingi Broughton suggested the two of them take on the ICC Surf to City and bike the 12km from Oreti Beach to Queens Park. At age 76, Betty had never done the event before – but she loved it.

“The Surf to City … that was just an awesome day. It was so wonderful to get out there, we were the first ones out there at the beach, it was so funny, because we’d left that early – we left in the dark to get out there – we didn’t know how long it was going to take us!
It took us 45minutes from the beach to Queens Park, we were rapt with that.
It was so cool seeing the little kids on their bikes and babies in prams, it was wonderful.
I hadn’t done that distance for a long time so I didn’t know how I would go, but I was so glad and was so happy to have done it. It was a challenge for me, the people here couldn’t believe I’d done it!
Live for the moment!
I’ve enjoyed biking. Lingi and I biked to Bluff one day. It took us all day!
The simple things in life are what I get the most pleasure from.”

Live for the moment is a mantra Betty always lived by, but going through treatment for breast cancer only reinforced it.

Surviving Breast Cancer

“I was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2015 and had one breast taken off by that Christmas. I had to go back again and get nodes taken out and from there it just went from bad to worse
When I was having chemotherapy I just couldn’t handle it. It was really rough, but then I had a lot of support.
The ladies here (at Peacehaven Village), Lynn, Diane and Annette were wonderful, and the residents were too.
I had a lot of support from my family and my beautiful friends, in particular Dawn Wybrow and Frances Maheno, and my dearest friend Lingi Broughton.
There were times that I wanted to give up, but that support – I’ve had so much support – just kept me going.
Just because I have been down that road, you don’t need to stay down there, you just get up.
I’m really, really good now. I went for a three month scan and check-up and it was good - I got a Warrant Of Fitness!”


Find Out More

To find out more about the living options at Peacehaven Village, CLICK HERE, or call the team at Peacehaven on 03 216 9099