Glynde: Bowillia Court development

Monday 21, January 2013

Contemporary Lutheran Retirement Living

“The rapidly changing world of retirement living is a constant and ongoing process that offers exciting opportunities to those seeking to join proactive faith-based communities”, says Lutheran Homes Inc. (LHI Retirement Services) CEO, Tim Gray. “Listening to, and working with our community has been the key to our ability to anticipate and respond to these changes in designing our villages”.

The LHI story began 50 years ago, when it was founded by an elderly Adelaide couple who had a vision to create a ‘new style’ of retirement living. Today, LHI Retirement Services operates two of the largest retirement villages in South Australia, at Glynde and Hope Valley, has over 1000 clients and employs 450 staff in a wide range of skill areas including nursing, hospitality, maintenance, grounds and gardening and administration.

“Our clients have been actively involved in our ‘future planning’ and, with 300 Independent Living Units at each village, on-site Aged Care Facilities, each with over 100 High and Low Care beds, full supporting services including Doctors’ rooms, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, gymnasiums, Community Aged Care Packages, Serviced Apartments and a fully flexible range of care and services assures village residents of LHI’s ability to meet their on-going needs”. The villages also enjoy cafés, hairdressers, shops and Community Centres that have become ‘the hub’ of social activities.

An example of how ‘future planning’ translates into action is LHI’s current development at Glynde, where 37 new, contemporary, Independent Living Units (ILU’s) are under construction. Designed by Matthews Architects of Adelaide the new units are contemporary, ‘state of the art’ homes and incorporate many advanced environmental and technological innovations, that are arguably unique in retirement design.

“The increasing need to provide excellence in ILU housing and services has always been our objective at LHI. The project will see a new standard of housing for retirees that will exceed the expectations of clients today and into the future” says Tim.

‘Increasing numbers of older Australians want to spend their retirement years in church-based communities that will support them when required and that are committed to ensuring that, where they wish to remain in their home, they may do so. To achieve this, LHI is constantly reviewing and introducing innovate new services, so that on-site appropriate services are ready and available. For many older Australians who, in the future, will face the reality of not being able to manage for themselves, the reassurance of being able to access dedicated village care teams, led by Registered Nurses and Enrolled Nurses together with Community Aged Care Packages teams, will be a great comfort. Easy public transport access to the Royal Adelaide Hospital, CBD and other amenities, have all helped Glynde to become a preferred location for retirement.


“To achieve our goal, it is important that our ILU’s are designed to be able to accommodate the needs of residents throughout their lives, as well as being somewhere special that also meets all the dreams that people have, both in terms of quality and amenities’.

The Glynde development, ’Bowillia Court’, will include many features that will achieve new environmental and building standards in retirement housing. These features include:

  • 3 bedrooms
  • 9’ high ceilings
  • Solar Panels
  • Insulation in ceilings and walls including internal walls & garage
  • Rainwater tank (plumbed to the toilet)
  • Vergola
  • Walk-in wardrobe in master bedroom
  • En-suite to master bedroom
  • Built-in wardrobes
  • 2nd bathroom with full shower cubicle
  • Benchtops in re-constituted stone
  • Pantry
  • Linenpress
  • Ducted reverse cycle air conditioning
  • Pre-wired for Internet and Foxtel
  • LED lighting system
  • Electric garage door
  • Personal Emergency Monitoring
  • Private rear garden

Tim says that “listening to your people often reveals very important aspects of their lives, some of which are sometimes overlooked by other villages. An excellent example is that of spirituality, which becomes increasingly important to us as we age”. Throughout its 50 year history LHI, through its full-time Pastors and the resources of the LCA has recognised that, for many retirees, living in a Christian community becomes a major priority when selecting the retirement village that they wish to become a part of. LHI’s full-time Chaplains provide their special contribution to the LHI ‘complete care programme’, and each village has its own beautiful, large, standalone church, with thriving congregations.

“The skills and experience that our community members bring to their Villages is another significant aspect of the ‘listening to, and working with’ philosophy at LHI. Two recent examples of utilizing residents’ expertise, have been the resident who has recently written LHI’s official history book, and another who has applied his expert knowledge on Global Positioning Satellite systems (GPS), to negotiate with agencies of the State Government to ensure improved ambulance access to LHI, and eventually other retirement villages. The opportunities for residents to continue to make a significant contribution to their community at LHI are enormous. The reality is that our ‘model’ is about being a member of a community where you can continue to contribute your life skills, rather than living in a ‘lifestyle’ environment” says Tim. “The reality of ageing is that it is a part of a very individual journey that can be greatly enriched by valuing yourself and contributing to the lives of others”.

The success of LHI’s philosophy has been recognised in many aspects of their work; awarded the inaugural Aged and Community Services National Award for Excellence in Retirement Living; recent renewal of full three year Accreditations by the Standards Accreditation Agency; a total of four National Better Practise awards, Australian Institute of Architects, Master Builders and Housing Industry Association building awards and national finalist in the 2009 Australian Business Excellence Awards for their food safety system.

Supported and visited by all levels of government including Prime Ministers, Premiers, Ministers and Councilors, the LHI Retirement Services village communities are now being promoted by politicians as a preferred model for the retirees of the future.

“Ultimately”, Tim says, “dynamic retirement villages create great job opportunities for younger people, offer reassurance and care to the village community and individuals, create vibrant local economies and provide an exciting future for everyone”.

Listening to clients and sharing their life’s journey, have been key aspects of LHI’s success and is reflected in their philosophy of ‘achieving service excellence through valuing people.


Tim Gray

October 2012