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Ageing art of friendship

Coastal Waters residents and friends Shirley and Barbara

An unlikely friendship has bloomed at Coastal Waters aged care, where residents Barbara and Shirley are drawing on a lifetime of very different experiences to prove the power of connection.

The South Coast locals are the first to admit that opposites attract, and that despite having completely different lifestyles in their younger years, they have found a comfortable friendship in one another.

“We are so completely different and yet we can discuss any subject and make each other laugh,” Barbara said.

“Where Shirley has travelled the world, I have never left Australia and never had any wish to leave Australia,” she continued.

“Where I have never been alone and always had a large family around me, Shirley’s life was very different.”

Shirley explains that it’s these unique perspectives that bring a depth to the “natural connection” and “quick bond” these ladies have found.

“My Mum and Dad both died very young, and Dad was adopted, so I didn’t know of any other relatives at the time. I was left alone, and so I decided to travel the world,” Shirley explained.

“I enjoyed my travels and met a lot of nice people, but I kept coming back to Australia.”  

A love of music and art means they never run out of things to talk about.

“The first thing I packed when I moved here was my radio, I can’t live without it,” Barbara laughed.

“We both love any music whatsoever; 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, classical – anything. Shirley can sing and I played piano and piano accordion so we are never short on conversation.

“We both enjoy art, played tennis when we were young, and we have shared interests in lots of world events too.”

Barbara and Shirley both consider themselves very lucky to have found friendship late in life, and say that it helps them immeasurably with their mental health.

“Having someone to go to for advice, or if you’re feeling upset is so important,” Barbara said.

“I just couldn’t imagine being alone.”  

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