Carrington: beautiful retirement village with the lot

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Carrington retirement village is a few minutes from the heart of Camden.

The entrance is at a roundabout high up on Werombi Road where you turn right.

The first thing you notice is Carrington House, a Victorian building opened in 1890 as the colony’s first convalescent hospital.

Manicured lawns and neatly trimmed hedgerows make you think of an English village on a hill enjoying  beautiful views of the plains below.

It’s the first time I’ve ever been there and as I drive around looking for a parking spot I’m thinking “this is a very nice place I’m in’’.

And for a few minutes you forget it’s a retirement village and that you’re here to interview Carrington chief executive officer Raad Richards.

“In Carrington village there are 1100 residents in any given day,’’ he tells me.

Mr Richards, right, with a local couple inspecting new terrace apartments at Carrington recently.

“Plus staff, 600 in total, 310 full time equivalent, part time and casuals,’’ says Mr Richards, who has been in charge at Carrington for 20 years.

As everyone knows, there’s a lot more to aged care these days, so I ask him what’s on offer here at this beautiful village overlooking the Nepean River.

“Carrington offers residential aged care and retirement living,’’ he says.

“Community care, which is the third strand, that’s home care packages and services we provide to something like 750 people in the community across the three local government areas of Camden, Campbelltown and Wollondilly.’’

Mr Richards says four years ago Carrington went into assisted living.

“A lot of people during that time and particularly when Covid hit were scared to go into aged care – actually, people still don’t want to be in aged care,’’ he says.

“So we came up with this idea, assisted living, and developed the concept of assisted living.

“A lot of age care providers say, ‘we do provide assisted living’, but they don’t provide it the way we created the concept here.

“We created our own concept, providing facilities like the dining room, lounge area, having a concierge, someone looking after them.

“I would live here, and the reason for that is while I can boil an egg in my own apartment and that sort of thing, my meal is ready, and then I hop into my car and go to Macarthur Square or elsewhere.’’

The facilities at Carington are almost endless, from a croquet lawn to lawn bowls and an indoor swimming pool to woodwork and craft rooms.

And they’re all a very short walking distance away from the dwellings.

A restaurant also means you don’t have to cook breakfast, lunch or dinner if you don’t feel like it.

But if you feel like a bit of a change or want to go shopping there’s a regular bus service from Carrington village to Camden and Narellan Town Centre.

Raad Richards says that as good as Carrington is now, it will be even better in the future.

“We recently completed the master plan for the site here, and some of our building stock, the facilities, dwellings, that sort of thing, is ageing and there will be asset renewal as part of that,’’ he says.

“We have the site across the road from Carrington and hopefully we are about to progress that with Camden Council to create a brand new village there.

“It will be called Carrington Park and offer mainly independent living, dwellings, apartments, assisted living.

“We want to service the whole community in the area, by providing those things that are much needed.

Carrington House.

“Our plan is to include a complete health centre, with diagnostic and allied services, pharmacy, a child care centre, and a commercial precinct.

“And these services will be available to the whole community,’’ says Mr Richards, who left his job as deputy CEO of the South Western Sydney Local Health District to run Carrington 20 years ago.

“I never regretted a day of it because the aged care industry and retirement living is one of the most thriving industries in Australia,’’ he says.

“But the most important part of it is you are interacting with residents that come from different walks of life, to care for them, and that that gives me and our staff the best satisfaction at the end of the day.

“You can go home and say: today I made a difference in someone’s life.’’

2 thoughts on “Carrington: beautiful retirement village with the lot”

  1. Carrington are lucky that the growth of population in the Camden area there are so many more people looking for local employment and now with big increases in salary by the current government the care industry is becoming more attractive and as the article says the environment of Carrington is hard to beat.

  2. About 20 years ago when working with Dept of Health I was sent to Carrington to ensure that all was well and it really was. They took me on a tour of the unit and the village. All wonderful. They even let me go into the roofing space of the original building!
    No problems encountered then and it has got even better since then.


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