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Skydiving at 95: Vera's Remarkable Journey

Moving to a Real Living village means you can leave the hard work to us and concentrate on the things you most enjoy in life. Vera lived in England for most of her lifetime, but she moved to New Zealand twelve years ago because her only son and his family had relocated here. She visited several retirement villages, but Pakuranga Park ticked all the boxes for her: "I felt as if I was moving to a little village. I’m so happy here; I have loads of friends and I get involved in as many activities as I can."

One of the things that Vera enjoys most about Pakuranga Park is the trips to the countryside. She was one of the 40 residents who hopped onto the “Love bus” on Valentine’s Day to spend the day with her friends at Westbrook Winery. Vera is great company to be with, and she believes that age is only a number: "You’re never too old to do anything. If you have your health, why not?"

Vera’s life philosophy is behind the incredible birthday gift that she chose for her 95th birthday: skydiving! "It all started as a joke. My son asked me what I wanted for my birthday, and I jokingly said I wanted to jump out of a plane. But the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to do it. I asked my son again, and he said, Mum, you can do anything! So, we booked the trip."

Vera asked her doctor for permission to do the skydive, and after weeks of waiting for good weather, she fulfilled her dream at the end of August last year. "When I was on the plane, I felt calm. I wasn't afraid; I was looking forward to the experience. As we jumped and experienced that initial drop, my stomach churned! But then the parachute opened, and we began to sail. It was lovely!"

Vera enjoyed every minute of this experience, and she’s definitely not afraid of heights, as she's asked to fly over Wanaka in a helicopter for her 96th birthday.

Vera has a fearless spirit when it comes to seeking out new adventures and experiences. When she was 50 years old, she was so skilled at bowling that she was selected to compete in one of England’s top competitions, becoming one of the 16 best bowlers representing her county. Thanks to this competition, she travelled all around England, fulfilling one of her life’s passions: discovering new destinations. Outside of her bowling pursuits, she and her husband journeyed extensively through Italy, Spain, Turkey, and the former Yugoslavia.

Vera earned many trophies during her career as a professional bowler.

Vera has always been an avid enthusiast of making the most out of life and trying not to miss any opportunities. Twenty years ago, she came to New Zealand on holiday and considered bungee jumping off the Sky Tower, but couldn’t do it at that time. That’s why she didn’t think twice about jumping out of a plane for her 95th birthday. At Real Living, we enjoy having residents like Vera, who believe that growing old is not a drawback but an opportunity for self-discovery.

From skydiving to drumming, Vera's zest for life knows no bounds.

If you would like to know more about Pakuranga Park why don’t you call Sylvie on 027 314 5767
or email sylvie.borrett@realliving.co.nz

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