Mercy Villas

“Independent living in a community environment”

Warren Jennings property manager Mercy Villas Upper Hutt


There is an interfaith environment at Mercy Villas. Every denomination from Catholicism to the Salvation Army is represented in the community.

Mercy Villas are located in a beautiful quiet part of Upper Hutt. There are 41 one bedroom rental units huddled together like a little village on a flat landscaped plain.

You can watch a video about the Villas above

“The Villas are on the flat which is an advantage when people can no longer get around so easily  and the shops are just across the road” says Sr Clare Vaughan rsm. “It’s easy for us to forget how difficult it is when you can no longer drive. It’s part of our ethos to support independent living. We are not an aged care facility in the traditional sense. We don’t offer any services on site. We encourage people to seek help from other agencies when they need it.  Over the years, Warren Jennings has developed a good relationship with our tenants and keeps an eye out for them. What we offer is an environment of security and freedom with a community feel.” This nurturing of freedom is seen in the individual flower gardens that people cultivate with pride.

Shirley has lived in her villa for 2 years. “I was a volunteer at the hospice for 16 years before I came here” she tells me. “I saw the idea of mercy working when I was at the hospice. All those volunteers working together, you don’t get that without having a special spirit.”

Warren Jennings, Property Manager, shows me around the gardens. He is justifiably proud of the peaceful landscaping. He points out an area of trees, “I planted those so that in autumn and winter the colours work together. I had to dig up asphalt to get it started around this section.”

“If they want to interact with others they can but the villas give them freedom not to if that’s what they want. We do have some organised activities here during the week for those who wish to participate but when we have an afternoon tea gathering almost everyone turns up. Generally, people respect each other and we have a sense of community here.”

On Wednesday mornings a group of residents meet for an hour to knit special muffs called twiddlemuffs. These are knitted woollen muffs with items such as ribbons, large buttons or textured fabrics attached that patients with dementia can twiddle in their hands. People with dementia often have restless hands and like something to keep them occupied. The twiddlemuffs provide a source of visual, tactile and sensory stimulation at the same time as keeping hands snug and warm. In the photo are Betty, Sybil, Brenda, Ellen and Glenda celebrating their 50th creation


The twiddlemuffs have been distributed to local rest homes and hospitals

“We are encouraging independent living for people and are here to support them in making that big transition to a new phase of their lives when they decide to leave their homes and make a community with us.” – Sr Clare Vaughan rsm.

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