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Neville and Sue Read


“When Neville and Sue Read’s daughter fell pregnant for a second time (her first child, Lawson, still under two years old) the grandparents decided it was time to move closer to help out.
 
It was a big decision.
 
Not only did it mean leaving their home — purpose-built to accommodate Nev’s wheelchair — but it meant leaving Adelaide Hills and relocating to Western Australia, as well as leaving behind their son, Aaron, his wife, Kylie, and their children Olivia and Zoe.
 
At least they’d seen a fair bit of WA in the recent past and knew what to expect.
 
Nev and Sue have driven across the Nullarbor and back five times during this past 12 months — three times towing a caravan.
 
They brought the caravan again for this latest (and permanent) move, and lived in it for three weeks till their new home was ready.
 
“We thought Tamara might need a bit of a hand,” Nev said of his policewoman daughter, whose second baby is due in October.
 
“It was a big decision to leave but we thought it was time to move on.
 
“We also wanted to move into a retirement village. With me in a wheelchair, Sue’s got enough to do without all the ‘man’ jobs outside.” 
 
Their new home, at Latitude Lakelands near Mandurah, ticked that box with its small back garden and a front garden taken care of by village management.
 
 It’s also close to Tamara and husband Darren in their Meadow Springs home.
 
And of great importance is the fact the Reads’ new home is ideally suited for someone confined to a wheelchair. It has a double not single garage, for instance, which means lots more room for Nev and his wheelchair to get in and out of their car.
 
There are sliding doors for the ensuite, too.
 
“And this is the only house we’ve seen with 800mm-wide door frames so it’s no hassle to get through in a wheelchair,” explained Nev.
 
“We checked out five retirement villages in South Australia and a couple over here and this was the only one where the houses were suitable for someone in a wheelchair,” said Nev.
 
Peet Limited, Latitude Lakelands’ developer, has taken great care to ensure the homes are not only low maintenance but suitable for living for people with a range of needs and abilities.
 
Besides featuring wide doorways and corridors, for example, they have no steps, high-level power points, large shower areas, security fly screens and the garages are fitted with a remote-automatic door.
 
“We only moved in at the end of August,” said Nev, “but we haven’t found any faults with it so far.”