Chartwell Harbours residents Gerry and Flo, who have been together for well-over half a century, prove true love exists. Their relationship has defined them since they were both children—based on devotion, respect and compromise—and is a true inspiration to their friends, family and fellow residents at their retirement community in Calgary.
A popular misconception that I’ve come across since I started in the industry many years ago is that seniors choose a retirement living lifestyle solely because they’ve experienced a health scare and now require the availability of care services—but that couldn’t be more untrue! In fact, many of the residents I’ve come to know well have chosen to move in for a variety of reasons: because they no longer wish to maintain a home (which entails a lot of work, as we all know—from cutting grass and shovelling driveways to every day clean-up and repairs), could benefit from some help with cooking nutritional meals or getting back and forth to appointments, or simply because they feel lonely living on their own. On this last point I’d like to talk further.
When posed with the question, How would you describe your life at your retirement residence?, Violet exclaims, “It’s anything but boring!” Having lived at her Chartwell residence for almost nine years now, she can certainly attest to what the lifestyle in a retirement community looks and feels like.
Does love at first sight exist? If you were to ask Gina and Giuseppe of Chartwell Valley Vista Retirement Residence in Vaughan, Ontario, it most certainly does! This happy couple of 74 years is living proof.
‘Tis the season of showing loved ones how much we care—including those companions that come with four legs, two wings or even a few scales. For many older adults, pets are the love of their life—right up there with spouses, family and friends.
Just a few weeks ahead of Valentine’s Day—when some individuals may experience heightened feelings of loneliness over love—the U.K. government appointed the country’s first Minister for Loneliness to manage what has been called an “epidemic” of lonely people in the country.
Here is the surprising thing about loneliness: it actually has an upside! According to Dr. Abraham Palmer, a professor of psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego, “Loneliness may be a warning sign that motivates people to try to develop social links, in the same way the pain of a burn motivates people to move away from a hot flame.” Dr. Palmer is suggesting that instead of viewing loneliness as something inevitable that we just have to endure, we can see it as a signal that we need to do something different.
It’s a brand-new year, full of possibilities and perhaps even time for a change. If, for example, you’re considering a move into a retirement residence, then the early part of the year is a surprisingly good time to do so. Here’s why:
Earlier this fall, residents and staff of Chartwell Belcourt Retirement Residence volunteered to show their support for Our Lady of Mount Carmel Elementary School in Ottawa, Ontario, where many refugee children attend and are in need of their community’s support.
As the days get shorter and the weather turns cooler, it’s important for older adults to stay socially engaged with friends and family and not let factors like inclement weather foster feelings of loneliness—especially as such feelings are shown to be detrimental to our health, even more so than smoking, obesity and inactivity!