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Giving Into Luxury With No Regrets

Three tales from Comfort Life show seniors surprised at how much they enjoy the pampering they receive in a luxury retirement home.

"No regrets"

Bill Boone is the very image of the modern pampered, tech-savvy retiree. Soft music from a classical radio station—the one his wife, Eunice, used to play on her car radio—drifts into the living room. His fourth-floor apartment looks out directly on a tree-lined pond where swans preen and blue herons fish. Around the room are Eskimo sculptures and figures from Asia, souvenirs of his and Eunice’s world travels. A favourite pastime is walking in the scenic grounds and taking photographs with his digital camera that he downloads to his computer—the computer on which he talks free of charge to his daughter in Vancouver and his son in Ottawa. Bill, by the way, is 93.

A few months earlier, Bill, a retired engineer and a widower, had been playing golf when “I took a spell.” He ended up in hospital where he recalls a doctor saying, “Mr. Boone, it’s time you stopped doing all that cooking and housework.” Bill put his name down at Glynnwood Retirement Residence, secured that perfect apartment, and said goodbye to his pans and stove with no regrets.

"I’m not one of those rich girls"

Agnes “Nessie” Begg, 81, comes from Glasgow where, she says, they know how to watch their pennies. So the first thing she did after visiting Amica at Newmarket was to bring her grown kids to see it and to tell her if she could afford it. “I’m not one of those rich girls,” she says, laughing.

Now she doesn’t worry. “I’ve been here a year, and I think it’s wonderful,” she says as we sit talking in the plush Red Lion pub. “My daughter takes care of the finances and I just enjoy it.”

Of course she still misses her husband of 55 years. “He was a wonderful husband,” she says fondly. But she doesn’t miss living in her house on her own. “You buy food and then you don’t eat it. You just have a ham sandwich,” she says. “I’m not a big eater,” she adds, but the staff in the dining room is good at seeing she gets exactly what she needs.

She is proud as punch too of her modern-themed apartment, which an artist son helped decorate.

Nessie is no stay-at-home. She loves going dancing at the Aurora seniors club where, she says, the men each give her a “duty dance”—all their wives will allow!—although she admits to getting out of breath. She takes a walk twice daily, enjoys going to the movies, and just visited a brand new recreation centre with her daughter.

“This is a beautiful place,” she says of Amica.

Three days in the guest suite

Ethel Woodrow wasn’t sure about giving up her home of 40 years and moving into the new Chartwell residence being built in Amherstburg, near where she lived. So, before putting down her name, she stayed for three days in the guest suite at another Chartwell residence. The staff, she says, “was very caring and friendly. It was as if I had known them for years.” She was one of the first to move into the new place, but she was taken aback when a man sitting near the desk said, “I don’t like it here!” Then he smiled: “I love it here.”


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