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Seniors Keep on Moving

Inside many retirement homes, people find they have renewed energy and its convenient to remain active or to get active again. They find that there's "plenty to do."

At Hazelton Place in Toronto, 'it's very pleasant living here'

Ilse Manley, not a hair out of place and smartly dressed, invites us into her dazzlingly sunny top-floor apartment with the windows all around. appropriately-considering she belongs to an investment club-she is watching the business channel on television.

"I live the same way I did when I was in my own house," says Ilse, who moved into Hazelton Place last July. With a pulmonary embolism, she had found the stairs in her three-storey home too much to cope with.

Now Ilse, 75, shops for food next door at the exclusive Whole Foods Market and likes to lunch with friends at Il Posto Italian restaurant a few doors away. In picking Hazelton, "I focused on location more than anything," says the retired businesswoman. "And it's very pleasant living here."

She enjoys the exercise classes and belongs to the book club, and when her son visited from out of town with his family, they all went downstairs to the spacious and beautifully appointed "country kitchen" and cooked themselves a meal.

"I have friends almost 90 who just refuse to move," says Ilse. "I think there comes a time in life when you don't want any changes, when you don't want to adjust to anything new. Anyway, I didn't want that to happen to me."

Windermere on the Mount has "something going on all the time"

If you want to set up a library, John Wilkinson is your man. John was an information studies - the modern term for library science - professor at the University of Toronto, so one of the first things he did when he moved to Windermere on the Mount, the new retirement residence in London, was ask about a library.

Now it's set up. "We have had quite a few books donated," he says. New residents moving in often have more books than space, so donations are no problem, he says. He is an Agatha Christie fan himself, and donated his complete collection of 84 Christie titles.

"You think," he says, "that when you move into a place like this, that you won't have enough to do. But there's something going on all the time. Our activities director arranges trips to the theatre and the museum, to the mall, and I enjoy the company." John has attended concerts at the magnificent chapel in what is a former convent. "It's very attractive," he says.

About 20 years ago, he says, his mother-in-law moved into a retirement home, "and people just sat around and didn't do anything. This is much more active. The picture I can paint of it is very favourable."

Find out more more about Windermere and other London retirement homes.


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