LivingBalance Program at PARC Retirement Living
A look at PARC’s unique approach to care
Dr. Glo McArter, a leading Canadian counsellor, therapist, writer and speaker on the realities of advancing age, is adamant that growing old is not the same as aging. We at PARC Retirement Living couldn’t agree more. We’ve built our seniors’ communities on the philosophy that attitude to age is fundamental to how our residents recognize and enjoy the opportunities offered by increased longevity.
Dr. Glo believes that our attitude as we transition through age impacts how we adapt, learn, heal and grow. A willing attitude combined with vision, accumulated wisdom, continuing curiosity, courage and the energy generated by connection to other people provide the inspiration to thrive as we grow older.
PARC Retirement Living’s approach, based largely on our Independent Living+ program, recognizes that seniors need more than just a place to live as they age. We believe that health and wellness, based on good nutrition and the right level of physical and mental activity, help foster the positive attitude that Dr. Glo feels is vital to a more fulfilling life for seniors.
We describe it as active aging, a discreet, supportive and consultative program that’s part and parcel of the service we provide at all four of our boutique-style residences. Our goal is to help our residents maintain their health and improve it.
Our Independent Living+ program is a comprehensive level of services to guide, monitor and assist residents with their changing health needs. For example, a wellness nurse helps residents develop unique health plans, including home health options, information and education about physiotherapy, hearing support, podiatry and pharmaceutical services. The nurse also offers consultative support during short-term and episodic health challenges.
We have 24-hour emergency support for families in an acute health crisis and a CPR-certified team to provide emergency, short-term and intermittent support. Residents can access the 24-hour support and CPR team using a personal pendant.
Our proprietary LivingBalanceTM program focuses on maximizing the comprehensive health of residents through three approaches:
- Providing optimal nutrition through well-balanced and nutrient-dense foods, and PARC SMART options, which are low in sodium, sugars and fats. All meals are carefully prepared and presented by our skilled executive chefs under the guidance of our Active Living Manager.
- Exercise is one of the best multi-faceted tools for improving health. Our unique PARC FIT program works to: build muscular strength, power and endurance, cardiovascular health, flexibility and balance.
- Our Brain Fitness program called GREY MATTERS aims to improve memory and increase cognition through different brain exercises. Coupled with other activities we offer such as education, creative arts, spiritual development and social engagement, residents can experience multiple benefits in everyday living. The direct results include increase in the concentration of brain chemicals that create a feeling of euphoria and improved mood, while reducing anxiety and depression. The indirect benefits are the growth of new brain cells that help improve memory, recall and functional skills.
LivingBalanceTM provides residents with an environment of engaging, enriching activities and experiences that benefits their lives as they age. Up to 70 per cent of how well one lives is due to what we eat and our physical activities and lifestyle. We find that many of our residents take on new challenges and participate in programs they never thought they would – and they thrive as a result.
With the agreement of the participant, we can even measure the impact of the program using the Interactive Health Partner tool to collect relevant health metrics at the beginning of the resident’s participation and then six months later and measure any improvements.
It’s not unusual for some seniors to wonder if they are perhaps too old for exercise. We believe that no-one is ever too old to start an exercise program and there’s ample evidence to show that regardless of when someone starts to exercise, or whether they’ve exercised in the past, their health will start to improve. Even small improvements in strength translate into large gains such as improved walking or stair climbing ability, and the changes can happen in as little as six weeks.
And just to ensure that our residents don’t become homebound and focused only on health and wellness, we also offer a complimentary chauffer service to social and other appointments and shopping excursions. In addition, we have scheduled bus outings to local events and points of interest.