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Children of Seniors Find Relief

Sunrise Senior Living, Mississauga retirement home, praised: 'It's relieved him of worry'

It's just like coming home. You walk in the door and the old dog, Oscar, gives a friendly wag of his tail. There are photographs on the walls, knickknacks on the mantelpiece and children's books on the shelf for reading to grandchildren. Out front, there's a wide verandah with rocking chairs for the fine days.

The lobby of Sunrise Senior Living in Mississauga (like the lobbies of other Sunrise retirement residences) feels familiar. It's like the living rooms many of the residents left behind. "Are you sure we're in the right place?" Chester Prevey asked his daughter, Mary Ann Rowsome, when he arrived there last September. "Are you sure this isn't a five-star hotel?"

Sunrise has been good news for both of them. Mary Ann brought Chester from Victoria when her mother died, and he had been living with her since. But the stairs were difficult, and she worried when she had to leave him while she went shopping.

Her father, 93, has settled in "wonderfully," she says, "and I think it's relieved him of a lot of worry. He never liked being a bother."

Mary Ann lives only four minutes away, and is there nearly every day, sometimes twice. "The other reason it's good for him," she says, "is there are people his own age who understand where he's come from."

There are other pleasures, too. Muffie, the residence cat, is a favourite with many, and a few residents have their own cats or dogs with them. The staff too win high praise: "I like it when I get up in the morning and come down for breakfast and open the door and hear someone laughing," says Morley Gardiner, 90.

'My daughter picked it'

"Those wonderful daughters!" exclaimed Lisa Visconti, customer relations manager at The Grenadier Retirement Residence in Toronto.

It's an open secret that daughters more than anyone are the ones responsible for their parents choosing to move into retirement residences. Ask any resident, and the answer is nearly always the same.

"My daughter said, "Don't live alone," said 94-year-old Bert Mendelson, who lives at Hazelton Place in Yorkville.

"My daughter picked it," said Doreen Dohoo, 90, of the choice of The Grenadier. "Because she knew I would like shopping up and down Bloor Street (on which the residence is located)."

"My daughters felt I needed more looking after," said Prof. Alwyn Berland, 86, whose wife is in a long-term care home in Hamilton. "They spent a year trying to move me to Toronto." When they showed him The Grenadier, "I liked it, too. My two daughters are quite wonderful. The only thing missing is having my wife closer."

"My daughter, Nina, picked this place," said Percy Budman, 88, another Hazelton resident. "She's pretty thorough-she's a smart chick, a really good girl."

Lisa Visconti is in awe of those selfless daughters (and sons). "It's so nice meeting children who believe money is for the parents, for them to have a comfortable lifestyle," she said.




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