Comfort Life - Your guide to retirement & care

Community Spotlight: Independent living

Six steps to finding the right community for you

George Macavey is an active man of many interests and accomplishments. So when he and his family decided it was time to move to a retirement residence, they had a challenge. Their goal was to find an independent living community that would meet his needs personal and social needs, including a home-like atmosphere with a range of interesting programming. 

Step 1: Assemble your team

Ultiamately the decision was George's to make, though he elisted the help and advice of his two daughters and his family doctor. They talked about needs, including proximity, and reviewed finances. Then they dug in ... 

Step 2: Find your options

Between them, they searched online and in the commnity to gather a comprehensive list of potential options, ranking the candidates that, at least initially, seemed to be the best fit. 

Step 4: Gather the evidence

Then, with the list in hand, they contacted the residences to arrange visits. This, ultimately, turned out to be the quickest step in the process. The residence that topped their list met George's needs, including a few that he hadn't anticipated. Tapestry fit all of George’s requirements, including location, qualified and friendly staff, comprehensive programming, independent units and a warm, homey atmosphere. While they visited other communities, they only confirmed taht Tapestry Westbrook Village was the right one for him. Before long, he was packing his bags and looking forward to moving in. 

Step 5: Consider community

Finding an independent senior living residence that offers strong community connections is important, often more important than we might initially assume. In fact, it became one of the most important criteria, despite being one that George hadn't initially included in in his search critera was community. Too often we think of a move into a retirement community as an abrupt, stark change. Done right, it doesn't have to be. By choosing a location that was, in many ways, a part of the community he was already living within. There were familiar faces, and common histories. At Tapestry, many of the residents have strong connections to the University and the City of Vancouver. Many are UBC Emeriti and have been living in the area for years. All of that became the biggest attraction: the ability to be socially connected without having to make a huge effort was another attraction for the Macaveys.

Alison Howard, general manager at Tapestry Westbrook Village in Vacounver says George fits the profile of their ideal resident: he has ties to the area, and wanted to retain his social life he enjoyed there without the day-today worries involved with living on his own. What they found was that the Tapestry community, in fact, increased his ability to remain socially connected because it removed some the effort of getting out and about. 

Step 6: Reap the benefits

Without the worries of the day-to-day, independent living residents can experience the life that they want, be it through regularly scheduled programs or informal activities in and around the community. Communities also provide opportunities for lifelong learning, whether it’s auditing classes or participating in sessions. 

Speaking of the experience, George says, “The whole environment was a pleasant surprise. It was a wise choice that I came to Tapestry to spend this phase of my life, which provides my family a great peace of mind to know that I am happy and well cared for.”


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