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Luxury and care comfort family members, too

Families are ecstatic when their parents are well cared for, as is the case with luxury retirement homes like Scarlett Heights and Amica at Newmarket.

My family is in heaven that I am in here

Early one morning, says Dodie Wesley, “I had some pain and I thought I was going 
to faint. So I pressed my little button.” Help arrived immediately; happily, it was a false alarm. “I told my daughter afterwards,” says Dodie, who is 85. “And she cried. My family is in heaven that I am in here.”

“Here” is Scarlett Heights Retirement Residence. Dodie, a long-time volunteer with the Toronto Garden Club, moved here after being involved in a serious car accident—not her fault—in which her neck was broken and some ribs were crushed. Her four children insisted she should no longer live alone, and she agreed to the move after learning that she could bring her two cats, Chanel and Giorgio, with her to Scarlett Heights. The cats love sitting by the open windows of her fifth floor apartment taking the air—“They are in pussycat heaven”—while Dodie revels in the great sunsets. As a gardener she also loves the grounds with their extensive flowerbeds—and her informed planting suggestions were welcomed. She also receives regular physiotherapy at the residence as well as exercising in the resistance pool. And she has, she says, made some friends she will be happy to have for the rest of her life.

“Mom, you’re moving!”

Edith Gudmundsen remembers her son’s words precisely. “Mom,” he said when they visited Amica at Newmarket for the first time, “you’re moving!” That was more than a year ago. Edith, 83, loves the pool, where she’s taken aquafit classes, the exercise room, the bridge and the euchre. She has only one complaint: “I’m getting so busy I don’t have time for everything.”

Like a number of Amica residents, Edith, who is chair of the residents’ council, moved here from another retirement residence. “This is more … elegant,” she says, looking for the right word. Besides, her son, who she visits at weekends, lives only five minutes away.

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