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Retirement Home Living: Space, Comfort, Good Food

Few of the other retirement home residents are up and about as Ian MacEachern heads through the lobby of the Amica at Newmarket around 7:15 every morning for his walk. He’s left his wife, Irene, in bed in their fourth-floor retirement residence apartment, turning on quiet background music to soothe her.

He walks briskly for a mile and a half along the quiet residential streets of Newmarket, his steady pace belying his 87 years of age. Home again, Ian begins the lengthy process of getting Irene up, massaging her arthritic limbs, and preparing a simple cereal-and banana breakfast for them.

Luxury at prime retirement residences like the Amica is often measured in terms of splendid surroundings and multiple activities. But for residents like the MacEacherns, there is another dimension: the luxury of space, comfort and good nutrition.

Irene, 81, has dementia and uses a wheelchair. Ian is her caregiver almost 24 hours a day. After selling their home three years ago, Ian and Irene had moved into another retirement home. But steps and uneven floors made handling the wheelchair difficult, and the dining room was cramped.

Retirement living in comfort and luxury

Ian only needed to see the new Amica retirement residence to know it was a better answer: It featured level floors everywhere, their own 18-foot-wide balcony with a forest view, the swimming pool and large exercise room, and, best of all, a spacious dining room with plenty of room to manoeuvre the wheelchair and sit-where-you-please seating.

Ian is careful of his diet, choosing fish whenever he can, and watching Irene’s eating too as she gets less exercise. As well as walking, he curls twice a week and enjoys shuffleboard. Every day he and Irene go out, either to the stores or for a drive in the country.

Many would not envy his life, but, with housekeeping and laundry taken care of, a doctor’s office on-site, a special Vitalis assisted-living unit in case Irene needs more care, Amica at Newmarket has made it possible for him to look after his girl.

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