Belleville, Ontario

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Interview with Arabella Retirement Living family member, Jennifer Allen

Jennifer shares the relief that both she and her mom have felt after her mother moved into this community. Her mom's life has been transformed since moving into Arabella.

In this perspective:

Highlights from the interview

  • What I have appreciated right from the beginning is that there is excellent communication with all of the staff. The staff are friendly, outgoing, always have a smile, always greet me. If I need any information, I can email anyone directly. 

  • It's been a very seamless transition from Mom living in her own condo to moving. From the get go, when Mom and I were first visiting and doing the paperwork and everything, Maria made every issue [clear]. She went over everything very clearly and laid out what mum’s rights are as a resident, what mum’s rights are as a tenant. 

  • Maria always imparted a real sense of caring, of being involved.  All of the staff members– and it doesn't matter if I go on a Sunday, if I go on a Tuesday morning, whatever – the people who are there seem to genuinely want to be there. There's a lot of caring [and] they seem genuinely invested in the wellbeing of the residents. 

  • I was concerned [about mom]... there [was] sometimes confusion about debit cards, credit cards when she was out of the store... she agreed that [was] becoming more challenging. With her being where she is, it's way less stress on me, way less stress on other family who live farther afield. Half the time she doesn't want me to come over because she's got too much going on anyway… I don’t feel the need to phone her every day, check in every day.

  • From the moment that somebody would walk in just for a tour or whatever, the colors are very calming. The decor is modern… It's modern, it's fresh. Even the architecture. It's like it's like you feel like you're in a condo in downtown Toronto… The staff will greet you with a warm hello. When I go there, it feels almost like my second home.

  • She got everything she wanted. It's a beautiful one bedroom, fabulous. Tons of closet space, tons of natural lighting. They all have balconies, whether people choose to avail themselves of using it, but they all have them, which means a big sliding door. The bathrooms have wonderful grab bars, a security system. Mom's unit is quite large for her.

  • I never would have expected [mom] to become so social. I'll phone her and say, can I come over today and see you at two o'clock? And she'll go, ‘Oh, sorry, there's this on, there's this activity.’ She loves it. 

  • When she first moved in, thank goodness the nurse caught on that her blood pressure meds had not been updated for years. Other than having her blood pressure checked periodically, she does all of her own medications. She doesn't need any help with anything. The help is there when she needs it. 

  • There's all sorts of social interactions, whether it be word games, physical fitness activities. There's a lot of physical well-being activities that go on. There's mental challenges to keep everybody's brain firing on all cylinders. The new thing that's going on now are what I would call travelogues.

  • Mom was always a very health conscious eater and everything, but she is eating way better. It's not just the availability of the food, that she doesn't have to go out, grocery shopping and prepare. But it's also the quality of the ingredients that they're using. It's all just top notch… I know her diet's better. 

  • She's always been very physically fit [but now] her posture is better. I can see she's got more strength and everything. There's been a physical improvement… and just the social aspect of it. She just looks better. When she's visiting at the house here and I'm sharing pictures online, people say, oh my goodness, she looks wonderful.

  • [The size of the building] also appealed to us, too. It's not a massive complex that's adjoined to maybe a unit that requires further care. It's small enough that everyone knows each other, but it's large enough that there's space where you can separate.

  • My advice to people is really listen to your instincts, listen to your parents and to your loved one and get it done. There's so many resources. Look at the resource that we're on right now! … Don't hesitate. [Strike] while the iron's hot… Because honestly, it's not as gut wrenching as you might think it is. A year ago when we were just beginning this process, I was so worried. Now I'm going, what a waste of energy… I need not have worried!

MORE ABOUT Arabella Retirement Living

Our Perspective

Numerous aspects of Arabella Retirement Living in Belleville are remarkable, but the standout for us is the luxurious suites that will form the center of the lifestyle change you’ll go through here. The fully contemporary designs are spectacular, noteworthy for the wonderful views of the Lake. Belleville seniors and their families should be excited for this wonderfully conceived project. Read more

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