Langley, British Columbia

Retirement community

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Review of Magnolia Gardens by Hilary O, resident

  • Date of Review:
    May 17, 2023
  • Resident:
    78 years old, female
  • Living in:
    Independent living

Overall experience


I very much enjoy living at Magnolia Gardens. Apart from not having to worry about cooking, cleaning and having bed linens changed and laundered - as well as towels - I like the opportunities to participate - or not! - in a variety of activities, both in-house and in the community. Based on my experiences here, I would definitely recommend Magnolia Gardens to others. The one thing I would change, if I could, as a lifelong “cat person” I would be delighted if I could once again have a cat for company in my suite.

Building, amenities & suites


The location of the building is excellent, situated within relatively easy walking distance of downtown Langley, several small shopping malls and restaurants. The building and gardens are well maintained and summer blooms are a joy to contemplate! It would have been nice if the building had central air conditioning, but considering the temperate climate - for most of the year - one can easily adapt and manage the heat in one’s suite with a window a/c or a decent fan. The bistro, pub and lounge flow one into the next, although there are times when it would be good to have closed doorways. As a long-time single person, I was quite accustomed to having a lot of space in the various apartments I have lived in. So, I was somewhat apprehensive about moving into a suite of < 500 sq.ft. However, I quickly adapted, and I am sure this was facilitated by the brightness, layout and general warmth of the suite.



With one exception, which fortunately has now been rectified in response to residents’ concerns, the staff are excellent. I think it speaks to the quality of the General Manager that so many staff have been here for more than 10 years. And even a few who have left in search of ostensibly greener pastures - only to return in less than a month! The GM has an open door policy and is very open to addressing any concerns and/or making any suggested changes within reason! If I could make a suggestion regarding staffing, it would be to have at least one or two full time care aides to assist those residents who, while not so incapacitated as to require long term care, definitely require regular assistance with many - if not most - activities of daily living. Currently, such assistance is typically provided - in minimum 15 minute increments - by various agencies contracted by the individual, his/her family, and/or Fraser Health. To my mind, this is considerably less than ideal.

Residents and community life


I have formed several new friendships since moving in over 5 years ago. Although in recent years, it seems that many of the newer residents are not sufficiently capable of independent living - or participation in many activities - without considerable assistance. My guess, however, is that this is probably a function of government policies which promote seniors remaining in their own homes until they are no longer able to function independently cognitively or physically - or both. When at full occupancy the resident body is well over 100.

Activities and services


The activity program is quite varied, offering everything from exercise to arts and crafts, happy hours and special events with entertainment, holiday observances, bus trips, restaurant outings, card games, tile rummy, crib, Black Jack, Poker, chef demonstrations (and tastings!), gardening club. I do not have a green thumb and arts and crafts are definitely not my forte, nor are exercise classes! However, I quite enjoy participating in most of the other activities.

Care and medical attention (if applicable)


Although I now depend on a four wheel walker for mobility and am quite capable of administering my own meds for other minor conditions, I know that at my age I am more susceptible to falling. However, all residents are provided with a personal alarm which is monitored by staff 24/7. There is also a daily button one should push which registers at the front desk - and if not pushed by 11 each day will precipitate a staff check.

Food and drink


In a facility of this size, I recognize that there is no way to please all the people all of the time! But I have no complaints about the available snacks and meals. For lunch and dinner, in addition to the two daily main course options there is a weekly third choice. The chef is certainly open to suggestions and the menu is now changed every three months. Liquor and beer are available twice a week during happy hour, and beer and wine are available for lunch and dinner - all considerably less expensive than in a bar or restaurant! I particularly appreciate the selection of fresh fruit and fresh baked goods at breakfast - as well as the recently acquired spiffy coffee machine which dispenses a wide variety of coffee choices throughout the day and evening. For special occasions, the chef provides superb choices which one always looks forward to!

Moving in


As I recall, my move-in was quite painless, even though for various reasons my furniture did not arrive till late evening. My new bed had been delivered prior to my move, and I recall being very appreciative of the staff person who made the bed for me - as I know that with my mobility issues it would probably have taken me over an hour to do it myself! I had actually had a very short stay here some months prior so I had some familiarity with some of the residents, staff and the facility. Consequently, it took me longer to unpack all my boxes than to feel quite at home, here!

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MORE ABOUT Magnolia Gardens

Our Perspective

This community offers diligent support from the top down. Seniors here are effusive about the care and attention they receive, and the added joy they feel from the beauty of the landscape, design, and construction. Magnolia Gardens is a great place to live. Read more

More video reviews

Watch our interview with Don Slavens to learn about the unique experience offered by Magnolia Gardens.

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