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Karen James

Senior Vice President of Customer Experience, Chartwell

Chartwell retirement residences offer older adults increased independence and peace of mind with convenient support and social connections.


Ben and Margaret* wanted to stay forever in the home they had shared for more than 45 years. But when Margaret broke her leg, she learned that she would be unable to navigate stairs for several weeks. Meanwhile, Ben wasn’t able to manage all the household responsibilities without his wife’s help. The couple decided to move to a retirement residence while Margaret’s leg healed. They intended to return home as soon as possible, but after a few weeks at a Chartwell retirement residence, they changed their plans.

Margaret and Ben enjoyed not having to do household chores or maintain their home. They appreciated the opportunity to easily socialize with others. Margaret had always been involved in many community activities but had given most of them up due to her limited mobility. This was a chance to get involved again. They found that rather than take away their freedom, living in a retirement residence increased their independence and peace of mind. Margaret and Ben decided to sell their home and stay.

elderly woman with dog

Retirement is a time when you can finally release some of the obligations that may be holding you back from focusing on yourself and what’s important to you.

Spend more time on the people and hobbies you enjoy

Like Margaret and Ben, many seniors find that a retirement residence helps make their lives happier, healthier, and more meaningful. Since retirement staff take care of cooking, cleaning, and home repairs, residents can spend their energy and time on the people and hobbies they most enjoy.

After 10 years of living in a Chartwell retirement residence, Richard feels strongly he made the right choice to move from his house. “I made this decision as I no longer wanted the responsibility of maintaining my home repairs, snow removal, and lawn care,” he says. “My residence is centrally located to grocery stores, drug stores, and banks. I can participate in activities like exercise, bingo, cards, live music, and dancing, and the staff and neighbours have made living here very enjoyable.”

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Some of the convenient services typically offered at a Chartwell retirement residence include nutritious meals, activities and outings, housekeeping and laundry, personal support services, 24-hour staff on-site, fitness and wellness programs, social events and clubs, and volunteer opportunities. On-site amenities may include a chapel, craft room, fitness room, library, outdoor patio, hairdresser, theatre, and walking paths.

After Margaret’s leg healed, she started to go on many outings with Ben where they made many friends. About six months later, Ben had a stroke and needed some support while he was rehabilitating. Personal care was available at the retirement residence, so they didn’t need to move to get the help Ben needed.

Family members can focus on making meaningful memories

Living in the retirement residence also enriched their relationship with their children, Jenn and Brian. Prior to the move, Jenn had been helping with grocery shopping and often cooked for her parents. Brian was managing many of the household repairs. Once their parents moved, their visits were no longer about doing chores. Instead, they had time to take their parents out to eat, bring them to visit their homes, or stay in to play cards. Jenn and Brian felt they got to really enjoy time with their parents, rather than being focused on helping them manage their lives.

When Margaret passed, Jenn and Brian were thankful their dad was living in a retirement residence. He had always relied on Margaret to arrange their social life and if he had been in his home, he would have been isolated. In the retirement residence, Ben continued to socialize with the friends they had made together. This support made it much easier for him to cope with the loss of his wife.

Around-the-clock staff provide peace of mind

Peace of mind is definitely a key benefit for children with parents living in a retirement residence because there’s consistent access to staff who are devoted to helping seniors live worry-free. Optional care services are also available to accommodate changing needs so older adults can age in place without the need for a move. “From our perspective, our mom has been well looked after, and we no longer worry as staff are always there to help,” says Tasha, whose mother lives in a Chartwell retirement residence. “The staff have even accommodated my teen daughter staying for sleepovers so my mom and daughter can continue their traditions.”

As society shifts back to pre-pandemic norms, older adults who have delayed a decision to seek a transition that provides more freedom from the responsibilities of home ownership have begun to consider their options again. For many, the pandemic has affirmed the desire to spend less time at home alone and more time socializing, pursuing hobbies, and being more active.

“Retirement is a time when you can finally release some of the obligations that may be holding you back from focusing on yourself and what’s important to you,” says Karen James, Senior Vice President of Customer Experience at Chartwell. “Reconnecting with the people or hobbies you hold most dear or spending time on recreation and relaxation may now be what you need to enjoy your later years with the health and happiness you deserve.” 


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Reference

* https://chartwell.com/en/blog/2017/05/dr-amy-case-study-advantages-of-aging-in-a-retirement-residence

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