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April 18, 2016

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Events


CHILD HAVEN INTERNATIONAL hosts its 34'th Ottawa Annual Fund Raising Dinner at 6 pm at Hellenic Community Centre, 1315 Prince of Wales Dr., Ottawa. Child Haven operates Homes for over 1300 children and assists destitute women and seniors in India, Nepal and Bangladesh and has a child support program in Tibet in China. For info and tickets please visit www.childhaven.ca or call 1-613-527-2829 or Pat Dunphy 613-745-1743.


ANNUAL SPRING BAZAAR at the Résidence Saint-Louis, 879 Hiawatha Park from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monies raised will go to purchase new equipment and articles essential for residential care.


ORLÉANS POUTINE FEST from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on May 10 and 11 and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday, May 12 in the Centrum Blvd. Festival Plaza. Come sample some of the very best poutine in Ottawa paired with some delicious craft beer, wine, and tasty coolers while enjoying live music in the beer garden.

Making the retirement home decision is not a sign of weakness
By Heather Jamieson
April 18, 2018

Her answer makes so much sense. I’d asked Joan O’Brien, a spry and engaged 80-year-old resident of Symphony Senior Living, why she moved from her Wendover home three years ago.

“I wanted to move into a retirement home while I could still enjoy everything it had to offer,” she says. “I think that people are often forced to move into a home because they are sick, or something happens. I wanted to make the decision myself and not have it made for me.”

Originally from Toronto, Joan has lived in and around Ottawa since entering the convent at 16. After eight years, she left the convent, got her Grade 11 and Grade 12 credits in less than a year and pursued a nursing career: first qualifying as a Registered Practical Nurse, then as a RN and finally earning her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at the age of 45.

A few years before her retirement from nursing at age 65, Joan moved into a two-bedroom house in Wendover and 20 years later she decided to downsize. A friend suggested Symphony on Lumberman Way in Orléans . After one visit, she didn’t look anywhere else and speaks of the facility and its staff in glowing terms.

She first moved into a one-bedroom apartment in one of the three independent living buildings in the complex. She prepared her own meals and quickly became an active participant in a myriad of activities, from yoga to Euchre, the knitting club and, her favourite, the weekly Bingo and monthly Super Bingo.

“It was the best move I ever made because I didn’t have the responsibility of a house and everything that goes with it, but I was still independent,” she says.

While still physically and mentally able to live independently, she recently moved into a one-bedroom apartment in the main Symphony residence, which is 95 per cent dedicated to assisted living. Her move was made possible by a major change in the financial situation of her daughter Eileen, who lives in British Columbia.

Joan is touched that her daughter’s priority was to make life easier for her mother. She laughs that the best thing about moving into assisted living is she doesn’t have to cook. “When you don’t have to cook, everything tastes good!” She no longer has to buy groceries or clean her apartment.

But, Joan isn’t using her extra time just to pursue her own interests. Two mornings a week she volunteers answering the residence’s phones and another morning she volunteers in the Tuck Shop. She will be missing a few volunteer shifts after Easter while she is on a two-week vacation with six friends that includes an Alaskan cruise.

Joan knows how fortunate she is to be still active, able to travel and volunteer. The financial security to move into an apartment with a higher level of service is a bonus, as is not having to walk outside if it is slippery. Most of all, she has the peace of mind knowing “if anything happens to me, I am here. I don’t have to worry about moving somewhere else.”

Rachelle Vroom, executive director of Symphony Senior Living, echoes Joan’s belief in the importance of making a decision about retirement living sooner rather than later.

The time to “find a home that fits and feels right is before a crisis,” she says. “During crisis, the choice will be taken out of your hands. It will be wherever there’s a spot and the fastest place that can take you in,” she says. She sees firsthand the value of seniors having “more access to activities, enter-tainment and social networking”.

Joan stresses that it is not “a sign of weakness” to move into a retirement home. “You can enjoy life without having the burden of owning a home and all that entails.”

Future columns will explore the cost of retirement home living compared to staying in one’s own home, as well as the daunting task of downsizing.

 

Entertainment

  Sports


Missoula Children’s Theatre returns to Orléans

Sir Will production of 'Seussical the Musical' hits all the right notes

Orléans Old Players present pair of comedy short stories


Former Bengal has impressive CFL audition

Gloucester Rangers lay claim to Minor Peewee A championship

Major Atom Rangers win OHE 'AA' championship banner

 
Local business

  Opinion

 


CEDAR VALLEY LEBANESE FOOD: Owners celebrate two years in business

 

SANTÉ CHIROPRACTIC & WELLNESS CENTRE: Where healthy people go

 

180-FITNESS CENTRE: Home of the Biggest Loser

 

 

 


VIEWPOINT: SNC Lavalin affair puts Liberal majority in jeopardy

 

WALTER ROBINSON: The pluses (and minuses) of owning an iPhone

 

HEATHER JAMIESON: Making the retirement home decision is not a sign of weakness

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