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Independent Living+: Your path to active aging

Independent Living+ is a unique program at PARC Retirement Living which promotes all aspects of health and wellness. It’s what makes our residents live with such vibrancy and vitality. The exclusive program is offered at no additional charge and is specifically designed to support you with your health and wellness, increase your mental and physical fitness, and keep you socially connected. Here is what the program includes:

Real life stories

Residents at PARC Retirement Living enjoy the freedom to live as they choose with all the independence they’ve always enjoyed. They pursue their passions, discover new interests, and remain active and engaged in their communities. Our residents don’t just live, they thrive.

“We’ve met so many interesting people.”

Dave’s career as a geophysicist took himself and his family around the globe, and although he and his wife have now settled in at Westerleigh PARC, they are far from slowing down. The couple still travel regularly to visit the many friends they made in the almost two decades they lived in Australia. “It’s nice to go on a trip and not think about your house”, says Dave. “Lots of people here at the Westerleigh travel.”

In between trips, and his work with the Canadian Club of Vancouver, Dave found time to start a cribbage group at the Westerleigh. The game has been a favourite in Dave’s family for generations, and many residents who have joined the group haven’t played in many years. Dave plans to challenge other PARC residences to a championship and has started an ongoing tournament with his extended family.

Another thing Dave likes about the Westerleigh is the people they have met. “There is so much common ground – we’ve made connections and have many things to talk about.” And with all that practice at the cribbage table, the conversations keep on flowing.

Next: Henry, Mountaineer

“Enjoying the view from the top.”

As a lifelong skier and mountaineering enthusiast who has volunteered as a safety patrol officer in Whistler for the past 26 years, Henry can’t say enough about the convenient location of Cedar Springs PARC. “We have mountain trails on our doorstep, beaches and waterways for paddling. This is a huge advantage to other seniors’ residences. It makes this place unique.”

Henry is an avid hiker and regularly heads to the Baden-Powell and other nearby mountain trails; he also kayaks in nearby Deep Cove and swims at Cates Park. And to fuel all that exercise he turns to Cedar Springs’ Chef Josef. “I don’t see how it could be any better…it astounds me”, says Henry of the culinary creations.

Next: Jim, Adventurer and Baker

“Everything you need is here.”

For Jim, life began in the Kootenays, and although he left as a young man, his heart remains in Kaslo, BC. So much so, that Jim and his wife Ruth, hobbyist tour guides for 35 years, regularly take groups to the area, where Jim recounts colourful tales of miners and early settlers while leading treks on wilderness trails. Last year, at the age of 89, he hiked to the top of Idaho Mountain, enjoying a view that has captivated him for decades.

Some of the Mulberry PARC residents have been on Jim’s tours, but all get to enjoy the bounty, as he picks huckleberries from the Kootenay mountains, brings them back and bakes them into pies in he and Ruth’s kitchen.

Jim and Ruth’s children and grandchildren meet regularly for family dinners, and have even had Christmas dinners in Mulberry’s private dining room. “They cater to our every whim here”, says Jim. Sounds like the adventure continues on!

Next: Margaret, Distance Cyclist

“This was a good move.”

Margaret moved into independent retirement living some years sooner than she had planned, and she hasn’t regretted it for a minute.

Margaret took up cycling in her 40s, and has been a member of the Cross Canada Cycle Tour Society ever since. As a nurse who worked in geriatrics, she had seen people who aged with difficulty, but as part of the Society, “I met seniors who were so vibrant, healthy and enjoying life”, she says. Margaret found it so inspiring that she still makes weekly trips to Richmond to meet up with a seniors cycling group for a 30km ride, and she regularly pedals around Burnaby, via nearby trails, to attend medical appointments and go shopping.

At Mulberry, Margaret is thoroughly enjoying the outings, meals, social aspect, and most of all, the opportunities to keep active, both mentally and physically. “When I first moved in, I used to drag myself up the stairs, but now my knees are much better”, she says, speaking of the PARC FIT program.

Next: Marlene and Richard, Like-Minded Lovebirds

“It’s home here.”

Richard and Marlene both came to Cedar Springs PARC after almost six decades of marriage to their respective late spouses. Marlene had been looking for a walking partner when she noticed new resident Richard heading out each day. Over the next year they discovered their many shared interests – including fitness, travel and languages.

In June 2016, the pair were married at a nearby church with their friends and family in attendance. The ceremony was followed by a reception, catered by Chef Josef, that they hosted for the residents at Cedar Springs PARC. “They’re all our friends now”, says Marlene.

Between fitness classes, the Cedar Springs French conversation group (started by Richard) and the sing-along group, the couple like to relax by enjoying the sweeping ocean and mountain views from their suite.

Next: Mona, Full of Fun

“The garden is joy.”

With her twinkling blue eyes and sharp sense of humour, Mona is always in the mood for fun. When Westerleigh PARC hosted their Downton Abbey Tea Party, most of the residents attended in dress attire and millinery, but not Mona. In typical tongue-in-cheek style, she appeared in a maid’s costume, carrying a silver tea tray, to represent the “downstairs staff” of the series.

Mona had enjoyed tending the garden in her own home, and admired the landscaping at the Westerleigh. “The gardeners are so knowledgeable…they bring in the most unusual plants.” Yearning for somewhere to sit and enjoy the flora and fauna, she hinted, over several weeks, at a seating area and her wish came true. Today, patio tables and chairs have been set up in the front garden. Mona wasn’t surprised. “The staff are excellent here, highly skilled and funny. They bring in the most wonderful people.”

Next: Sylvia, Quick Learner

“I’m so happy I made the move.”

Sylvia has always been a busy person – in between raising her two daughters she did lots of volunteer work, and has always kept active. But she never could have known that she’d learn so many new skills in independent retirement living. Sylvia decided to make a move soon after her husband passed away because she “wanted to be around people”; she liked Summerhill PARC as soon as she walked through the door.

Several years ago, as a new resident, Sylvia picked up cribbage and rummoli by watching others play and asking them questions; now she runs the residence’s cribbage group and approaches each new resident to see if they would like to join. Having never used a computer, she asked her daughter to teach her to type, so she could make use of the computer room; now she uses it twice weekly to FaceTime with her great grand-daughter and to write to her family.  Says Sylvia, “I learned I could do a lot of things, not just sit in my room.”

Sylvia loves her suite, the “wonderful staff”, the amenities and the food at Summerhill. “I’m a very happy soul”, she says. And it shows.

Next: Dave, World traveller

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