When Gladye Bregman’s husband passed away five years ago, she didn’t want to live alone in their apartment, but she needed a space to accommodate beloved furniture and art. So Gladye transformed two connected suites at Toronto’s Amica On The Avenue, a private retirement residence, into an elegant one-bedroom with new hardwood, a custom kitchenette and a walk-in closet. “That was the selling point for me,” says the 97-year-old. “Being able to do all these things was important because I didn’t want to change my way of life.”
Anything is possible when Amica is your home, including personalizing your suite, bringing your pet, reconnecting with passions or accomplishing goals with the help of dedicated staff. In vibrant boutique-style residences, centrally located in Canada’s most inspiring neighbourhoods, seniors live a lifestyle that both reflects and evolves with their personal aspirations. “We get to know every resident so we can tailor activities, culinary experiences and care services to their tastes and interests,” says Andrea Prashad, Vice-President of Resident Experience at Amica. “We’re committed to making residents and their families feel empowered, connected, supported and valued.”
Most residents spend less time in their suites than they’d anticipated thanks to attractive amenities. Most residences have a fitness centre, hair salon and home theatre; some have a pool, pub or billiards room; there’s even a rooftop putting green at Amica White Rock in B.C. Residents are also entertained with a daily program of exercise classes, creative workshops, social events, excursions and activities. “We try to discover who the resident was, who they are now, and what goals they are seeking to fulfill,” says Prashad. “For instance, we have residents seeking to restore a sense of self and play the piano again, while others might have a more adventurous goal in mind. Last summer, a resident at Amica Little Lake in Barrie expressed a desire to celebrate her birthday by doing the CN Tower’s EdgeWalk. We arranged everything, and two of our team members walked right alongside her.”
Another perk is the exceptional cuisine created with fresh, local ingredients. Meals are prepared in-house daily by a culinary team led by Red Seal chefs with experience cooking in hotels or restaurants and accommodating special diets. Residents dine when and where they prefer — in the dining room, bistro, courtyard or in the comfort of their suite. “We offer four seasonal menus per year that cycle every month. Every day is different and offers five choices for lunch and dinner,” says Gary McBlain, Amica’s National Director of Culinary Services. Themed menus and special event nights reflect an increasingly diverse population with offerings that include ethnic cuisine, vegetarian dishes and Friday-night Shabbat dinners. “We are in the customer service industry, after all," says McBlain, "and it shows.”
Some residents are relieved to know they can bring their small dog or cat with them, says Brian Browne, General Manager at Amica Edgemont Village in North Vancouver, home to seven dogs and four cats. “Whether it’s a young pup or an older cat, it is a loved one. Knowing they can take them out anytime for a walk puts the spark in our residents,” says Browne.
As with all aspects of life at Amica, residents have a choice of options for personalizing their care: seniors may live independently, with assistance from certified team members, or with complete support in a dedicated Memory Care program for those living with Alzheimer’s or other forms of dementia. Instead of adhering to a schedule, wellness team members provide support according to each resident’s unique routines and preferences. Seniors don’t need to worry about moving again: if their health changes, they can request additional care.
This combination of individualized care and hospitality is helping a resident thrive in Assisted Living at Amica Erin Mills. “The staff are friendly and professional while helping my mother with bathing, dressing, eating and transportation,” says the resident’s daughter. “They tend to her needs with tenderness and warmth and they communicate regularly with me. Moving my mother to Amica was the best decision to meet all her needs and has given me peace of mind.”
Advertising feature produced by Globe Content Studio. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved.