In my previous life, now feeling like a lifetime ago, I used to operate high end hotels, clubs and resorts. I was happy, I thoroughly enjoyed my chosen career which started in London, moved to obscurity for a while in Andorra, then followed the high life in Bermuda for more years than I should have, surrounded by turquoise waters, wealth and fame (others, not me). I escaped and moved to Victoria in 2007 initially to run the Aerie Resort and Spa, before I was hired by VRS communities to operate Ross Place Seniors Community. Honestly, I did not know if it would be a good fit for me, but decided to try.
From the moment I walked through the door, I loved it. I was surrounded by wonderful people and felt a sense of worth. Right then, I knew I would never be going back to hotels. That was ten years ago and I asked myself the question: “why didn’t I make this move years ago?”
Having now welcomed and gotten to know thousands of seniors who have chosen to move from their home into a community living setting, whether Independent or Assisted Living, I now recognize they are all faced with similar questions (albeit more important than a career choice). “Do I want to change my lifestyle?”, “Do I want to live in a community?”, “Will I like the other people living there?”, “Do I want someone else to cook my meals, and will it be to my taste?”, “Will I be interested in attending all these activities they are telling me about?”.
My best advice is this – we never know what life has to offer if we stay within our comfort zone. Stepping out into something new, whether it’s a new career or residence, can bring an even better future than you imagined. You just have to give it a try.
Ten years later, what I hear from so many of our residents is the same response I had, “Why didn’t I make this move years ago?”.
Lakeside gardens is owned and operated by VRS Communities, a locally-owned, non-profit society for Seniors Living with two seniors locations on Vancouver Island. For more information visit https://www.vrs.org/seniors-communities/.
By Andrew Trinder, Director of Operations, VRS Communities Seniors Living, including Lakeside Gardens, Nanaimo