The Berkeley – A Seniors’ Community and Staying Connected
By Catherine Campbell
The importance of staying connected is paramount for seniors and belonging to a community is one of the very best ways to do so. Communities provide a foundation for friendships, they are familiar, and they support both tradition and routine.
At The Berkeley, we place an enormous amount of value on relationships and cultivating a close-knit community, much like one’s old neighbourhood. Our buildings are the perfect size – big enough to find friends with similar interests and yet small enough that everyone knows their neighbours. In fact, one might even meet people from their past and rekindle old friendships. It is that familiarity that gives people a sense of belonging. To us, having a sense of belonging is the key. It is important that everyone in our community feel that sense of belonging.
Margaret is a resident at The Berkeley. Her story highlights the importance of community. An educator, musician, wife, and mother, she came to live at The Berkeley Gladstone after her husband had died. After having a stroke, she was looking for a convenient solution to her own situation while living life on her own terms. After touring The Berkeley, she could see that she would be able to live her life just as she wanted. Two years later, she is a positive force in The Berkeley community. She supports and celebrates others in her community without forgetting her own personal development.
After her stroke, Margaret had given up on playing music because of paralysis on her right side. In the early days of the pandemic, she wanted to find a way to pass the time. Reconnecting with her true passion – music – seemed the obvious choice. As it turned out, she was very successful and has introduced a few music based programs into the activities’ program at The Berkeley. Margaret’s story speaks to the benefits of retirement living. She was supported by her community in her quest to play music again and she has shared her talents and passion with them in return. Margaret believes in the importance of celebrating the special moments that form our memories and make our lives unique.
Community is a source of support, happiness, and inclusion. Many will suggest they are not ready for retirement living and yet they live lives that could be more engaged and more fulfilling. Sometimes, you must take a chance on something new being the right thing for you!