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50+ Active Living Magazine

Go-Kart Driver Ralph Oakes

HOUSING EDITION • Transition to Resident Living • SAFERHome • Trends in Senior Housing PLUS • Woody and Jutta Woodland • Travel South Africa


And more... AUGUST 2012



Your time to shine.





2290 Henry Ave. Sidney | 250.656.8827 LOCALLY OWNED & OPERATED by THE TIDMAN GROUP


Now it’s time for you: enjoy the very best in independent and assisted retirement living and maintain your active lifestyle. Free yourself from the daily chores of living alone and get busy.

It’s your retirement.


You can lounge if you want to.

A truly relaxing lifestyle can start with an informational visit to Berwick. Our independent living residences feature numerous on-site amenities, spacious suites and friendly hospitality. Do something social, or sit back in the theatre facilities. At Berwick you’re in control and truly free.


Proud recipient of the BC Senior's Living Association seal of approval



Our Hospitality. Your Home.









38 Master of the Craft

6 No Fear of Flying

European-trained sculptor and goldsmith Tamas Zalatnai has been instrumental in spearheading the ART RAVE Society’s Festival of the Arts.

Competition and fun keep go-kart driver Ralph Oakes hooked on the sport.

46 Joint Careers Span the Arts

8 Transition to Resident Living

Woody and Jutta Woodland have left no stone unturned in the world of fine arts.

Downsizing a lifetime of one’s belongings can be the toughest challenge of moving to a residence.

12 Seniors Cohousing

Cohousing creates a village that supports social, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing.

14 Senior Housing Listings

DEPARTMENTS 42 Travel 48 Classifieds 49 BBB Scam Alert

An easy-to-read guide for those seeking housing options and care providers for seniors.

21 Staying Social

Resident living means friends are always close by, and activities abound.


28 SAFERHome

4 The Family Caregiver

Safe, sustainable housing that allows homeowners to age in place, if they choose.

by Barbara Small

45 Courageous & Outrageous

30 U.S. Senior Housing Trends

by Pat Nichol

Could shared housing and virtual villages catch on in British Columbia?

51 Ask Goldie

by Goldie Carlow

34 Naomi’s Legacy

Author Naomi Beth Wakan is scholar and teacher with a special talent for sharing her love of literature, learning and life.

52 Reflections: Then & Now by Gipp Forster

Cover Photo: New Westminster resident

Ralph Oakes races go-karts for fun and friendships. Story page 6. Photo: Kevin McKay

Senior Living is distributed at all BC Pharmasave locations.

Senior Living is published by Stratis Publishing. Publisher Barbara Risto Editor Bobbie Jo Reid Ad Coordinator/Designer Steffany Gundling Advertising Manager Barry Risto 250-479-4705 ext 101 For advertising information, call 250-479-4705 Ad Sales Staff Ann Lester 250-390-1805 Mathieu Powell 250-479-4705 ext 104 Barry Risto 250-479-4705 ext 101




Head Office Contact Information: Box 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1 Phone 250-479-4705 Fax 250-479-4808 Toll-free 1-877-479-4705 E-mail Website Subscriptions: $32 (includes GST, postage and handling) for 12 issues. Canadian residents only. No portion of this publication may be reproduced in whole or in part without written permission from the publisher. Senior Living is an independent publication and its articles imply no endorsement of any products or services. The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of the publisher. Unsolicited articles are welcome and should be e-mailed to editor@seniorlivingmag. com Senior Living is distributed free throughout British Columbia. Stratis Publishing Ltd. publishes Senior Living (12 issues per year). ISSN 17103584 (Print) ISSN 1911-6403 (Online)

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Home Adaptations Can Ease the Demands of Caregiving


s people age or their health declines, caregiving at home can be extended and made easier by making modifications to the care recipient’s home. Adaptations to a home can make it easier and safer to carry out caregiving activities such as bathing, cooking or moving around the home, as well as changes to the physical structure of the home to improve its overall safety and functionality. Modifications might include adding handrails, stair lifts or making the bathroom safe and accessible by installing grab bars. Home modifications can help relieve the emotional, physical and time burdens placed on family caregivers. These burdens can be eased through knowing a family member is safe when the caregiver is not there, and by making it easier for the care recipient to be more independent. The cost of home modifications varies greatly. Low cost changes may include installing lever handle door knobs or grab bars. More expensive changes might include installing an exterior ramp. Recently, the province launched the new Home Adaptations for Independence (HAFI) program to help low-income seniors and people with disabilities finance home modifications for accessibility, and safe and independent living. The HAFI program is funded by the federal and provincial governments. Financial assistance up to $20,000 per home is available to both homeowners and tenants. The amount is based on the cost of materials and labour necessary for the required

adaptations and is in the form of a grant or forgivable loan. Eligible adaptations include items that directly address the household’s functionality for independence, like handrails in hallways, ramps for ease of access, easy to reach work areas in the kitchen or walk-in showers with grab bars. For more information on the HAFI program, visit www. or call BC Housing at 1-800-407-7757 (ext. 7055). Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) has also published several free books on adaptable housing including, Maintaining Seniors’ Independence: A Guide to Home Adaptations and Maintaining Seniors’ Independence through Home Adaptations: A Self-Assessment Guide. These can be found on the CMHC website at and are SL available in digital and hardcopy formats. Next month: Time Management Tips for Family Caregivers Barbara Small is the Program Development Coordinator for Family Caregivers’ Network Society located in Victoria, BC.

The Family Caregiver column is brought to you by the generous sponsorship of Saint Elizabeth





SAFER makes rent more affordable for B.C. seniors Thanks to the Province’s Shelter Aid For Elderly Renters (SAFER) program, seniors like Bonita are able to stay in the homes and communities they love. SAFER provides monthly cash payments for eligible seniors age 60 or over who pay rent for their homes Are you eligible? You may be eligible for SAFER if you meet all of the following conditions: 1. You are 60 or older. 2. You have lived in British Columbia for the full 12 months immediately preceding your application. 3. You and your spouse (with whom you are living) meet one of the following citizenship requirements: Canadian citizen(s); or authorized to take up permanent residence in Canada; or Convention refugee(s). 4. You pay more than 30 per cent of your gross (before tax) monthly household income towards the rent for your home, including the cost of pad rental for a manufactured home (trailer) that you own and occupy. If you are eligible, SAFER may subsidize part of the rent that is over 30 per cent of your income. To find out more about SAFER, including application forms, > 604-433-2218 (Metro Vancouver) > 1-800-257-7756 (elsewhere in B.C.) H O U S I N G M AT T E R S




No Fear of Flying Sport




Go-kart driver Ralph Oakes takes the lead at Pacific Raceway.

Photos: Evan Davis


or many people, go-karting conjures up images of children and teens racing around in home-made, slow-moving vehicles. But the sport of go-karting is much more, and for 65-year-old New Westminster resident Ralph Oakes, it’s addictive. Though he caught the bug when he was a teenager, Ralph’s love for go-kart racing has endured his adult years and, even now, as he becomes a senior. “It’s not like I’m trying to win a world championship,” he says. “It’s fun, and a very close knit community. Racing really keeps me young. The people who do this are amazing. When anyone needs something, they would just build it for you.” Though he has been racing for the better part of 50 years, Ralph still experiences the thrill and excitement of getting behind the wheel and lining up for competition. “When the green flag is counting down to the race start, I can feel the butterflies churning in my stomach,” says Ralph. “I want to get a good start…. I don’t want to stall or get tangled up with other vehicles and get in a pile up on the first lap.” The type of go-kart Ralph prefers is the laydown version in which the racer lies on their back and peers over the dashboard as they drive. After years of racing in go-karts in which the driver sits up, Ralph tried the variety he now prefers in 1980 and he claims he’ll never go back. “The thing that most impressed me about the laydown gokarts is the extra speed you can get out of your vehicle,” says Ralph. “In our class, we push about 210 kilometres per hour, at top speed, so we are really moving. Our races are all 45minutes long, which means you really need to have a lot of stamina and endurance. Normally, you know where you are compared to the other drivers, and know how many people you are ahead of or need to pass. Whoever crosses the finish line first, after 45 minutes, gets the checkered flag.” Though he competes against drivers much younger, Ralph does very well, winning many of his races and trophies for first place in his category in the 2010 Class Champion Portland Karting Association. Despite all his successes, however, the wins are not why he competes. “Of course you want to win, you always want to win, but the main thing I enjoy about the sport is that we just get to compete and have fun. I always want to keep my kart in good shape, so it is ready to enter the next race. I really enjoy racing, and I am so thankful I can do it. There are a bunch of

great people involved in the sport, and I am glad I can get together with them at competitions.” Perhaps Ralph inherited his love for speed from his father, who was one of Canada’s earliest pilots. In fact, his father journeyed with Grant McConachie when he helped map the north in an aircraft. In World War II, he was with the Ferry Command flying B-52 bombers from Gander to the United Kingdom but, since he was not in the military, he was not allowed to fly with weapons. Young Ralph often accompanied his father on commercial flights, later got his pilot’s license and likely would have made a career of flying, except his vision was not good enough without glasses to allow that to happen. So, Ralph turned to another form of flying, one that kept him closer to terra firma. The first go-kart was invented in California in 1959, and Ralph received his first exposure to one in 1962, when he was 15. He and his father visited a fellow pilot friend, who happened to have a go-kart for Ralph to try out while the two men chatted. “I was racing all around the yard on this thing until it was time to go,” Ralph recalls. “Then, to my surprise, they picked it up and stuffed it into the back of our station wagon. My dad told me it was for me, which made me extremely happy.”


Ralph and fellow racing enthusiasts cut their teeth on their new hobby on a small track in the bush near Fell Avenue in Burnaby and practiced there until the Westwood racing track opened a three-eighth of a mile go-kart track near their main track. “We used to have maybe 10 to 15 races a year, plus time to practice. It was a great thing for us because so many of us young people wanted to drive and we could not afford cars. Riding on a track was fantastic and it felt really good. Every week, I would look forward to it. It gets in your blood.” When he is not racing, Ralph continues to work in real estate as he has since 1975. In the early 1970s, with the downturn of the stock market, he was unsure about where his life was going when he met Annette, the woman he would eventually marry. “When I met her, she was about to take a real estate course, but she gave up her spot for me,” says Ralph. “It was extremely nice of her, and I have never looked back.”

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Ralph suited up and ready to roll (in #11).

Regardless of the huge number of hours he has spent racing and practicing in his go-karts, Ralph has remained largely injury free. He did have one bad accident, however, in 1991, during the Grand Nationals in Portland, Oregon. “There were five of us in the lead pack and I was running fifth right behind a friend of mine,” he says. “We were going into the last corner before the straightaway when his engine blew. He put his hand up to warn me, like you are supposed to do, but at that moment my brakes locked up. I was going about 120 kilometres an hour as I [hit] the wall.” “Instinctively, I put my foot out to stop myself and ripped all the tendons in my right ankle. They put me in an ambulance, and I spent five days in the hospital. From there, it was another six months learning to walk again.” The only other injury he sustained was a cracked rib three years ago. This, despite the fact these fast-moving vehicles have no seat belts or roll bars, and the drivers are only protected by racing suits, gloves and Snell-approved helmets with full-face shields. And Ralph would not have it any other way. “I just really like racing,” he says. “I am thankful that I can still do it; glad that I have my health. I always tell everyone I SL am 38, and I am never planning to retire.”

You’re Home Enjoy a private suite surrounded by good friends and caring staff. Treat yourself to great food prepared just for you. Take advantage of numerous amenities all within walking distance.

Good Samaritan Wexford Creek offers independent living in a caring and supportive environment.

Make your home with us. Good Samaritan Wexford Creek 250.713.1696 80 Tenth Street, Nanaimo, BC





Transition to Resident Living BY VERNICE SHOSTAL

Live Well. Age Well.

Carefree Activities, Outings & Great Meals Call for a Lunch & Tour Today!

ALEXANDER MACKIE Retirement Community

Call 250-478-4888 753 Station Avenue, Victoria 810



Wellesley resident Chuck Addison enjoys a book in the residence’s library.

Photo: Vernice Shostal


fter the children have left home and grandchildren have grown, most seniors need less space and want less responsibility. Deciding what to keep and what to give away can be daunting. Margo McIntosh, Marketing Coordinator of the Wellesley in Victoria, suggests seniors hire a downsizer or transition specialist even if their families are prepared to help them move. Wellesley resident Chuck Addison hired a downsizing firm to help him make the transition. The move was easy, he says. The company marked everything he wanted to bring to the residence, and then measured the space in his new place to see where it would fit. During the transition, Chuck stayed at a hotel. At the end of three days, he was handed a key and his new home was ready. Having spent 35 years in the military, followed by several years as a pastor, Chuck wasn’t planning to go into a retirement home, but after his wife’s illness and death, he felt drained and his son and daughter encouraged him to

look for a senior residence. Married for 46 years and having lived in their house for 22 years, Chuck says it was a difficult decision. “I really loved the home.” But with his children’s help, he sold the house and moved into the residence his daughter chose for him. His house sold in an hour, “so it made it a little more urgent for me to get out.” At first, Chuck says, “I thought I was in the wrong place.” But he soon met friends who invited him “to come and eat with them and from that time on, things started getting better.” The most impressive thing Chuck found in the residence was the way people rally around each other. “I just found love in action.” Now, seven months later, Chuck says, “It was what I needed. I’ve learned that this is part of a family. Being around people is a healing factor. It turned my life around again because I don’t think we’re meant to be alone.” Now a licensed chaplain at the residence, Chuck finds that “If you want to do all the activities that come out ev-

ery month, you’d be going every day.” Chuck keeps himself busy playing chess, bridge, cards and shooting pool. In addition, he says, the staff continually organizes events for people to attend. Irene Stoddart moved into The Peninsula at Norgarden a month after she made the decision. She lived alone and after a couple of falls, she began to look for a safer residence. She chose the Norgarden because her daughter-in-law works in the office and her son lives nearby. Downsizing for Irene was easy. She


called on her son who gave her some good advice. “Now Mother,” he said, “look around and decide what you want to take with you. The rest of the stuff, you’ve had your use of it, got your money’s worth out of it. It doesn’t owe you anything, so just get rid of it.” “So that’s what I did,” says Irene. “I gave everything away.” Irene moved into the community residence before she put her home up for sale. Although she had lived in the house for 37 years, she didn’t find any-



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There are two main reasons why most people choose to get dentures. Pain and appearance. Both are good reasons. Unfortunately, a lot of people seek dentures only when their chewing process becomes intolerable. Pain from teeth that no longer support your chewing, or loose dentures that cause friction leading to pain are two of the most common situations where discomfort prompts some action to be taken. Teeth change over time, as do dentures. Repetitive movements can wear the surface of your teeth so that your bite is no longer effective. Your gums also change as you age, causing what was a well fitting denture to not fit anymore. In the case of dentures, the quality of the acrylic or porcelain can affect its lifespan. There is a difference in the density of the teeth from which you can choose and it is usually reflected in the price. A deal isn’t a deal in the long run. Be sure to discuss materials and costs with your denturist when making your selection. Appearance when you smile, or the ease of chewing when you are in a social setting are also important considerations when deciding on a denture. There is no reason to not look and feel your best. So if your dentures, or lack of them, are causing you to avoid socializing, it’s probably time to book an appointment to discuss some solutions with your denturist. I would be happy to discuss any issues you are having around either pain or appearance. Looking and feeling great is truly within reach.

Tracy Merkley ������������������������������������������

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thing challenging about her move. The biggest adjustment was that she didn’t have to think about cooking anymore. “I was raised in a big family and there was always a table full of people,” she says. “To cook for one person is almost impossible,” although she still bakes if she wants to. In her “cute little kitchen” at the residence, she makes “shortbread and jelly rolls” because “I have company drop in for tea.” Originally from Saskatchewan, a homemaker who worked part time in a bakery after her children grew up; Irene says she’s very busy at the Norgarden because there is so much to do. “The time just goes by so quickly.” Having moved to the residence a year ago, Irene says, “It’s like I’ve been here for six weeks.” For individuals considering their options of staying in their home or moving to a senior residence, Irene says, “It’s a good idea to move before you take that last fall.” Sandra Boyle moved into the Astoria Resort Retirement Living in Coquitlam 13 months ago. A retired elementary school teacher and principal who lived most of her life in Coquitlam, Sandra says downsizing was the hardest part of moving into communal living for her. Sandra lived alone in a three-bedroom condo that was becoming too much for her to manage except that she had a dog that needed the backyard. When her dog died and she got a smaller Papillon that didn’t need as much space, Sandra began looking for a retirement community. “I needed the stimulation of people my age. I was finding, as I got older, a lot of my friends were dying and I just didn’t have as full a social life as I was used to.” Although she had a lot of help from her family and the Astoria was great in helping her with the move, downsizing meant she had to leave behind “all the little treasures and comforts that had accumulated over a lot of years,” and the family “didn’t seem to want my things. They’re too old fashioned.” Giving up her treasures was depressing for Sandra, but she was determined to enjoy the benefits of her new home. Now settled, she says the residence has the kind of energy she was looking for. The building is attractive and the grounds offer a lot of outdoor space for walking her dog. The hard part, at first, is finding your place among a hundred strangers, says Sandra who noticed that is the case with almost every new resident for the first month until they make some friends. One of the comforts Sandra enjoys now is the regular shuttle bus that services nearby locations for shopping and doctors’ and dental appointments. She likes the convenience of being dropped off and picked up by the bus. Another convenience she enjoys is “I don’t have to cook or clean anymore, which is a great luxury.” Living in a residence has reduced the number of decisions Sandra has to make. “I found it reduced anxiety because I knew there was somebody there to support me if there was something I couldn’t handle,” she says. “What felt like a challenge to begin with turned out to be really in my best interest.” Seniors making a transition to community living need to feel that somebody cares. Most places do. At the Astoria, Sandra says, “The staff is outstanding in terms of its warmth and friend-


liness and supportiveness. I don’t think anything counts more than that.” “I think that the most amazing part that I’ve seen is that the staff go out of their way to really make you feel at home,” says Chuck Addison at the Wellesley. “Everybody here is so caring that it seems like we’re one big family,” says Irene Stoddart at the Norgarden. “Moves are stressful, especially for seniors,” Wellesley’s Margo McIntosh concurs. “It depends on the personality of the individual and their overall health. People moving in that are healthier usually transition easier.” Some folks who move in and look depressed, at first, Margo says, soon begin to dress up and feel alive again. Much like students adjusting to a new school, seniors considering transition to a retirement facility are confronted with change, but once adjusted to the new residence, most find a strong support system with new friends, new things to SL do and fewer responsibilities.

Beau�ful surroundings inspire. We love working here. We think you’ll love living here.

Welcome to the family. Welcome home. Our residents move into bright, quiet, one or two bedroom suites. Incredible meals cooked from scratch, not only a delight to the palate, but a reminder of the fresh local ingredients used in days gone by. Meandering paths through wooded meadows and gardens bring peace and pleasure. Housekeeping, laundry services and recreation let them know we're here to spoil them. The laughter of children in the distance brings smiles all around.

This is the Cridge Village, this is Home. ��������������������������������������

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St. Charles Manor

 Private Residential Care for Seniors

Specializing in Complex Care & Dementia

1006 St.Charles Street | Victoria BC


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������������������������������� AUGUST 2012

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Seniors Cohousing Housing

If it takes a community to raise a child or to support its elders, then cohousing is that community!

f you could create your own perfect village or neighbourhood, what would it look like? Would it be populated by a diverse group of people who work collaboratively to design and develop their future homes in a sustainable way that initiates social, emotional, physical and spiritual wellbeing for active adults 55+ to age-in-place? Would it be such a joy to live there that you would only want to leave to go to work or replenish your supplies? Sound a bit utopian? It’s real and it’s a growing movement thanks to husband/wife architectural team of Chuck Durrett and Katie McCamant, cohousing gurus since introducing the model

from Denmark in the 1980s to the U.S. and Canada. Currently, there are around 200 intergenerational cohousing communities in North America, with about 20 of those being in Canada and the majority of those in B.C. Locally, there are developments in Yarrow, North Vancouver, Burnaby, Langley and, recently, a start-up in Vancouver, which previously eluded the cohousing network because of high land costs. There are also five Seniors Cohousing communities, all in the U.S., with more in the works. Cohousing is especially desirable for young families and those 55+ as the supportive nature of the community creates

Vancouver Island’s Premier Active Lifestyle Destination

Co-housing neighbours enjoy time together on a common deck.


the Avalon Lifestyle!


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�������������������� ��������������������� Origin at Longwood Active Lifestyle Community 6205 Oliver Road, Nanaimo (At Uplands)


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604-546-3130 �������������������������� ���������������������� ����������������������

Photo: ML Burke



a healthier lifestyle and allows seniors to age-in-place 20 per cent longer than they would living in a regular home. Why? Because they have caring neighbours/friends who make sure they are not isolated and receive the care and attention they need from their families and the health system. The operative words in cohousing are “collaborative, community and consensus.” Warning: if you are short on patience, don’t work well in teams or need to be in control, this housing model is not for you. Also, if you are reclusive and don’t want to talk to your neighbours, you probably wouldn’t like it. If you like people and want to know your neighbours but also retain your privacy, then you should consider seniors cohousing for your next and final move. The primary players needed are: a developer with a site; an architect; a project manager; a group (future residents) and, eventually; a contractor. Once these elements are in place and moving forward, the group can continue to grow. One of the drawbacks of this model is the necessity to attend lots of meetings. This is not only to make decisions through consensus, but also to work with and come to know your future neighbours. Together, you are creating your future homes. The housing is usually owned, but could include some rentals; the group decides. The unique aspect of cohousing from other residential developments is the group’s input from the beginning and the large amenity space or the shared “common house” and surrounding common property, where the residents come together for food, camaraderie and various activities of their choosing. The common house (2,000 – 3,500 sq ft) can also have caregiver respite rooms and guest suites, so residents don’t have to have their own – which is a considerable construction cost saving. There are also collective-houses within cohousing developments. This might be a circle of five two-room suites around a central kitchen, dining, living room. Each private suite would consist of a bedroom, a sitting room and a bathroom. They would share the central area and maybe even take turns cooking the evening meal. Or, residents may choose to eat in the com-

mon house with some neighbours and share a bottle of wine. The cost of buying into a collective-house (multi-suite) is relatively affordable, around $150,000. Private residences cost will vary depending on square footage and how much is shared, such as heating systems, etc. They should be comparable to market value for that area, unless the land is donated by the city or a private nonprofit organization. Cities like Vancouver are starting to look at co-devel-




oping so more affordable housing is created within city boundaries. If you want to do more research on this excellent model, check out the Seniors Cohousing Handbook. Borrow it from the local library or order it from New Society Publishers’ website at For additional online research, go to the Canadian Cohousing Network website at or visit the Vancouver Group website at www. SL


Carey Place – new affordable rental suites for seniors in Victoria ENJOY MOUNTAIN VIEWS AND A PARK-LIKE SETTING IN THE HEART OF MOUNT VIEW HEIGHTS. A residence of 55 one-bedroom rental suites, Carey Place is conveniently located on a transit route and easy walking distance to Uptown Shopping Centre. Beautifully finished and affordably priced. Call today for more information. 3812 Carey Road, Victoria

250.414.7280 Baptist Housing | Enhanced Seniors Living | Since 1964



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ur goal in designing this guide is to develop an easy-to-read resource that helps those seeking housing and care solutions (for themselves, a friend or family member), to establish a solid starting point for understanding the seniors housing market. The directory is arranged alphabetically within four regions – Vancouver Island South, Vancouver Island Central/North, Vancouver Region, and Other BC Regions. We use four housing categories to define the residences – Independent/Supportive, Assisted Living, Complex Care, and Campus of Care. We also have added Rental Housing for apartments that cater to seniors but don’t provide services.  (I) Independent/Supportive Living includes a combination of housing and hospitality services for retired adults who are capable of directing their own care. Housing units typically provide a private living space with a lockable door, monitoring and emergency support, optional meal services, housekeeping, laundry, social and recreational opportunities. Housing units may be rented, owned or life-leased, depending on the structure of the residence. The Independent/Supportive Living category includes privately owned, non-profit and subsidized housing.

Independent/Supportive Living

Assisted Living  (A) By law, all Assisted Living residences must be registered with the Assisted Living Registrar of BC. Assisted Living residences offer housing, hospitality services and personal assistance to adults who can live independently but require regular help with daily activities. Accommodation can range from private rooms with lockable doors in a home, to an apartment-style building with private self-contained suites, usually their own bathrooms and cooking facilities. The residence provides a place where people can eat together and socialize. Assisted Living operators provide five hospitality services: meals, housekeeping, laundry, social and recreational opportunities and a 24-hour emergency response system. Residents also receive personal assistance with activities of daily living, such as eating, dressing, bathing, grooming, mobility and reminders or assistance with medications. Assisted Living is intended for people who are able to choose and direct their own care. Assisted Living services are delivered in both publicly funded residences (subsidized by VIHA and BC Housing) and in non-publicly funded (private pay) residences, in which residents are responsible for all costs. Some residences have both publicly funded and non-publicly funded units.

Complex Care  (C) Complex Care units provide accommodation, care and supervision for retired adults who are no longer capable of directing their own day-to-day activities. Complex Care settings typically provide a combination of housing and hospitality services, as well as extensive support services. These settings include intermediate care facilities, multilevel care facilities, extended care hospitals and private hospitals. Complex Care units must be licensed and services may be delivered by private or non-profit organizations. Some units offer government subsidized care options. Care levels are determined by the health care requirements of the individual and could include: Complex Care; Intermediate Care Levels I, II, III; Multi-level Care; Extended Care; Special Care; Palliative Care or Respite Care.

Campus of Care  (X) Campus of Care is a residential site that offers Independent, Assisted Living and Complex Care housing in one location. This structure allows an individual to move from one care option to the next as their health needs change without having to move to a new facility. They may need to move, however, to an area of the facility that corresponds with their new level of care. Great effort is made to be as accurate as possible, however, mistakes can occur and we apologize for any errors or oversights. This information should be used as a guide and reference only. We have provided contact names and phone numbers so you can verify that the information is correct and current. The residences you see listed here correspond specifically to advertisers in this issue. The Housing Directory on our Senior Living website has a complete list of all senior housing in British Columbia. You can find it at 16 14




Craigdarroch Care Home 

Alexander Mackie 

250-478-4888; 753 Station Ave., Victoria; 135 Units; $2250; Emergency call system; laundry facilities; housekeeping; leisure & activity program; outing bus; tea kitchens in all units; near bus & shops; spa room; computer stations

Amica at Beechwood Village  

250-655-0849; 2315 Mills Rd., Sidney; 104 Units; From $2525; Activity programs; coffee/tea and snacks; internet lounge; library; hairdressing; housekeeping; laundry facility; foot care; outing bus; billiards; esthetics; garden club

Amica at Douglas House  

250-383-6258; 50 Douglas St., Victoria; 141 Units; $2295 - $6500; Activity program; laundry services; housekeeping; coffee/tea & snacks; internet lounge; library; foot care; hairdressing; guest suite; personal care & medication

Amica at Somerset  

250-380-9121; 540 Dallas Rd., Victoria; 161 Units; From $2550; Kitchenettes in suites; meal packages; laundry facilities; housekeeping; activity programs; fitness centre/programs; games rooms; bus outings; coffee/tea & snacks

Berwick House 

250-721-4062; 4062 Shelbourne St., Victoria; 138 Units; Gazebo; library; games room; country kitchen; outdoor dining terrace; Island owned; hairdresser; tuck shop; guest suite; parking; private dining room; activity programs; 24/7 LPN

Berwick Royal Oak 

250-386-4680; 4680 Elk Lake Dr., Victoria; 230 Units; Lovely gardens; computer stations; library; fireside lounge; glass wine cellar; fitness centre; spa; outdoor dining terrace; Island owned; games room; 24hr emergency call system

Carey Place - (Rental Housing)

250-414-7280; 3812 Carey Rd., Victoria; 55 Units; Resident gatherings and special events; guest suite; outdoor patio space; overlooks a park; shopping within walking distance; close to bus; underground parking;

Carlton House of Oak Bay 

250-595-1914; 2080 Oak Bay Ave., Victoria; 87 Units; $2195 - $6000 all inclusive; all usual amenities; in-house chef, locally sourced organic meals; staffed 24hr; emergency call system; guest suite; Victoria owned and managed

Cedars at Dawson Heights, The  

250-477-4850; 3710 Cedar Hill Rd., Victoria; 53 Units; From $2160; Hairdressing; kitchenettes; housekeeping; recreation program; city living in a rural setting; on bus route; near shopping and medical services; walking trail

250-595-3813; 1048 Craigdarroch Rd., Victoria; 18 Units; From $5500; Activity programs; hairdresser; music therapy; arts & crafts; dental hygiene; exercise programs; walking clubs; drives; family style ambiance

Cridge Village Seniors Centre 

250-384-8058; 1307 Hillside Ave., Victoria; 76 Units; From $2500 all-inclusive; Housekeeping; billiards table; computer stations; dining room; games room; full or part kitchen insuite; guest suite; garden; regular entertainment; theatre

Douglas Care Community 

250-383-9011; 657 Niagara St., Victoria; 7 Units; From $1480; Activity programs; coffee/ tea service; lounge; regular entertainment; near bus; housekeeping; social programs; foot care; dining room; lounge; full or part kitchenette

Glenshiel, The 

250-383-4164; 606 Douglas St., Victoria; 69 Units; From $1100; Social activities; movies; exercise classes; three home cooked meals a day; daily housekeeping; laundry facilities; hair care available; overlooks Beacon Hill Park

Kensington, The 

250-477-1232; 3965 Shelbourne St., Victoria; 113 Units; From $2155; Activity programs; cable; social programs; fitness centre; garden; guest suite; library; lounge; community kitchen; computer stations; hair salon; foot care

Legion Manor 

250-652-3261; 7601 East Saanich Rd., Victoria; 68 Units; From $2290; Daily lunch and dinner prepared on site; housekeeping; laundry; activity program; emergency response system; hairdressing; podiatry; country setting

Norgarden 

250-656-8822; 2300 Henry Ave., Sidney; 42 Units; Laundry facilities; housekeeping; underground parking; activity program; outing bus; near bus & shops; linens/towels; sitting areas; garden boxes; gazebo

Parkwood Court 

250-598-1575; 3000 Shelbourne St., Victoria; 79 Units; From $5700; Coffee / Tea services; dining room; foot care; games room; garden; hair salon; lounge; near library; regular entertainment; theatre; housekeeping; 24hr call system

Parkwood Place 

250-598-1565; 3051 Shelbourne St., Victoria; 103 Units; From $2080; Guest suite; billiards table; library; hair salon; lounge; near shopping and transit; dining room; fitness centre; activity programs; cable; housekeeping; 24hr call system


 (I) Independent / Supportive Living

 (A) Assisted Living

 (C) Complex Care


(X) Campus of Care


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Directory of Senior Residences


Peninsula at Norgarden, The  

250-656-8827; 2290 Henry Ave., Sidney; 67 Units; Hairdresser; laundry services; housekeeping; activity program; near bus & shop; emergency call system; esthetician; fitness facility; underground parking; wellness centre

Casa Loma Seniors Village  

250-897-1033; 4646 Headquarters Rd., Courtenay; 125 Units; From $1850; Hair salon; daily activity program; exercise programs; in-suite tea kitchens; outings bus; 24hr emergency call system; prepared meals; computer station

Ross Place Retirement Residence  

Comox Valley Seniors Village 

St. Charles Manor 

Gardens at Qualicum Beach, The 

250-595-4255; 1006 St. Charles St., Victoria; 53 Units; All meals included; laundry services; housekeeping; dietitian; footcare nurse; emergency call system; physiotherapy; dementia care; outing bus; hairdressing; daily snacks

250-752-2818; 650 Berwick North Rd., Qualicum Beach; Various service & care packages available; linen services; housekeeping; activity programs; emergency call system; tea house; kitchenettes in rental units; private dining

Shannon Oaks 

Highgate 

250-595-6257; 2000 Goldsmith St., Victoria; 102 Units; Guest suite; cable service; in-room kitchenette; emergency call system; full service dining; beautiful gardens; courtyard patios; computer lounge; putting green; movie nights

250-760-2325; 6085 Uplands Dr., Nanaimo; 56 Units; Insuite kitchenettes; bar fridge; walk in showers; elegant dining room; bistro; country kitchen; general store; musical entertainment; movies; billiards; bus trips; pool

Sunrise Senior Living 

Kiwanis Village Nanaimo 

250-381-8666; 2638 Ross Lane, Victoria; 186 Units; Independent Living; Assisted Living and Respite Care; theatre and billiards room; country kitchen resident kitchen/dining room; dining with 3 meals per day; art gallery

250-383-1366; 920 Humboldt St., Victoria; 93 Units; From $4500; Housekeeping; activity program; wellness program; outing bus; personal furnishings; quiet neighbourhood; hair care; lovely gardens; near bus and shops

Victorian, The 

250-477-1912; 1773 Feltham Rd., Victoria; 91 Units; From $2575; Quiet location; beautiful garden w/ pond; AC in units; homemade meals; private dining room; green house; bus outings; hair care; chapel; library; billiards

Victorian at Mckenzie, The 

250-381-9496; 4000 Douglas St., Victoria; 114 Units; From $2500; Housekeeping; laundry; outing bus; activity program; billiards; library; beauty parlor; activity/fitness/crafts room; close to golf; furnished suite for guests

West Shore Lodge  

250-478-7527; 1828 Island Hwy., Colwood; 74 Units; From $1299; Social and recreation programs; activity and exercise room; library; computer room; fireside lounge; close to recreation and senior centre; laundry; woodworking

Wellesley, The  

250-383-9099; 2800 Blanshard St., / 2811 Nanaimo St., Victoria; 204 Units; From $2195; Billiards; housekeeping; lounge and bistro; chapel; roof-top garden; general store; guest suite; computer station; esthetics; hairdressing; theatre room

250-331-1183; 4640 Headquarters Rd., Courtenay; 232 Units; Hair salon; tuck shop; library; computer station; lounge; movie theatres; scooter parking and secure underground parking; flat linen laundry service

Campus of Care with the following Housing/Care Options: Kiwanis Manor  1-800-257-7756; 1201 Kiwanis Cres., Nanaimo; 30 Units Kiwanis Villa / Kiwanis Soroptimist Suites  250-740-2815; 1237 Kiwanis Cres., Nanaimo; 39 Units; From $1400 Kiwanis Soroptimist Suits / Kiwanis House  250-739-5749; 1233 & 1234 Kiwanis Cres., Nanaimo; 82 units Kiwanis Village Lodge 250-739-5749; 1223 Kiwanis Cres., Nanaimo; 75 Units On-site restaurant; hairdresser; general store; computer stations and guest rooms

Longlake Chateau 

1-800-786-5991; 3035 Ross Rd., Nanaimo; 110 Units; Three meals; laundry facilities; housekeeping; activity program; outing bus; cable; near library; insuite full or part kitchen ; lake views; hairdresser; emergency call system

Nanaimo Seniors Village  

250-729-9524; 6085 Uplands Dr., Nanaimo; 302 Units; Music therapy; bowling; bingo; Wii; crafts; baking; walking groups; celebrations; specialized bathing facilities; in-community hairdresser; library & internet lounge

Oak Tree Manor 

250-716-1799; 325 Hecate St., Nanaimo; 66 Units; From $1685; Housekeeping; weekly linen service; free washers & dryers; Lifeline; free gated sheltered parking; WiFi; panoramic ocean & mountain views; 2 blocks from amenities


250-339-1690; 1700 Comox A Ave., Comox; 133 Units; Chef prepared meals; hairdresser; tuck shop; guest suite; roof-top lounge with view; atrium; library; outdoor dining terrace; games room; television lounges; movie theatre

Berwick On The Lake 


 (I) Independent / Supportive Living

 (A) Assisted Living

 (C) Complex Care

250-729-7995; 3201 R Ross Rd., Nanaimo; 160 Units; Activity programs; weekly housekeeping; 24hr emergency call system; transportation; hairdresser; guest suites; parking; television lounges; games room; private dining room

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(X) Campus of Care

Amica Communities

250-751-7755; 6205 Oliver Rd., Nanaimo; 176 Units; From $2400; Gourmet lunch and dinner; flat laundry services; housekeeping; outing bus; general store; library; computer stations; greenhouse gardening program; pub; pool

Wexford Creek  

250-753-4044; 80 - Tenth St., Nanaimo; 150 Units; Laundry, housekeeping; utilities included; cable; recreation and activity programs; parking; emergency call system; private dining room; hair salon; outdoor courtyards; close to shopping

Enjoy an all-inclusive Amica vacation stay; now this is the life!

VANCOUVER REGION Amica at Arbutus Manor  

Book your all inclusive get-away at an Amica Retirement Community and enjoy nutritious meals, the company of others and an endless range of activities that promote Wellness & Vitality™. You’re never too old to feel young again. Experience the Amica difference today!

604-736-8936; 2125 Eddington Drive, Vancouver; 40 Units; From $2950; Activity programs; assistance offered; flat laundry; flexible meal choices; housekeeping; tea / coffee & snacks; personal laundry facilities; 24hr staff; dining room; salon

Amica at Mayfair  

604-552-5552 2267 Kelly Avenue Port Coquitlam; 86 Units; From $1995; Activity programs; cable TV; free laundry facility; community kitchen; fitness centre; some pet restrictions; 24hr emergency response system; spa services; guest suite

604-291-1792; 1850 Rosser Ave., Burnaby; 140 Units; From $1995; Games room; free laundry facilities; 24hr call system; housekeeping; parking; activity programs; insuite full or part kitchens; billiards; hair salon; craft room; computers

Amica at West Vancouver  

604-921-9181; 659 Clyde Ave., West Vancouver; 119 Units; From $3300; Housekeeping; linen & towels supplied; games room; garden; hair salon; library; 24hr call system; utilities incl; landscaped patio area; fitness staff; spa services; laundry


Amica at Rideau Manor  

~ Port Coquitlam ~ Amica at Mayfair 604.552.5552 ~ Kerrisdale ~ Amica at Arbutus Manor 604.736.8936 ~ West Vancouver ~ Amica at West Vancouver 604.921.9181 ~ Burnaby ~ Amica at Rideau Manor 604.291.1792 ~ Victoria ~ Amica at Douglas House 250.383.6258 Amica at Somerset House 250.380.9121 ~ Sidney ~ Amica at Beechwood Village 250.655.0849


Astoria, The 

604-998-1616; 2245 Kelly Ave., Coquitlam; 135 Units; 5-star meals; social activities; wellness programs; fitness centre; games room; lounge; close to shopping; insuite emergency response system; grand dining room; wellness centre

Auburn Residences 

604-792-3545; 8531 Young Rd., Chilliwack; AC in units; maple kitchens; library/ lounge; media room; hair salon; secure underground parking; raised garden beds; 3 home cooked meals; weekly light housekeeping

Avalon Gardens 

604-546-3100; 22323 - 48 Ave., Langley; 126 Units; Guest rooms; parking; meal plans; billiards room; exercise room; theatre; chapel; TV lounge; beauty salon; crafts room; library; small pets allowed; housekeeping

Bethshan Gardens 

778-373-0299; 17528 59 Ave., Surrey; 70 Units; From $1875; Bistro for snacks;

Have a chef make your dinner. Every day! Our Red Seal chef prepares great meals every day at Sunridge Gardens, a place for seniors to be independent, enjoy new friendships and spend special times with family.

You’ll like living here!

From $1,950a month -------------------

22301 Fraser Highway Murrayville, Langley A Bria Community® by Century Group


604 510-5091 “Ask about our Bria Short Stay Suite.”


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Origin at Longwood 


small pets welcome; bingo; games; crafts; fitness time; day trips; bright dining room; activity programs; close to entertainment and necessities

Bevan Lodge 

604-850-5416; 33386 Bevan Ave, Abbotsford; 150 Units; Recreational programs; day trips; strength training; housekeeping; linens and towels; dining room; salon; on-site hairdressing and barber services; arts & crafts; book clubs

Cavell Gardens 

604-637-1207; 2835 Sophia Street, Vancouver; From $2000; Library; computer; fireside lounge; exercise room; 24hr emergency response system; weekly housekeeping; underground parking

Cedar Springs 

604-986-3633; 3633 Mt. Seymour Pkwy., North Vancouver; Activity programs; landscaped grounds; fireside lounge; bistro; water-therapy tub; fitness centre; physio/podiatry room; spa services; guest suite; patio; clubs committee; laundry

Concord Retirement Residence 

604-531-6198; 15869 Pacific Ave., White Rock; 44 Units; From $1800; 3 home cooked meals; dining room; social hour; pool table; weekly housekeeping; Wii; foot care; guest suite; ocean view; bar; hair care

Dunwood Place 

604-521-8636; 901 Colborne St., New Westminster;; 191 Units; Insuite full or part kitchen ; hair salon; lounge; near public transit; wheelchair access; woodworking room; 24hr onsite manager; lockable suite doors

Guildford Seniors Village 

604-582-0808; 14568 - 104A Ave., Surrey; 24hr nursing care; special Alzheimer’s Care Unit; hair salon; outdoor walking paths; daily laundry; courtyards; tai chi; fitness program; bowling; music; bridge; crib; village tavern

Harmony Court Estate 

604-527-3300; 7197 Canada Way, Burnaby; 132 Units; Activity programs; housekeeping; pet restrictions; fitness centre; 24hr call system; two courtyards; walking paths; fitness centre; bar; lounge; front lobby; garden room

Langley Seniors Village 

604-539-9934; 20363 - 65 Ave., Langley; 120 Units; From $2850; Community kitchen; garden; laundry facilities; lounge; near library; close to shopping; coffee/tea service; exercise classes; movie nights; bistro

Dufferin Care Centre 

604-552-1166; 1131 Dufferin St., Coquitlam; 153 Units; 24hr nursing coverage; recreation staff; physiotherapist; dietitian; music therapist; hairdresser; fun and fitness; crafts; church services; cards and games; aromatherapy

LIVE IN THE HEART OF OAK BAY. In a place that’s all heart.

Carlton House of Oak Bay was custom designed for the people of this community and its surrounding neighbourhoods. Owned and managed locally, Carlton House is every inch a labour of love, with care and attention to detail visible in every corner of this elegant and inviting senior’s residence. Follow your heart, to Carlton House. Contact us for a personal visit today. Call Seona Stephen at 595-1914 |

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9/17/07 4:31:23 PM


Maple Ridge Srs Village 

604-466-3053; 22141 - 119 Ave, Maple Ridge; 199 Units; From $2050; Activity programs; housekeeping; all meals; 24hr call system; dining room; garden; coffee / tea service; fitness centre; library; lounge; spa; theatre

Mulberry, The 

604-526-2248; 7230 Acorn Avenue, Burnaby; From $2170; In-house chef; weekly housekeeping; heat; hydro; cable TV; 24hr video security; laundry; pets allowed; guest suite; near recreation centre; lounge; library; billiards table

Pacifica, The  

604-484-0588; 2525 King George, Surrey; 115 Units; Activity programs; housekeeping; linen & towels supplied; parking; social programs; beauty salon; library; resistance pool

Peace Portal Lodge 

604-535-2273; 15441 - 16 Ave., White Rock; 24hr professional nursing care; fireside lounge; in-house salon; outdoor patio gardens; bathing spas; music; crafts; exercise programs; weekly afternoon socials; bowling; baking

Peninsula, The 

604-635-1774; 2088 152 Street, Surrey; 127 Units; Restaurant; flat linen laundry service; concierge services; social events & activities; therapeutic pool; computer room

Rosemary Heights Seniors Village 

778-545-5000; 15240 34 Ave., Surrey; 151 Units; Musical entertainment; movies; fitness classes; Tai Chi; discussion groups; Wii; billiards; pool; hair dresser; freedom spa tub; country kitchen; bistro; walking groups

Shannon Oaks 

604-324-6257; 2526 Waverly Ave., Vancouver; 144 Units; Cable TV; housekeeping; free laundry facility; all meals; hair salon; 24hr call system; undercover parking; movie nights; off-site excursions; full service dining; guest suite; salon

Summerhill, The 

604-980-6525; 135 W 15 St, North Vancouver; 108 Units; From $3050; Activity programs; 24hr call system; free laundry facilities; garden; insuite kitchens; library; mountain and ocean view; housekeeping; all meals; spa; games room

Terraces on Seventh  

604-738-8380; 1570 West 7 Avenue, Vancouver; Private balconies; full kitchens; weekly buffet dinner; housekeeping; daily excursions; fitness classes; Tai Chi; Wii; movies; billiards; ocean and mountain view; lounge; cable

Waverly Seniors Village 

604-792-6340; 8445 Young Rd., Chilliwack; 119 Units; Board and card games; fitness room; freedom spa tub; bus trips and outings; Wii; church services; crafts; movies; musical entertainment; music therapy; bingo


 (I) Independent / Supportive Living

 (A) Assisted Living

 (C) Complex Care



21 19



Village at Mill Creek 

Berwick On The Park 

250-377-7275; 60 Whiteshield Cres, South Kamloops; Activity programs; housekeeping; internet; cable; lounge; games room; fitness centre; billiards; computer stations; craft room; library; regular entertainment; theatre; tuck shop; hair salon

Kamloops Seniors Village 

250-571-1800; 1220 Hugh Allan Dr., Kamloops; Kitchenette insuite; bistro gathering area; lounges; library; internet lounge; bus trip and outings; general store; musical entertainment; movies; billiards and pool; crafts; Wii

Summerland Seniors Village 

250-404-4400; 12803 Atkinson Rd., Summerland; 232 Units; Beautiful views; musical entertainment; volunteer opportunities; fitness classes; Tai Chi; Wii; computer education; bingo; church services; crafts; walking groups

250-860-2216; 1450 Sutherland Ave., Kelowna; 192 Units; Home cooked meals; housekeeping; 24-hour emergency response; Mill Creek walking trails; outdoor patio; computer room; library; general store; outings; bingo; knitting

Village at Smith Creek 

250-768-0488; 2425 Orlin Rd., Westbank; 188 Units; Tai Chi; walking club; gardening; hair care; general store; library; housekeeping; shuttle into town; 24hour emergency response; computer lounge; three home cooked meals

Williams Lake Seniors Village 

250-305-1131; 1455 Western Ave., Williams Lake; Music and music therapy; games; crafts; baking; exercise groups; walking groups; movies; fitness classes; Tai Chi; bus trips; Wii; church services; dietician planned meals; lounges

Sun Pointe Village 

250-491-1400; 700 Rutland Rd. N., Kelowna; 120 Units; Walking trails and gardens; 24hour emergency response; weekly trips into Kelowna; housekeeping; chapel; general store; hair care; musical groups; card clubs; exercise

Sunridge Gardens 

604-510-5091; 22301 Fraser Highway, Murrayville; 145 Units; From $1950; Bria Communities / Century Group; activity programs; chapel; fitness centre; lounge; some pet restrictions; country setting; crafts; balconies & decks; games room

To Move or Not to Move?

A Helpful Guide for Seniors Considering Their Residen�al Op�ons ��� ���� ���� �� ������� ���� ���� ����� ���������� ������� �������� ���� ������� ��������� ������� ����� ����� ���������������������������������� ���� ������ ���������� ���� ����� ���� ��������������������������������

BOOK ORDER FORM “To Move or Not to Move” Name_______________________________________________ Address_____________________________________________ City_________________________________ Prov ___________ Postal Code_______________ Phone _____________________ Email _______________________________________________ ____ BOOKS @ $14.87* each

*includes shipping and applicable tax

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Mail to: Senior Living Box 153, 1581–H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1

= $____________

TOTAL = $_________ ___ CHEQUE (make payable to Senior Living) ____VISA ____MC ____AMEX

CARD NUMBER _________________________________________ EXPIRY DATE ________________ NAME ON CARD ________________________________________

Shipping rates apply to British Columbia addresses ONLY. To have book mailed to addresses outside of BC, please call Senior Living at 1-877-479-4705 for shipping costs. Please allow 2 weeks for shipping.

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Staying Social L



iving in a community of peers provides emotional support and encourages people to participate in activities that improve physical, mental and psychological health. Common areas for meals and socializing are a great way to make new friends. According to the World Health Organization (2003), social isolation and exclusion are associated with increased rates of premature death, lower general well-being, more depression

and a higher level of disability from chronic disease. Retired social worker in gerontology, Amica at Douglas House resident Doreen Burrows says, “one of the most negative things that you can do when you’re older is to disengage because as day follows night, what you don’t use, you lose.” It is necessary for older adults to participate in activities of their choice and try to avoid isolation, which, she says, “research has stated is as dangerous to our health as smoking.”


Photos: Vernice Shostal

Friends socialize on the patio at The Peninsula at Norgarden: (from left to right) Irene Stoddart, Francis Hoel, Dorothy White, Irene Neat, Barbara DeGoey and Leslie Neat.



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Many residences have monthly parties to celebrate their residents’ birthdays.

Born in Barbados, Doreen came to Canada at age 20 to finish her education. Today, at 85, she says, “I do my utmost to continue to participate in interests in my life. Congregate living, I found, met my needs after my husband’s death a year ago.” Although she and her

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husband had “a wonderful 57 years of marriage,” Doreen says, “I needed to redirect the little energy I had left to continue to participate with my friends.” Doreen socializes at mealtimes and attends morning exercises when she feels well enough. “That’s my choice,”


she says. A perpetual learner, she also attends Life Learning lectures, courses in history and the visiting University of Victoria lectures at the residence. “We have a meditation group which I belong to. We have a wonderful art group,” she says, where residents can watch impressionists. “I really like travelogues and I like good movies. There’s a big screen in the lounge, and we have movies on Saturdays and Sundays; and usually on Tuesday night, we have a travelogue. Last night, I went to see Tuscany and the previous one was about Germany.” An avid reader, Doreen belongs to three book clubs – one at Amica and two others that she was involved in before she came to the residence. “On reflection, I would say that as we’re older and health deteriorating to some degree, that no one can be independent. We’re interdependent.” Communicating from her iPad, Berwick Royal Oak resident Nancy Douglas, mother of three and grandmother of nine, moved into resident living a year


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ago. Having been married to a naval officer, Nancy and her family moved from coast to coast and abroad until she and her husband retired at Qualicum Beach in 1972. Later, Nancy moved to Victoria before relocating to a retirement community. There, a variety of social activities are available each day for residents to participate in. Nancy belongs to a book club and attends most social events. An avid reader, she says, “book clubs are a good way to talk about what I am currently reading. Other people’s views and criticisms make me more perceptive.” There is also an opportunity to play cribbage, bingo and bridge. A bridge player for over 40 years, Nancy has “found it a great way to meet people.” Every morning, except Sunday, there are three half-hour fitness classes at various levels and the Berwick bus regularly takes them to movies. “I really enjoy going to the theatre and concerts,” says Nancy. Residents also enjoy plays at their

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beautiful theatre, talks, lectures, parties and a theme dinner night once a month. The dining room is decorated, servers dress up, and appropriate food is served. In addition, there are two dining rooms, which “make it easy to have our own dinner parties and we don’t have to do the dishes,” she says. As Nancy still drives, she continues the community activities she was involved in prior to moving to Berwick. In her suite, she often entertains with a drink before dinner and, when the weather is nice, joins others at the outside tables on the beautifully kept grounds. Nancy finds the residence “a great place to spend your senior years.” “Don’t wait too long,” she says. “Do it when you are still in control of your life.” Irene and Leslie Neat settled into The Peninsula at Norgarden two months ago. Originally from England, the couple came to Canada in 1957 and eventually established themselves in Alberta, where Leslie enjoyed a career in sales. Irene worked as an administrative assistant at the University of Calgary. Since moving to the Norgarden, the Neats have found countless activities available to them. “There’s something going on all the time,” says Leslie. “They do trips out to malls and tours of the peninsula. They have indoor games like carpet bowling, dominoes. They have a sherry party every Monday before dinner. Happy Hours if you want to call it.” “Every Tuesday night, they have a movie,” says Irene. “Last night we saw Iron Lady.” Once a month, the residence caters a party for everyone who has a birthday that month including “live entertainment with cake and things like that,” says Leslie who celebrated his 92nd birthday in June. “Once a week, someone comes to entertain.” “Everybody chats,” Irene says. “The staff is always ready for a good laugh.” Irene enjoys the afternoon teas three times a week, where people can go and socialize and sit on the patio. “So it’s not just the two of us sitting at home any longer.” Leslie also attends the “gentleman’s meeting once a month – just for men to come down and chat.” This is also an opportunity for new men to the residence to introduce themselves and meet the other gentlemen. Both Irene and Leslie enjoy exercise classes with a personal trainer twice a week, and Leslie goes for a 40-60-minute walk as often as he can. “Once you’ve moved, you’ve got peace of mind,” says Irene. “You’re not worried if you’ll need a new roof or how you will manage the gardening.” “There is a little bit more of an adjustment for a man to become accustomed to,” says Leslie. As for Irene, she still does the laundry and the ironing, but “I don’t have to cook dinner anymore, which is wonderful!” According to Helen Brown, Marketing Manager at Berwick Royal Oak, even couples admit that one or both was


finding their social life diminishing. “At the retirement community, a myriad of activities are available to residents, whether it be enjoying a meal, or taking part in other community activities.” Helen remembers a chap who, after a week in the retirement community, overcome with emotion, came to her and said he felt he “had a life now” and “a reason for getting up in the morning.” Social benefits of community living might simply be hearing and seeing other people, while enjoying the newspaper or reading a book in the library, conversing with peers on the latest news item, financial markets, or simply sharing experiences only their peers can appreciate, says Helen. Recreation programs help to nurture the whole individual through socialization, and physical, emotional, spiritual, vocational and intellectual programs. “There is an undeniable quality of life that extends years of enjoyment for our seniors living in retirement communities today.” SL

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t would be an oversimplification to state that the SAFERHome Society is interested in making your home a safe place to live. While that is one of their goals, it is not the only one, as exemplified by the five tenets of their housing credo represented in the acronym SAFER – Sustainable, Automated, Friendly, Environmental, Recycling. They believe that safe, sustainable housing should be available to everyone, and they are attempting to do their part to make this happen through assistance with home planning, inspections of people’s homes and by providing certification standards for new home builders. In addition, SAFERHome produces publications, hosts conferences, provides educational programs and tries to advocate for government and builders to get them to adopt SAFERHome standards and practices. According to the organization, SAFERHomes look better, work better and are worth more on the real estate market than homes that have not been so designated. The key thing is that homeowners’ living space should meet both

current needs and have the capability of meeting any needs that might arise in the future as a result of the aging process. The 19 standards SAFERHome has come up with are all simple and measurable and will not only provide the homeowner with a safe and functional environment, but will also allow the user to remain in place as their situation changes. Baby Boomers started turning 65 last year and there is no stopping the gray wave now. With seniors now becoming a fast growing segment of the population, it is time to consider how and where they will live as they age. While some people may make the choice to move into residences or assisted living complexes; for others, there is an alternative that allows them to remain living in their own home. The SAFERHome Society is a nonprofit entity funded by the BC Ministry of Housing to make people aware that anyone can do this. And while the entire program can be costly to integrate into an existing home, the changes needed to incorporate all 19 standards into a home being built are minimal. In the latter case, homeowners receive the added value of

being able to stay in their home, where they are comfortable, as they age. And when it comes time to sell, SAFERHomecertified residences retain their value, which will potentially make them more appealing to buyers. SAFERHome believes if people have the ability to easily remain in their homes as they age, this will benefit them and the healthcare system with fewer accidents and not as many seniors needing to move into full-time care facilities. The 19-point SAFERHome standards include looking at things like placement and positioning of electrical outlets, positioning of light switches, bath and shower controls, door and hallway widths, among many more common sense considerations. Once a home is built to these standards, certification is only $199 plus tax. To begin the process, homeowners can register as a SAFERHome member and get in touch with the organization to begin planning the design and construction of their new home. To register or to find out more, visit the website at or call 604-733-2224.

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Living SAFER

While on vacation to the Sunshine Coast in 1999, Brad McCannell and his wife Tarren stumbled across the place of their dreams. They were staying at a campground on the shore of a small lake in Pender Harbour when they fell in love with the area and decided they needed to move there and live on the lake. “There are fewer than 20 lots on this lake,” says Brad, “and when we went into town and told the realtors what we were interested in, they actually laughed and told us all these properties were passed down generation to generation and never came up for sale. We persisted, however, and stayed in touch with the realtors at least a couple of times every year to ask if anything was new and to let them know we were still interested.” Several years passed until one fateful day when Brad found himself giving a business presentation to a group of people in Germany. In the middle of the session, he noticed Tarren in the audience with a strange look on her face. “She was on her Blackberry, and I could see she had this amazed expression,” says Brad. “It was a realtor informing us one of the lots had come up for sale and, if we wanted it, we had better put in an offer that day. We did, and bought it sight unseen. We knew we wanted to be there and took the chance. Now we are so glad we did!” The couple had friends who were building a 2,400-squarefoot home not far away, and they decided they wanted a similar home. They hired designer Patrick Simpson, who is involved with the SAFERHome Society, but then took a step back to consider if they needed that much living space. “Tarren asked me who was going to clean this huge house,” says Brad. “I wondered who would do all the maintenance required on a big home. And why should we pay for more house than we really needed? Patrick started talking to us about the SAFERHome program, true sustainability and aging-in-place solutions. What he brought to our attention is that sustainability is about more than power and water. If you can’t age in place, then your home, itself, is not sustainable. That was a watershed moment for us.” The result is a spacious feeling 725-square-foot home with a huge deck and carport that was built to be lived in now and to anticipate Brad and Tarren’s potential future needs. The home is easily expandable and adaptable and even utilizes aligned closet space, which can be converted into an elevator shaft, if they ever decide to build up and need an elevator to travel between floors. This consideration would bring the cost of an elevator down to $5,000, instead of the more than $35,000 it would cost without the SAFERHome program in place. All of the SAFERHome standards were met, including wider doors and hallways, lowered light switches and the entire home being pre-wired for home automation using SMART technology, which gives the homeowner the ability to open the front door from the bedroom and operate blinds and windows automatically. “All the stuff we put in as a result of the SAFERHome standards cost us less than $1,000 extra, and it is almost invisible,” says Brad. “This is our last home. I want it to be able to accommodate us in the future and, in the meantime, I want it to look as SL normal as possible.” WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM


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U.S. Seniors Housing Trends: Could they catch on in Canada?



n the United States, seniors are adopting innovative housing alternatives that provide services and support specifically for an aging population. These innovations enable seniors to age in place and not be forced to move out of their homes and communities as their lives change. While these trends are well-established south of the border, could they ever catch on in British Columbia?

Shared Housing Many seniors find themselves living alone later in life, and while they may enjoy their freedom, having someone around the house can be appealing. Decreased mobility, loneliness or health needs can lead to seniors considering the option of homesharing. Seniors can rent out a room or rooms in their house or apartment for a reduced rate and, in return, the renter agrees to take on housework, running errands, and sometimes

even offer caregiving. Homesharing has become so popular in the U.S. that there is even a National Shared Housing Resource Center website ( that includes a directory of shared housing programs in the United States, including four in Washington State. Most of these programs offer screening services, background checks and home-seeker and home-sharer matching services. Housesharing is not new in B.C. – it has been implemented to assist those with developmental disabilities live independently – but it has yet to catch on as an option for seniors. Quebec and Alberta already have homeshare programs for seniors. Calgary Homeshare brings seniors and homeseekers together, providing screening, matching and support of the arrangement to ensure success. Low-income seniors do not need to worry about the rent paid being considered income. Because homeshare is an exchange of services and not a rental situation, the rental in-

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come does not need to be reported, since the money paid is being used for cost of living expenses. This means that seniors will likely continue to qualify for incomegeared government subsidies and programs. Check with a financial advisor to ensure your homeshare agreement complies with federal tax regulations.

Since many seniors are choosing to age in place, and many are unable or unwilling to move to new housing, innovations like homesharing and virtual villages may catch on... The benefits of shared housing are not just the financial perks of providing income for the home-sharer and a great rental rate for the renter. Seniors who share their homes receive companionship, assistance with challenging household chores and errands, security, autonomy and the opportunity to live as long as possible in their own home. House sharing also keeps communities diverse and promotes solidarity between generations. There are drawbacks to homesharing, however, and it is important to consider them when deciding if homesharing is the right choice. While homeshare societies and organizations will do their best to match people with someone compatible, it is up to the homeowner to communicate their needs. Be frank. Make sure all house rules and personal preference are clear to the person sharing your home. Find someone whose lifestyle is similar to yours, and someone with whom you feel comfortable. Be prepared to give up some privacy. Understand that the person living with you will make adjustments to accommodate you, but it is a two-way




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street – you will likely have to change some of your habits to ensure a harmonious household. They may be living in what is technically your house, but it has become their home, too, and they need to feel comfortable living there. It is important to know how, why and when a homeshare agreement will end. Perhaps you are renting to international students, and they come and go regularly. If your health situation changes, your homeshare situation may need to change too. You may still be able to live in your home, but you may need to share with someone who can take on a caregiving role. Ensure these details are included in your homeshare agreement. If you work with a homeshare society, they will support you to determine the best arrangement. For more information on shared housing, check out the Calgary Seniors’ Resource Society at

Virtual villages A trend that’s only recently popped up in the U.S. is virtual villages. Virtual villages provide an alternative to retirement or assisted-living communities. They are different from a “seniors community” or “seniors residence” in that a virtual village is not a planned seniors-only community or building. Virtual villages are membership-based non-profit organizations that cater to a variety of senior needs, not just singular issues like housing or health. They are run by volunteers and paid staff. Virtual villages coordinate access to affordable services including transportation, health and wellness programs, home repairs, social and educational activities and trips. The “village movement,” as it’s become known, was inspired by Boston’s Beacon Hill Village, the original aging-in-place virtual village that began in 2002 and now has nearly 400 members. Beacon Hill Village provides services for people aged 50 and over, so they can age in place and stay in their own homes in central Boston. The movement has now spread to create about 70 “villages” across the U.S. It is so popular that Beacon Hill published a manual on how to start your own virtual village. (Check out and click on Village Movement under the About Us tab for more information.) Beacon Hill has also developed the Village-to-Village Network, an online organization connection virtual villages across the U.S. (Check out for more information).

Potential for BC Seniors Homesharing and virtual villages are yet to become a fullblown trend in Canada, but they may catch on. Statistics Canada estimates that by the year 2036, the number of Canadian seniors will be between 9.9 and 10.9 million. That’s nearly 25 per cent of the population, and double the number in 2009. Baby Boomers will continue to turn 65 up until 2031. Since many seniors are choosing to age in place, and many are unable or unwilling to move to new housing, innovations like homesharing and virtual SL villages may catch on as a norm for the senior population. 34 32



Simplifying can be


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Author Profile

Naomi’s Legacy BY SUSAN YATES


ast June, Naomi Beth Wakan celebrated her 80th birthday, a grand and well-orchestrated event held in the winding back garden of her small home on Gabriola Island, where she and her husband Elias have lived for 15 years. Guests came from near and far (some from across the continent) to enjoy an afternoon dedicated to Naomi and all that she has given to her community and the literary world. Folks assembled along a garden path as Naomi made her graceful way past them. She outdid her own reputation for intellect and elegance on the day she began her 81st year, reciting haiku, recalling precious memories, and thanking many friends with her inimitable combination of sharp wit and endearing graciousness. The garden was in full spring attire as Naomi floated through the crowd looking like a Klimt painting incarnate. Musicians and poets heralded her arrival, and friends and neighbours brought enough food to fortify a camp of gypsies.

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In fact, someone gently sang this winsome chorus above the crowd’s chatter: “And there was music, and there was wine, for the Gypsy and his La-a-a-dy.” Indeed, both Naomi and Elias have lived the true gypsy life in former years, and there are still appealing elements of gypsy-ness in their mien and lifestyle. Perhaps it is the many chapters Naomi has lived that make her such an interesting character, and a writer with 40 published books to her name, and at least four more on the horizon. Naomi has, in fact, lived several lives; she had a precarious birth as a twin in London, England in 1931, and her early childhood was fraught with the fears of World War II and the strictures of Fabian socialism. She was evacuated to Birmingham as a teenager, where, in winter, the beaches were bare of holidaymakers and tourist attractions, and where Naomi and her twin sister “could wander at leisure, like two characters in a French movie.”


This precise yet dreamlike self-image of Naomi as a child carries through in much of her writing. The phrases and expressions she uses to describe her background, her observations, and her life, in general, are striking and evocative. This is true for her poetry, essays, articles, and autobiographical sketches. A phrase from the introduction to her latest book, A Rollercoaster Ride: Thoughts on Aging is starkly compelling: “I am a survivor by bloodline….” And Naomi is a survivor with a fascinating life history, and one who thrives, at the age of 81. A poem in Sex After 70 and Other Poems (published in 2010 and very popular among Naomi’s fans) describes the exoskeleton of her life:

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Naomi reads at the annual Hazelwood Farm poetry gathering in August.


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Photo: Elias Wakan

Moulded by her mother and Stepsisters to be a melding of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Theresa and the Russian mother of the year, she woke up at forty and remembered that she had really wanted to be Ginger Rogers. She then turned the supper upside down on the table and walked out. Naomi certainly does know about shovels and saws, and about gardening and cooking beautifully presented vegetarian meals, and working hard to bring goodness to her community. Along with Elias, a fine woodworker and sculptor whose art is astonishing in its complexity and beauty, Naomi has also known poverty, homelessness, and the uncertainty of moving to a new country. What of those other lives from where Naomi’s identity, experience and wisdom come? She was born Norma Rudd and immigrated to Canada in 1954 after graduating with a degree in Social Work from Birmingham University. Her first marriage resulted in two children, who were raised in Toronto where she worked as a


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Enjoy life at

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psychotherapist. The incipient dissolution of her first marriage led Naomi to adopt Buddhism as a religion and lifestyle, and as Naomi says, “A raft to take me to another shore.” Naomi first met Elias on a Buddhist retreat and, soon after, they lived in an underground house for two years. That’s when she started writing in earnest. Living as gypsies, they made and sold their wares, helped with farm work, and attempted to “live off the land” as so many young couples did in the 1970s. They also travelled extensively, and after a round-the-world trip in 1980, they returned with only $80, whereupon they supported themselves by doing dreamwork therapy, dishwashing, and lectures on how to live on almost nothing. Close friends will attest that Naomi and Elias fare well with far less than most people, and yet their lives are rich beyond imagination with creativity and inspiration. Naomi and Elias both took new names when they married and moved to Victoria in 1982. Norma became Naomi and Eli became Elias. They adopted the surname Wakan – befitting a couple who are bonded in creativity, evoking the great and creative spirit of the Sioux nation. Getting to know Naomi is an ongoing learning experience, and one is awed by her initiatives and accomplishments. A lifetime of prodigious reading and now writing for three hours every day has made her a scholar and teacher with a special talent for sharing her love of literature and learning. Naomi’s latest book was launched in April on Gabriola, and the venue was crammed with eager fans; no matter what else

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is happening on a busy island weekend, there is always an excited crowd waiting to hear what Naomi says about life – and beyond! Her roll-out of A Roller-coaster ride: Thoughts on Aging was a presentation without artifice, funny (it’s her unexpectedly blunt honesty), and full of sincere, well-honed advice. Each word was measured and thoughtful, like her trademark gems of haiku and tanka. Listeners laughed, became teary, and reflected on her wise and clever observations. Naomi’s words and writing never fail to take her readers and listeners into old age gracefully, responsibly, and with good humour. Naomi is a frequent contributor to Senior Living magazine and her articles can be searched online at www. She will be reading at West Vancouver Memorial Library at 7:30 pm, Sept. 26; at Lynn Valley library at 2:30 pm, Sept. 27; and will be offering a workshop on memoir writing on Sept. 29 at SL Vancouver Public Library.

However old we get, our basic needs don’t change.

When we’re small, we have a lot of needs: a safe, comfortable bed to sleep in, the freedom of unrestricted movement, the touch of a caring hand. These things mean as much to us when we’re 87 as they do when we’re 7. Since 1982, Greater Victoria Eldercare Foundation’s mission has been to enhance the care, comfort, dignity and independence of elderly people in our community. If your little one needed help, you would do anything you could. Why should it be different for our parents or grandparents? Please consider a gift to the Eldercare Foundation today and help us continue the circle of care.

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Artist ProďŹ le


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Tamas Zalatnai working on a commissioned piece in his home studio.


Photo: Tamas Zalatnai Collection


hen European-trained sculptor and goldsmith Tamas Zalatnai retired to a quiet and peaceful part of Vancouver Island with his partner Colleen, he never dreamed he would be instrumental in spearheading a newly formed Arts Festival. Born and raised in Hungary, Tamas grew up in the world of theatre. His father was an opera singer with the Budapest State Opera and, since an early age, Tamas spent many hours backstage. It was a foregone conclusion that he would gravitate to the performing arts and, at the age of 10, Tamas started taking dance lessons. He soon realized, however, that he didn’t have the statuesque figure required for classical ballet, and he switched to folklore dancing. After high school, while still dancing regularly, Tamas went to study silver and goldsmith work at the Budapest Trade School. This consisted of five days a week in the Mint, where all Hungarian currency coins were made and all precious metals were stored. One day a week was spent at school studying metal techniques, drawing and design.

At the Mint, Tamas trained with a group specialising in silver cigar and cigarette boxes for export, mainly to Sweden. “One box was destined for Soviet President Khrushchev,” recalls Tamas. “And I actually worked on that one too.” When his two-year apprenticeship at the Mint was over, he stayed on for one more year as a journeyman. At the same time, he danced as a soloist with the University Folk Dance Group, which frequently performed outside Hungary. “We were in demand and travelled to many parts of Europe,” says Tamas. “Dancing from Bulgaria to Paris, I even had a ‘passport of service’ from the Ministry of Cultural Affairs, issued for these tours only – not for personal use.” In 1969, the Folk Dance Group performed in the Austrian city of Krems, near Vienna. Disillusioned with the Communist regime and the two years of compulsory military service in Hungary, Tamas, now 24, decided not to return. “I left the dance tour in Krems and met my girlfriend Katharina in Vienna,” says Tamas. “I had not seen her for a few years as she was an artist who had left Budapest to study in Rome and, from there, immigrated to Canada.” The couple decided to get married in Vienna and, a few months later, Tamas was able to travel to Montreal to join his wife. By now, he was a fully qualified Silver and Goldsmith. “In my first job in Montreal, I earned a dollar an hour. The minimum wage was $1.25, but the boss said he had to teach me too much!” Tamas left that job after one week to earn the prince-

ly sum of $2 an hour at Birks. “After half a dozen different places, I ended up working for the finest jewelry design house in Montreal, Gabriel Lucas. I could then consider my Canadian Apprenticeship completed,” says Tamas. From that employment, he was offered the position of MasterModel Maker in Belleville, Ontario, for the company that supplied Avon, the world’s largest direct-selling company. “I would make a model in silver, then the other workers made moulds from it for the huge output of jewelry Avon produced.” After a year-and-a-half with Avon, wanting to explore fresh fields, Tamas decided to head west. He arrived in Vancouver with no job, no driver’s licence or credit card, but with a wife and a three-year-old daughter. “The first priority was to get some furniture for the apartment we had just found in the West End of Vancouver,” says Tamas. “The Hudson’s Bay Company was the obvious place to go and, after completing a transaction for a bed, we wandered down Seymour Street and found ourselves outside the impressive shop front of Tony Cavelti, the doyen of jewellers in Vancouver.” Tamas had heard the name of the Swiss designer and master jeweller mentioned in revered tones in Montreal. He walked in and, after explaining he was not a potential customer, asked to see the boss with a view to employment. “As soon as Mr. Cavelti heard I had worked for the famous Monsieur Gabriel Lucas in Montreal, I was offered a job.”


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He remained there for seven-and-ahalf years. After a short period back in Europe and Montreal, Tamas returned to Vancouver and joined the firm of Montecristo Jewellers. He was a sub-contractor and did independent design on site. During the next few years, besides working in his own studio, Tamas taught Jewelry Design at West Vancouver Recreation Centre and the Jewelry Apprenticeship course at Vancouver Community College. After breaking his wrist and being unable to do bench work, Tamas was

asked to go up north to the community of Baker Lake. For three months, at Nunavut Arctic College, he taught basic metal techniques and instructed students how to work with copper and silver. Now, officially retired in Port Alberni, Tamas loves the peaceful environment and the abundance of other artists with whom to cooperate on projects. He is excited, along with Colleen, to be heavily involved with the newly formed ART RAVE Society, which is registered as a non-profit group.


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The Society will mount a Festival of the Arts, similar to the Filberg Festival in Comox, taking place in August 2013 at the scenic Port Alberni Harbour Quay. Exhibits will include works from the unique and diverse population of talented artists on Vancouver Island, whose efforts are recognized locally and worldwide. In addition, there will be music and dance as well as “The Spoken Word” poetry readings. Tamas still receives occasional commissions. A recent one came from Australia from an old friend who wanted Tamas to make a commemorative statue for his parents’ hometown in the Czech Republic. In view of the distance it had to travel, he created a maquette, a small scale model in clay with an overlay of metal paint. This eventually will be made into a life-sized statue as a lasting memento from the donor, who is grateful to the Czech people for helping his parents. Testimony to his prowess at the art of silver/gold jewelry, a former boss tracked Tamas down in Port Alberni, asking him to make a complicated gold bracelet – a repousse (an ancient forming technique) – as he is well-known for this expertise in jewelry circles. In addition to valuable and time-consuming volunteering in the arts community of the Alberni Valley, Tamas is busy with another favourite pursuit. He is a member of one of the Port Alberni Dragon Boat teams – the Sunshine Dragons – who paddle regularly on pristine Sproat Lake. “It’s a team sport, it’s energetic, and has to be synchronized. Perhaps it reminds me of being a member of another team, a SL Hungarian Folk Dance Team.”

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Travel & Adventure

Life in the Slow Lane BY MANDY TRICKETT


he tortoise laboriously crosses a three-way intersection on scaly legs, its head jutting myopically from beneath its shell. It’s not a good place for a human to cross, let alone a lumbering tortoise, but cars stop in all directions. A man leaps out to help the small, plodding animal on its way, placing it safely into the roadside vegetation. “Never put them back where they started,” the locals advise me. “They’ll just want to cross again.” The tortoise is iconic in Sedgefield on South Africa’s famous Garden Route, a town perched on the southernmost edge of the continent. From here, the ocean heads straight down to Antarctica. There are no con-trails from passenger jets, no urban sulphur stain to blur our stargazing, just a seething wilderness of water, criss-crossed by pods of dolphins, wandering whales and great white sharks. Sedgefield lies between the tourist-magnet centres of Mossel Bay, Knysna and Plettenberg Bay, but it has declared itself “Africa’s First Slow Town.” In the summer months of January and February, Sedgefield is where we quickly stop feeling guilty about having no pressing duties, no strict schedule. “If you can’t relax here, you should seek medical attention,” says the lady in the tourism office. Here, we can get rid of city grit and exchange it for warm sand between our toes. Lots and lots of sand. “Sedge,” as it is affectionately known, has only one traffic light but boasts four town beaches – Cola, Myoli, Sedgefield and Swartvlei – which blend seamlessly into others. Looking west, we hike the tawny sands for a further 12 kilometres to the town of Wilderness. Turning east, we can stride along 18 kilometres of beach all the way to Buffelsbaai, if we time the tides right. We head for a different beach each morning via paths bordered with sour fig, dune guarri and bushtick berry. Beachcombing 44 42


becomes a passion as we sift through drifts of duck’s foot limpets, furry ridged tritons, iridescent Venus ears and the occasional giant periwinkle. If we can tear ourselves away from the beach, we don hiking boots and head out to wander amongst the fynbos, that indigenous mix of proteas, restios, ericas and bulbous plants unique to the Cape and representing one entire plant kingdom out of only seven in the world. Angulate Tortoise in Sedgefield.

Hiking trails abound near Sedgefield, with whimsical names like Woodcutters and Horse’s Head (Perdekop). We pass 800-year-old giant yellowwood trees and clamber through bowers of milkwood, forest elder and kamassi. Other trails offer the opportunity to bum-slide down silky sand dunes; haul cable-ferries hand over hand to cross tea-coloured rivers, or to sway along suspension bridges above the wild surf. At nearby Harkerville, signs at the Circles in a Forest trail warn of wild elephants in the murky green depths. A few pachyderms, last of a Cape subspecies, still exist here and the mere thought of encountering an elephant while on foot makes us more alert, more conscious of our surroundings. Despite this we’re overjoyed to find conspicuous piles of elephant dung and tell-tale pushed-over trees along the trail. WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

Here, on the windless forest floor, you can smell further than you can see and elephants are extraordinarily good at being silent, standing still and blending in with the background. Are we being watched? Another day, we stride out through Millwood Forest, where, for one heady decade in the nineteenth century, gold fever grabbed hold of men’s imaginations, bringing prospectors from as far afield as California and Australia, bundled onto oxcarts filled with hope. First, a scattering of tents, then clapboard shanties and eventually a bustling town with half a dozen hotels, 60 shops and more than 1,000 residents, Millwood evolved with grandiose street names – Main Street, Victoria Street, Park Lane. Today, we browse the tiny Millwood Goldfields Museum – just one room of a creaking old mine house with the typical corrugated tin roof, whitewashed walls and blackwood floors of the gold rush days – while enjoying lunch at Mother Holly’s Tea Room. Back on Sedgefield’s Rondevlei and Groenvlei lakes, we delight in watching an endlessly changing parade of birdlife. We canoe the margins of the lake or hunker down inside the shadowy Rondevlei hide, where Cape shovellers, blacksmith plovers, yellow-billed ducks, black-winged stilt, fish eagles and a flock of lesser flamingo – rare visitors – populate the waters. The sleek heads of four Cape clawless otters, a mother leading three youngsters, move through the shallows like a sinuous Loch Ness monster. Appetites sharpened by our activities, we are spoilt for choice in Sedgefield’s restaurants: popular Montecello’s with its wide menu; Trattoria da Vinci for great Italian food; the Fresh Bean Café for sinful pastries and hearty lunches; or the Sedgefield Arms for casual pub grub. Then there’s Mr. Kaai’s for fish ‘n’ chips: his sign simply says “We’re open when the door is open”: his fish


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comes straight off the boats and their timing is not always predictable. But the one food experience we cannot miss is the Wild Oats Farmers’ Market each Saturday morning. It’s an event that draws people to Sedgefield from the entire region and it’s wise to be there early. We’re tempted by fragrant handmade soaps, farmhouse chutneys, buckets full of magnificent proteas, Amarula fudge, locally produced olives and olive oils and all manner of South African treats like biltong (similar to dried jerky), bunny chow (spicy stew served in a bowl made of bread) or bobotie (ground beef spiced with curry, baked with a golden egg topping). We sit on upended logs licking fingers sticky from Indian samoosas and chilli bites. Across the grass, an outdoor kitchen turns out a full English breakfast, South African style, with boerewors sausage and scrambled egg overflowing from huge buns. Over coffee, we tap our feet to live music, then examine woven baskets, carvings, caftans, jewelry, and hand-painted tablecloths at the adjacent craft market. Here, the Scarab store produces handmade paper from elephant dung: despite the image that may conjure up, the art prints and stationery are exquisite and you can watch the entire paper-making process.

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Photos: Mandy Trickett


“I’m going to do this right now,” declares our 67-year-old friend George. He means paragliding, and marches off to speak with the instructor at the Cloud 9 jump site. He believes he’ll have the kudos of being the oldest participant this morning, so he’s mightily miffed to learn that a 75-year-old granny is crossing paragliding off her bucket list today, as her birthday treat. But George is committed now, sitting in the lap of his tandem partner and rushing the few, awkward paces downhill before soaring off into the blue. We catch up with him at the landing site where it’s high-fives all around, and wonder (briefly) whether we should also try the experience. In fact, for a “slow town,” Sedgefield seems to have a split personality, being perfectly located for adrenalin-rush activities. Within an hour’s drive, we can windsurf or abseil, whale watch, ride an elephant or ride a quad bike. For shopping, we can be at the huge Garden Route Mall in half an hour, or on Knysna’s trendy Waterfront, buzzing with tourists, galleries, boutiques and activity. From the Waterfront, we can take a paddle steamer ride out to the narrow, wild-water opening between


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the cliffs called the Knysna Heads, or be ferried over to the Featherbed Reserve for a tractor-ride up those cliffs to glorious viewpoints. For day trips, we drive up and over the Outeniqua Mountains on passes that are engineering marvels. Inland, the landscape changes abruptly to arid scrub, where huge flocks of ostriches are farmed like cattle around the town of Oudtshoorn. Fortunes were made and lost by the ostrich barons of the nineteenth century and, today, we visit the farms to watch ostrich races, pose on their huge, unbreakable eggs, envy their luscious eyelashes and buy all manner of things ostrich, from feather boas to handbags to fanciful eggshell carvings.

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Crossing the Touw River.

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Nature should be well pleased with her work along the 140-kilometre Garden Route, for she has created one of the most distinctive of all African landscapes: fynbos, Afro-montane forests, lakes, dunes and lagoons. Visitors may come for the adrenalin rush of diving with great white sharks or bungee jumping. Others may seek out Knysna’s great oyster festival in July or Sedge’s own “Slow Festival” at Easter. But we come here to be rejuvenated by the area’s more tranquil corners, where life moves at a languid tempo fostered by the sun and those wonderful Cape wines. We come to stride the sun-baked beaches and to sprawl on the patio in the cool, inky darkness watching the southern stars revolve above us. Locals say that the tortoise sets the pace in Sedgefield and they mean this quite literally – those “tortoise crossing” road signs are strictly obeyed. But there’s a deeper message in these signs: a town with meandering tortoises, four glorious beaches, but just one SL traffic light? Now that’s what we call good planning.



Small Towns, Ghost Towns, and Adventures in Between


ntil recently, I didn’t know our province had so many wonderful nooks and crannies waiting to be discovered. My daughters and I spent five days exploring the Kootenays. The adventures were many, seeing Kootenay Lake, which at times feels like the ocean – you can’t see to the other side, and dancing in the street in Nelson at an evening street market. But three experiences stood out for me. The first was staying in what had been a bawdy house in the village of Ymir. The population, like a lot of the towns in the Kootenays, stands at about 250, with dogs outnumbering people about two to one. Many of these towns were at their heyday in the late 1800s. The bawdy house (now a small hotel) was one of many. Now, there are only about four business buildings, and a number of houses, including my youngest daughter’s. The second was another town that saw its heyday at the turn of the 20th century. At the end of a five-mile hardpacked dirt road with a river in full spate was what is left of Sanden, a town that once boasted 35 hotels, two newspapers, electric lights and 63 bawdy houses. All that remains is one building that has become the museum. The curator of the museum kept us entertained for 90 minutes with clever repartee and a number of black and white pictures from the past, which made us want to find more places like this.

Photo: Frances Litman


Later in the afternoon, we were driving back to “civilization,” when I noticed a small black animal coming out of the bushes in an area a long way from society. My first thought was baby bear then, no, the nose is too pointy; maybe a fox. It turned out to be a small black dog. She wore a collar, but no I.D., and looked to have been on her own for several days. She was quite thin, and had obviously been in an altercation with a skunk. Long story short, at this writing, her family had not been found and she has joined the canine population of Ymir. I’m not sure what adventures we thought we’d have en route, but the ones we had were great. I highly recommend it! Take a road trip with your kids or grandkids and let the adventures happen. Postscript: Many things have happened since that road trip. Mudslides have made much of the road we travelled almost impassible. It is a perfect reminder that we must live for today and not put things off. On a lighter note, the dog now has a permanent home and a name. She is living happily with my daughter in Ymir and is called Gala (the wanderer). SL Pat Nichol is a speaker and published author. Reach her at or visit

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Arts & Entertainment

Joint Careers Span the Fine Arts BY BARBARA JULIAN


Photo: Barbara Julian

and Woody hit it off when their paths welve years old is an crossed in Toronto. They got married impressionable age, and on Centre Island in 1955. Woody Woodland at 12 lived through a particularly impresMany people in Victoria know sive moment in history. He and his Woody Woodland as the leader of family were on the last boat to get the Butchart Buskers, the band that out of Shanghai (where his parents provided Butchart Gardens’ lively worked as missionaries), when the stage show from 1969 to 2004. BeJapanese invaded it in 1941. fore elevator mechanics, Woody had studied brass instruments in Bris“I remember looking up at bombers going over our heads bane and Sydney. when we were out at sea. Luckily, Before the Butchart days, back in they decided not to waste bombs the 1950s, he and Jutta went to Geron our ship.” many for two years with their infant son, where Woody played in a concert So, it was back home to Austraorchestra and joined the Royal Canalia, and there Woody (then known by his given name, Howard) grew dian Air Force Band. Back in Canada, he was with the RCAF Band in Edup, until, in his early 20s, he decided to accompany a friend who had monton when a second son was born. found a job in Toronto. After a stint in Ottawa they came “We sold our motorbikes and to Victoria, Woody becoming a bandwent,” says Woody. And life has master at Naden, playing in orchestras Woody and Jutta Woodland in their home studio. been a peripatetic adventure ever around town, and working as a piano since. Having become an elevator mechanic in Australia, he soon technician at UVIC’s Music Department for twenty years. found work with Otis in Toronto – and there he met Jutta. “I always told my kids: get yourself a full toolbox and you’ll While Woody was growing up in Australia, Jutta lived on the always have work,” he says now. other side of the world, in Germany. About the time Woody left If versatility was one of his strengths, it is one he shares with Australia for Canada, Jutta was leaving the apartment she shared Jutta. When she arrived in Canada Jutta was a window decorawith family in bombed-out Hamburg, dreaming of a life of space tor, working for department stores. Over the years in Edmonton, and creativity. First, she travelled through Europe and then pro- Ottawa and Victoria, she turned her talents to theatrical stage and costume design. “I was never trained in anything except window ceeded to Canada on an “immigrant ship.” “I was adventurous,” she says. No wonder, then, that she decorating,” she says now, “I’m self-taught in everything.”

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“Everything” expanded to include singing, acting and eventually directing (12 plays over 35 years at Langham Court Theatre). “I put the kids in the prop room,” she remembers with a laugh, “so having kids never stopped me.” Indeed the whole family was theatrical, with one son backstage, one an usher, and Woody in the orchestra pit. “We were in No No Nanette together,” they recall now with much giggling. “There was a cast of 25, and we designed the set together.” An hour spent in the company of Woody and Jutta is an hour of anecdotes, laughter, and comical reminiscing. Aside from their lives in the arts they look back on travels in Europe, Australia, the Caribbean and North and South America – much of which Jutta has recorded and edited on film. “Looking back now at photos of all these travels and projects, we wonder ‘where were the kids?!’ We certainly never suffered empty nest syndrome!” More giggles. Just so you know: the kids were fine. Both played their own instruments and both became professionals in other careers. Meanwhile, Jutta moved away from theatre and took up painting, first experimenting with watercolour, then acrylics and oil. She was juried into the Federation of Canadian Artists, and joined the Oak Bay Art Club and the Al Frescoes, among other groups. Woody remembers the Butchart Gardens days with pleasure. He started as a roving accordian player, but soon the Butchart boss wanted a full stage show combining big band, show tunes and comedy. The trademark “Uncle George” character emerged, Woody’s “uncle” in Australia who popped up from below the stage (from “Down Under”) to fire off one-liners which elicited groans heard right across the Saanich Peninsula. Uncle George still makes an occasional appearance among the friends Woody meets almost daily at Caffe Misto, his local coffee shop. Guffaws from the corner usually mean Woody is channelling Uncle George again. After retiring from Butchart Gardens Woody made guest appearances with the Dixieland Express at Hermann’s on View Street, and he guests there still on occasion, as well as playing a couple of games of tennis each week. Woody and Jutta know exactly how they have kept all this creativity and energy going: “We always went to each other’s shows and were each other’s mutual admiration society,” says Jutta. “You each have to have space for your own projects,” adds Woody, “then when you’re together, you discuss them.” And you have to make compromises, he adds with the Uncle George twinkle. “For instance, Jutta wanted to buy a diamond necklace. I wanted to buy a new car. So we compromised, we bought the diamonds but kept them in the garage.” Once a comedian always a comedian ... But there has been hard work too: this pair spent years, for instance, making oak plaques with heraldry crests in their basement for The Tartan Shop on Government Street. “We made enough to buy our house!” says Jutta. “Performing to an audience,” says Woody, “provides one with down-to-earth wisdom. You learn that in life’s tricky situations too, you must pause, focus on whatever role you’ve got to play and say to yourself ‘it’s show time....’” Then you walk on and give it your best shot. And if you can raise a few laughs as SL well, so much the better. WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM


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SAANICH VOLUNTEER SERVICES seeks receptionist/dispatcher for Fridays 9:00 – 12:30. Book drives, greet people and enter info in database.. Call 250-595-8008. COLLECTOR SEEKING vintage/collectable cameras, binoculars and microscopes. Nikon, Leica, Contax, Rolleiflex, Zeiss, Canon, etc. Mike 250-383-6456 or e-mail: RUTH M.P HAIRSTYLING for Seniors in Greater Victoria. In the convenience of your own home! Certified Hairdresser. Please call - 250-893-7082. FOOT CARE NURSE John Patterson LPN Providing mobile footcare in Nanaimo. 18 years of nursing experience. Home, facility, and hospital visits. Qualified nursing foot care for toenails corns and calluses. Direct billing for DVA clients. 250 390 9266. COOK ST VILLAGE CONDOS for under $100k in MINTON HOUSE! Under NEW MANAGEMENT! Independent Senior Living 55+ Lots of Extras! Call Barbara Walker 250 514 1212

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WANTED: OLD POSTCARDS, stamp accumulations, and pre-1950 stamped envelopes. Also buying old coins, medals and badges. Please call Michael 250-652-9412 or email DEBI’S MOBILE HAIR SERVICES in the comfort of your home for everyone in your family. Serving the Victoria area. Please call Debi at 250-477-7505. DRIVING MISS DAISY VANCOUVER ISLAND Victoria 250-588-4638 - Sidney/Peninsula 250-507-2336 - Westshore 250-813-0440 - Nanaimo/Qualicum/Parksville 250-714-5980 - Comox Valley 250-650-2010. MOBILE FOOT CARE NURSE Nanaimo Cutting, filing of thick and fungal nails. Calluses, dry skin (peeling). DVA client’s no up front cost. Katherine Evans, LPN 250-327-0749.

CUBA – ‘Spanish Studies in Cuba’ (Havana), $2,500.00 Can. for 4 wks. Hotel with breakfast and dinner, tuition fee. (Air fare not included). 250-478-0494 WELL-BEING AND AGING Volunteer as a participant in UVic research study. For more information, please visit or call 250-472-4375. WE COME TO YOU Earth’s Option – Cremation and Burial Services, low cost cremation and burial services. (778) 440-8500 www.

CARERX We provide Canada’s safest medication management system & customized pharmacy products & services. Call 1-855886-2273 or visit us at

PIANO LESSONS in the convenience of your home. Ages 5 to 105. Victoria to Sidney. Call 250-888-1229. HEALING CONSULTANT / FACILITATOR Specializing in Health Assessment in Home. Helping You To Be Well. Call 250-686-3081.

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CLASSIFIED ADVERTISING $45 for 20 words or less. $1.75 per extra word. BW only. Red spot color 10% extra. Boxed Ad - Small (2.2 x 1.2) $125. Plus tax. Ads must be paid at booking. Cheque / Credit Card accepted. Ph. 250-479-4705, Toll-free 1-877-479-4705. Email: Deadline: 15th of the month. Make cheque payable to: Senior Living, Magazine 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1


OCTOBER 2009 39




Don’t Get Scammed Hiring a Home Contractor


s more and more homeowners consider age-in-place renovations, the BBB warns consumers to be alert to local home repair cons, scams and rip-offs targeting seniors. Whether you are looking to redo your kitchen or bathroom, replace your roof, build a deck, or simply install age-friendly devices in your home, it is essential to find a contractor you can trust. Homeowners should be wary of contractors that solicit business door-to-door, who use high-pressure sales tactics, who ask for cash up front and who refuse to provide a written contract. BBB advises consumers use the following checklist: Don’t give in to sales pressure. If a contractor shows up to your door offering services, ask to take their business card or flyer. Do not let a person pressure you into signing up. Let them know you will contact them after consulting with your spouse, partner, caregiver or family member. Be picky and have lots of options. Seek at least three bids from prospective contractors based on the same specifications, materials and labour needed to complete the project. Homeowners should discuss bids in detail with each contractor and ask questions about variations in pricing. The lowest-priced contractor may not be the best. Make sure they are insured. Consumers should ask whether the company is insured with WorkSafeBC against claims covering workers’ compensation, property damage and personal liability in case of accidents. Consumers should obtain the name of the insurance carrier and call to verify

coverage. Get everything in writing. Read and understand the contract before signing. Get all verbal promises in writing. Be sure to include start and completion dates in the contract. Homeowners must hold back 10 per cent of the contract price until 55 days after the general contract is substantially completed, abandoned, or otherwise ended to ensure that all subcontracted companies are paid. This way, if there are liens from workers who did not get paid from the original contractor, the holdback may be used to help pay these liens. Do your homework. You can visit BBB’s website: to look up an organization or file a complaint. You can also ask the contractor for local references, and get a chance to see the actual work done by the contractor. If the contractor does quality work, they should have no problem providing references. The new Seniors Home Renovation Tax Credit, worth up to $1,000 per year, will be available to seniors, or family members sharing their home, whether they rent or own. Starting in the 2012 tax year, the maximum credit will be $1,000 annually, calculated as 10 per cent of eligible permanent home renovation expenditures, for costs incurred on or after April 1, 2012. Only specific renovations, installations and costs will be eligible for this tax credit. For more information before starting any home renovations, be sure to visit credits/seniors_home_reno.htm SL

For more information, contact BBB Mainland BC at 604-682-2711 and or BBB Vancouver Island at 250-386-6348 and WWW.SENIORLIVINGMAG.COM

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Photo: Jason van der Valk


Dear Goldie: About three years ago, my husband began complaining about company, and insisted I meet friends away from our home. His dementia is getting worse and he can’t remember from one minute to the next. I know we married for better or worse, but I feel something is missing in my life. Our family is good to me, but they work and have busy lives. My husband is 87 and I’m 86, and I feel there is more to life than keeping house, cooking and taking him out for coffee. –R.M. Dear R.M.: I understand you have to care for your husband, but you need time for yourself, as well. There are several senior organizations in the city and your interests can help lead you to a suitable group. Start by inquiring at your local library. Dear Goldie: I am a retired widower in my late 60s, father of three and grandfather of five. But I am bored and lonely. I keep in touch with family and friends and belong to a social group that meets twice a month, but my life seems to lack real purpose. Fortunately, I live in a nice rental complex with people of all ages near a business area. Everyone is friendly, but I have no close associates. How can I change this situation? –W.C. Dear W.C.: You seem to be a fortunate person with plenty of family and acquaintances, but fit the expression “lonely in a crowd.” You do not mention health problems, so I assume you are well and active. Perhaps if you connect with someone in your social group, you can start to meet for coffee or outings more than twice a month. Volunteering is also a good way to bring purpose to SL your life. Good luck! Goldie Carlow is a retired registered nurse, clinical counsellor and senior peer counselling trainer. Send letters to Senior Living, Box 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria, BC V8T 2C1. Senior Peer Counselling Centres – Island

Senior Peer Counselling Centres – Mainland

Campbell River 250-287-3044 Courtenay/Comox 250-890-0099 Duncan 250-748-2133 Nanaimo 250-754-3331 Port Hardy 250-949-5110 Salt Spring Island 250-537-4607 Sidney 250-656-5537 Victoria 250-382-4331

Burnaby 604-291-2258 Coquitlam – Tri-Cities 604-945-4480 New Westminster 604-519-1064 North Vancouver 604-987-8138 Richmond 604-279-7034 Vancouver West End 604-669-7339 Vancouver Westside 604-736-3588



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Reflections THEN & NOW


had to work as a busboy for a month. I had to wait to be a waiter. We waiters wore tuxedos BY GIPP FORSTER so we would look “classy” but I doubt I ever did. I got my tux at the Salvation Army Thrift Store and it had, I’m sure, seen waited to see if I would pass from one better days. But the restaurant I waited grade to the next at school, and I waited in had subdued lighting and hid most of for my dad to get home to punish me for my tux’s flaws, as well as my own – in- one of my many misadventures (“Just cluding speed. But I was determined to wait until your father gets home!”). I, like you, have waited in line at grin and bear it as greed often insists on the movie theatre, sporting events, and being one’s companion. And we, greed any other thing that waiting in line deand I, at the time, were very close. I think I was a pretty good waiter, mands. Waiting is one of the first things no matter what the manager may have we learn just after birth – waiting to be thought. Although, when I had to do changed, waiting to be fed, and so on. Some people are good at waiting. flaming dishes at the customers’ table, I was kind of nervous – as were the Some even spectacular – like Nelson people I was serving and anyone within Mandela waiting to be released from a 15-foot radius. I noticed that the host- prison or Dagwood and Blondie waitess always her hand on the phone when ing for their kids to become adults and I was performing this doubtful service. give them grandchildren. Some accept the inevitable, and stand More waiting – waiting to see if all conin line. I hate waiting, but am resolved cerned would survive. That was the one and only time I was that no matter how much I complain, a waiter but not the only time I have I’m still going to have to wait for most waited. I’ve waited for Santa Claus, as things that make the world go ‘round. But I think the true awareness came a child, and waited while I worked and saved money to buy my first bicycle. I when I was a waiter at that fancy dining establishment and a fellow human “Reflections” MAIL-IN ORDER FORM Reflections, Rejections, actually kicked me in the pants and told and Other Breakfast Foods Name_____________________________________ me to go faster. That was the first time I by Gipp Forster ever went fast to “wait.” Address___________________________________ Oh well, just wait! Tomorrow may A collection of Gipp’s humorous City______________________________ Prov ____ and nostalgic columns. A wonderbe different. That’s what some people Postal Code____________ Ph _________________ ful read for say; easy for them when we’ve got no Reflections, ���������� yourself, and a choice. Today’s waiting on tomorrow and Other Breakfast Foods ____ BOOKS @ $14.92 each = $_______ (incl. $3.95 shipping & taxes) thoughtful gift and tomorrow’s waiting on the day after for friends and Make cheque payable to Senior Living that and so on. But with man’s ingenufamily members. MAIL TO: ity, he will figure out a way to abolish 128 pages Senior Living waiting. I know he will. You just wait 153, 1581-H Hillside Ave., Victoria BC V8T 2C1 REDUCED PRICE SL and see! $10.00 Please allow two weeks for shipping.

used to be a waiter at a fancy steakhouse in town. It was about a thousand years ago (of course, I exaggerate!). It was probably two or three hundred years ago. A waiter is the last thing I should have been or contemplated being. I really don’t like waiting on anything: not birthdays; not Christmas; not even a bus. I don’t like waiting for taxes to decrease or for politicians to take a cut in their wages or pensions. I hate waiting in lines at the checkout counter in the supermarket…at the post office…at the bank (especially the bank!). When I was a waiter in those days of yore, I was paid $1.25 an hour. But the tips were sometimes astronomical; so good that a literal kick in the pants by the man in charge was tolerated. He was a gentleman, though. He’d wait until I was just entering the kitchen with an order – well out of sight of the ritzy diners – when he would hiss “faster, faster, move faster!” Often, I wanted to stop and see if I could pound him into mush, but then I’d remember the very large tips and move “faster.” I was married with a child, at the time, but to get the job as a waiter, I

Limited Edition


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A Collection of Published & Unpublished Writings by Senior Living Columnist Gipp Forster


Photo: Krystle Wiseman


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������������������������������ You’re Invited:

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Cheri Crause, CPCA

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August 2012 Senior Living Magazine  
August 2012 Senior Living Magazine  

50+ Active Lifestyle Magazine for Vancouver Island and for Vancouver & Mainland BC Canada