Seniors, perhaps even more than the general population, want to live in a place with a sense of community, with plenty of amenities and in a convenient location.
That’s what Cherish at Central Park promises to offer its tenants and owners once it’s completed in November of next year.
A bistro, courtyard lounge, theatre, billiard room, art studio and a woodworking shop are among the variety of amenities within the building, and its location at the corner of Jacklin and Jenkins roads means there will be plenty of shopping, recreational and entertainment amenities within a walkable distance.
That last part is particularly vital.
In Cherish’s regular survey of the 1,500 seniors in their database, walking is listed as an important activity for 90 per cent of individuals.
“It’s an awesome location. It’s ideal. It’s right across the street from the mall, which has virtually all of the amenities and services that seniors are looking for, and then City Centre Park is a short walk away …we’ve got lots of tremendous walking areas,” said Cherish Community Living CEO Micky Fleming.
The multi-story building will contain 130 rental suites and 39 owned condominiums, giving its prospective residents increased flexibility.
“It just makes senior living so much more affordable for people. It’s really one of the reasons why we did it. There isn’t anything quite like what we do in Victoria,” Fleming said.
Downsizing can be a scary proposition for seniors.
According to Fleming, 26 per cent of seniors surveyed rate a loss of independence as their biggest fear.
“It’s a reality. You start out as a dependent and you become independent as you go through adulthood, and as you get older you do lose your independence,” she said.
Cherish’s job, she explained, is to create an environment that supports senior independence. “It’s a little harder to do things as you get older and it’s our job to make that easier for people.”
Part of supporting independence includes giving seniors the option to have extra services, such as food or cleaning, in what Cherish calls the “lifestyle package.”
“That’s available to our condo owners, but it’s not an obligation,” Fleming said. Beyond the extensive perks, Cherish prides itself on customer service, something she takes very seriously.
“These are people, they’re customers, and our job is to meet their needs and not to tell them what to do. It’s the other way around,” she noted.
“My personal mission is to change how western society views and values older people and we do that by creating human habitat.”
Twenty-six condos in the building have already been sold, while 18 rental units are spoken for. Fleming says she has received a lot of calls from potential residents, and that information sessions will take place in the near future.
For more information on the development, visit cherishvictoria.ca.
Q: What factors are important for Senior Independent Living?
The 2011 Census found that of the nearly 5 million seniors aged 65 and over in Canada, 92.1 per cent lived in private households or dwellings, statistics that were relatively unchanged from the 2001 Census.
Some research has begun to show that small lifestyle changes can keep seniors out of nursing facilities for longer than before. A major study out of Baltimore, Md., has discovered that the essentials that were widely thought of as vital to independent living, weren’t quite as important as we once believed.
It’s widely thought that major essentials for independent living include the ability to drive, being close to family and easy access to healthcare. While those factors are important, it’s actually the little things, such as being able to use kitchen utensils and navigate stairs, that end up limiting an individual’s ability to remain independent. And there are many ways in which family members can ensure that their senior relatives are set up to succeed on their own. These can include having an emergency plan in the event of a fall, addressing emotional needs to ensure that loneliness isn’t an issue and preparing the home to make it more seniors-friendly.
The last one can include the installation of bathroom rails, lowering pantry shelves and adding more lighting.
Floor hazards are especially important to keep an eye on, as one in three seniors experience a fall over the course of a year.
GREATER VICTORIA MARKET UPDATE » MONTH TO DATE AUG. 31/16 COURTESY VICTORIA REAL ESTATE BOARD
» 784 / 741 — NET UNCONDITIONAL SALES / TOTAL, Aug. 2015
» 1,039 / 952 — NEW LISTINGS / TOTAL, Aug. 2015
» 2,127 / 3,688 — ACTIVE RESIDENTIAL LISTINGS / TOTAL, Aug. 2015