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Take a moment to read our Blog. Get a sense of The Berkeley – on a more personal level – and gain insight into our opinions on the benefits of retirement living and the importance of health and wellness for both our staff and residents. Check out how we get involved in our community, how we celebrate life, and much more.
The Berkeley nurse

Retirement Living – Are You Ready to Enjoy the Many Benefits?

By Catherine Campbell, February 4, 2019

There comes a time in many seniors’ lives when cooking meals, cleaning and maintaining a home becomes physically challenging, not to mention tedious. Loneliness and/or failing health can be factors as well. Moving to a retirement residence is an option many people consider so they may enjoy life without worry. In a retirement residence, you live in your own apartment without the hassles of household tasks allowing you to enjoy favourite pastimes, the opportunity to be social and the security of knowing health care professionals are on duty 24 hours a day. When it comes time to make the transition, it can be an emotional and overwhelming decision for many seniors and their families. Here are some key aspects to consider:

  • Location: Is it close to conveniences such as the pharmacy, grocery store and a medical clinic? Is it close to your family and friends and a community in which you feel comfortable? Is it close to places you like to go such as church, the theatre, library and community groups as well as natural attractions such as parks, the waterfront and walking trails?  
  • Environment: Is the physical environment bright, inviting and warm? Do you like the size of the building? Are the people friendly and welcoming? Is this a place you could call home?
  • Safety and Security: Is access to the building secure and monitored? Are there fire alarms and smoke detectors? Do they perform regular fire drills? Is there a sprinkler system? Do they have handrails in the hallways? Do the apartment units have emergency call systems?
  • Dining: Can the kitchen handle your dietary needs? Can family and friends come for meals? Can you have a privately catered function? Is there a menu selection available to view so you can ensure you like the options being served?
  • Health and Wellness: Are the medical services you require available through the nurse and personal care workers? Will health care staff do a review of your medical records and an assessment of your health to ensure your needs can be met?
  • Apartment Units: Is the apartment you want available? Does the bathroom suit your needs (ie: walk-in shower, shower with seat or bathtub)? Are there adequate handrails in the bathroom?
  • Recreation: Do they have a variety of activities? Do they have a van to take outings and shopping trips? Do they plan special events?
For more information or to book a tour, visit www.theberkeley.com or call Jenn Walker at 902.802.0346. She would love the opportunity to take you for a tour to see all the benefits of retirement living for yourself!
The Berkeley lounge

Stay Warm and Engaged Despite the Cold, Lonely Winter

By Catherine Campbell, Jan 21, 2019

For many people, winter can be a tough time of year both mentally and physically. It is not uncommon to hear complaints about cold temperatures, and the issues posed by snow and ice. The biggest issue, in general, is the risk of slipping and falling. It can happen to anyone, but seniors are most vulnerable when it comes to breaking bones and enduring a long recuperation. Unfortunately, the fear of falling and the dislike of cold temperatures will often keep seniors from venturing out. This can mean they are stuck at home for prolonged periods, leading to intense isolation through the winter months unless family and friends are visiting. However, visiting once a week is not likely enough stimulation to stave off the inevitable feelings of loneliness and even depression. For family, however, it can be very stressful to make time for enough visits to solve the problem. Even if it were enough, it is not as beneficial as having the choice to socialize on your own terms. Waiting for people to visit can lead to frustration and anxiety, possibly reversing the positive impact of visits.

The beauty of living in a retirement residence is you never have to wait for a visit, there are people around all the time and you can participate in planned or spontaneous activities daily.  You are independent, it is your choice to be social or not. Making choices for yourself has far-reaching benefits, allowing for a greater sense of happiness and satisfaction with life. Living alone, even the most social person can become a recluse in the winter, particularly if physical mobility, transportation and a fear of falling are issues. At a retirement residence, you can enjoy a social life regardless of the season!

For more information about The Berkeley and to book a tour, please call Jenn at (902) 802-0346 or email jenn.walker@theberkeley.com. Jenn would love the opportunity to take you for a tour and show you all the benefits of retirement living!
The Berkeley bowling ladies

The Upside of Change and a New Lease on Life

By Catherine Campbell, Jan 7, 2019

Without question, change can be difficult and overwhelming. It is a transition that includes modifications to present circumstances and, as creatures of habit, most of us like familiarity and regular routines. We like to know where we belong, what role we play and how we fit in. But, what if change was for the best and it would improve health, happiness and overall satisfaction with life?

It is no surprise that moving from a family home of many years is not a simple task. After decades in the same home, seniors are often left with a house full of belongings and memories. The task of cleaning out a full house and downsizing can be daunting. As for memories, they are portable, and you can never have too many. It is the recounting and sharing of your history that keeps those memories alive. They live on in those who remember and share them, not in the homes or places where they happened.

Change is part of life and, as some might say, a change is as good as a rest. Despite a general resistance to change, it is often necessary and can bring with it positive energy and revitalization. In the case of seniors who are living at home alone, this change from their home to a retirement residence - better known as their new home - is also a new lease on life. Retirement living enhances one’s ability to be independent, enjoying life in the company of others who share the same interests. It allows for opportunities to make new friends and possibly reconnect with old ones, while enjoying an array of activities and programs. It is a place where new memories can be made while old ones are shared.

Being at home alone does not offer seniors opportunities for regular social engagement and isolation can lead to mental, emotional and physical health issues. Seniors who move to a retirement residence enjoy a multitude of social activities giving them a greater sense of satisfaction and happiness. Eating nutritious meals leads to improved health, especially when coupled with having access to onsite health care professionals and nursing services. Ultimately, these benefits of retirement living, along with the absence of household maintenance and chores, eliminate stress, providing peace of mind for residents and their families. Seniors who have made the move will tell you the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks of change.  
 
For more information and to book a tour, please contact Jenn at (902) 802.0346 or email jenn.walker@theberkeley.com. She would love to take you for a tour to see all the benefits of retirement living!
Choir at The Berkeley

Celebrating the Season and Enjoying Life Every Day of the Year

By Catherine Campbell, December 17, 2018

At The Berkeley, we celebrate life and seniors every day of the year. We provide personal, customized comfort and the freedom to live well in retirement. For seniors who call our buildings ‘home’, we take that commitment very seriously, and we like to think we provide even more than that. Maintaining and building relationships is at the heart of what we do. Our residents and staff are like family, lending our buildings their inherent warmth and comfort. Having a very social and active environment available for our residents is an important aspect of retirement living and it is the best way to keep seniors active and involved. Residents may choose to participate or not but having opportunities to engage with others regularly is extremely important, not to mention a basic human need. This is especially true during the holiday season. We offer a varied and interesting line-up of in-house activities and entertainment throughout the year but during the holidays, we add events and activities that highlight and celebrate all that is special about the season. It is our ability to bring people together for activities and social gatherings that makes living at The Berkeley so inviting any day of the year! We invite you to come see all the benefits of retirement living for yourself. Please come for a visit to enjoy the festivities during December!

For more information or to book a tour, visit www.theberkeley.com or call Jenn Walker at 902.802.0346. She would love the opportunity to take you for a tour to see all the benefits of retirement living for yourself!
Guy playing pool

Life at The Berkeley ~ The Loneliness Factor Eliminated

By Catherine Campbell, December 3, 2018

The advantages of living at The Berkeley are countless. The intention of a retirement residence is to provide safety, security and varying levels of health-related assistance. However, the most invaluable benefit of all is the opportunity to socialize with others whenever and however one chooses.  A full calendar of scheduled events provides daily opportunities to be social. Lounges on every floor allow for the possibility of a casual conversation or a chance game of cards.  Mealtimes are not only a fabulous time for chatting with friends and neighbours, but also provide residents with a healthy, nutritious meal three times a day, not to mention freedom from the chores of shopping and meal preparation.

Being lonely can cause mental, emotional and physical strife which is not only unnecessary, but also tough on family and friends. The attachment to one’s home can interfere with the enjoyment of life if it means the person is alone on a regular basis. If getting out of the house becomes an inconvenience, and having visits becomes the expectation, stress can be the result for everyone. Having the ability to walk out of your apartment at The Berkeley to enjoy an exercise class, musical entertainment or a card game is a brilliant way to combat this problem.
 
The Berkeley believes in creating a socially active community as a way to enhance overall health and wellness.  Our buildings are welcoming and warm.  If you have a loved one who is lonely or having trouble getting out regularly, come visit one of our four locations to see for yourself why many seniors have chosen to call The Berkeley home.

For more information and to book a tour, please call Jenn at (902) 802.0346 or email her at jenn.walker@theberkeley.com. She would love the opportunity to take you for a tour to see all the benefits of retirement living for yourself!
Ladies having fun at The Berkeley

Retirement Living – Social and Worry-free Convenience

By Catherine Campbell, November 26, 2018

Moving is always a big job no matter what your age or stage in life, but for a senior it can be quite overwhelming. Deciding to make a change from a house to an apartment/condo, the down-sizing and a change of lifestyle, can add a lot of pressure until you consider that it might be just the change that is needed!

With a house, there are many chores, both inside and out, and you either do them yourself, pay someone or you neglect them. In each scenario, there is more negative than positive for a senior. It is costly, you can hurt or tire yourself unnecessarily or you can be left with a house no one wants to buy because it has fallen to a state of disrepair. If you are finding that house maintenance is getting to be too much, it is probably time to look at a move and retirement living might just be the perfect fit, especially if you are living alone, but for couples it is also a wonderful opportunity to socialize with a wider group of people.

The task of dealing with material possessions is overwhelming, but once finished, it is a welcome relief! At The Berkeley, there are different apartment sizes to choose from all with a decent amount of storage. The unknown of leaving a place of comfort and moving to a new environment can be stressful, but it can also be a welcome change and a source of rejuvenation. Retirement living is all about convenience, social interaction and community engagement. At The Berkeley we want our residents to be active and engaged with a sense of belonging to a community where they have access to a variety of activities and events.

It is our goal to meet the needs of our residents, and we are all ears when it comes to new ideas for activities! Recently, we added a program called ‘Dining In with Gloria’ in response to residents who mentioned missing the fun of preparing a meal for a group. It has been a hit! Once a month, eight people sign up, help to prepare the meal and then sit down to enjoy it together. It is a true celebration of community and the saying ‘many hands make light work’.

For more information or to book a tour, visit www.theberkeley.com or call Jenn Walker at 902.802.0346. She would love the opportunity to take you for a tour to see all the benefits of retirement living for yourself!
Christmas gifts

An Ongoing Tradition – The Berkeley continues to help Home Instead Spread Christmas Joy

By Catherine Campbell, November 12, 2018

The holiday season with its bright lights and glitter, its festive music and merriment is not always a happy time of year for some people. Expectations can be high to be happy and joyous and that’s not always possible. Home Instead’s Be a Santa to a Senior program is something unique that has been taking place for several years now, and it is happening again this holiday season! It is a program that benefits local seniors in need during the holiday season which can be very daunting for people who are in hospital, have limited means and/or no family with who to enjoy the festivities of the season. It is an initiative to help those seniors who are isolated or financially strapped at Christmas. There are literally hundreds, if not thousands, of seniors in our community who have no family and are alone. The Berkeley decided to get involved because we recognize the importance of family, support for seniors, community involvement and holiday spirit.

Launched each November from The Berkeley Gladstone with the help of CTV’s Cyril Lunney, Home Instead Senior Care’s Be a Santa to a Senior has become a program that many in the community look forward to supporting during the holidays. We can all recognize the challenges of not having the support of family and friends during the holidays. To participate, people may drop by any one of four Berkeley locations through the month of November to get a gift tag with a special gift idea for a senior. Home Instead Senior Care, along with community volunteers, collect all the gifts, wrap and ultimately distribute them to seniors in their homes and in care facilities/hospitals. A gift-wrapping party hosted by Home Instead Senior Care is always a great celebration to mark the initiative’s successful end. Each year, the mountain of gifts grows, and more and more volunteers are needed to warp and distribute the gifts in a timely manner. Halifax Regional Police do the lion share of distributing the gifts, but it takes quite a team of volunteers to pull off this impressive and worthwhile program. For more information, or to participate in the Be a Santa to a Senior program, you can visit www.beasantatoasenior.ca, call Home Instead – 902.429.2273 or visit one of four Berkeley locations in Metro:

The Berkeley Gladstone – 2633 Gladstone Street – 902.492.3700
The Berkeley Halifax – 5266 Green Street – 902.429.2222
The Berkeley Dartmouth – 35 Eisener Blvd – 902.434.9415
The Berkeley Bedford – 2 Convoy Run – 902.835.6222
In the dining room

Retirement Living – Seeing is Believing

By Catherine Campbell, October 22, 2018

Living in a retirement residence is a bit of a misunderstood concept and, though not the same at all, it is often compared to living in a nursing home. Moving to a retirement residence is a choice you make to improve and truly enjoy your life. It allows for peace of mind, safety, security, convenience and a multitude of opportunities to socialize. It is a fantastic solution for anyone who is lonely, tired of grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning and worrying about indoor and outdoor household maintenance.

Here’s how it works at The Berkeley – you rent an apartment, decorate and furnish it with your own belongings in a building with people of a similar generation and interests. With four buildings to choose from, you pick the location that suits you best. You have well-balanced, delicious meals in the dining room allowing for daily chats with friends and neighbours. Housekeeping cleans your apartment and washes and changes your bed linens and towels once a week. To keep everyone active and engaged, you have a variety of activities in which to participate throughout the day, week and month. The bonus is that there are health care professionals on duty 24-hours a day, so you can rest-assured that if you need assistance, you will get it. There are also a variety of services that you can obtain as required. The bottom line is that you are free to enjoy your life, in any way you choose, while someone else takes care of the chores. It is a win-win situation.

Many people find it difficult to leave a family house. It can be a daunting task to down-size, not to mention, leaving behind the cherished memories of a family home. However, believe it or not, a retirement residence quickly becomes home; a place you will feel comfortable, welcome and safe. Belonging to a community is exceptionally important and it allows for a well-rounded lifestyle with options and convenience. Sometimes, you must see it to believe it, so please come for a tour and see all the benefits of retirement living for yourself!

To learn more about The Berkeley and to book a tour, visit www.theberkeley.com or call Jenn at (902) 802-0346.
Christmas choir

Enjoy the Season without the Worry of Chores

By Catherine Campbell, October 8, 2018

Every season brings its joys and challenges. As the weather begins to change, we cannot help but think of the chores associated with the season even though we might look forward to many aspects of what is to come.

For many, it starts out a welcome opportunity to get out in the fresh air for exercise, to work on a project or to enjoy a satisfying hobby like gardening. However, the shine wears off that penny quickly in a season like autumn as leaves drop in incessant numbers daily for weeks on end. Let us not even broach the subject of winter, and snow shoveling, because that goes on and on for months, most often including the element of surprise! Rarely done at a leisurely pace on a lazy Sunday afternoon, but in a panic to get out of the driveway and to work or an appointment on time.

For some, and particularly as people age, these chores can be too strenuous and can cause back strain, falls, broken bones and heart events. At this point, one must consider outsourcing these chores, creating an added household expense or an imposition on family and friends who already have their own properties to maintain.

A perfect solution for seniors is to move to a retirement residence, like The Berkeley, so they may enjoy the seasonal changes without the hassle and burden of the work involved in property maintenance. This solution takes care of seasonal chores as well as indoor household maintenance, and it does not place a burden on family, friends and neighbours. In fact, it readily allows seniors to enjoy many festivities and activities that occur throughout the year which are always geared to the season, holiday or occasion. It is a win-win situation, and family and friends are always welcome to join in the fun!

To learn more about The Berkeley and to book a tour, visit www.theberkeley.com or call Jenn at (902) 802-0346.
Group photo

The Power of Community

By Catherine Campbell, September 24, 2018

Over a lifetime, people might belong to communities for many reasons – shared interests, companionship, the opportunity to add depth to life experiences and for support. The community that acts as a support network can be irreplaceable. Change is inevitable, however, and support networks and communities can shrink just when they are needed most. As people age, and their independence gradually declines, they naturally require more support. When it’s absent, for whatever reason, the result is often stress, anxiety and a premature decline in physical health.
 
Jerry and Sid met at The Berkeley Gladstone, and very quickly a friendship evolved.  They have many shared interests and enjoy each other’s company. Sid, who has been wheelchair-bound for about a year, says there is no question he is better off living in a retirement residence. ‘I have much greater mobility because I live at The Berkeley.’ And, Jerry stays busy helping Sid wheel around.  It is a win-win situation – Sid gets where he needs to go, and Jerry is pleased to be of assistance – and both feel blessed for the companionship.

Shirley and Jean moved into The Berkeley Gladstone with their cats. Sharing a love for felines, they too became fast friends. Jean admits she would only move to The Berkeley if she could bring her cat. The dynamic companions are very active in the community, partaking in every activity The Berkeley offers.  

For seniors, retirement living – with its built-in support network – can be the perfect antidote to loneliness, stress and anxiety. It can also lead to a greater sense of independence. Not having to depend on family and friends’ visits, simply knowing there are many people to rely on daily, offers peace of mind. It is equally as important to have a community of people with whom to regularly engage, share your memories from a generational perspective and with whom you have common interests. Friends, new and old, add joy to life at any age.

For more information and to book a tour, please call (902) 802.0346 or visit theberkeley.com
The Berkeley group outing

Retirement Living – the Secret to a Great Lifestyle for Seniors

By Catherine Campbell, September 10, 2018

Retirement living is an opportunity to live well, and it is ideal if considered a choice, not a forced solution to a problem. At The Berkeley, our goal is to ensure that all of our residents are living life the way they want, with assistance or not. We pride ourselves on enhancing the lives of seniors by supporting their independence, accommodating their needs and providing them with options and convenience.

Moving to a retirement residence does involve a change from one home to another home, and often requires down-sizing to an apartment, but it also means having everything you need in one place - nutritious meals, access to health professionals, housekeeping and maintenance services, a multitude of new friends and the opportunity to engage in a variety of activities. As an added convenience at The Berkeley, all four buildings are all well-placed, within walking distance to grocery stores, pharmacies and health clinics, while also on bus routes giving residents who no longer drive easy access to transportation.

Often conversations about retirement residences only arise when changes are noticed, such as poor nutrition, a bad fall or noticeable physical, emotional or mental changes that are a concern for family. The secret is to move before this happens. Moving to a retirement residence prior to issues arising can help slow the progression of decline that naturally happens as we age, and it gives both residents and their families peace of mind. This natural decline can be more profound when seniors remain living at home alone. Many people wait until there is a health event which might in fact hinder their ability to move to a retirement residence at all.

For optimal health and wellness as you age, surround yourself with people you enjoy and stay engaged in activities you love. The secret is not to wait until it is too late to enjoy the many benefits of retirement living. Residents of The Berkeley will tell you that they are happier having moved to their new home, surrounded by a community of like-minded people, rather than having stayed in their old home alone.

To learn more about The Berkeley and to book a tour, visit www.theberkeley.com or call Jenn at (902) 802-0346.