Dynamic. Social. Fun. Friends. Family. Retirement communities present an exciting opportunity where seniors can choose to be part of something bigger.

Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA) members are so committed to the benefits of these nurturing and vibrant communities that on September 22 and 23 they are opening their doors across Ontario to show neighbourhoods just what they have been missing.

“In all sincerity, my wife and I are very, very happy here,” says Art, speaking candidly about life at the Toronto-area retirement community that the couple calls home.

“What helped to make the decision was the staff that we dealt with at the time – courteous and helpful, with information galore. I met the whole staff when we were ready to move in. Everyone was there – from the chef to the general manager. Before we even moved in here, I befriended everybody! It was absolutely wonderful.”

Art believes the decision to move to a retirement community is all about perspective. “The most important thing when you move into a place like this, is what are you looking for? Not just that you have a place to sleep and eat. When you’re older you need conversation, you need contact with people.”

In fact, a 2018 poll conducted by DART Insight and Communications shows that 96 per cent of Canadians agree that social interaction is important for seniors’ health and wellbeing, while 91 per cent of Canadians agree that they do not want to be socially isolated in their later years.

For Barbara, who has lived in her community just over a year, it’s the perfect place to make friends and stay active. She participates in monthly planning meetings to bring forward new ideas and says, “It’s been a great experience for me, mainly because of the people.”

Since his retirement, Art continues to work as a consultant, but enjoys spending more time with his wife. He’s also interested in educational activities, currently attending a series on events that changed the world. “I wouldn’t miss it for anything. Afterwards, we get together and discuss it with one another and that is very interesting because you find out what others got out of it, and it’s all different. It’s a community, and you have to be thankful that they offer these things to you. We all benefit.”

Mary, who resides in a community south of Peterborough, shares this sentiment. “We need places like this to enjoy every day, to interact with other human beings, and to appreciate life.”

The Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA) represents 93.6 per cent of all retirement suites in Ontario, accommodating over 56,000 seniors. ORCA Open House takes place September 22 and 23. Find communities near you at orcaretirement.com/openhouse.

Retirement home open house