The Incredible Value of PARC’s Independent Living Residences

in Independent Living

Written by PARC Retirement Living

Resident petting her dog

Seniors contemplating their next life step may be wondering if retirement living is really worth the cost. On first glance, the monthly fee can seem high compared to staying in a long-time home. That is, until you realize just how much the price covers – and how much extra value you get that can’t simply be measured by a dollar amount. Like happiness, well-being, quality of life, freedom from worry: all in abundance at PARC Retirement Living communities.

Here are five areas of value that PARC communities deliver, along with extra value you can’t put a price on, whether you’re a senior looking for your own accommodation or the child of retirees who wants the best for your parents.

Senior couple calculating costs1. The lifestyle package

Value for dollar: When contemplating the cost of retirement living, it’s essential to compare the true Cost of Living with a residence’s monthly rate. The price tag may seem high, until you factor in the many different costs associated with living at home: rent or taxes, utilities, transport, dining, home and yard maintenance, housekeeping, laundry, security and more. All-inclusive communities deliver the most value and can be more affordable in the long run. Plus, as a special offer in these challenging times, PARC is currently offering a rent freeze for 2021 – providing even more comfort that costs will stay affordable and manageable.

What you can’t put a price on: A worry-free lifestyle brings incredible peace of mind for seniors and their loved ones. Consider all of the time, effort and money a homeowner spends on maintenance and upkeep, for example. Mowing the lawn. Cleaning the gutters. Vacuuming and dusting. These chores become even more time-consuming and challenging as we age, which can be a source of anxiety. PARC eliminates this anxiety, giving seniors all of that precious time back, making it theirs to do with as they please. And the children of retirement-age seniors get their lives back, too, no longer having to worry about their parent living alone, without much social interaction or support. That time and mental energy is invaluable.

 “No grocery shopping, cooking or housework. And, no worries. The people here have become our friends. We couldn’t be happier.”

–PARC Residents Jean & Bill

Executive Chef Josef serving resident2. Independence and freedom

Value for dollar: PARC’s Independent Living+ Program packages in everything needed for a vibrant and healthy lifestyle: dining and nutrition, arts and culture programming, physical and mental fitness, health and wellness support, transportation and more. PARC residents only have to leave their community when they want to – or not at all. (They’ve been free to come and go throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, because we’ve never been locked down, unlike public assisted-living and long-term-care facilities.)

Here is a taste of the independent-living package our residents enjoy day to day, allowing them to retain their autonomy and self-sufficiency:

  • Chef-prepared meals in casual and sit-down settings
  • PARC Smart dining options for those who want to focus on portion control or other healthy choices
  • Complimentary shuttles or bus excursions
  • Weekly light housekeeping
  • Fully customized gym
  • Fitness classes taught by Active Wellness Coaches experienced in all aspects of mobility and wellness
  • Total Body Wellness programming, for the mind, body and soul
  • Wellness Nurse consultations and arranged supportive care if needed
  • A library and business centre, plus computer rooms and computer lessons
  • On-site hair salons
  • Interactive social programs: arts, culture and educational classes, PARC bus outings, musical performances and extraordinary themed events

What you can’t put a price on: PARC’s brand of independence means seniors are free to control their day-to-day lives, which fosters a strong sense of well-being. If they do need support, our Wellness Nurse can arrange a variety of daily care programs from home-support providers. Loved ones, in turn, know their senior family member is safe in a healthy, caring environment, which relieves a huge burden of worry. For families, retirement living also alleviates responsibility for things like errand-running, meals, transportation and entertainment. Families can focus on being families, secure in the knowledge that their loved one is secure and protected, especially during COVID-19.

“I’m really enjoying the chef-prepared meals, and have even put on some needed weight since I moved in two months ago! I join in exercise classes three to four times a week. I also really appreciate the friendship and laughter at the special Friday afternoon socials. I’ve been meeting some very nice friends here – yes, I should have made this choice years ago!”

–PARC Resident Pauline

Summerhill PARC views3. Location and surroundings

Value for dollar: PARC’s beautifully appointed homes come with all the bells and whistles. Our senior living apartments are bright and spacious, complete with kitchenettes or full kitchens to make residents feel at home. They are located in the heart of their communities, within walking distances of community centres, parks and shopping and more. All offer spectacular views of ocean, mountains or city.

Oceana PARC putting green and greenhouse

What you can’t put a price on: We all know the first rule of real estate: location is everything. The same is true for lifestyle. The value of a vibrant location, close to amenities, shops, lively community, parks, nature and more, can’t be understated when it comes to seniors’ well-being. Even the quality of the immediate living space can have a profound impact on health and happiness. And the sheer quality of life at PARC is difficult to put into words, but truly priceless. Imagine sitting on one of our patios surrounded by lush foliage, strolling our natural setting gardens, teeing up on a putting green, relaxing in one of our fireside lounges or sampling fine dining in one of our restaurants – this is what life is like here every day! Our communities are even pet-friendly, so residents never have to undergo the stress of separating from a four-legged family member, and can enjoy all the life-enriching benefits and happiness that pets bring for seniors.

I usually have my breakfast in my room, and then we go for a little walk, my Shih Tzu, Daisy Mae and I. Daisy Mae is the star of Cedar Springs. Everybody loves her.

–PARC Resident Cathy

Summerhill PARC in-house farmers style market and executive chef

4. Safety and wellness

Value for dollar: With B.C.’s COVID-19 numbers rising, there is greater value than ever to living in a protected community with sanitation protocols and health supports built in. PARC, deliver even more value in the form of dedicated wellness professionals offering state-of-the art programming and support – plus the ability to quickly and seamlessly respond to emergencies like COVID-19.

To date, PARC Retirement Living communities have stayed completely COVID-free. Even in non-pandemic times, PARC residents are protected by multiple levels of health-and-safety defence, including onsite wellness nurses, 24-hour staff support, safety pendant and emergency pull cords and video monitoring of entrances. It wasn’t a stretch to step up sanitation protocols quickly when the outbreak occurred, bringing in a host of other measures to protect residents including industry-leading safe-tour protocol for prospective residents, that make everyone feel safe.

Since PARC is privately owned and family-run, our communities are able to adapt quickly and implement special programs when needed. To help residents stay socially connected during the pandemic, we’ve created PARC Family Meetup Centres, pod-like portables with plexiglass dividers inside, where residents can visit safely with family and friends.

This past summer, PARC began offering PARC Safe Al Fresco Dining, outdoor meals with physical distancing in place, along with in-house farmer’s-style markets where residents can shop safely. We also recently launched PARC Family Eatery, a private restaurant where residents and families can enjoy a meal together safely. Our new iPad lending libraries allow residents to explore and connect online. Or, they can access new resources like the Virtual Speaker Series and our list of Safe Choice Options for personal services during the pandemic.

“Beautiful spacious suites, wonderful meals, and all the activities you care to participate in! The main attraction for me here, though, is the staff. We are truly a community, a feeling of caring that is shared by all.”

–PARC Resident Patricia

What you can’t put a price on: For seniors, health and safety translate directly to happiness and well-being. And that’s never been more true than during the COVID-19 pandemic, when loneliness is so common, and fear of infection may keep seniors from accessing health services or taking care of physical needs. Families may be tempted to isolate from senior loved ones in an attempt to keep them safe. In the end, the senior is either at risk or alone – which isn’t ideal for anyone, and worrisome on so many levels. But in a PARC retirement community, residents are neither of these things, and families are able to visit face-to-face without risking the senior’s safety, thanks to the precautions outlined above, such as our Family Meetup Centres.

Life at PARC is by far the safest and healthiest option for seniors, especially during a pandemic. This is a huge benefit for residents, but also it’s also a tremendous value for family members who want the best for their loved ones.

“My quality of life, as provided by a kind and caring management and staff, has not been diminished by the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, the protective programs to meet the challenges of COVID-19 prevention, have enhanced my feelings of comfort and safety.”

–PARC Resident Ken

Oceana PARC residents smiling

5. Social opportunities and activities

Value for dollar: By design, PARC residences foster social connection, thanks to common spaces such as dining rooms, games rooms and outdoor gardens and patios. We also offer a huge range of social activities, including arts and culture programs, bus trips, fitness and cognitive classes and educational opportunities. Our staff members are engaged, friendly and always helpful.

Better yet, we’ve been able to keep most of these going during the COVID-19 pandemic, with social distancing and other safety protocols in place. Throughout the pandemic, PARC has maintained physical distancing in all gathering areas, including dining spaces, plus maintained classes and activities in smaller groups. At the same time, residents have been encouraged to connect with family and friends via FaceTime, Zoom and other online platforms. On top of our 24-hour staff support, we recently launched a Resident Ambassador program to help new residents feel welcome and settle into their new homes with friendly guidance. Our Ambassadors also answer questions from anyone thinking about moving to PARC.

What you can’t put a price on: Seniors are more at risk of losing social connections than any other demographic, so one of the greatest values of retirement living is a built-in community, with opportunities to socialize, meet friends and stay active. The proven benefits of social interaction for seniors include better cognitive functionless memory decline and better overall health. Connecting with people outside one’s regular circle, as in a retirement-living setting, results in higher levels of physical activity and greater positive moods among seniors.

Ultimately, PARC residents can be as independent or social as they desire. But they never have to feel lonely or face boredom when living in our tight-knit communities, surrounded by the friendly faces of helpful staff and fellow residents. This all adds up to a quality of life that simply isn’t possible to create for seniors living alone.

“I feel safe – everyone on staff has been most gracious and helpful. I feel like ‘I came home’ when I came into Oceana PARC . . . . The staff are friendly and go out of their way to help me!”

–PARC Resident Pauline

Come see our value for yourself! Book a tour, or learn more about our residences:

Mulberry PARC – Burnaby
Cedar Springs PARC – North Vancouver
Summerhill PARC – North Vancouver
Westerleigh PARC – West Vancouver
Oceana PARC – White Rock