Why Moving into a PARC Retirement Community is a Smart Move During a Pandemic

in COVID - 19 News

Written by PARC Retirement Living

Senior friends hanging out

With flu season approaching and B.C.s COVID-19 numbers rising, some seniors might be nervous about making a change in their living arrangements. Some might worry it will be too much hassle. Others have heard about outbreaks in long-term care facilities and fear exposure, or being forced to live in lockdown.  

But in a time when long-term care homes across Canada have been hit hard by COVID-19independent retirement communities like PARC are a safe haven  offering social connection, safety and support. Here are six reasons why the smartest time to move into a PARC Retirement Living residence is now: 

Oceana PARC residents playing board games

1. Its the safest choice

PARC Retirement Living communities are completely COVID-free, and they have been throughout the pandemic. PARC residents have continuously been protected by multiple levels of health-and-safety defence, including an onsite wellness nurse, enhanced cleaning schedule and 24-hour staff support. As the pandemic intensified, it wasnt a stretch to step up sanitation protocols quickly, while bringing in a host of other measures to protect residents from COVID-19, such as contact tracing. As a result, PARC communities haven’t been in lockdown, and residents can come and go at their leisure. They also have multiple options for in-person visiting with family and friends. For instance: the new PARC Family Eatery at Westerleigh PARC. All North Shore PARC residents can reserve and bring guests to this warm-and-inviting restaurant, which has strict COVID safety protocols in place, including physical distancing.

PARCs team has also become creative keeping residents socially connected during the pandemic. For example: PARC Family Meetup Centres, pod-like portables with plexiglass dividers inside, where residents can visit safely with family and friends. PARC recently began offering PARC Safe Al Fresco Dining, outdoor meals with physical distancing in place. And PARC Retirement Living is leading the industry with safe tour protocols, allowing prospective residents and family members to view suites safely. 

PARC Family Eatery

2. PARC communities have everything seniors need onsite

Most seniors understandably dont want to continually run errands or visit busy public spaces while COVID-19 is still out there (especially as the winter flu season approaches, multiplying the risk exponentially). This is one of the best reasons to move into a PARC community today: the PARC lifestyle packages in everything needed for a vibrant, healthy and enriched existence: dining and nutritionarts and culture programmingphysical and mental fitnesshealth and wellness supporttransportation and more. With staff working hard to provide all programming safely, PARC residents only have to leave the community when they want to – or not at all.   

Cedar Springs PARC residents enjoying hot drinks in North Vancouver Plaza

3. Residents are free to come and go

Thanks to all of the safety precautions mentioned above, PARC residences have never needed a lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. As a privately owned company, PARC isnt subject to the enhanced regulations governing provincially supported care homes and facilities. Rather, its communities follow the rules and guidelines set out by B.C. public health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, just like everyone else. 

To date, PARC residences havent restricted residents’ movements, other than keeping a sign-out log for contact tracing, in case its ever needed. New residents are able to move in safely, with a few extra safety precautions and a self-isolation period in effect. PARC also provides all residents with customized Safer Choice Options to help limit risky exposure to situations where residents or PARC feel extra precautions should be taken. 

Summerhill PARC farmers market

4. Extra services and special programs

Since many seniors dont feel safe venturing into the outside world during the pandemic, PARC has added new programming, and opportunities for resident entertainment, education and enrichment. On the PARC Retirement Living blog, residents can find all kinds of helpful tips to support their health and well-being during the pandemic, along with links to virtual learning, travel and entertainment options, including virtual programming with organizations PARC sponsors, such as the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. PARC residences have begun holding indoor farmer’s style markets so residents can grocery-shop close to home. For residents who want to go off-residence for services, the team refers to the PARC Safer Choice options.  

PARC has also been hosting a virtual speaker series, Pathways Back Toward Calm, on its YouTube channel, to help support seniors psychologically with the challenges of the pandemic: 

Real estate market

5. The real estate market is hot right now

Despite many predictions, the B.C. real estate market didnt crash, or even slow down, as a result of COVID-19. Markets across the Lower Mainland posted record sales this summer, up 28% for the month of July compared to June, and 22% over the previous year. Province-wide, home sales rose 17% year over year in June, according to the British Columbia Real Estate Association, with nearly 8,200 residential sales in July.   

Whats more, there are currently strict COVID-19 safety procedures in place to protect home sellers and buyers. For instance, virtual tours have replaced many open houses. When its time to tour in person, a formal screening process ensures no one entering the home has travelled in the last two weeks, had contact with an ill person or has any symptoms. Gloves and masks are mandatory for anyone entering the home. 

This means its a great time to sell a home and move into a retirement community. All in all, we’re seeing the result of pent-up demand from both home sellers and buyers, and September looks promising– especially now, before the winter flu season hits. 

Senior couple moving

6. Moving doesn’t have to be a hassle.

Doing it all on your own, from decluttering to packing and hiring movers, can be stressful, especially for seniors moving into retirement living. Most are leaving longtime homes – with years of memories and emotional connections – for much smaller spaces. This is why we recommend hiring a “transition specialist,” to help oversee everything, including setup of your new space. A transition specialist will guide you through all the decisions, from what to take and how to preserve cherished memories to where to donate or sell unneeded possessions. If you are selling your home, they can even provide staging expertise to help your home stand out to potential buyers. Think about it: at the end of moving day, you can walk into your new home and enjoy it immediately, whether you’ve been in your current home for 50 years or only a few. The reduction in stress is truly priceless. Plus, as a cost helper, PARC is currently offering a rent freeze until January 2021.

Oceana PARC residents on bus trip to Burnaby Mountain

7. A vibrant social life

Seniors living alone can lose meaningful social connections at the best of times. During a pandemic, they can become even more socially isolated and bored. But life at PARC is social, even now! With health and safety protocols in place, PARC communities are keeping up full calendars of activities, classes, meals and more – so residents continue to enjoy the vibrant and independent lifestyle theyve come to enjoy.  

By design, independent living communities like PARC foster social connections, thanks to common spaces like dining rooms, games rooms and outdoor gardens and patios. Throughout the recent crisis, PARC has maintained physical distancing in all gathering spaces and hosted multiple classes in smaller groups. At the same time, residents have been encouraged toconnect with family and friends  via FaceTime, Zoom and other online platforms using our PARC iPad lending library or with their own tablets or computers. 

At PARC, seniors never have to struggle with loneliness or face long bouts of boredom. When they want privacy, their suite is their sanctuary. But theyre living in tight-knit communities, where they can participate as much or as little as they like, surrounded all the while by friendly faces. One more reason to make the move today! 

Visit the PARC Retirement Living website to learn more about why we’re the best and safest choice for seniors during the pandemic. We look forward to welcoming you or your senior family member soon! 

Visit our community web pages to learn more about the offerings and lifestyle at each residence: 

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

Book a safe tour today. 

Fully Operational and Still COVID-Free

BC has done well in bringing COVID-19 curve under control and PARC has continued to remain operational and COVID-free.

Learn more