Pet-friendly retirement communities in Western Canada

Animals bring joy and happiness to almost everyone, and seniors are no exception. Most pet owners will agree that a warm snuggle from your pet is highly therapeutic, or taking your companion on a walk is the best excuse to get some fresh air and absorb some sunshine! Pets give enrich our lives as much as we do theirs, and they can make a huge difference in our daily lives. One of the biggest concerns among people considering making the transition to residing in our retirement community and senior housing facilities is what will happen to their beloved pets, and if they will they be able to continue living with them.

The Positive Benefits of Living with Pets – Or Bringing One to Visit!
Pets are our best friends and companions, and losing contact with them can be devastating. That’s why many of our retirement communities not only allow pets to visit but also even allow them to move in permanently with the approval of the general manager! For specific details, contact the locations closest to you. Some exceptions may apply to complex-care facilities.

The medical establishment has long recognized the benefits of pet and animal therapy in retirement communities. Here are some of the benefits seniors can gain from living with a pet.

1. Improved Health & Stress Relief. Holding an animal has been proven to lower blood pressure. While petting a dog or cat has a tangible calming effect on almost everyone.

2. Exercise. Dogs need to be walked at least once a day, which gets seniors moving and outside in to the fresh air. Cats enjoy playtime too. Even if a senior can no longer live with or exclusively care for their pet, a family member is more than welcome to bring their pet to visit!

3. Companionship. Pets can alleviate some of the isolation that can affect seniors, especially if family and friends no longer live close by. Having an animal may also help connect them with other pet owners, creating friendships and opportunities to socialize. Going on daily walks or visiting the park is a great opportunity to connect with the community and make new friends! Not to mention the unwavering devotion and unconditional love that pets give their family.

4. Routine. Having a pet provides structure and purpose, requiring the pet owner to supply love, food, interaction and exercise. A regular routine can provide people with a sense of fulfillment at any age.

5. Shift of Focus. Attending to a pet can help distract those with ailments from their own pain or discomfort, which otherwise might occupy much of their thoughts and contribute to lowering their mood. A visit from an animal lifts their spirits and provides entertainment!

6. Reduced depression. Failing health and declining independence cause many seniors to fall into depression. A pet can help prevent this. Pets keep you motivated, active and engaged each day!

Having a pet is incredibly beneficial to the elderly. If they aren’t able to care for a pet on their own, many senior communities allow family members to bring pets to visit or provide sessions with specially trained therapy animals from the community.

If you’d like to bring your pet to visit a loved one in a retirement setting, remember to check the rules first. A visiting pet should have a calm, friendly disposition, must meet vaccination requirements and must be in good health. The best way to ensure your pet meets the criteria for visiting your friend in senior living is to ask the management about the rules.

Pet-Friendly Senior housing in Western Canada and Quebec
Retirement Concepts has pet-friendly retirement communities in Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec. We recognize that pets spread happiness and love wherever they go, and we support the enrichment they bring to the lives of our residents and staff! Contact us today for more information and to speak with a Community Relations Manager to learn more about your nearest Retirement Concepts community.

Group of senior looking funny videos on a digital device

Spending time with friends and family members is vitally important during our senior years. Especially when isolation can become a very real problem due to mobility issues, health complications and more. Studies have shown that seniors who socialize within their retirement communities actually experience better physical and emotional health overall! At Retirement Concepts, our senior living communities and residences across Quebec, Alberta and British Columbia offer a rich diversity of unique programs and events that help keep our residents active, happy and social!

Here’s a breakdown of the major health benefits of keeping socially active:

Physical Benefits of Socializing

Emotional Benefits of Socializing

Preventing Social Isolation

Social isolation can unfortunately be quite common among seniors. It’s caused by various factors, such as a lack of transportation, being on a fixed income, difficulty moving around or travelling, and overall declining health. Plus, some seniors don’t have family or friends living nearby who are able to visit regularly. At each of our retirement communities, our residents can find plenty of activities to stay active or social that will also meet their unique care needs.

Socially isolated seniors are at a higher risk of health problems including depression and cognitive decline. Fortunately, there are many opportunities provided in our senior housing communities to help our residents overcome isolation, including but not limited to the following prospects:

1. Volunteering. Volunteers are always needed. You can look into donating your free time to fundraisers and charity events to see if you can lend a hand and make some new connections in the community!

2. Clubs. Many of our senior living communities and have free clubs pertaining to a wide range of interests, from books to crafts to sports and more. If you want to venture beyond, nearby libraries and community centers also host activity and club nights!

3. Events. Take advantage of the events and games nights organized by your retirement community. We are always coming up with new and fresh ideas!

4. Hobbies. Find something you enjoy doing or making. Some of our residences have community shared gardens or host hobby nights. You’ll be surprised at how it leads you to likeminded people and you might find something new that you like to do!

5. Seniors’ transportation. There are many free shuttles and discounted transportation services designed specifically for seniors. This means you can easily get to places and events where you can meet and mingle with others.

6. Pets. If you’re able, having a pet that needs to be walked and cared for will get you out and about. You’ll automatically bond with the other pet owners you run into.

7. Fitness classes. Joining a fitness class is a double win: it’ll keep you physically fit and you’ll be with others who share your goals.

At Retirement Concepts, keeping people happy and connected is important to us. Contact us today to speak with one of our Community Relations Managers to learn more about your nearest Retirement Concepts community and schedule a tour!

Loneliness can be difficult for those living on their own

There are many wonderful benefits to retirement living especially around the holiday season. The holidays are a wonderful time of year to relax, unwind and connect with family and friends. However, it can also be a difficult time for those living on their own. Statistic Canada states as many as 1.4 million Canadian seniors report feeling lonely, and studies are showing that loneliness can negatively affect both physical and mental health. Regardless of the level of care, retirement living provides opportunities for interaction at every corner. From nurses to care aids to fellow residents and activities that provide fulfillment each day, retirement living provides instant friendship to seniors who might otherwise have felt the burden of living alone.

A Unique Community, Rosemary Heights Seniors Village

Retirement communities like Rosemary Heights Seniors Village acknowledge the important role seniors play in our communities and the need to keep them integrated in society. It is a community that provides a campus-of-care that subscribes to a three-tiered pillar approach to care: Independent Living, Assisted Living and Complex Care. Located in Vancouver’s Lower Mainland, Rosemary Height’s campus-of-care is what makes the community truly unique in that they allow Surrey residents to stay in a familiar setting as they age or as their level-of-care advances. It provides great comfort to families of residents knowing their loved ones don’t have to relocate to another retirement community if they require a move from one level of care to another. Even couples with different levels of care can find a home together at Rosemary Heights.


Although the move to retirement living can feel like a drastic change for many seniors who are used to their day-to-day routines, the benefits far outweigh the negatives as the change can provide a sense of security, community and constant social opportunities. Is your loved one is looking to make the move to Retirement Living in 2019? Retirement Concepts has twenty locations across the province of British Columbia. Visit for more information.

Rosemary Heights Seniors Village staff wish you all readers a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous new year. To arrange a visit to Rosemary Heights Seniors Village call (778) 545–5000.


Over 600 Seniors attended the free event, the Seniors Light Tour in the City of Kamloops. More than 20 city buses travelling in a caravan to brightly lit neighbourhoods with Christmas décor and lights was then then followed by entertainment, hot chocolate and of course, Santa Claus! A large caroling sing along followed in the Sandman Centre. A heartwarming and delightful sight to see as we enter into the Christmas season! Over 25 of the residents from the Kamloops Seniors Village attended this annual event to take part in this festive event. Kamloops Seniors Village has regular outings for residents. From lunches out to special events, Kamloops Seniors Village takes part in regular fun activities. For more information or to request a tour of Kamloops Seniors Village check out our website at or call directly (250) 571-1800


With the cold season starting, Retirement Concepts communities have started our annual Granny’s Socks and Toques Drive at all locations. Drop into any RC location with new socks or toques until January 30th and we will be donating to a local shelter or community group who is in need. Help keep someone warm this winter!

Explore the Selkirk Seniors Village

Couples enjoy ‘campus-of-care’ approach at Gorge-area retirement community

Conveniently located on the Selkirk Waterfront near the Gorge Waterway is a seniors’ village offering couples the opportunity to retire together, regardless of their level-of-care.

Selkirk Seniors Village offers what’s known as a campus-of-care, which allows residents to stay in the familiar surroundings of the community as they age or as their level-of-care advances. Couples are welcome and encouraged at Selkirk Seniors Village and currently, 16 couples reside in the picturesque Victoria community.

Making the move to Retirement Living can be a difficult one for seniors as they adjust to life in the surroundings of a new home. Selkirk Seniors Village offers peace of mind, providing seniors with a home away from home that they can continue to enjoy into their golden years along with their loved ones.

Being separated from a spouse can be a distressing experience and one that Diane McBeath didn’t wish upon her parents as she looked for a retirement community for both of them last year. Both of Diane’s parents are now residing in Selkirk Seniors Village after a gut-wrenching process to find their new home together.

“This month marked their 70th wedding anniversary. They have lived a long, happy life together and could not have been separated in the final years of their lives without profound heartbreak,” says Diane. “Since moving into Selkirk Seniors Village, their health has improved as they are watched and cared for 24 hours a day. My parents are most grateful and feel ‘they are treated like royalty.’”

Diane came away with great respect for retirement communities like Selkirk Seniors Village that allow couples to remain together. ”This is a rarity in senior care and yet vitally important to the health and happiness of couples,” Diane says.

Joan and her husband Dave have been living in Selkirk for over a year. While Dave receives complex care, Joan lives in one of the independent living apartments in the community. “I have found this living situation very helpful,” says Joan. “I can see Dave every day, he enjoys his visits to my apartment and friends find it very convenient that they can visit us both at the same time.”

For more information about Selkirk Seniors Village please visit or call us at 250-940-1028.

The Wellesley resident, John, looks for three things when he is thinking about his culinary choices. FLAVOUR, NUTRITION AND VARIETY!

He says that “The Wellesley meals are the best. Above all they have the flavour and everything I am looking for”.

His Mother was a professional chef when he was growing up. He always had delicious and nutritious variety, even if money was scare during the depression and wartimes.

John also ate this way during his 37 year career as a behavioral science consultant to companies such as Imperial Oil, Canadian National, Canadian Pacific Railways and the Federal Government.

He ate at the finest hotels while traveling on business. Now in post retirement, he lives at The Wellesley where he experiences the same quality of dining at every meal. John exclaims, ” Its’ like being on a cruise, every meal has great flavour, nutritious and three or four choices on the menu. If you need another option, residents can order something to their preferences and tastes prepared with the same level of care and quality.” John has decided he will not take a cruise this year as he has it all at The Wellesley.

Come in and see the team at the Wellesley for more information. Meet Connie, our wonderful Chef who drives it all in the Kitchen with her incredible creations.

Summer is gone, the leaves or coming out on the trees and October is upon us with the chilly weather.

Just the perfect time to head south, biking in Italy or on a cruise.

Now is the perfect time for Seniors to take and trip and enjoy warmer weather in other locations. A few tips to keep in mind when travelling:

When at a hotel: Never place the “Clean Room” sign on your door. This is a perfect opportunity for someone to know you are not their before the cleaner get in. Instead, call the from desk and let them know you are leaving, that someone may go in and clean the room.

When eating: Watch what you eat! When eating in different locations you can tend to have a more sensitive tummy. Some medications also do not react well to certain types of foods. Be sure to check with you Dr. if certain foods should be on your radar.

When wearing Jewellery: Do not wear too much bling! Keep to a minimum. Wearing expensive watches, rings, fancy cameras can make you a target for thieves.

Get Insurance: When travelling, there are many different pitfalls of taking an adventure. Falls, being hurt or getting sick in another country are all possible mishaps. Be sure to have some good travel insurance before you go!

Medication: Be sure to have ample supply of your medications. There is no way to know if there is a delay in returning or dropping them in the ocean! Always have a good supply and store it in two separate locations.

Walking Shoes: Make sure to have the right walking shoes. In some locations there are off balance rough stones, uneven areas or crazy hills. Be sure to have well worked into shoes for comfort and ease of your travels.

Keep friends or family informed: Inform friends, family or even the concierge what your plans are for the day. Let them know when they should expect you back and keep a cell phone in case of emergency!

Enjoy the Fall Weather and take a Vacation!

Retirement Home Living

It is a hard process to start thinking about your aging parent needing a new place to live. It could be they need more care or require to be in a safe environment. Where do you start?

  1. The first place you may wish to reach out to is your local health authority for an assessment. It is important to know what type of care your Mother or Father would need.
  2. Our parents have been making decisions all their lives and it is very important to have them a part of the decision making process for the choosing of a seniors residence as well. Making sure they like the social aspects, food choices and room options are all very important aspects to your parents home. Let them be a part of it.
  3. Know the budget. There are many options to seniors residences from independent living, assisted living and complex care to campus’ of care. All different price ranges. What would be the best for your parent?
  4. Have a tour or two. Tour three or more communities. Find the right one! The only way to know, is to tour.  See how the residents are, activities and even try a meal.

This will be their next home and it is essential to find the right seniors community for your parent. For more information you can always reach out to one of our Marketing Managers at one of our local community’s.

We’ve blasted through July, and the Dog Days of Summer are well upon us. We hope you have taken advantage of the many ways to keep cool that many of our cities and towns have to offer.

The great weather and higher temperatures certainly does not slow down the residents of our communities. As we continue to be active, we of course take extra precautions by staying hydrated and keeping protected by the sun. Let’s do our part to ensure we assist those who may not keep this top of mind – our children and of course, our four-legged friends may need a gentle reminder.

We definitely see our neighbours out and about more often during the Summer months as well. Ensuring the well-being of our senior community members and those with special needs from time-to-time might not keep you cool, but it sure will make you cool! Enjoy the last few weeks of August before the school buses start rolling again!