Seasons Retirement Communities make change a good thing
By Maureen Littlejohn
Go into one of the 11 Seasons Retirement Communities throughout southern Ontario and you’ll notice the feeling right away. Residents and staff are smiling. “We are not the drab old places that used to be equated with the words ‘old folks home,’” says LeighAnne Voll, Vice-President of Resident and Guest Services. Here, staff delight in providing the little ‘wows’ that make everyday life a pleasure. It could be a cup of coffee the way a resident likes waiting for them when they come to breakfast or bed sheets tucked in just so at night.
Each community offers a wide range of suite styles, from spacious studios to two bedroom suites, to some with single-story townhouses with garages. Housekeeping and meals are included. Hot and cold breakfast choices, a buffet lunch and enticing menus at dinner create a sense of anticipation. Recreation programs are designed with input from residents and reflect their personal interests. Zumba classes, computer workshops, oil painting, arts and crafts, singing, and outings, are just a few options.
What makes Seasons Retirement Communities stand apart from the competition is committed staff. During recruitment, soft skills and a propensity for customer service are given the highest priority. “We look for enthusiastic people whose energy is infectious. We hire people who want to come to work and have a great day,” explains Voll.
When the company formed five years ago, the founders looked for an inspirational model and found it in Disney, a company known for its great customer service. “We partnered with Disney Institute for three years to learn their business principles and employee training methods. We now make sure to talk constantly about company culture and the importance of interacting with each other and our customers,” says Voll. Seasons Retirement Communities focuses on continually improving. “What we do great today we want to do better tomorrow,” she explains.
Despite the welcoming environment at Seasons Retirement Communities, it is not always easy for someone to trade their home for a retirement community. When is the best time to consider making a shift? “There is no magic age or challenge,” says Voll. People come at different times for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they have lost a spouse and are lonely. Medication management may have become an issue, or they may be unsteady on their feet and fear falling. “The biggest compliment we get is when someone says, ‘I should have done this sooner,’” she says, pointing out that there is nothing as stressful as having to make a life change during a crisis. “Choose a place you enjoy and you’ll prolong your life. You’ll eat better and you’ll have someone checking on your health and mental wellbeing.” For those who remain unsure, Voll suggests a trial stay of up to a couple months to see if the community is a good fit.
Although the buildings are attractive, bricks and mortar aren’t what make Seasons Retirement Communities stand out. It’s the care and positive attitude of the people. “We want to encourage everyone to think about retirement in a different way,” says Voll.
Seasons Retirement Communities can be found in Amherstburg, Belle River, Bowmanville, Brantford, LaSalle, Milton, Owen Sound, Strathroy, Trenton, Wallaceburg and Welland.
Don’t forget to read about Seasons Retirement’s “Wow-Moments” and experience what makes us stand out.