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Ridgewood offers South Shore seniors the best in retirement living
Located on Aberdeen Road in Bridgewater, Ridgewood is designed to provide seniors the best in a dynamic retirement-living facility.
Nova Scotia's senior population is growing and the question of what will become of our parents and loved ones as they age is increasingly prominent.
Fortunately, there are new, family-owned retirement-living options available for the South Shore's seniors - one of which is Ridgewood, located on Aberdeen Road in Bridgewater.
As the first retirement-living facility in Nova Scotia outside of the Halifax and Truro areas, Ridgewood offers a unique pace of life and sense of community that seniors in rural parts of the province, such as the South Shore, have simply never had access to before.
"That's part of what makes Ridgewood such a special place," said developer Hal Hilton.
With a total of 52 studio units, Ridgewood is a 26,000-square-foot facility that has all the amenities and conveniences of home and more.
Ridgewood offers large, private suites, complete with housekeeping and laundry services, and home-cooked meals in the dining room.
The suites have three-piece baths, but for residents who may need assistance there are also larger shower and bathtub rooms available in each residence block.
Ridgewood facility also features a fully equipped doctor's office for residents who may require their physicians to come in for a visit and includes a hair salon.
But at its heart, Mr. Hilton and manager Wanda Long agreed, Ridgewood is about encouraging a sense of community and fellowship among the residents, which is especially important when one considers that many seniors tragically become more and more isolated as they age.
"This whole facility is centered around changing their lifestyle, from being alone in their homes to coming back into a social and recreational atmosphere," Mr. Hilton explained.
There are plenty of social and recreational opportunities for activities such as games and painting; a well-crafted walkway around the property, ideal for casual walks; a library; a sitting enclave in the pine trees, which would be the perfect place for a shaded afternoon chat with family or friends; and the dining room is an ideal place to share some laughs over a coffee.
Ms Long has years of experience, having previously set up two other retirement-living facilities.
She said that an important factor in making a retirement residence feel as comfortable as home is to make sure there are plenty of recreational activities available to suit the diverse tastes of residents.
"I am really big on promoting recreational activities - I think that's really important, to have fun."
That includes evening activities, which often feature music or seasonal holiday celebrations throughout the year.
"And we always encourage families to come too," Ms Long said.
The difference with the Ridgewood experience, she added, is that "if you're in this building, you're in a community."
Designed for seniors in good health who want to eliminate the worry of having to live alone in and look after a private home, Ridgewood offers an ideal accommodation solution.
"Ridgewood offers an active lifestyle for healthy individuals who want to continue their lifestyle but without the responsibilities of looking after a home," Mr. Hilton explained. "Facilities like Ridgewood are a new concept in retirement living and offer a wonderful alternative to traditional nursing-home facilities."
And, unlike other retirement-living options, Ridgewood's monthly fee covers everything - there are no additional costs to residents or their families. What's more, the month-to-month basis allows new residents to get a taste of what life at Ridgewood is like without committing to a long-term agreement.
But the real value comes in the peace of mind and security that Ridgewood offers - for both residents and their families.
Ms Long recalled the case of one new resident and her son, who was at first concerned about what life in a retirement-living facility would mean for his mother.
"He said, 'In just the few days she's been in here, I feel like I'm coming home when I come in here,'" she said with a smile. "He said he can go away with an easy mind, because he knows his mom's going to be looked after."
Mr. Hilton noted that often, as seniors age in their own home, their children's visits are no longer social calls, but work sessions to mow the lawn, mend a fence or do other chores around the house.
"That's not quality visiting time," he said. "People have their day-to-day responsibilities and then you build in the requirements of an aging parent and it often becomes unmanageable - and then the visits drop off. In a facility like Ridgewood, however, where there are no such practical concerns as there are in a private home, when you come in to visit your parents, it's true, quality family time."
Ridgewood also offers respite care for seniors when family members wish to travel or for seniors coming out of the hospital. For anyone interested in seeing life at Ridgewood first-hand, you are invited to attend the grand opening and open house on September 13, beginning at 11 a.m. Or, for more information on-line, you can visit www.ridgewoodbridgewater.ca.
posted on 09/09/08
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