The Manor Village Senior Care and Life Centre in London, Ontario

Finding a senior care facility for an elderly parent (or one’s self) is a daunting task. My wife and I recently went through this exercise, and it involved many visits to a variety of care facilities. We have had friends spend three years of absolute anguish in this task. The goal of this article is to describe attributes of a desirable facility and to suggest one against which others can be measured. Our journey involved visits to a variety of care centres noting their pros and cons, with their geographic proximity being of concern, since regular visits by us would be part of the care.

Examining the challenge at a high level, we want our parents to “own their lives” as much as possible, that is to take charge of where they want the next phase of their lives to go, to create the life they want. They need support to have the strength to push aside any naysayers, the people that tell them that “it isn’t possible” whatever the “it” is. Well-meaning friends, and health care practitioners often say, “don’t do this” or “You shouldn’t do that.” Care is about making hopes, dreams and aspirations come into reality in a practical way. Competent care personnel with a positive attitude, state-of-the-art facilities, consistent and dedicated support staff can go a long way in creating that reality. The first task then is to determine whether that positive attitude exists in the facility since a positive attitude is everything. This was missing in many facilities we visited, and the word depressing kept popping up in our minds. Look for laughter. The Manor Village was exceptional in this regard; rejuvenation and positivity were key words in their literature and their dialogue. In a famous 1981 study in New Hampshire, men in their 70’s and 80’s were helped to imagine they were 22 years younger. The environment provided caused them not only to feel younger, but physically become younger. This is what you want any care facility to encourage … look for that environment.

Individuals who enter a care facility may have moved through a variety of life-changing injuries, depression, self-doubt, morbid obesity, ADD, dyslexia, food addiction, drug and alcohol addiction, chronic pain and overcoming seemingly impossible odds.

At the Manor Village, residents are supported by an advanced Medical Group that lead to action and results. They work hard to optimize the physical and the mental well-being of their residents who wish to own their lives by first providing excellent food choices and regular guided exercise. The care facility has housed within it, an optical centre with the latest in advanced equipment, a medical doctor on call, dentists, a drug store, an advanced exercise room, garden plots for those interested in gardening, and gourmet food centres with a chef on staff. Residents have found that through the support of the Manor Village staff, their well established programs, combined with exercise and healthy eating, they are able to lose or maintain weight, get stronger, have more energy, improve mental function and take more control of their daily lives.

What we found to be wonderful at the Manor Village is that the facility focuses on positivity at every turn, allowing individuals to forge ahead, despite their personal challenges and external circumstances. Residents are encouraged to adopt an attitude of positivity and are supported to build the confidence to take the necessary action to continue living a quality life.

With our elderly parent, my wife and I chose to have him in a care facility closer to our home. We were disappointed that the London Manor Village was too far away from our home. The upside is that we can encourage the care facility that he is in to begin to adopt some of the practices that we observed in the Manor. We have noted that presently, a lot of our time is spent getting him to and from medical/health appointments as no medical facilities are in house, something we have discovered is rare. He has gained much weight as the diet and exercise offerings are not crafted for optimum health. We comfort ourselves that our close proximity allows us to make frequent visits more easily, filling in the gaps that are apparent in the facility he is residing in at this time.

Evaluation by Dr. G.E. McMaster

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