Although Jennifer Jerrett has only lived in Huntsville for four years, her family has always had strong roots in the community, her grandfather being a former mayor, and her uncles a former fire chief and judge. In fact, it was through family that she was first introduced to the staff at Chartwell Muskoka Traditions Retirement Residence.
At 95 years old, her grandmother moved in when she began to experience feelings of loneliness and anxiety while living on her own. As Jennifer explains, her grandmother soon came to feel at home in the retirement community, living there for five happy years while enjoying the benefits of a delicious dining program, engaging activities and outings, individualized care support as she aged, and the peace of mind that came with 24-hour emergency response. Moreover, Jennifer and her family shared in her grandmother’s peace of mind, relieved to know she was living in a place where she would be cared for and have the constant companionship of staff and peers, which she craved.
Experiencing her grandmother’s transition is what today provides Jennifer with her understanding of what seniors and their families are going through during that stage in life when more support is needed, and what ultimately convinced her of the benefits of a retirement living lifestyle.
Now the Sales Consultant at the very residence her grandmother called home, she listens to her clients’ stories and helps them figure out how to best address their individual needs, acknowledging that though choosing a retirement living lifestyle may not be an easy decision, it oftentimes leads to the assistance that many seniors need to continue living happy, healthy and independent lives. “I have to love what I do, and it has to make a difference in someone’s life,” Jennifer says. “If the job doesn’t cover those criteria, it’s not for me. I found all of those qualities at Chartwell Muskoka Traditions long before I began working here.”
As Jennifer explains, her favourite part of the job is helping residents transition to their new home and truly enjoy their retirement living experience. Here are three helpful tips she has for settling in to a new seniors’ community:
Get to know residents and staff.
From the dining room to the activity lounge to the reception desk, you’ll be associating with many familiar faces on a daily basis, and developing friendships that will ultimately make you feel more at home. I encourage you to introduce yourself to residents and staff, ask questions about anything you’re unsure about, and don’t be afraid to ask staff or your home’s resident ambassador to introduce you to others. Soon enough, everyone will know you by name!
Try a new activity or outing.
The best way to learn the ropes and meet new people is by participating in programs or events offered by the residence. Why not consider joining a book club, signing up for an exercise class, or participating in one of the home’s social excursions to a local restaurant? You might not only make a friend, but also find an activity you really enjoy.
Be patient and stay positive.
Settling into a new home can take time, so don’t be discouraged if it takes you awhile to gain your bearings and feel truly comfortable—trust me, it’s perfectly normal! A positive attitude is what will help you navigate through those first couple of months it takes to feel settled and at home.
Located in the largest town of the Muskoka region, Huntsville is home to Chartwell Muskoka Traditions, an elegant retirement residence set amid a beautiful backdrop of scenic surroundings. The full-service retirement residence is just minutes away from Huntsville District Memorial Hospital, and within walking distance to picturesque nature trails, charming lakes, restaurants, grocery stores and shopping centres. On-site amenities include a library, private dining room, hair salon, outdoor patio and a country kitchen, perfect for cooking demonstrations. The dedicated recreational team hosts a variety of engaging daily activities and programs, including the popular Rhythm N’ Moves exercise class, stimulating book clubs and meaningful charity initiatives, while the food and beverage team appeases residents with mouth-watering meals that rival 5-star restaurants.
From spacious studios and one-bedroom suites, complete with rustic forest views, we also offer townhomes bordering the main residence for seniors looking to downsize from their current home. Personalized care and wellness services are available to residents based on their individual needs, and are delivered by a team of highly-skilled and professional staff.
For more information on Chartwell Muskoka Traditions, or to schedule a personal visit of the residence, please call Jennifer Jerrett directly at 705-224-0133, or visit www.chartwell.com.