Seasons Ontario Magazine

Discover a New Season of Possibilities


A Message From The CEO

Welcome to Seasons Retirement Communities!

We know that deciding to live in a retirement community is a big step, and we want to reassure you that our team is here to assist you along your journey. At Seasons, we all have one common goal: to build authentic connections with our residents so that we take care of the important details. We are confident that once you connect with our passionate team members, they will show you how a Seasons Community can positively impact your life. As they consider a move such as this, people often focus on what they leave behind; we encourage you to envision all you will gain by moving to Seasons. Here, you will find a sense of community among new neighbours and a staff that genuinely cares about your well-being. By freeing you from the hassles of meal preparation, home maintenance, cleaning, etc., you can make new friends or perhaps rekindle old ones with Seasons residents you already know.

We spend a lot of time planning every detail, from the design of our communities and the amenities to your daily menus and activity calendars, ensuring that what is important to you is reflected in what you will experience at Seasons. We have achieved Great Place To Work ® and Canada’s Best Managed Company accreditation. These milestones recognize organizational excellence and the significant contributions of our team members. We know that engaged team members provide our residents with the best possible care and customer service and deliver on our promise to create meaningful moments full of purpose and joy. As a Canadian-owned and operated organization, we hope this gives you confidence in our people-first operational excellence. You have many choices regarding retirement community living, and we encourage you to explore them all. Should you decide that Seasons is the right choice for you, we will do our utmost to ensure this is a community you’ll be proud to call home. Sincerely,

Mike Lavallée, CEO

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 A Message From The CEO  Mission, Vision, Values



 Remarkable Residents ®


16 The Importance Of Giving Back

52 Downsizing To Right-Sizing

Seasons celebrates our residents’ achievements and contributions.

20  The Difference

30  Your Food Is Our Passion

46  Is It Time For A Talk? Conversation starters to discuss retirement living with a loved one.

Between Retirement Living & LTC Discover the type of senior living option that is best suited for you.

How we prepare wholesome and flavourful foods.

10  Love Notes

Our positive cards, emails, and letters.

50  Top Four Strategies to Boost Your

34  Recipe:

22  Resources

12  Why I Love My Job

Retirement Funds How to ensure you don’t run out of money.

Try our featured recipe.

Community resources to help you make decisions.

Team members share what motivates them to provide exceptional care and customer service.

36  Memories

Through Meals Sysco Canada works to bring quality farm-to-fork food to our residents.

52  Downsizing

24  The Seasons

To Right-Sizing Strategies for downsizing.

Approach To Care We offer a wide range of services and build a customized plan for each resident who lives with us. The Seasons Way The Embrace Today ® program was developed at Seasons specifically for seniors living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

15  Care Rx:

Did You Know? The benefits of Seasons’ partnership with CareRx.

38  Aging Well

54  Make Your Friend Your Neighbour Program

Seasons offers a variety of health and wellness activities.

16  The Importance Of Giving Back How we support local communities. 18  Better Living, Less Worry We create “wow

56  Is Retirement Living Safe?

26  Memory Care:

40 Pet Friendliness All our communities are pet-friendly. 42  The Signs Of Change Considerations when moving into a senior living community.

Our residents always have a team member available if needed.

60  FAQs

moments” to make our residents feel at home.

46 Is It Time For A Talk?

62  Seasons Locations



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Seasons St. Thomas ST. THOMAS, ONTARIO



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Mission. Vision. Values.

What We Promise.

Understand our residents so we can deliver meaningful moments.

What We Aspire To Do. Connect. Care. Change. ®

How We Do It: C.A.R.E.S.

C Commitment

To make a positive impact Build meaningful connections

A Action R Results

Engaged staff + happy residents = results

E Enthusiasm

Love what you do

S Service

Deliver "wow moments" that matter



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Remarkable Residents ®

At Seasons, connecting with the people who call us home is at the heart of what we do . One of the ways we accomplish this is through the Seasons Celebrates Remarkable Residents® program, designed to celebrate our residents’ outstanding achievements, contributions, and talents. “This contest truly embodies our vision to Connect, Care, Change ® . It has a lasting, positive impact on residents and their families whose stories are heard. It also allows our team members to learn something unique and personal about the individuals we have the pleasure to serve daily,” says Amanda White, Vice-President of Marketing and Communications. Based on entry forms, the selection committee takes the time to read and discuss each submission and then has the task of narrowing down the finalists. In the past, the finalists have had their life stories filmed by Seasons, and the winner was awarded one month of free rent. To celebrate the 10 th Anniversary of the program, Seasons added a charitable giving component. Each year, Seasons now donates $10,000 on behalf of the winner and $5,000 on behalf of each finalist to the charities of their choice. “We feel this aspect of the program perfectly reflects our residents’ generosity and aligns with Seasons’ desire to give back to the communities where we operate retirement homes,” says Amanda. “Through these donations, we hope to continue making a difference where it matters most.” Seasons has celebrated the accomplishments and contributions of so many deserving residents over the years. To watch the videos of our past finalists and winners, visit our YouTube channel; @SeasonsRetirementCommunities .

The Remarkable Residents ® program is designed to celebrate our residents’ outstanding achievements, contributions, and talents.

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“My grandmother praises Seasons regularly, very pleased with her living situation. As for community engagement, there’s plenty of that: there are multiple scheduled activities each day. The staff are excellent and helpful, the facilities are high-quality, the location is convenient, the food is good and varied, and more. As a grandson, I can’t think of many ways Seasons could make me happier.”

My dad was a gentle, kind, resilient and positive person, and he appreciated all the little things Seasons did, such as staff dropping by for a quick conversation or remembering his dietary preferences. Thank you to every one of you who contributed in such a meaningful way to my dad’s time at Seasons.” Family Member, Seasons Dufferin Centre “The tea social was so special. Took me on a trip along memory lane and the many 3 o’clock teas with my Grandma: the ‘good’ China cups and saucers, a scone, clotted cream, and homemade jam. Please extend my appreciation to all team members who contributed their time and effort. You made my heart happy!” Resident, Seasons Lethbridge Gardens

Love NOTES We call the positive cards, emails, and letters we receive from our residents and their family and friends Love Notes. I have lived at Seasons as an independent resident for two years. From movies to picnics to wine tastings, the choices are endless. I really appreciate our Fun Manager and her enthusiastic team

Family Member, Seasons Camrose

“There are no words that would convey everything Seasons

“Thank you so much for the warm welcome as Dad moved in! The year has been full of challenges for him, but he’s glad to be back in Ponoka. And we can rest more easily knowing that he’s in good hands with you. Thank you for all that you do.” Family Member, Seasons Ponoka “My mom decided it was time to start a new chapter. She was the captain of every ship she sailed! Seasons staff embraced that big personality, encouraging and supporting her, enabling her to fulfill every goal she set for herself. There are no words to express appreciation for the professionalism, respect, and patience they showed my mom along every step of her journey.”

has meant to my mom and our family during this past year. The staff rose to every occasion in such a kind, dedicated and professional manner to keep her nurtured and safe. Seasons has been a wonderful community that has truly enriched our lives and my mom’s journey.” Family Member, Seasons Owen Sound

keeping us residents happy and amused. The live entertainment is energizing and an excuse to dress up and dance. I know for sure that I’m living my best senior years now!” Resident , Seasons Amherstburg

Here is a selection that were shared with us recently.

Family Member, Seasons Royal Oak Village



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Seasons culture truly demonstrates the understanding of person-centred care and the importance of relationship-building.

Why I Love

My Job

Seasons is committed to a culture that provides exceptional customer service. We can positively change lives when we genuinely connect with and care about our residents. Seasons wants all our residents to feel proud to call us home. These stories from Seasons team members reflect authentic examples of that mission:

“Seasons is family to me, and I am proud to be part of a community that never loses sight of the reason we do what we do: building strong relationships with our residents and families while working hard with amazing team members to ensure care is exceptional.” – Brenda, Senior Director of Care Services “Our team members love to encourage residents to participate in activities actively. Staff is unafraid to get silly, sing, and dance around to attract attention and get everyone involved! Seeing everyone have fun and always come together to enjoy is an amazing part of my job!” – Adelle, Seasons Dufferin Centre

“When we welcome new residents to our home, I work hard to incorporate their interests and invite them to relevant programs; I make sure to personalize events and ensure our FUN team members take notice so that we can cater the experiences to things they truly enjoy.” – Chrystal, Seasons High River “Seasons culture truly demonstrates the understanding of person-centred care and the importance of relationship-building. As a result, the work environment is fun, upbeat, friendly, and enjoyable. Also, the residents never fail to put a smile on my face.” – Carissa, Seasons St. Catharines



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Know? Did You

We have amazing team members who consistently go above and beyond to help our residents.

Seasons partners with CareRx to ensure medication service to our residents is accurate, effective and safe. Here is how having medication administered by Seasons staff and monitored by our pharmacy partner, CareRx, is convenient and can be beneficial to your health:

1 | When medications are managed by Seasons staff, all faxes, daily deliveries, changes in doctor’s orders, etc., are coordinated through the Seasons Wellness Centre for your convenience and at no additional charge. This is especially beneficial when you see multiple doctors for different health reasons. In contrast, some external pharmacies charge for delivery and sometimes, the delivery is limited. 2 | When the Seasons Health & Wellness team assists with medication administration, it is given at the correct time and dosage. This contributes to fewer drug interactions with other medications or supplements. 3 | Annually or as needed, residents can meet with a Certified Geriatric Pharmacist from CareRx to review their medications, ask questions and discuss the benefits of different dispensing options, such as blister packs.

4 | The Seasons Health & Wellness team can oversee the effectiveness of medications or the need to change medications. By monitoring general health concerns, such as blood pressure, blood glucose or pain levels, we can alert your doctor of a need for change. 5 | For residents who choose to administer their medications, CareRx can have their prescriptions delivered to their Seasons home by CareRx. This removes the unnecessary need for residents to leave home and disrupt their day for medication pick-ups. 6 | A complete profile (Administration Medication Record) from the pharmacy is readily available to the home and the resident to help record medication history for peace of mind. For more information, please speak to the Seasons Health & Wellness Manager.

“Building a connection with our residents is incredibly important to me. We also have amazing team members who consistently go above and beyond to help our residents. I’ve seen staff come to work on weekends to help residents with a puzzle project, door decorating, pet therapy visits, or enjoy musical entertainment, even before their shift begins!” – Jenn, Seasons Amherstburg

“Growing up, I spent a lot of time at my Grandparent's farm. My desire to support seniors came from my relationship with my Nana. I am always encouraged by the couples in our retirement homes and their examples of caring for one another. My job allows me to serve others and share my talents. I love seeing smiling faces and joy in our residents' eyes.” – Pamela, Seasons Lethbridge Gardens “I call this my other home; I don't feel like I'm coming to work. What I love at Seasons is the interaction and connection with the residents. We don't just know them, but we know their loved ones. And all staff becomes a part of their extended families.” – Stephanie, Seasons Royal Oak Village

Seasons would not be successful were it not for our dedicated, fun, and passionate team members who bring our culture to life every day. If you know someone you think would be a wonderful fit for Seasons and is looking to make a difference in the lives of others, encourage them to apply today by visiting our website; .



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It’s powerful when people

Food Banks Donated $272,000

come together in hopes of making a difference.

Seasons Retirement Communities first partnered with Food Banks Canada in 2016 after learning that more seniors aged 65 and older need to access its services. This direction allowed us to focus our corporate giving efforts on local food banks. Annually, Seasons provides the equivalent of about 3,000 meals. As of January 2024, Seasons has donated more than a quarter of a million dollars in funds and food. Pennies For Poppies Over 5,000 Paper Poppies "Planted" Seasons is home to many heroes. In November, each retirement community takes the opportunity to recognize and thank our veterans who fought for our freedom by collecting pocket change for the Royal Canadian Legion and planting a display of poppies in the gardens. These ‘planted’ paper poppies serve as a promise to honour the men and women who bravely served our country. Seniorosity ® Seniors + Generosity Launched in 2018, this Seasons Signature Program is designed to provide opportunities for residents to connect with their neighbours and others in the community while finding meaning through spreading joy! These resident- directed activities include surprising hospital workers with baked treats, sponsoring a family in need, or donating toys and other supplies to a local animal shelter. It’s powerful when people come together in hopes of making a difference. Seasons is pleased to have donated so significantly to local communities and is proud of the charitable efforts of our team members, residents and their families.

Giving Back The Importance Of As a good corporate citizen, Seasons Retirement Communities designates a portion of community relations budgets for supporting events and programs in the cities and towns where we operate retirement homes.



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Better Living

Less Worry

Whether it’s a team member who delivers your morning coffee just the way you like it or a friendly neighbour who invites you to join an activity, Seasons residents know they are surrounded by people who genuinely care. Harvard Health says good connections and social support lead to improved longevity, health, and happiness. At Seasons, we want to learn who our residents are as individuals, understand what is most important to them and then do whatever we can within each interaction to exceed their expectations. We call those small instances “wow moments” because we know how significant they can be in making someone feel valued, cared for, and at home. One example of this is the annual Seasons Celebrates Remarkable Residents ® program, designed to highlight the outstanding lives of our residents and celebrate them. While contestants are asked to illustrate their achievements, contributions to their community, particular skill or talent, or making a positive contribution to their Seasons residence, everyone is welcome and

encouraged to share their story. The program is an excellent opportunity for our staff and residents to get to know each other in a meaningful way while having the chance to win one month of free rent at the residence in which they live, along with a charitable donation in their name (for more, see page 8). We understand it takes a special person to go the extra mile for our residents continually. Therefore, we must recruit and hire qualified individuals who are enthusiastic about providing excellent customer service and making an impact on the lives of the people they meet at Seasons because this is what our corporate vision of “Connect, Care, Change ® ” is all about! When we take the time to genuinely connect with our residents and show them that we care, we can affect positive change in their lives and, as a result, the lives of our team members, too. We ensure to recognize and reward our team members who go above and beyond our standards because engaged employees who feel respected by their employers will naturally extend the same courtesy to our residents.

Harvard Health says good connections and social support lead to improved longevity, health, and happiness.



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Our teams work hard to ensure residents are engaged in meaningful activities and connected with their neighbours and loved ones.

A retirement residence offers an independent living community, including housekeeping services, meals, activities and care if needed. This should be distinct from long-term care (LTC). Long-term care residences cater to individuals requiring the highest level of care, including 24-hour support. In Alberta, we partner with Alberta Health Services to accommodate care needs up to a specific measure. In Ontario, LTC homes are subsidized by the provincial government, while most retirement homes are not. Today’s retirement residences are typically lively communities full of active, independent seniors who enjoy the convenience and support of communal living. Our teams work hard to ensure residents are engaged in meaningful activities and connected with their neighbours and loved ones. Residents enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing they can count on our dedicated team members if and when they need us. Prospective residents want reassurance that professionally-trained staff can provide care when needed. Still, we know this isn’t their only priority: They also seek a comfortable lifestyle in a safe yet welcoming environment, surrounded by genuinely caring people. Seasons strives to accomplish this by providing excellent customer service and being a place our residents proudly call home.

Retirement Living & Long-Term Care The Difference Between

As you start your search for senior living options, you will soon realize there are many different choices. At Seasons, we are here to help you understand what these choices mean. Retirement residences and long-term care are terms often used interchangeably to describe a senior’s home. The truth is that each option offers different types of services based on the amount of care a person needs.



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Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Veterans Affairs Canada deeply values the contribution that Veterans have made to the development of our nation, and we honour the sacrifices they have made to defend freedom and pursue world peace. Veterans Affairs Canada offers various services for Veterans and their families, including programs to assist you after an injury or during the transition from military to civilian life and many other services to help you and your family throughout your life. TOLL-FREE: 1-866-522-2122 TDD/TTY: 1-833-921-0071 INQUIRIES: (Please do not email personal or confidential information) WEBSITE: Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) Established in 2010, the RHRA is an independent, not-for-profit regulatory body that works to protect the interests of residents living in retirement communities in Ontario. On behalf of the Ontario government, the RHRA ensures that all Ontario retirement homes are licensed and compliant with the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 (the Act). The RHRA protects the interests of residents in the following ways: • Licenses for retirement homes • Routinely inspects retirement homes against the Act • Responds to resident or staff complaints • Informs the public about non-compliant retirement homes • Educates residents, retirement home operators and the public about the Act All Seasons Retirement Communities in Ontario are licensed and compliant with the Act. At Seasons, we believe the RHRA empowers current and future residents to choose a retirement community that is right for them. PHONE: 416-440-3570 TOLL-FREE : 1-855-ASK-RHRA (1-855-275-7472) EMAIL: WEBSITE:

It’s important to do your research. There are many options to choose from, and you want to make the right decision for yourself or your loved one.

Resources Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is committed to providing excellent customer service guided by accessibility, responsiveness, reliability, caring, and accountability. PHONE: 811 When moving into a retirement home, it’s important to do your research. Seasons’ team members are

happy to help you understand these options and answer any questions. Additionally, here is a list of community resources available to you:

TTY TOLL-FREE: 1-866-797-0007 WEBSITE:

Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA) For over 40 years, ORCA has set the standard for operational excellence by offering quality retirement living education to our members. ORCA represents over 92 percent of retirement home suites in Ontario, with members providing accommodations to over 55,000 seniors. ORCA provides leadership in education and training and supports members in meeting provincial regulations, adopting best practices, and promoting quality and excellence in all areas of operation. ORCA also strongly promotes and advocates on behalf of its members with government and other stakeholders. It positions the sector for growth and success as an invaluable service to today’s aging population. Seasons Retirement Communities’ voluntary decision to become a member of ORCA is based on our company's value on the well-being of our residents, staff, and family members. PHONE: 905-403-0500 TOLL-FREE: 1-888-263-5556




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Care Options Independent Living (IL)

The townhouses and independent apartments at Seasons Retirement Communities offer Independent Living. They are designed for seniors who can live independently but wish to live in a community designated for seniors with access to social or recreational programming. Our one-storey townhouses and apartments are equipped with an emergency call system, but no regular care services are provided. Independent Supportive Living (ISL) ISL at Seasons includes convenient services such as 24-hour emergency response, one, two or three meals daily, depending on the community, weekly housekeeping and access to our social and recreational program. Additional Care & Wellness Services can be purchased to customize the lifestyle that best suits the resident’s needs. Assisted Living (AL) AL best suits residents who need enhanced personal care support. The Health and Wellness team will work with our residents to create an individualized care plan that includes purchasing additional Care & Wellness services. From medication management to assistance with the activities of daily living to laundry services and more, care and wellness are customized experiences at Seasons. Memory Care The Memory Care program at Seasons is specifically designed to care for seniors living with dementia or Alzheimer's disease in a dedicated, secure area within some of our residences. Memory Care community residents receive specialized care services. The Seasons Embrace Today ® Memory Care philosophy requires a deep understanding of who our residents are so staff may adjust their interactions and respond with whatever is needed at the moment (for more, see page 26).

At Seasons, we believe in a flexible approach to care that supports our residents’ preferences . We are pleased to offer a range of Care & Wellness services that allow residents the flexibility to enhance their independent living experience if and when they need to. Before moving in, new residents will have their needs assessed by a medical professional, including questions about the resident’s health, ability to perform daily living tasks, and risk for falls. From there, our Health & Wellness team will assess a resident’s needs, discuss their goals, and work with them to build a customized care and wellness plan. Starting with our Care The Seasons Approach To

base Independent Living plan, new residents can add any Care & Wellness services they like. We understand that our residents are individuals at different stages of life and that the support they need today may change in the future. Services can be added permanently or for a limited period of time, depending on their current preferences and personal care needs, and in consultation with our Health & Wellness team. For peace of mind, Seasons’ service team members

are trained to notice even the smallest changes in a resident’s routine so that we can have proactive and discreet conversations with them and their families about their health and wellbeing. “Our residents are never alone in the process, so there’s no need to worry. We are here to help every step of the way, from the initial conversation to suggesting alternative care options to monitoring how residents adapt to their new regimen,” says Brenda D’Alimonte, Senior Director of Care Services.



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At Seasons, our dedicated team is always looking for new ways to improve the lives of our residents. As the Canadian population ages, experts suggest that an increasing number of seniors and their families will be affected by dementia and Alzheimer's. According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, by 2030, nearly one million people in Canada will be living with dementia. They forecast that more than 1.7 million people in Canada will have dementia by 2050. Seasons responded to this reality by developing a person- centred Memory Care program for seniors living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Our secure Memory Care areas incorporate bright, open spaces that feel like home and are comfortable for visitors. Our newer residences include private outdoor spaces to promote freedom of movement and ensure nature is nearby. Learning to Embrace Today ® The Seasons Memory Care philosophy is based on our service team members’ commitment to Embrace Today®, which means that they approach each workday with a promise to do their best to make all interactions positive and meaningful, one moment at a time. The Seasons Way Memory Care:

This philosophy is rooted in person-centred care with five core branches aligned with our core values. The branches include training, purposeful connections, reflective practice, support gatherings and an enabling, unhurried environment. Positive Relationships Among All Care Partners Elevate The Person- Centred Care Approach. “We host monthly peer support gatherings for our team members and residents’ families. They strengthen relationships by providing a safe place to discuss feelings and frustrations and allow opportunities for personal and professional growth,” says Director of Innovation and Education Stephanie Sanborn. She was instrumental in building the Memory Care program at Seasons. “It takes special qualities to serve seniors with cognitive impairments, and we want our team members to feel supported and cared about so they can provide the highest quality care to our residents. We believe that positive relationships among all care partners elevate the person- centred care approach,” continues Stephanie.

We Want To Empower Our Residents To Continue Building Their Legacy At Seasons. We work with our residents and their loved ones to create a Legacy Today journal. We acknowledge and celebrate moments shared at Seasons and document elements of a resident’s life story through this journal. Understanding someone’s past accomplishments and interests strengthens our connection with them, helps shape our care plans, and empowers our residents to continue building their legacy while at Seasons. Our activity calendar for residents in Memory Care is flexible yet progressively balanced to incorporate the elements of the mind and spirit, like brain-enhancing games, exercises and physical activity routines, and calming meditative programs to promote sleep and happiness daily. For example, ‘Fire It Up’ is based on research that shows that engaging the body and the mind in one program encourages neuroplasticity in the brain. In other words, the brain’s ability to change throughout life could mean compensating for lost functions or maximizing remaining functions.

We developed a virtual technology-based experience for team members and families from the viewpoint of someone living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia.

What’s New Seasons continues to be open to and seek out partnerships in aging research with academic institutions, their students and professors across Canada. Through this continued outreach, we look forward to gaining increased insight and knowledge within our industry to embrace innovation and best serve our residents, now and in the future. We offer these institutions an excellent platform for interested researchers to access willing seniors for research purposes. Through these extensive efforts, we aim to bridge the gap between youth and seniors. • Seasons and The Centre for Elder Research at Sheridan College explored technology in design for a new and improved ‘den,’ a quiet space for relaxation, reminiscence, and social connection. • Seasons hosted a robot named Mindy as part of a pilot study to explore how we might use social robots to engage, entertain, and educate residents in retirement homes. • Seasons developed a 4-minute virtual technology-based experience for team members and families from the viewpoint of someone living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. In Ontario, we have designated Memory Care areas in Amherstburg, Brantford, Cambridge, Clarington in Bowmanville, Milton, Royal Oak Village in LaSalle, St. Catharines*, St. Thomas, Stoney Creek and Welland. We offer Designated Supportive Living, Dementia (DSL4D) in Camrose, High River and Olds, in Alberta.



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Seasons Royal Oak Village LASALLE, ONTARIO



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Passion Your Food Is Our

Food plays a significant role in how our residents feel about living at Seasons Retirement Communities. We know how essential it is for them to enjoy the food we prepare. To achieve this, we hire skilled chefs who love food just as much as our residents. Our dining service teams understand what it takes to ensure healthy and well-balanced meals without compromising taste and presentation. Many people continue to believe that retirement food is processed, boring and bland, which isn't true. “While we may sometimes have ready-made products on hand, 90% of our meals are made in-house: freshly prepared salads, homemade soups, and house-baked goods,” says Wanda Berg-Johnston, Dining Services Manager. “Meal times for many residents is the highlight of their day. It's something they all have in common, so naturally, it makes sense to take our leads from them in terms of what they like and how they like it,” shares Dining Services Manager Beau Veldhuis.

90% of our meals are made in-house: freshly prepared salads, homemade soups, and house-baked goods.

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most rewarding part of my job is the positive feedback from our residents about the food and service and then sharing that with the team. It's a win-win,” shares Beau. “We create connections with our residents through listening and learning; my team goes above and beyond to make them smile, whether a surprise for their birthday or simply knowing their favourite snack. These are the moments that make a difference,” says Wanda. As you search for a retirement home for yourself or a loved one, during your visit, ask to see the menu or have a conversation with a member of the dining services team to get a glimpse into the dining experience. In your retirement years, you should expect to continue the traditions and routines that you appreciate most and enjoying meals should be no exception.

Residents are presented with an abundance of menu options.* There is a Feature of the Day at lunch and dinner, and five other options are always available. Each week, our homes feature a 'resident's choice' meal, adapted from a resident's recipe or a favourite of the community. If residents have special dietary requirements, we can help support these needs. If you desire a vegetarian option, our chefs can accommodate this preference. Menus have a five-week rotation and reflect the changing seasons, with lighter fare offered in the spring and summer and wholesome comfort foods in the fall and winter. In addition, resident favourites, such as classic meatloaf and roast beef dinners, are prepared year-round. If you're wondering where this food comes from, our food distributor, Sysco, acts as the middleman between food manufacturers and us, the food service operators. The distributor purchases, stores, sells and delivers products, providing us with a wide range of selections. Sysco continues to partner with more local ranchers, growers, and producers than any other distributor in the industry, helping support local farm-to-fork initiatives and providing the freshest products available. All the while, we encourage resident feedback and aim to cater to specific tastes and desires. Each community can share its comments and suggestions at a monthly Food Committee meeting. “Our residents can suggest lunch and supper specials every Thursday, and we take their preferences and needs into account when planning menus, including allergies or intolerances, cultural practices, and tastes,” says Wanda. A 24-hour bistro or common area is available to residents for refreshments between mealtimes, including juice, coffee, tea, baked goods, and fresh fruit throughout the day. We also have spaces that residents can reserve to host events or gatherings for special occasions. For many of our team members, one of the most rewarding aspects of their job is making meaningful connections with residents daily. “Our team takes a keen interest in residents' dietary needs and wants from their very first meal. This information helps us provide efficient, unhurried, personalized service for each resident, which then allows our staff to have the time to connect further with them,” explains Beau. “The

If residents have special dietary requirements, we can help support these needs. If you desire a vegetarian option, our chefs can accommodate this.

Our team takes a keen interest in residents’ dietary needs and wants from their very first meal. This information helps us provide efficient, unhurried, personalized service for each resident, which then allows our staff to have the time to connect further with them.



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Mushroom Chowder


INGREDIENTS: 2 tbsp oil

INSTRUCTIONS: 1. In a heavy-bottomed soup pot, add oil and heat to medium. 2. Add celery, onion,

3 ribs celery, diced

1 m edium-sized onion, diced 1.5 lbs m ushrooms, sliced (button, chanterelle, cremini, oyster or portabello) 4 cloves garlic, minced ½ tsp basil ½ tsp sage ½ tsp thyme 4 litres c hicken or vegetable stock 2-3 m edium-sized Yukon Gold potatoes, diced 1 cup heavy cream 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce 1 cup wild rice blend, cooked Salt and pepper to taste Honey to taste

mushrooms, and garlic to pot and sauté gently until vegetables are softened (about 8-10 mins). 3.  Season vegetables lightly with herbs, salt and pepper. 4.  Add stock and bring to a simmer (about 15 mins). 5.  Add potatoes and cook thoroughly. 6.  Add heavy cream and return to simmer. Season with salt, pepper,

a touch of honey, and Worcestershire sauce.

Foodie Fact Did you know that mushrooms pack a nutritional punch? The potent antioxidant

7. Add rice to warm through. 8.  Feel free to add more stock to adjust the consistency and ratio of liquid to vegetables.

properties in mushrooms, containing high amounts of selenium, vitamin D, and vitamin B6, help lower blood pressure, relieve inflammation, and repair the skin.

CONTRIBUTED BY: Beau Veldhuis, Dining Services Manager


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cooking is through the sense of smell. The olfactory bulb, which is responsible for smell, is linked to the areas of the brain associated with memory and emotion 3 . For example, the aroma of a freshly baked apple pie may trigger the thought of mom’s homemade pie cooling on the counter of the family home. Using familiar, comforting foods and creating pleasant aromas in the dining areas can help bring positive feelings to the surface while potentially encouraging adequate intake. Past Meets Present Understanding yesterday's and today's trends is vital when developing your menu to support the needs and tastes of your residents. The drastic development of the food industry, combined with globalization, has allowed cuisines from across the globe to be available right here in Canada 3 . In the past, the availability of products was often limited by regional growing seasons, while local traditions and cuisine dominated what was served at the dinner table. Today, however, we have access to a vast range of ingredients with endless potential to create new flavour profiles. For example, we might try a potato salad made with Greek yogurt dressing or a curried pulled pork sandwich. Experimenting with new ingredients can elevate classic dishes and meet the demands for increased diversity on the menu, harmonizing the past and present. Food is not only about the flavour but also about how it is prepared and where it is consumed. Home-cooked meals were a fundamental part of family life after World War II, and so preparing meals from scratch or semi-scratch is one strategy to rekindle those memories related to family and belonging. It is also essential to consider residents' ever- changing dietary needs and preferences and adapt recipes accordingly. For example, a homemade gluten-free lasagna allows those who do not consume gluten to enjoy home- cooked comfort foods. Accommodating

Memories Food can be used as a powerful way to stimulate positive memories and emotions to encourage adequate food intake while also improving resident satisfaction and quality of life. To achieve this, it is necessary to look into the past to build today’s menu better. A Look into the Past Homestyle Cooking Comforts the Soul CONTRIBUTED BY SYSCO CANADA NUTRITION SERVICES TEAM

Through Meals

resident needs has a powerful impact on promoting inclusiveness and community. Additionally, an ambiance of togetherness can be enhanced with décor reminiscent of the past, such as red checkered tablecloths or vintage centrepieces in dining areas. Carefully considering these aspects of dining can help enrich the overall mealtime experience. Making Mealtimes Memorable​ When it comes to what is on the plate, acknowledging the significance of the past is an important step to assist residents in enjoying the present and embracing the future. Recognizing recipes' and ingredients' emotional and memorable impact when building a menu can further connect people to their food. So how do we serve the fond memories of the past at mealtime today? By bringing people together to celebrate special events with themed menus, such as Halloween and Remembrance Day, or throwing a 50s Party with classic mealtime favourites. We can add nostalgia flair with music from past eras like Glenn Miller and Elvis Presley. Mealtime is much more than just when our residents eat; it is a perfect opportunity to foster the feeling of home!

Despite these emerging changes to mealtime, rationing was still in effect and eating out remained a luxury after World War II. Home-cooked meals were the foundation of a household and served as a vital source of nutrition, comfort and a sense of belonging.

How food was prepared and consumed in the home rapidly changed during and after World War II. The impact of soldiers returning home and industrial development led to more activities surrounding food becoming more popular, such as barbecuing, enjoying meals outside, and entertaining guests. At the same time, mealtime was highly valued in the home. Eating at the table was cherished family time where people would enjoy a version of the following classic dinner combination:

Certain foods can sometimes be referred to as “comfort foods” if they are related to a positive memory or feeling, for example, the feeling of being cared for. One study showed that people who associated happy family memories with specific foods were likelier to crave these items when feeling down 1 . Not only do these foods provide emotional comfort, but the associated positive feelings may also even render the food more satisfying 2 . Another way to evoke memories of home








Strachy Vegetable

Cooked Green Vegetable

Green Salad




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Seasons offers many different activities laid out in a monthly calendar shaped by the preferences and desires of each home’s residents.

common interests and like doing activities together - she’s also started trying activities she has never done before. She loves it!” says Erica Boer, Fun Manager. Seasons offers fitness classes to keep our residents physically active and socially fulfilled. We have partnered with StrongerU Senior Fitness, which empowers our team members to deliver exceptional senior fitness experiences. Once team members become certified, they can access pre- choreographed each month, specifically designed for older adults. “We bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge and practical implementation by giving instructors everything they need to teach quality, safe, effective and engaging senior fitness classes that adhere to Canada’s physical activity guidelines,” says founder Emily Johnson. “My goal has always been to give residents exciting activities that benefit them physically, emotionally and spiritually,” says Fun Manager Emily Reitsma. “We also provide them with volunteer opportunities that allow them to use their skills while making a difference in the local community.”

At Seasons, we also understand that thoughtful and comprehensive integration of a wellness philosophy is proven to meet the expectations of current and future clients and improve the perception of senior living. Therefore, Seasons has partnered with the International Council on Aging or ICAA. ICAA is a professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry and supports professionals who aspire to develop wellness cultures for older adults. This support includes creating wellness environments, programs and services. The association is focused on active aging, an approach to aging that helps older adults live as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness. It provides its members, like Seasons, with education, information, resources and tools. Remember, you should consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice before starting a new exercise program or concerning emotional well- being. If you have questions about the activities offered at Seasons, please speak to the Fun Manager.

For some, the decision to move into a retirement community stems from an increasing desire to be more social, make new friends or live a healthier lifestyle. Seasons offers many different activities laid out in a monthly calendar shaped by the preferences and desires of each home’s residents. Our Fun Managers are open and willing to incorporate favourite pastimes, respond to feedback and encourage residents to lead their own workshops using their talents or hobbies. While there are many ways to get involved, people can spend the day as they wish. They will be encouraged to join in but, indeed, never forced. There are many other ways for residents to socialize with their neighbours. Sometimes, more introverted residents enjoy reading a book in the bistro or heading out for a walk with a friend. In contrast, other outgoing residents may enjoy participating in game nights or group activities. “When my grandma Ellie moved into Seasons, she was worried that being in a new place meant she wouldn’t know anyone and have nothing to do, but now she’s the busiest woman I know. She’s made friends with people who have Aging Well

My goal has always been to give residents exciting activities that benefit them physically, emotionally and spiritually.



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Pet Friendliness

We ask that residents provide us with emergency contact information if they need assistance caring for their pets. In addition, residents must ensure that their pet’s behaviour is well-suited for a community-style living environment. This means the pet must be good with people and other animals and not interfere with neighbouring residents’ peaceful enjoyment of their homes. Many Seasons homes offer access to Animal-Assisted Therapy or pet-visiting programs, which have been proven to have both physical and mental health benefits, such as lowering blood pressure and increasing feelings of happiness and comfort. These activities can also encourage social interaction, communication, and a shared sense of community within group settings.* When researching senior housing options for yourself or a loved one, ask about the pet policy. It is also valuable to ask if they offer Animal-Assisted Therapy or pet visits, which can provide all the joy of animal companionship without the responsibility.

Seasons understands that pets are part of our family. When residents move in, we want them to feel comfortable and at home, which is why our communities are pet- friendly. We never expect residents to choose between living with us or their beloved pets. General Manager Stephanie Waldron even helped a resident adopt a dog she had connected with at a local shelter. “One of our residents, Vivian, had been looking for a dog for some time until she met a three-year-old labrador mix named Penny,” shares Stephanie. “Still interested, Vivian had not heard back about adopting Penny, so I called myself to help because I had a connection. Within a few days, the paperwork was filled out, and not long after that, Penny moved into Seasons! We greeted her with a welcome basket with treats, toys, and a Seasons leash!” Some communities have adopted animals together, allowing them to live permanently in the home. The residents and team members at Seasons Clarington have a rabbit as a community pet. “He has a great personality and was truly made for a retirement home. We had a contest to name him, and the residents decided on Mr. Nibbles,” laughs Fun Manager Laura Sleeman. “He loves to get out and greet residents and occasionally join our activities. It’s heartwarming to see the smiles when he’s making his rounds.”

We would never expect residents to choose between living with us or their beloved pets.


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