Resident Ella explains why she embraced her next chapter at Chartwell

“We’re one big family sharing the same space, respectfully and without judgment. Here, age doesn’t exist; we don’t see wrinkles or differences for that matter!”

Taking the leap by moving into a retirement residence can be challenging for some seniors—and understandably so. Fear of the unknown is common, but this important step can also be full of wonderful surprises. This was the case for Chartwell Cité-Jardin resident Ella Danis.

In the early 2000s, Ella worked as a hostess at Banco Bistro, a restaurant in the Casino du Lac-Leamy in Gatineau. One day, a lively group of people appeared, and all seemed so happy and full of life that Ella couldn’t help but ask where they were from. To her surprise, they said they lived at Chartwell Cité-Jardin Retirement Residence, located near the casino. Ella believes that this chance encounter was written in the stars, as she ended up moving to the retirement community seven years later!

Of course, this encounter alone wasn’t what motivated her decide to move into a retirement residence. Ella retired at the age of 68 and—at the time—was divorced and had been living on her own for several years. Even though her three children were there to support her, she decided she did not want to become a “burden” to her family.

Ella had previously been a caregiver for family members and knew that it was a big responsibility that often involved making tough decisions. Therefore, she preferred life in a retirement residence where she could still enjoy her independence, but have the support of staff when she needed it—also allowing her to spend quality time with her children that didn’t involve caregiving tasks.

After shopping around for senior living residences, Ella sold her home and moved into Chartwell Cité-Jardin. When she arrived, the warm welcome she received reminded her of the positive energy she had felt when meeting the resident group at the casino on that special night. Her fear of the unknown quickly vanished, and at that moment, Ella knew that she had made the right choice.

Ella explains that the entire staff team—from managers to volunteers—is always ready and happy to help, regardless of whether her requests are urgent. Regular activities are also organized to provide a variety of optional ways to enjoy the day, keep fit or explore the local community. For Ella, Chartwell Cité-Jardin spells relaxation and vacation, and she goes so far as to call the residence a “year-long Club Med!” Her new home empowers her to continue to enjoy life to the fullest without having to worry about day-to-day tasks.

“There’s never a dull moment here! Thanks to all the services Chartwell provides, I have fewer obligations; I keep my independence, and most importantly, I have lots of fun. Total freedom,” she tells.

It’s been seven months since Ella moved to Chartwell Cité-Jardin, and her life has changed in many ways. She is proud to say that her entire experience has been positive and she continues to discover new things every day.