Timothy, Lillie and Margaret (3 shared stories)
When Timothy signed the papers in my office to move in, he had a tear in the corner of his eye. He told me that he was coming back into society. He’d been alone and very lonely and now he wouldn’t be anymore.
Timothy’s wife died over a year before I met him. Timothy was living in a condo on his own. The couple had recently moved to Victoria from Ontario and hadn’t made many friends.
Timothy was lonely in his condo without Elsie. As a retired engineer at the age of 83, he liked routine so every day, Tim would have his toast for breakfast, his toast and soup for lunch and then walk down to a restaurant several blocks from his home for dinner. On the way home, he would stop at the local grocer and pick up the supplies he needed for the next day.
At home, he read a bit, listened to music a bit, and drank a bit. When the phone did ring, it was from an old friend in Ontario. But Timothy didn’t want to move back to his old home. He wanted to stay in Victoria.
And then one day he was walking by The Glenshiel and saw our sign. On a hunch he came in and was able to have a tour of our residence. It wasn’t long afterwards that I received his application and when a room came available, Timothy moved in. As he signed the papers he tearfully told me that this was the beginning of his new life.
Tim has become involved with the card games and he likes to sing at the piano when Helen plays the piano. I’ve noticed when we go on field trips that he and Helen are together then too. A budding romance? Perhaps!
Timothy asked me to tell people when they come for a tour or are thinking of moving in to tell them that it is the best decision he made. He’s happy again.
And he isn’t the only one. Alf moved in 18 years ago. He says this is the third best decision he made in his life. The first was asking his wife to marry him. The second was moving to Canada. And the third was moving into the Glenshiel when his wife went into care. By the way Alf is 100 years old now!
Kate says the same thing. She volunteered here for a number of years and then thought, why don’t I just move in? And she did. She’s glad she did and she tells everyone so.
George moved in 5 years ago and discovered painting. We have his pictures up on the walls of our hallways. He hadn’t painted before but now he has discovered his talent.
The moral of these stories? People who are lonely can move into The Glenshiel and find a good lifestyle here. People who are lonely can find friendship. And people who are tired of cooking and cleaning can find a better quality of life while the staff does the cooking and cleaning for them.
Lillie was looking for a place to call home when she moved to Victoria and came across The Glenshiel after hearing many good things about the residents and the meals offered here. She was not with us long before she came out of remission and she transitioned into her final days with grace. Her goal was to be able to stay at home and enjoy her lovely little suite overlooking Thunderbird Park. She enjoyed everything about The Glenshiel and when asked how she liked it here she simply said, with her strong Scottish accent, "I think I've died and gone to heaven".
Rest in Peace Lillie ~ you are missed here and though you have been gone a while, your memory remains alive in us all.
Margaret appreciates order in her life, from her own living space to the amenities around her. And she’s a voracious reader.
It’s not surprising then, that one of the things she took on after moving into The Glenshiel was organizing the residence’s on-site library, after conferring with Executive Director , Lynn Larsen.
“I took all the books out and put what I thought were the most interesting books in prominent areas, and put the other sort of ‘fluff’ books in other areas,” Margaret says. She also tried to arrange the books by author names and putting the large print editions together.
The library, stocked with donated books, is just one of the things Margaret loves about living at this Douglas Street residence.
Wide range of social activities available
Living on her own in an apartment near Cook Street Village meant Margaret had to seek out activities, but The Glenshiel’s programmers keep residents busy with daily events of interest scheduled around regular meal times.
Keen on learning new things, especially about other cultures, as well as staying physically active and hearing people’s stories, Margaret enjoys Trivia Tuesdays and listening to guest speakers – one fellow resident recently gave a talk on his book about birds and dinosaurs. She often walks home from Central Baptist Church on Pandora Avenue and regularly participates in exercise sessions at The Glenshiel.
First visit a serendipitous occasion
Margaret considers herself an introvert, but found herself in conversation with a gentleman named Henry at a social outing last year. She listened to him talk about living at The Glenshiel and how much he loved it. At a later outing he again raved to her about the residence.
“So out of curiosity, I thought, ‘I’m going to go and check it out,’” she says.
The day of her visit she encountered a woman on the street who lived there. Margaret was later introduced to the woman, who was soon to be moving out of her suite. Within two months, Margaret was moving in and she’s made the most of her time living there.
Quiet, private suites in the award-winning 1908 heritage building range from bed-sitting rooms to two-room suites, while modern upgrades and amenities ensure safe, comfortable living for the approximately 70 residents. Affordable monthly fees include three home-cooked meals with a choice of entree daily plus snacks, housekeeping and linen change, laundry facilities, basic cable and local phone calls, plus welcoming front desk staff available around the clock.