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House to Home

Discover Calgary: Northeast Calgary

Calgary’s northeast has the best shopping, dining, and most affordable housing in the city – there, we said it! Well-connected to all transit and with quick access to the airport, Deerfoot Trail, Stoney Trail, Airdrie and beyond, northeast Calgary is the perfect place to set down roots. Commutes are a breeze, and excellent road infrastructure leading to and from this quadrant means great access to downtown and back any time of day. The light industrial park in the northeast is home to incredible hobby and special interest shops, thrift and antique shopping, restaurants, clothing and fabric stores, and more. Even if you don’t choose to make it home, it’s well worth a visit! 

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Initiating a delicate dialogue: Addressing the anxiety of transitioning to retirement living

Visiting home can be a nostalgic and emotional experience. As you walk through the front door, you’re transported back to a different time. As you wander through the kitchen, maybe you remember the smell of your favorite fresh baked cookies, or the time you helped your parents prepare a feast for the holidays. Every corner of a room, each creak of a staircase, and 

the sound of familiar voices hold memories that shaped your childhood.

Coming home can hold some difficult emotions for us as well. For many adult children, visiting home leads to seeing some noticeable differences in their parents. Maybe the house isn’t as tidy as it used to be, or there is a pile of unopened mail on the table. Maybe your parent is struggling to get up the stairs they used to navigate with ease, or is unable to use the stove. This shift will lead many adult children to the realization that their parent is struggling to live independently. At this point, it’s time to have the conversation with your parent about moving to retirement living.


Starting the conversation

While this conversation may cause you a lot of anxiety and uncertainty, it is important to realize that your parent is feeling this way, too. The same memories about your childhood home that you hold dear are also important to your parents. They could be feeling vulnerable and scared thinking about having to leave the place that holds such sentimental value.

Approaching this conversation with empathy is key to having a productive conversation. Acknowledge that there may be many reasons that your parent doesn’t want to move, and the fact that this brings up difficult emotions. Ensure your parent that you want them to be actively involved in the search, and that a move does not mean that you won’t be involved in their life anymore. Be sure to bring up the reasons that moving to a retirement community is a good choice, including opportunities to make new friends, reduced stress around cooking and cleaning, and the option to receive care services that will prioritize their health and safety.

Perhaps, most importantly, be patient: you should be ready to have the conversation more than once. If you can, try to start this conversation earlier than later. While it can be challenging to consider retirement living when things are going well, having an established plan in place ensures that you and your loved one are able to navigate aging gracefully, rather than having to react to an accident, injury, or illness in the future.

Do the research

Once your parent has come to the decision to move to retirement living, ensure that they are actively involved in finding the place that’s right for them. To start, determine what type of home they are looking for based on the level of care they require – independent, assisted, or memory care. Once this has been determined, ask them what makes a place feel like home – what do they need in a suite to make them comfortable? Will they require meals? What are their dietary concerns? Would they like a full kitchen, or would a kitchenette be enough? What kind of activities do they like? Asking these questions will give you and your family a checklist to ask prospective communities as you search. There may be points in this journey where you and your parent disagree. If you face this challenge, it never hurts to bring in another perspective from a different family member or caregiver should your parent need another opinion.

Touring a community

Once you’ve done your research, it’s time to tour some communities. Be sure that you and your loved one come prepared with questions that speak to your timeframe, budget, the social activities your parents like to do, and what type of care is required. Additionally, many retirement communities will provide referrals for moving services to make the process of downsizing more efficient. Don’t be afraid to express your concerns around your parent’s move. A good community will address these concerns and more!

While having the conversation about moving to retirement living can be hard, remember that this move is meant to support your parents in maintaining their independence for longer, not taking it away. 


Jerri is the social media & marketing coordinator with Trico LivingWell. Trico LivingWell believes in supporting their resident's independence through a strong wellness culture that prioritizes health, wellness, and quality of life. For more information on how Trico LivingWell can support your search for a retirement living community, please visit


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