Victorians find new life at Senior Communities

Those who are trying to figure out where to start with retirement living, are finding it harder to manage a household, or realize they may need different levels of care in their future need to decide on many things before planning a move to a retirement community.

Erin Van Zant, sales manager of Aquara by element, one of the newest and brightest senior communities in Victoria, B.C. Van Zant says “you need to start by asking yourself what your priorities are then ask questions of senior communities to see if they can offer what you need”. Here are some suggestions from Erin for questions to ask.

First thing to look for: Location.  What city and neighbourhood do you want to live in?  Do you want to move closer to where your children or grandchildren are living? 

Next ask what services and amenities are offered.  Does the senior community support your social, physical, and intellectual needs? Are you interested in the activities offered? Is the culinary program in keeping with your lifestyle and expectations?  Is there a diverse menu, is the food appealing and nutritional, are there appealing wine and beer choices and choices in dining including indoor and outdoor environments?  Is there a gym, exercise classes, music program, and intellectual stimulation?  Will the community support an independent lifestyle, can supportive living be added as needed without having to move?  Is there licenced care including aging-in-place for end of life? 

Ask about the building features, particularly features that are senior friendly without making the community feel institutional, for example, aesthetically pleasing grab bars in the bathroom, motion sensor lighting, and wider doorways.  Look for safety & security features like a 24 hour concierge, emergency call system, and CCTV.

Asking questions about location, amenities, culinary program, activities, and building features will go a long way in helping you decide if a senior living community is for you.

“Aquara by element is unique in Victoria for offering the choice of either purchasing or renting in an aging-in-place retirement community that celebrates integration of all generations.” says Van Zant.

The new Aquara development is a harbourside community in Songhees in Vic West neighborhood of Victoria, as described in a Times Colonist article by Andrew Duffy. 

Upon completion, Aquara will offer 47 condos, 75 rental suites and 35 care units.  For more information visit their website at or drop by their show suite at Aquara Discovery Centre #110 – 645 Tyee Rd., or make an appointment for a personal tour by calling 250-940-5155.

Read Related Topics

© Copyright Times Colonist

Most Popular


    The Times Colonist is looking for newspaper carriers to work in the Reader Sales and Service Department.

Find out what's happening in your community.