At the start of 2020, just before COVID-19 truly started to make its impact on North American society, Dr. Robert Ruderman and Mrs. Marlene Ruderman had a decision to make — continue living in their Toronto apartment, where they’d lived for 30 years, or move to The Terraces of Baycrest.
The couple, married 68 years, took into consideration the fact that all their children, grandchildren and greatgrandchildren live in the U.S., and that they wanted to be somewhere they could enjoy their time with other older adults, as well as ensure their health was looked after.
“We decided that in case anything happens, we better be in a safer environment,” Marlene said. “We moved in and haven’t looked back. It was the difference between living alone in an apartment and being in a retirement home and really living.” What the Rudermans found at The Terraces was more than just a retirement residence, they found an enriching new community. One that provides excellence in care and is renowned for its expertise in helping older adults discover new opportunities in their day-to-day life through innovative, specialized programs and services. They also found some peace in a turbulent time for older adults and society at large.
In the two months from January to March 2020, before the terms “lockdown” and “social distancing“ became part of our vernacular, the Rudermans got a taste of what life would be like in The Terraces. The programming and the activities, including some of their favourites — discussion groups, art appreciation and exercise classes — helped them live a life of purpose, inspiration and fulfilment and made them feel lucky to be there.
As such, when the first wave hit and programs and activities were stopped for safety protocols, it was a difficult adjustment. Despite that, “I always felt that we were safer here than we would have been anywhere else during the pandemic,” Robert said.
The Rudermans are looking forward to taking further advantage of all The Terraces has to offer as pandemic restrictions loosen; and they’re also telling their friends that it’s the place to be when considering changing their living arrangements.
“The Terraces has been a positive experience for us,” Marlene said. “We have friends who are living at home with a full-time caregiver, but that’s something we never wanted to do.”
Robert adds that they tell friends about all the activities they can pick and choose from. “And I’m back to playing bridge again, which is very nice!”