The makings of a great birthday party involve being surrounded by people who care for and understand you. And good cake, of course!
Luu Chao Chan had all of those things when he celebrated his 103rd birthday last month. He lives in a unique community cluster of Chinese-speaking seniors at WoodGreen’s Chinese language housing site in East Toronto.
The idea behind the WoodGreen Home & Cluster Care program is to create a community for seniors who can function mostly independently with some assistance from trained staff. There are five sites with 42 supportive housing units for seniors aged 59 and older.
Luu has been a part of the community for the last 13 years. He says in his 103 years of life, many things have brought him great joy, such as spending time with his son, daughter-in-law, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
He also says keeping both mind and body active is key to living a long life.
“Reading the newspaper, labeling items in my room, and reading letters or postcards sent from family.”
Favourite Chinese meals cooked on site
Luu gets around using his walker, stretches and tries to keep his body moving regularly.
Life at Cluster 53 – as his community is known – is quite social, with residents gathering in a common living and dining area. It also offers privacy with up to 10 self-contained apartments.
Most of the seniors are able to eat, dress and take medications independently but they can get assistance with personal care support, meal prep (Chinese meals cooked on site), homemaking, and security checks. There is a Personal Support Worker on site 24 hours a day to respond to emergencies.
Luu’s 103rd birthday cake was a special occasion for everyone in the cluster, and he says good food is also a part of living a good life.
“Enjoying delicious foods like dimsum, braised pork and vermicelli rice noodles with Vietnamese spring rolls.”
To learn more about WoodGreen's Cluster Care please visit our website or call central intake at 416-645-6000 ext. 1262 .