Book lover Joanne Perschick volunteers at Quinte Gardens library, hits the pool and enjoys movies at night with friends


An avid reader, Joanne Perschick has a passion for books so it’s no surprise that her favourite thing about Aspira Quinte Gardens is the library. She even volunteers there. “I fell in love with the swimming pool and the library in particular,” said Joanne. “Now I volunteer at the library. I help wherever I’m needed.”

Her love of the library began on the day she first toured the Belleville residence with her family. Joanne’s husband David passed suddenly three years ago and her children were worried about their mother being alone and possibly falling as she has severe asthma.

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Making the move to retirement living
“I grew up in Georgian Bay, I met my husband David there,” said Joanne who is 75. “We moved to Toronto in 1973 but switched to Belleville soon after to bring up our kids.” On January 18, 2021 David passed away suddenly. “When my husband died it was a shock to all of us. Because of my severe asthma and the limitations I have because of that my family were afraid of a fall. So they started looking at retirement homes and talked me into coming here. I’m considered independent living, I still don’t need assistance but it’s there if I need it.”

Joanne – who has been with Aspira since June 2021 – said her daughter and son-in-law made the rounds of all the homes in the area without her knowing. They chose Aspira Quinte Gardens ahead of the others.

Happy to give peace of mind to her children

“They thought this is the place that has everything I need. It took a little persuasion but I went on the tour with them and I fell in love with the place. Then I felt comfortable about making the adjustment and putting the house on the market. I live independently here and that relieved the pressure for my family. It’s one less worry for them. I wasn’t able to do the chores at home anymore so they thought this place would be better for me.”

When Joanne needs anything her family will come and if they are unable to do so there is a back up in place. “Quinte Gardens has a van that will take you to your medical or business appointments,” said Perschick. “We also have a bus which takes us on scenic tours and shopping trips.”

Games, friends, library duty, pool dips and movie nights
On an average day Joanne said she plays a variety of games with friends including crazy 8s, shuffle board, ladder ball and bingo. Then of course she will spend some time reading or helping out at the library. The indoor pool is popular with her too and since the pandemic ended nights are fully social again so the Quinte Gardens movie theatre is busy.

”At night I like to go to the movies. It’s pretty much the same crowd that go to the movies every night, we’re still socializing and communicating, almost everyone is on first name terms. I’ve made a lot of friends. But sometimes I forget some of my friends’ names but I find that the old “hello dear” covers it if I forget anyone’s name,” she said with a smile.

Appreciation for the food
When it comes to meal times at Aspira Quinte Gardens Perschick is happy with the variety available. Even when she can’t find something she likes on the menu, she appreciates being able to order off-menu. “I like the food, there are some things I don’t like
, but most of meals are great. If I’m not feeling up to what’s on the menu then I can always order something else and I find the service for the meals is very good.”

joanne croppedJoanne also recognizes the benefit of being in retirement living compared to home when it comes to food. “You’re getting a good meal here. If you live on your own you may not feel like cooking, but here you’re getting a meal and it’s good food. It’s also prepared in such a way for seniors who have dietary needs.”

Exceeding expectations
Overall Joanne enjoys being a Quinte Garden resident and part of her group of friends there. The Belleville residence exceeded her expectations. “I was expecting it to be more a nursing home but when I arrived they just said ‘join in’ so I joined in everything I possibly could. I  immediately
got active in everything. I would recommend it. I recommend Quinte Gardens because of the wide variety of activities and the interaction with people.”


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