Still living a life filled with fun, friends and activities at 95

In the rural Ontario town of Uxbridge sits the vibrant retirement community of Douglas Crossing where Helen Lee resides. The 95-year-old has been a resident of the Uxbridge community since its doors opened in 2017 and her story is one of resilience, joy, and an unwavering enthusiasm for an active and productive life. Lee is in her seventh year at Douglas Crossing with an enduring love for the community she calls home after a life rich with experience, service, and family. “I love it here. I love the food, the activities and especially the people. Everyone is so friendly,” she said.

robbie2Early life, nursing career and marriage
Born in January of 1929, in Toronto, Helen grew up in the country’s biggest city. Her journey as a nurse began with an OR Scholarship at Toronto General Hospital, setting the stage for a career defined by care, devotion and compassion. Her path took a romantic turn in 1955 when she married her husband and moved to Uxbridge, a place she has called home ever since. Here, Helen and her husband raised their three children—a boy and two girls—amidst the challenges and joys of family life. Helen began her career as an OR nurse in Port Perry Hospital before making the move to Uxbridge with her husband once the town had its own hospital.

Her husband’s passing and a new start at Douglas Crossing
Years later her life took a sad turn with the passing of her husband, leaving Helen to navigate her golden years alone. The timing of the opening of Douglas Crossing was perfect for her. "The building couldn't have come at a more convenient time in my life," Helen shared, highlighting the serendipitous timing that led her to become one of the very first residents of this welcoming and vibrant residence.

HelenAn average day at Douglas Crossing
Helen's average day at Douglas Crossing begins with an early rise at 7:30 am before she heads down for breakfast at 8:00 am. This is followed by plenty of movement in the form of a morning exercise class with fellow residents and her morning walk. Her walk is something she takes religiously regardless of the weather. “I never miss it,” she said proudly. This commitment to a healthier lifestyle is likely the reason why Helen is still full of life at the age of 95. 

The remainder of her morning schedule is packed with activities - including Bingo, Jeopardy and Pictionary, just to name a few - that keep her engaged and connected with fellow residents. In the afternoons she enjoys attending events like High Tea and Wine Wednesdays. Helen's enthusiasm for life extends effortlessly into each evening at her new home, where she always participates in either movie nights or games of Bridge. She loves the camaraderie at night and never misses a chance to socialize with the other residents. 

Managing in the kitchen before retirement living
Reflecting on what she ate before Douglas Crossing, Helen shared: "Meat and potatoes were a staple in my household. I didn't have much time for doing any gourmet cooking and I’ll openly admit that I don’t really enjoy it anyway. So I love the variety of food here.” Her move to Douglas Crossing marked a new chapter, one she wholeheartedly embraces. "I would recommend Douglas Crossing to anyone," Helen enthusiastically noted, adding, "I am no longer alone and I am never short on things to do. I love it!"

628 Helen LeeHelen’s story is not just about her 95 years lived but about the life passionately lived within those years. Her productive presence at Douglas Crossing is a very welcome one by team members and residents alike, showcasing that retirement living can be a time of new beginnings, rich with opportunities for engagement, friendship, and fulfillment. Helen's journey shows that anyone considering the transition to retirement living should not be content with just finding a place to live, they should seek out a place to thrive. As Helen reflects on her time at Douglas Crossing, her words resonate with contentment and a sense of belonging. "I have my nice room and no worries. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."

Related Posts