October 15, 2019

The Life of an Independent Older Woman – No Regrets


 The Life of an Independent Older Woman-No Regrets, Cynthia Gordon

Credit River Resident, Cynthia Gordon

How A Lover of Travel Lives Happy and Free in A Senior Living Residence

Ever Wonder if You Should Move into a Senior Living Residence?

Try as they might, some older adults can’t picture themselves living in a senior living residence.

Goodbye independence. So long, spontaneity.

Or so they think.

Of course, these worries are far from the truth. Don’t believe us?

Then you’ve never met the likes of Cynthia, a three-year-veteran of the Credit River Retirement Residence in Streetsville, Ontario, better known as Mississauga, a suburb of Toronto.

Many older adults wonder if they should move into a senior living residence. They may need or want the added assistance, but fear the transition may crush their lifestyle. Worse — rob them of their independence. If their decision is remotely based on Hollywood’s sombre image of a retirement residence, they quickly reject the idea.

But if like Cynthia, they visit a retirement residence such as the Credit River Retirement Residence, they immediately see how they could fit into the community.

And you’ll soon see that Cynthia is NOT someone who has spent her life trying to fit in.

Engaged, Passionate, Adventure-Seeking: Redefining What it Means to Age Gracefully

Take, the New Year’s Eve when she was still working as a registered nurse. Cynthia recalls how she just wasn’t feeling the spontaneity that she was seeking to bring in the new year. “I felt like I had to go somewhere.” And just like that, she made a split decision. She could celebrate the evening with friends, or she could satisfy that life-long yearning to travel. That she had no companion in mind, had never stopped her before. Truth be told, it was the solo journeys that have intrigued Cynthia most. Before long, she had changed plans, said adieu to friends, and was boarding a plane bound for the Bahamas.

Born this Way: How an independent Senior Came into Being.

Cynthia is the first to admit she’s been pursuing new adventures all her life. When she chances upon an opportunity or a challenge she wants to accomplish, she’s all in. Born in the seaside town of Buff Bay, Portland, Jamaica, the youngest of nine children was imbued with the nomadic spirit from the very beginning.

She didn’t aim to please her mother, nor the Quakers who ran the boarding school where she and her siblings attended. She was spoiled, Cynthia conceded, flatly telling her elders, “I’m not going to do anything you ask me to do.”

Cynthia’s behaviour led to a month where no one spoke to her, and she grudgingly spent her days plucking weeds from a neglected tennis court. It served me well, says Cynthia. Underneath that stubborn disposition, she discovered a spiritual and empathic temperament that she would spend the rest of her life nurturing.

The life of an Independent Older Woman: No Regrets

Regret has never played a role in Cynthia’s life. Nor has quitting. All her life, she aspired to learn and to follow her dreams — one idea after another. First, she became a registered nurse, training and working in Kingston, Jamaica, and later working in London, England. Eager to learn more, she became a certified state midwife and went door to door delivering babies with an Irish nun. When Premier Thomas Douglas began recruiting nurses to offset a doctor’s strike, she headed to Saskatchewan. Then British Columbia, and finally Toronto’s Doctor’s Hospital where she cared for seniors.

There has been no shortage of intoxicating adventures beckoning Cynthia. And she was never one to say no. Nor did she follow her path with the help of a man. Engaged twice, she was clearly unwilling to give up her independence.

Learning to Receive Care for the First Time

Cynthia has had her share of health concerns. Diagnosed with diabetes, she finally stopped travelling three years ago when she could no longer fill out her travel forms

For the first time in her life, the career caretaker found herself on the receiving end of care. “I can handle this,” she says, accepting that she will one day require more help, such as assisted living. With this knowledge, she chose to live at the Credit River Retirement Residence because it offers a continuum of care.

It’s also the ideal playground for her to continue seeking growth and helping others.

Still Spreading the Love

Every morning, she wakes to that same feeling of “I’m glad I’m alive. I wake up, and I try to live life and be productive.” She confesses that she doesn’t have the same urgency she once had.” Gone are the globe-trotting days. Now her days are busy with mingling and chatting with her fellow residents. She continues to take a keen interest in helping others, especially those who can benefit from her experience working with seniors.

And then there are her stories. “I’m perfectly satisfied listening to my books on tape, which the library delivers to her. “I love my stories. I can sit for hours in my suite listening to them.”

And she loves her independence, showing no signs of wavering. Of course, her relatives would love for her to live with them. But she’s as fiercely committed today to her sense of independence, as she was the day she walked into the Quaker boarding school.

“I want to live alone,” she insists. “I love it.”

To learn more about life at Credit River Retirement Residence, you can reach us here.