By invitation, OPAL is featured in 2017 Vancouver Profiles of Excellence, published by Glacier Media Group. Element is honored for its revolutionary, innovative concept that does away with the conventional model of retirement residences, or nursing and senior homes. OPAL by element, the first intergenerational residence to provide Independent Living, Assisted Living and Complex Care, eliminates the stigma and negative emotions associated with the idea of “old folks’ homes”.
OPAL by element™
Intergenerational, socially engaged, lifestyle retirement
“Retirement is not about age, need, or whether one works. It’s about meaningful connection and a quality of life that people have earned.” Candy Ho
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Facing a healthcare crisis is no time to be considering a move. Unfortunately many seniors wait until they simply cannot manage.
What if there was a place where seniors could live well before there was ever an issue? What if that home included everything to allow for intergenerational living while celebrating the importance of family?
There soon will be, with OPAL, an element™ community at King Edward and Cambie, just steps from Queen Elizabeth Park and the Canada Line.
Candy Ho, Director and VP, Marketing and Corporate Relations with element™ is the daughter of Don Ho, who had the vision of a real retirement community.
Candy’s father pioneered the Aging in Place concept in the 90’s. He led the co-founding of BC Senior Living Association and influenced the government to form the Registrar of Assisted Living. Personal experience with his own parents and in-laws drove him to create something to prevent separating companions after a lifetime together. He wanted the active spouse to continue to live fully, and to not struggle to provide care without professional training.
OPAL builds on Don’s legacy and the Ho family’s way of living. Candy knew the residence would become her parents’ home and as soon as the design began, she had a moment of eureka.
“For my parents it’s a non-negotiable that we all continue to be part of their life. My mom can’t bear to burden anyone. She wouldn’t move unless she knew the kids would be excited to play there.” Candy explains.
Candy’s mom lives with chronic challenges, yet chooses to spend on a chef to bring the family of 12 together every day, instead of hiring assistance for herself. From this, Candy recognized many retirees need to stay close to their most important relationships to consider living a retirement community.
“We want whole families to enjoy life, and we want to eliminate the tension of unspoken duty or burden,” Candy says.
“We engage all ages in new playful, enriching experiences. There is nothing ‘old’ about this environment,” Candy notes.
At Opal, there will be a rooftop patio with views, barbeque and fire pits, private dining rooms complete with board games, and an open chef’s table for culinary classes. Facilitated programs in intergenerational spaces will let seniors play and do yoga with kids, share their life stories, and instill values and skills that would otherwise be lost.
Opal offers peace of mind for all generations, removing the scramble of moving in an urgent state of need. Priority access to 24-hour licensed care means residents are not among many thousands waiting for a bed to open.
More than that, Opal will be a home with a built-in clubhouse. At Opal, life will be full of vibrancy and warmth.
Don, Candy and her sister, Wendy work collaboratively with a deeply experienced team to create Opal, expected to complete in early 2019. It’s based on the intergenerational concept that won Element an international award for, out of 950 projects worldwide.
“Element is founded on a shift in mindset. We are driven by shared values and purpose.” notes Candy. “Retirement is not about age, need, or whether one works. It’s about meaningful connection and a quality of life that people have earned.”