Adult chil­dren help­ing en­sure ag­ing par­ents live in style and com­fort

Cape Breton Post - - SPORTS - BY SU­SAN PIGG

their par­ents to have the very best,” says Prashad, a 20-year vet of the se­niors’ hous­ing mar­ket, and CEO of Mis­sis­sauga’s new­est “ac­tive ag­ing com­mu­nity,” Ori­gin Ev­er­green.

“ The in­dus­try used to have three paint schemes — green, beige and more beige,” Prashad says. In­stead, for the first time, he in­cor­po­rated a decor cen­tre into Ori­gin Ev­er­green so the first renters and condo buy­ers had a wide range of paint, ap­pli­ance and fin­ish op­tions.

“We find the kids are spending a lot on up­grades, and adult daugh­ters are com­ing in and say­ing, ‘Mom, you’ve al­ways wanted gran­ite, why don’t you have it now?’”

The rea­son is sim­ple, says Cowan, a Mis­sis­sauga real es­tate agent who searched for five months be­fore fall­ing in love with Ori­gin. The two-hectare apart­ment and condo de­vel­op­ment has 300 units and Cowan was es­pe­cially wowed by its smor­gas­bord of ser­vices, from a ’50s-style diner and bowl­ing al­ley to an on-site spa and salt wa­ter pool touted as be­ing eas­ier on coloured hair than all that nasty chlo­rine.

“I wanted to ex­tend her life,” says Cowan, who spent $22,000 on up­grades to the $270,000 condo (she fig­ures the unit, with one bed­room and den, is now worth well over $300,000). She had the kitchen re­ar­ranged to make it eas­ier for her 74-year-old mother, Ina McPeak, to get around on her scooter.

“Mom didn’t want me to spend the money and she doesn’t like a lot of frills. She wasn’t brought up that way,” Cowan says. “But a lot of kids want to give back to their par­ents, and re­tire­ment liv­ing doesn’t get any bet­ter than this. You should be pam­pered. You should have the qual­ity of life you de­serve right un­til the end.”

Ac­tive ag­ing is the new credo of an in­dus­try run­ning to keep up with baby boomers and their par­ents. Many of th­ese adult kids are well-heeled pro­fes­sion­als who are walk­ing into re­tire­ment de­vel­op­ment open houses with their eyes fixed on the fu­ture — their par­ents’ and their own.

“Kids my age — I’m push­ing 50 — are telling us, ‘This is what I want and what I don’t want,’” says Brian Bradley, pres­i­dent of Hearth­stone Com­mu­ni­ties Ser­vices Ltd.

His com­pany builds lux­u­ri­ous de­vel­op­ments west of Toronto in Burling­ton and on Eto­bi­coke’s water­front that Bradley likens more to re­sorts than re­tire­ment homes, given that they in­clude a la carte of­fer­ings of ev­ery­thing from per­sonal train­ers and yoga classes to shut­tle buses that can ferry res­i­dents to shop­ping, the­atre or Ni­a­gara winer­ies.

“Some kids are buy­ing with a no­tion to take the unit over when their par­ents die,” says Bradley.

The next phase in the evo­lu­tion of re­tire­ment com­mu­ni­ties will be lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, lo­ca­tion, de­vel­op­ers agree.

“I want to be one of the first guys to do some­thing in Toronto’s en­ter­tain­ment district,” Prashad says.

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