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Yee Hong Centre provides independent housing for Chinese seniors

Addresses ethno-specific needs and promotes aging in the community
Monday May 26, 2008 -- Camille Jensen

Michael Yue says he moved from his Toronto home to Yee Hong Garden Terrace so he could be part of a community.

Prior to living at Yee Hong Garden Terrace life lease housing, Yue lived with his children but was by himself most of the day while they were at work. For Yue, the generation gap also made it difficult for him to socialize with his children.

Since moving into the Scarborough life lease project housing, Yue says the biggest improvement has been the social activity and new peer relationships. Doing tai chi in the morning and Monday evening dim sum, Yue says he’s much happier.

Adult children can also live at the apartments, making it possible for Barbara Yang to continue living with her parents while ensuring her parents would receive care.

“My parents are getting older and sometimes I get quite worried about them. Worried that they wouldn’t be able to take care of themselves if anything were to happen,” says Yang.

Yee Hong Geriatric Care
Residents Barbara Yang and Michael Yue say they enjoy the culture and community at Yee Hong Garden Terrace.
Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care developed Yee Hong Garden Terrace to provide seniors with assisted independent living. The independent apartments have 24-hour support staff to provide personal care and in house alarms to alert staff if there is an emergency. 

Clara Leung, manager of Yee Hong Garden Terrace, says waiting lists for supported housing units are large and the program they offer gives seniors an opportunity to age at home. She says the services offered through Yee Hong Centre make sure seniors don’t slip through the service cracks.

The centre also promotes culturally-appropriate services that allow seniors with different background the opportunity to live and age with programs that are suitable to their cultural beliefs and needs. Recently hosting a chronic disease management course, the centre promotes and encourages seniors to stay healthy.

Yang says her parents were able to attend the program and learned skills on to manage their stress and positively adjust their lifestyle to become healthier. Participating in the course with others from the centre, Yang says they’ve learned how to open up to others about health problems.

“By socializing with their peers in a group they can break out of their isolation and talk and share their feelings,” says Yang. “I think that is really positive.”

The Yee Hong Centre for Geriatric Care was featured in the “Meeting Community Needs Through Integrated Care” category at the Celebrating Innovations in Health Care Expo 2008.

To learn more about Yee Hong Geriatric Care visit their website.