Embracing New Beginnings | Hello Alavida Neighbour


Featuring our resident Melba Hurd from our Retirement Residence; Illustration by Krisanne Gonsalves.

Melba Hurd has been a resident at Ravines by Alavida Lifestyles for the last 15 years and is currently their resident ambassador. She opens up about her experience living in the community, how she and her husband made the decision to move in – why that was the right choice for them and some insights into what makes the Ravines by Alavida Lifestyles such a great place to call home! 

Can you describe your journey moving to the Ravines and how you made the decision? 

We were much younger when we moved here – it started when my husband lost the ability to climb stairs and had two bad falls. Although my family supported our decision, some of my friends believed we were too young for a retirement home. They suggested that we get a condominium instead. However, I knew we would eventually require a lot of help, and I didn’t want to move twice. I have never regretted my decision to move to the Ravines.

Nowadays, waiting until it’s too late or getting sick and being told that you can no longer live at home means you may not have a choice about where to live. I am grateful that I made the decision and made the right choice choosing the Ravines when I did.

What does being a resident ambassador at the Ravines entail?

As the resident ambassador, I strive to connect with every resident here. Growing older can be overwhelming, and it’s essential to have support and companionship during this stage of life – especially for someone who is elderly and transitioning to a care home. I feel it’s my responsibility to help ease that transition and make people feel more at home. It can be a challenging decision to move into a care home. Still, I strongly recommend making the decision sooner rather than later. My husband and I made the right choice by coming here, and we’ve never looked back.

What do you appreciate most about the overall atmosphere and environment?

I appreciate the openness to change and suggestions. The staff here is always willing to listen and work on implementing new ideas. There are also plenty of activities to choose from, depending on your interests, and there’s always something to amuse you. Whether you’re into knitting or board games, there’s a group for everyone here.

How does the staff at the Ravines contribute to the overall living experience? 

The staff here are truly exceptional. They are patient, well-trained, and possess a deep understanding of elderly care, which is so important. Even when we feel a bit moody or are in pain, they remain kind and compassionate. If we can’t move around on a particular day, they bring meals and entertainment to us so that our days don’t feel monotonous. They strive to make life enjoyable for everyone here, I can’t say enough good words about them! 

What activities or programs do you enjoy participating in?

As an avid reader, I love catching up on the latest books and current events. When I first moved here, the library was relatively bare, but thanks to the generosity of our friends and volunteers I reached out to, we now have a vast collection of books. 

I also love attending parties, particularly our monthly birthday celebrations, where we enjoy a delicious dinner and live entertainment. 

We even have a van that takes us to shop, to doctors’ appointments, and various other activities. Anything we really want to do here, we can do. 

What have been your favourite experiences living at the Ravines so far?

There have been so many great experiences here that it’s hard to pick just one. However, I particularly enjoy the quietness and openness of the environment. There’s a beautiful pathway that leads to the end of the street, where you can spot all kinds of wildlife. When my husband and I first moved here, we even saw deer! All I can say is this is home.

This showcase can be found on the Alavida Lifestyles Insider Blog. Stay tuned as new resident and staff features will be posted each month. 

For more information about our Astoria, Promenade, Park Place, and Ravines communities, visit www.alavidalifestyles.com.

Alavida Lifestyles is part of the Choo Communities family dedicated to building modern communities throughout Ottawa and supporting independent seniors throughout a complete continuum of care. Communities are designed with two to four buildings that progressively move from one care level to the next, allowing residents more peace of mind in case they need to adapt their lifestyles.