The retirement neighbourhoods of The Village of Erin Meadows shot up on the corner of Winston Churchill Blvd. and Erin Mills Crossing “right in front of my eyes,” says Azm Fazlul Hoque. This is his neighbourhood and though he’s known of The Village since the long-term care home opened more than 15 years ago, he’d never stepped foot inside.
A recent health scare and a hospital stay, however, prompted him to consider his options.
“My daughters live out of town and after they left, I found myself living by myself in my house,” he says. It’s a large, two-storey home and Azm realized navigating the stairs up and down every day posed more of a risk than he was willing to take, so he began visiting retirement communities throughout Mississauga.
When he visited Erin Meadows, he was offered the opportunity to stay in the recently-opened “getaway suite” so he might get a true sense of what Village life is really like before making any commitments. It’s one thing to tour the village, visit a suite or two and see the lovely physical design but it’s another thing entirely to be immersed in the community itself. Azm is social man; he always has been. His professional life took him all over the world and he’s written two books about his travels through six continents. He’s been involved in politics at the national level and loves nothing more than a good conversation with a potential new friend.
Living at home alone with his television and computer left him missing that important social aspect of life, but he quickly found it again when he stayed in the getaway suite those few weeks. By the end of his stay he decided he’d found his new home and today, he’s living in the fully independent Becker neighbourhood in a comfortable one-bedroom suite with a small kitchen on the 9th floor, happy to join new friends for meals and soak up all The Village has to offer.
“My goal or my objective is to be a model citizen of this community,” he says. One gets the sense that no matter where his many travels have taken him, this has always been his philosophy. The great wide world is his village, and a model citizen of it he’s proud to be.
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