At Home in The Village of Erin Meadows

Donna Intini has an extensive understanding of the caregiving profession. As a nurse in Credit Valley Hospital’s operating rooms, she spent nearly three decades supporting countless people at pivotal moments in their life.  

She thrived in that environment.

John and Donna pose in front of the fireplace in the Library at The Village of Erin Meadows. “It was the best job I ever had,” she says. “I loved it.”

Multiple Sclerosis entered her life at the age of 50, however, and 13 years later the progression of the illness prompted her into retirement. In early 2023, the symptoms and pain had worsened to the point that she and her husband, John, knew they needed to look for a home that could offer both comfort and care as Donna needed it.

Donna had been in hospital for nearly two months and her mobility became seriously compromised. During this time, their daughters explored retirement communities throughout Mississauga, and that’s how Donna and John came to be part of the community at The Village of Erin Meadows.

Donna arrived in March while John organized their affairs and in June, they moved into their two-bedroom suite on the 12th floor overlooking the neighbourhoods where they’ve lived for decades.

“You get a sense of community here,” Donna says as she considers their new home. “When I first walked in here, I said: ‘this is me.’ ”

John recalls how his daughter emphatically agreed that Erin Meadows was where they needed to be.

“We have everything we need and everyone who comes in to see us can’t believe how great this place is,” he says.

They say it’s not so much the physical space they enjoy so much, though as they sit in the Library off Main Street looking out to the high bright window-filled ceiling of the Town Square, they agree that the Village design is lovely.

“It’s uplifting to be in here,” Donna says.

What they find extraordinary about Village life, however, is the people and the connections they’ve made in the short time they’ve lived there.

There’ll be a circle of neighbours sitting in the Café sharing stories while sipping coffee, Donna says, and if you ask to join, the circle simply gets a little bigger.

If someone is facing a challenge, the support of community is there, and they’ve met many people for whom that community has been invaluable. As a retired nurse who now relies on others for aspects of her care, Donna also knows the mark of a strong caregiver, and she loves the team that supports her.

“I cannot say enough about this place,” John says, after Donna sings the praises of the team. “We really wouldn’t want to be anywhere else.”