Sorrento Retirement Residence: Golden Years

Sorrento Retirement Residence in Bolton provides a luxurious environment filled with care, compassion and social interactions where residents can make the most of their golden years.

For most families, taking care of its elderly members is not merely one of its most important responsibilities, it is also a moral obligation, one that has been incurred over a lifetime. Your elders took care of you in your early years, so you should take care of them at the other end of the age spectrum, ensuring that their remaining years are spent comfortably in a friendly environment where their needs are attended to — most importantly, with a sense of dignity.

That environment can be found at Sorrento Retirement Residence at 10 Station Road near downtown Bolton, Ont. Inspired by the picturesque town of Sorrento, Italy, this warm and welcoming environment brings a distinctively Italian zest for life to a luxury retirement residence. Here, life is lived with passion and purpose, close friendships and, above all, great food and conversation. This is what President Raymond Nicolini envisioned when he entered the retirement residence business: to create an environment based on dignity.

“A number of years ago I saw the writing on the wall. My parents were getting older and, having a bit of experience with properties, I didn’t like what was out there in the market,” says Nicolini in a recent interview with City Life. “I thought we needed something that gave our parents, our uncles, our aunts, our grandparents — or whoever the family member is — we needed to give them dignity when they decide to move into a retirement residence. Sorrento is the result of trying to give our loved ones as much dignity as possible. So we built it and I think it reflects that — at least, I hope it does.”

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The atmosphere at Sorrento Retirement Residence is family-friendly and family-first perhaps because it is a family-owned and -operated business. One of Raymond’s daughters, Desirée, is director of sales and marketing, and the other, Simone, is building operations manager. That warm and familial atmosphere is a key advantage for residents at Sorrento.

“I think the feeling here is excitement, for different reasons that are personal to the individual,” says Desirée Nicolini. “I think our residents see themselves doing things they used to love to do because as soon as you walk in you feel that atmosphere, that care and that support. They see that the opportunities are here, and we provide for them. I think there is a feeling of excitement and hope.” There is a distinctive feeling of comfort at Sorrento that is almost tangible that separates it from other retirement residences, and which is felt by both the residents and their families, according to Raymond Nicolini.

“We always see a look of surprise as they enter as they don’t expect this, this level of luxury and beauty,” he says. “They expect something that is more institutional, more clinical, and that’s what we try very hard to avoid. This has to be home because that’s what it is — it’s home. There is always the guilt from kids when they feel their parents need a retirement residence, but when they walk into Sorrento, that guilt is relieved, and they feel it’s a better place for Mom and Dad.”

Residents can choose from a wide variety of beautifully decorated suite plans and floor sizes, and the emphasis is on providing abundant natural light, spectacular views and fresh air from Juliet-style balconies.

All suites feature independently controlled heating and air conditioning, built-in kitchenettes, large wheelchair- accessible bathrooms, safety bars and an in-suite nurse call system. Sorrento also provides full housekeeping and laundry services as well as in-suite room service.

Caring, committed and compassionate staff are on call 24/7 to attend to any need, and health-care professionals are on-site, plus concierge services are offered. The Sorrento Wellness Program, personalized to empower each resident, holistically encompasses personal fitness, ongoing activity, healthy eating and community involvement. For residents who require assisted living services, state-of-the- art care is offered in private suites on a dedicated floor.

Sorrento also provides community amenities including a gym and fitness area, bistro, pub and games room, movie theatre, fireplace and grand piano in the lounge, as well as a swimming pool, outdoor patio and BBQ area where residents can host family and friends.

“OUR RESIDENTS SEE THEMSELVES DOING THINGS THEY USED TO LOVE TO DO – AS SOON AS YOU WALK IN YOU FEEL THAT ATMOSPHERE, THAT CARE AND THAT SUPPORT.” – Desirée Nicolini

They can also enjoy group outings or day trips. Massage services and beauty treatments are offered, and there is an on-site salon to help residents look and feel their best. Beloved furry companions are welcome at pet-friendly Sorrento, which offers full pet services, including dog-walking.

According to Raymond Nicolini, the amenities have been specifically designed to encourage a socially engaged and active lifestyle.

“As beautiful as Sorrento is, the most valuable feature that we offer is the availability of social interaction, which is just so very critical,” he says. “And our residence lends itself to that because every day that we can achieve that social interaction our residents will thrive — because we all do it every day. That’s how we all live. We look for social interaction; it’s how we’re made. If we can provide that here every day, that’s a success and another badge on our lapel. We offer shared experiences: residents can laugh together, cry together, tell stories together, and share good and bad news together. That’s what we are offering, and that’s something money just cannot buy.”

What comes through so clearly when talking to Raymond, Desirée and Simone Nicolini is their strong sense of family values, traditional old-school Italian family values instilled by their beloved Papa, Vittorio Nicolini. Vittorio was a man with a zest for life who loved nothing better than spending time with friends and family over a great meal — so much so that Sorrento’s restaurant is named Ristorante Vittorio in his honour. Vittorio’s values are alive today throughout Sorrento Retirement Residence. According to Desirée, these family values are the guiding light at Sorrento for its staff every day.

“One of our values is that each person is an individual with their own needs, be that care or a sense of independence or different levels of socialization,” says Desirée. “It’s a coming-together of assistance for those who need it and a sense of independence at the same time, while giving them all a strong sense of dignity. There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to care. We always remember that this has become their home, and we are just so thankful to be a part of that.”

Desirée adds that the attention to care and compassion at Sorrento is often a huge relief for families. “It’s because families feel good leaving, and when they come and visit it’s a true visit without worrying about whether Mom took her medication today, because that’s our job,” she says. “When families come and visit, it’s true quality time.”

There is a time of transition in every life, and as loved ones age they often need more care, a reality that every family eventually faces. A decision to bring Sorrento into that transition time can make those golden years among the best and most rewarding years.


INTERVIEW BY MARC CASTALDO

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Rick Muller

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