I hear about ‘Independent Living’ and ‘Assisted Living,’ but I really don’t know the difference.

In our Independent Living building, your minimal health needs allow you to live independently. If your health needs increase, you can move across to our Assisted Living building, where we have a Wellness Team of nursing professionals on site all the time. 

Otherwise, both types of living have very similar features: great meals are cooked for you, someone else does the dishes and grocery shopping, and a friendly housekeeper keeps things tidy.  We have a shuttle bus if you don't drive any more, and we organize a full calendar of activities, outings, and entertainers, if you want to participate. 

For your interest, the average age in Independent Living or Assisted Living is virtually the same. 

How do I choose?

Well, your levels of health and mobility really choose for you. If you can get in and out of bed by yourself, use the restroom by yourself, and are able to live just as you would in a regular apartment building, you may be at home in Independent Living. 

If you need help bathing, need help remembering to take your medication, need regular injections or a home health nurse visiting regularly, you may be more at home in Assisted Living.  If you're considering Assisted Living, our Wellness Coordinator, a Registered Nurse, can talk with you about your health needs. 

What does it cost?

At Hallmark on the Lake Independent Living, suites start from $2280 per month.  Of course, you have a long list of included amenities, like great meals, tidy housekeeping, activities, utilities and cable, landscaping, shuttle bus, and many more.

At Hallmark on the Park Assisted Living, you have an added hot breakfast every morning,round-the-clock access to friendly wellness care from our nursing team, and an emergency pendant system. Suites start at $2990 per month.

We would encourage you to shop around, since we're confident that you'll find our value very competitive. Other places may charge you extra for all sorts of things, from meals to laundry to housekeeping, so don't feel awkward asking those questions up front.

Since you're probably shopping for this for the first time, we thought you might find this helpful:

Do younger people live in Independent Living?

Great question. You might not expect it, but the average age in both our buildings is 88.  Everyone ages a little differently, and everyone has different challenges. Some folks have celebrated their 100th birthdays in Independent Living. Other folks have chosen Assisted Living in their seventies, preferring the peace of mind offered by our emergency pendant system.


I don’t think I’m ready.

That's fine. There's no hurry, and we don't pressure you.  Only you know the best decisions for you.  Some people decide and move within days, and others do their research five years in advance.

You can also test-drive the Hallmark experience, with a short-term stay in one of our fully-furnished Oasis Suites, subject to availability.  After that, many people decide to make Hallmark their home.


When is the easiest time to move?

The easiest time to move is when you're not in crisis. So for example, if you are aging in your upstairs-bedroom house, then fall and break a hip...that's a crisis. Now you're in a rush to move somewhere, sell your house, downsize your belongings...all while recovering.  That stress takes an astonishing toll on people's overall health and longevity.

Like anything else in life, the folks who make intentional, strategic decisions in advance are under much less stress. Some people make the decision years before they move in, and then make a comfortable, unhurried transition.

Many people come for a leisurely tour, talk with us about options, and put their name on our waitlist. When a suite of your preference comes available, we give you a call, and you can decide if you're ready, or if you want to wait.  The choice is yours.

What if I go to the hospital?”

You go the hospital and focusing on recovering, and we worry about the rest.  We'll lock your door and make sure your home is in order.  We're the "housesitters."

At Hallmark on the Park Assisted Living, since we have a Wellness Team of nursing professionals, we'll be ready for your return. You'll probably need a extra hand for the first few days, of course, and we have a pre-paid post-hospital recovery package, so you'll have prepared in advance. With that peace of mind, your only job is just getting back to your normal health.


What’s a funded suite?

In our assisted living building, Hallmark on the Park, we have 47 private-rental suites, and 22 suites that are subsidized through a partnership with BC Housing and Fraser Health, called "Independent Living BC".  Those 22 "funded" suites are intended to help lower-income seniors. If you are interested, talk with your Fraser Health case manager, or call Fraser Health directly. 

I don’t understand. Who pays for that?

Fraser Health will look at your monthly income, and if you qualify on their income-assessment formula, BC Housing and Fraser Health will partner with you to pay the cost of living at Hallmark.  It's a little more complicated than that, but that's the simple version. 

Do you have funded suites available?

All funded suites are handled through Fraser Health, and they decide who moves in next. You'll have to chat with them.  We do know that sometimes folks spend many months on a waiting list for a funded suite, so often times, they move into Hallmark in a private-rental suite, while waiting for a decision on the funded suite. 

How do I know Hallmark is a quality place?

That question is usually answered when you walk through the door, and meet our Team.  Or maybe once you've tasted a home-cooked meal at Hallmark?

As you're shopping around, one question you can ask is about the BCSLA Seal of Approval. That's the gold standard in our province, showing that a retirement community has passed a rigorous set of criteria, set out by the British Columbia Seniors Living Association. While it doesn't determine if a community is the best fit for you, it can give you peace of mind that it is top-quality, and Hallmark has earned the Seal of Approval since its inception.

Thanks to the sharing of best practices and general cooperative nature of retirement home operators, sincerely wanting the best for seniors, British Columbia has many excellent options for you. If you need to live elsewhere, people sometimes call us for recommendations in other regions of the province.

What do your Residents say about Hallmark?

You should definitely ask them, since we do.  We do regular feedback surveys and Captain's Table discussions, and  we are always asking how to make Hallmark better. You're part of that Team, and we would really appreciate your thoughts.  We're all in this together.

I don’t see my question here.

Sorry about that! Send us your question via the form below, and we'll respond with an answer, and add it to our list of answers here. Sound good?

Or you can call us at 604.859.0053, and try to stump us with your question.

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