Benefits of Choice
With this freedom of choice in sitting, you make new friends, or catch up with recent "old" friends and everyone seems to be lively, friendly and, of course, talkative. All in all it is a very relaxed and friendly atmosphere. As to staffing in the place generally, I have no idea of the numbers anywhere considering the numbers needed to look after all the elderly. Moreover, I cannot tell whether they are all Amica staff, or some are outsiders hired in by individual families. It all seems very flexible and a constant hive of activity everywhere.
On this main floor, the food is really good, you can choose exactly what you want on every order - the menu is typically in very simple English and acts mainly as a guide, straight and down-to-earth. You get exactly what you ask for and reasonably quickly. That is to say, you can choose this and this but without that and that and you get exactly what you ask for.
Also, quantities are scaled down and serving staff soon get to know what you like and how much. The three main meals per day are each available over a two-hour period and you show up when you are feeling hungry. (As described earlier, the second floor folks have their own dining room and separate serving counter.) Did I mention that the evening meal includes a glass of wine? All you have to do is ask for it!
On the matter of activities, there seems to be always something going on but, considering the size of the population, I suspect not a very high participation rate. A lot of people seem to stay in their room all day and often have their meals in their room as well.
I should mention that several times we have had entertainers, in particular a young lady who typically comes for half an hour each week to play traditional music (read Beethoven, Mozart, et al.) on our grand piano in the corner of the dining room. It warms my heart!
How much does this accommodation all cost? We are still trying to sort out our finances amongst all our moving costs. However, it would appear to be very similar to what we were paying overall in Toronto, for slightly less space but much better arranged.
We are very comfortable here.
Footnote: Since writing this article, we have had an outbreak of gastroenteritis. To try to curtail the spread of this highly contagious illness, we have all been confined to our rooms for a few days, with all meals brought to our suite doors. This outbreak only lasted a few days.