Jenny & Peter

“ All the staff came to say goodbye on the day Jenny passed. We all knew it was coming… their compassion made everything easier.”
peter and jenny

“I’m very impressed,” says Peter van Roon of his Magnolia Gardens home. “We looked at a lot of places, and none of them had the feel that this place has.”

After living in Abbotsford for years in a community-oriented condominium project, Peter and his wife Jenny found it difficult to find the same spirit in a seniors’ home.

“The rooms were no bigger than a motel room, and they could not accommodate our needs,” he adds.

Their challenge was that Jenny had a debilitating illness that required additional care, and many homes had no provision for them to be together.

Fortunately, Peter had visited Magnolia previously, and he remembered that it ‘felt different’ to him. He asked his oldest daughter to have a look, and she too was impressed.

Jenny and Peter spent a lot of time considering their options and discussing the future before making the decision to move.

When the day came, they moved into Magnolia Gardens and reserved a room in the Care Centre to support Jenny’s condition.

Jane Bryce, Area Marketing Manager for Bria Communities in Langley, remembers… “Peter would go see Jenny every day, and everyone could see how much they enjoyed each other’s company and to simply be under the same roof.”

Peter adds, “Jenny’s diet was restricted due to her condition. For her birthday, Jane brought her a special gluten-free cake, which just delighted her to no end. The attention here is just that good.”

Pam Murphy, Area General Manager for Bria Communities in Langley, has a simple philosophy: live at Magnolia Gardens the way you’d like to live at home. She believes that couples live better together, and her job is to make sure it can happen as easily as possible.

Peter agrees. “If I could have taken care of her myself, we may have stayed where we were. But Pam made everything so easy for us, which improved day-to-day life for the whole family.

And Peter’s family is not small… he raised seven kids with Jenny after moving to Vancouver in 1956 from Rotterdam, in the Netherlands. “I now have fourteen grandchildren!”

In time, Jenny reached more difficult days. Peter remembers fondly, “All the staff came to say goodbye on the day Jenny passed. We all knew it was coming… their compassion made everything easier.”

Of course, Peter still knows his neighbours, and gets around quite a bit.

Now that some time has passed, he’s looking at taking a trip down the Oregon coast. He smiles broadly, “It’s great. I can pick up, take this short holiday, and come back home with nothing to worry about.”


Want more information about what life is like at a Bria community? Contact Jane Bryce, Area Marketing Manager for Langley at 604.514.1210

Magnolia Gardens is just blocks away from the downtown centre, public library, shops and services. With Independent Living and Complex Care in the same residence, we can accommodate your varying and changing needs.