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“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles Schultz, Peanuts cartoonist

For residents at United, Valentine’s was a special day with cards from students and residents, a special dinner and, of course, chocolate.

Creative facilitator Amy Bouchard delivers a St. Mary's card to Fish Creek resident Mandy Beswatherick

Creative facilitator Amy Bouchard delivers a St. Mary’s card to Fish Creek resident Mandy Beswatherick

Margaret Bauer and Stephanie Bauer with a few of the cards the students created

Margaret Bauer and Stephanie Bauer with a few of the cards the students created

Students at St. Mary’s University Psychology Association and Student Legislative Council created Valentine’s cards for United residents. “We all need a little love and connection now more than ever, and this was a wonderful way to provide everyone with some joy and kindness without putting anyone at risk,” said Stephanie Bauer. “We wanted to show them they are not alone! We also attached special Valentine’s Day treats for each resident. For those unable to create a card, they emailed a personalized message, which was inscribed into one of our pre-made cards.” 

Mandy Beswatherick, who lives at Fish Creek across the street from St. Mary’s University, said: “It was a very nice thing for the students at St. Mary’s to do. It was lovely and nice of them to be thinking of us.”

As well, grade 1 and 4 students at Douglasdale School worked on Valentine’s cards for residents of Garrison Green. Grade 4 teacher Sarah Kesler’s father, Nigel Way, lives there. “My class and another class have had a connection to Garrison Green for three years. A small group of residents have been to our school on several occasions and grade 1 classes visited Garrison two years ago.” The 119 cards the students made for Garrison Green was just the beginning. They connected with two other retirement communities and created more than 300 cards.

Fish Creek residents Irene Bell and Morag Sparrow put the finishing touches on their cards

Fish Creek residents Irene Bell and Morag Sparrow put the finishing touches on their cards

And not to be outdone, residents created their own cards in the art studios.

And then there was a special dinner prepared by chef Jayson Quimpo at his team at Fish Creek. “For dinner we served sous vide AAA Striploin steak and grilled tiger shrimps with sauce Béarnaise and accompanied with cherry tomato-parmesan crisp asparagus and whipped Yukon Gold potatoes. For dessert, chocolate Pot de Crème with sugar cookie and sea salt,” said Jayson. At Garrison Green, chef Kevin Stephenson and team served a 4 oz. marinated sirloin steak with a Nova Scotia crab cake topped with a roasted garlic aioli, accompanied by confit potatoes, steamed buttered broccoli and baby carrots. Dessert was a warm lava cake with raspberry coulis.

Photos by United Active Living, Sarah Kesler, Stephanie Bauer

Videos by Sherana Productions

Contact us to learn more!

Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Don’t hesitate to talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange for a tour once it’s convenient to do so. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

Contact us here!


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When residents and employees work closely together, a mutual respect develops, which in turn often leads to close friendships. At United, employees and residents often talk about the friendships that have developed, which makes for a mutually beneficial environment for both.

Nigel Way takes his walker for a spin

Nigel Way takes his walker for a spin

Over time, Kinesiologist Heather Wiebe at Garrison Green has developed close relationships with a number of residents while helping them improve their physical health. “It’s more than just working with them to improve mobility and strength. It’s getting to know them and how to deliver and input the information that resonates with the resident. Over time, personal connections develop and perhaps blur the line between client and friend. Taking time to listen is a simple act to do.

“One resident, Nigel Way, had a breakthrough last Friday. He has had some health issues that kept him in a wheelchair for close to two months. He wanted to be able to use his walker again and regain his independence. We worked together for three weeks and on Friday he was back using his walker. He was all smiles because he had regained his strength, mobility and confidence. At times during a session there may be an opportunity to share our life happenings, and that personal connection can help open the door to make changes.”

“The relationship starts off as professional, but it develops into a friendship,” said Nigel. “You get to know the employees and they get to know you. That goes for all of the employees here. We really get on as a family. Heather has gotten to know my daughter, who is also a kinesiologist, so the two of them talk frequently and compare notes.”

Licensed Practical Nurse Christy Armamento

Licensed Practical Nurse Christy Armamento

One Garrison Green resident was feeling anxious recently about a health issue, and LPN Christy Armamento was there to lift her mood and make her laugh. Christy saw it as a simple thing, but it made a world of difference to the resident. The resident’s daughter was so moved by the help her mother was given that she wrote a note of thanks to Christy. “Mom had been anxious and upset during the day because of a medical issue. Christy was absolutely marvellous with mom. She listened respectfully, empathized with her, explained why she might be feeling nauseous, and tactfully examined mom regarding her medical issue. They shared a laugh together and mom felt worlds better after Christy’s visit!”

“I love helping people,” said Christy,  who spends extra time with residents who may be feeling anxious or going through a health issue. “I always approach my work from the heart and offer extra assistance when I can. I empathize with them. It is amazing to know that just doing something simple for them can have such a positive impact. It felt so good being able to help. It meant the world to me too!”

The Empress of Britain

The Empress of Britain by Gordon Bauwens

Megan Angelini, concierge for Fish Creek West, has developed close bonds with the residents who care about her as much as she cares about them. One resident, Donald McKee had an interesting career as an engineer on cargo ships and has built a number of model ships that sit in his suite. He and Megan often share their experiences and Megan has come to know Donald and his family very well. One of the interesting stories that Donald shared with Megan involves a painting and Donald’s family.

British artist Gordon Bauwens loves to paint ships. In the 1950s, ships regularly travelled between the U.K. and Canada. The Empress of Britain was one of them. Gordon painted the ship lying at anchor, which was loading passengers emigrating to Canada. When Donald saw the painting, he had to have it. It turned out the three people pictured resembled his wife, son and daughter who were emigrating to Canada in 1962. He bought one for each of them.

“Megan and I talk quite often,” said Donald. “In fact, we’ve become good friends. I’ve got to know Jeff Chan in the art studio really well and we talk often. It’s great to meet the employees and other residents here, and I hope to do more of that when we can get out more.”

“The relationships we have forms trust that goes both ways between resident and employee,” said Megan. “It gives residents a feeling that there is someone here for them. I get to know them and their families and they get to know us. This is much more than just a job. I have a whole building full of grandparents who are watching out for me too!”

Photos by United Active Living, Gordon Bauwens

Videos by Sherana Productions

Contact us to learn more!

Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Don’t hesitate to talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange for a tour once it’s convenient to do so. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

Contact us here!


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Dining Room and Bistro services have resumed once again at Fish Creek, much to the delight of residents and employees. While the same high quality meals were served in residents’ suites for the past two months, residents were looking forward to breaking bread once again with friends.

As the impact of COVID on the community has eased, we are delighted to once again offer bistro and dining room services. And to mark the occasion, chef Jayson Quimpo and his food services team created a special prime rib dinner with creme brulee.

“The opening of lunch and dinner was a huge success,” said Jeanette Padilla, food experience leader at Fish Creek. “The residents wore big smiles and were waving and saying ‘hello’ to each other.  There were good conversations with their friends whom they hadn’t sat with for a long time. The atmosphere was like a community feast. Some said it was the best dinner they ever had and thanked the employees for their care and support. We all made their day! It was a hip hip hooray opening day!”

The prime rib was done just right!

The prime rib was done just right!

Residents Ross and Ellenore Campbell were pleased to be back in the dining room. “To have the meals served directly from the kitchen is much better than having them delivered from the cart. We enjoy the company and communication with our neighbours. A positive step to the new normal!” said Ross.

This is the second time dinner and lunch has resumed at Fish Creek. When COVID hit last March, meal service had to be adjusted. Instead of residents being able to eat together through the day in the dining room and bistro, the kitchen provided meal delivery to their suites. While residents still had flexibility to eat what they wanted, when they wanted, meals were eaten away from their friends and family.

At that time, it was important to Jayson’s team that they continue to give residents the same quality,  variety and choice of meals that they had come to expect.

Fish Creek chef Jayson Quimpo

Fish Creek chef Jayson Quimpo

“In early November when our community was impacted by COVID, the food services team was greatly affected as were the residents, but it was also during this time that we saw the best in our team, their resiliency, passion and dedication,” said Jayson. “The kitchen team continued to deliver great meals and service to our residents.

“Everyone on the food services team wanted to make the re-opening extra special.  We wanted to welcome residents with a ‘bang’.  We absolutely missed them!  We wanted our residents to experience once again the joyful atmosphere of living here.”

Photos by United Active Living, Ross and Ellenore Campbell.

Videos by Sherana Productions

Contact us to learn more!

Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

The restrictions on visiting mean that tours aren’t available right now, but don’t hesitate to talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange for a tour once we are able to do so. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

Contact us here!


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As health authorities predicted, a second wave of COVID-19 is causing a resurgence of cases in Alberta. Staying home is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of contracting or spreading the virus. But the resulting isolation presents its own complications. As we know, isolation is not healthy for long periods of time, so since the pandemic began, older adults and their families are finding ways to stay active and engaged.

Do your neighbour a favour

Older adults living on their own may feel isolated – even more so when everyone is asked to stay at home. One way to help is to recognize which of your neighbours, friends or family members may be alone and volunteer to shop for them, drop off meals or special treats, or find a safe way to visit with them.

Stay Connected with Mom and Dad

Laurie Dolph, daughter of Garrison Green resident Jim Dolph, regularly drops off treats for him. She finds that doing errands and dropping off special items are great ways to make a difference.

Jim Dolph, centre, with his daughter Laurie and his grandson showing off some of his artwork pre-COVID

Jim Dolph with his daughter Laurie and his grandson Michael showing off some of his artwork pre-COVID

Technology is giving everyone an easy way to reach out and stay connected. “We phone dad every day, and he phones us,” said Laurie. “I think that’s one of the best ways to stay in touch because we get to hear his voice. We also like to go for drives, depending on the status of the restrictions. Even though it’s psychologically difficult to remain isolated, the residents understand that United has their best interests at heart. I really trust what they are doing. They are really on the ball. The employees care so much.”

Jim recently came back from hospital and he is grateful for the care he is getting. “It’s magnificent the care that I’m getting from the employees. They are doing a wonderful job. They are so welcoming and caring. They are providing me with everything I need,” said Jim.

Stay Connected to Your Community

Ruth Nelson stays connected to her friends and family using the latest technology

Ruth Nelson stays connected to her friends and family using the latest technology

Ruth Nelson, who lives with her husband Don at the Fish Creek community has a good understanding of the technology. She uses the phone, Skype, Zoom and Facebook to stay connected to her family and friends. As an example, a group of friends have organized bi-weekly teas using Zoom to connect. Someone chooses an unusual tea and snacks are delivered to everyone in the group, who then get together on Zoom to visit. She watches church services online, does puzzles and keeps in touch with her neighbours, often sharing baking. “A recent addition to our suite is an organ, which I really enjoy playing, and my friends send me music books. It’s been a real joy. And I’ve just signed up for a writing program through St. Mary’s University. I’ll be partnered with a grade three student. As a former elementary school teacher, I’m just thrilled!

“I think United is doing a great job to keep us all safe,” said Ruth. “I really appreciate what they are doing. It’s certainly been a great place to be living during the pandemic. The employees and the other residents make this a true community. Everyone is supporting each other and the employees make each person feel special. Each one is so cheery and always welcoming, so I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

 

Find Creative Ways to Stay Active

Whether living in and older adult community, or in the family home, staying active and engaged these days is all about getting creative. While usual programs such as yoga classes or having coffee with friends aren’t possible, online versions are available. Yoga and other exercise programs are online, and using technology to have virtual coffee with friends is encouraged. Going for walks is encouraged, provided that adequate physical distances can be maintained. United is finding safe, enjoyable and imaginative ways to keep residents engaged physically, socially and mentally, which you can also share with older adults in your life.

Older Adults Helping Older Adults

Fish Creek resident Libby Roth on her computer

Fish Creek resident Libby Roth on her computer

When learning to swim or going for a hike in the mountains, it is always best to have a buddy. The buddy system is also useful in times of isolation. With today’s technology, a person can still socialize even when staying home. A simple regular phone call can work wonders, or connect with other older adults through Zoom or Facebook. Often there are interactive games available online. How about a game of chess with a friend, or a board game that can be played with three or four people? For some, it can be an interesting way to make new friends, even half a world away.

Photos by United Active Living. Videos by Sherana Productions.

Take a look at our new commercials: Opportunity and Community

Contact us to learn more!

Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange in-person or virtual tours of our Garrison Green and Fish Creek communities. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

Contact us here!


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When Megan Angelini finished school in 2007, she went to work immediately for one of the most prestigious hotel brands in Canada, the Fairmont Group.

Megan with her border collie Victoria

Megan with her border collie Victoria

“Fairmont is very customer focused,” said Megan. “It’s a luxury hotel brand that believes in turning an ordinary stay into something memorable.” Megan moved through the ranks to become reservations and customer service manager in Calgary. Now she is taking her experience to United’s Fish Creek community in the role of concierge.

She describes her role as varied, but focused on providing the highest quality of service to residents. If you’ve ever asked a hotel concierge for theatre tickets, or advice on restaurants in the area, you get an idea about what Megan brings to United. Part of her position is to provide services that make people feel special.

While Megan is concierge at Fish Creek, she will also have a support role in the resident experience at both Fish Creek and Garrison Green communities. It’s about providing a best-in-class resident experience no matter which community you choose.

“It’s all about creating value and reaching for a memorable experience for residents and their families,” said Megan.

For Megan, it’s the little things that can really make a difference.

“It’s still early in my role. I’ve been here for three weeks, but I’m connecting with each resident, sitting down with them and getting to know them, even knowing how each one likes their coffee or tea,” said Megan.

Megan and her husband love to travel. Banff is one of her favourite spots

Megan and her husband love to travel. Banff is one of her favourite spots

She has a spreadsheet with each resident’s name and columns for their likes. “I’m learning what makes them happy.”

She makes special arrangements with the kitchen and lavishes special attention on birthdays and anniversaries. Being a concierge is half of her job, the other half is hospitality. Things like furniture placement, whether the plants need water or pruning, and how wall decor is handled. Presentation is paramount, she says. The atmosphere has to be pleasant and inviting.

Megan also plans to be very involved with the programming at Fish Creek. That will take some of the load off the programming employees as the rules around Covid-19 protocols are loosened and more programs can be offered.

“This has been a very cool opportunity to choose my own adventure. I can take my experience, add a dose of creativity and build a position from the ground up. That gives me a lot of flexibility. As I see residents, I ask them to reach out. I always ask myself, ‘what can I do to make their day?'”

Jean and Dean Geddes in the lounge near their suite

Jean and Dean Geddes in the lounge near their suite

One of those residents is Jean Geddes. “I think Megan is a wonderful addition to the community. She is talking about introducing some innovative things such as wall decor changes,” said Jean, who as a professional artist, had taken on some of that before Megan arrived. She put some of her artwork up in the lounge area on her floor. She was soon asked to do the same on the other floors, so she retrieved frames and paintings from storage and has decorated the walls in the lounges on all four floors at Fish Creek.

“It’s great to have someone with Megan’s experience to fill the role of concierge,” said Jean. “I think her time in the hotel industry, and her customer service experience, will be very positive for the community.”

 

Photos by Megan Angelini, Sherana Productions. Videos by Sherana Productions.

Take a look at our new commercials: Opportunity and Community

Contact us to learn more!

Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange in-person or virtual tours of our Garrison Green and Fish Creek communities. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

Contact us here!


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When Pat and Darlene McCulloch were searching for an older adult community, one of their priorities was to bring their two cats with them.

“There are so many places where pets aren’t allowed, which means someone has to to give up part of their family to move in,” said Darlene.

Their two cats, Mo and Mittens, were adopted in Arizona nine years ago and have been an inseparable part of the family since. Mo most often spends time with Pat  while Mittens favours Darlene.

“I know we wouldn’t have come here without our cats,” said Darlene. “We looked at several places, but we were very impressed with Fish Creek and it was close to our family. It’s very special to come home and they are both there to greet us.”

Darlene says the cats are never let out, except to sun themselves on the balcony, and they let visitors know the cats are there in case anyone has allergies.

“It’s a definite plus for United to have a pet-friendly policy. For single residents who have lost a spouse, a dog or a cat definitely brings a smile or two during the day,” said Darlene.

United occasionally bring dogs into its communities through PALS (Pet Access League Society), which give residents who don’t have pets an opportunity to interact with them.

Jeanne, Gordon and Briggs in the Fish Creek courtyard

Jeanne, Gordon and Briggs in the Fish Creek courtyard

Gordon and Jeanne Schnell moved into Fish Creek four years ago with their dog Briggs. The community had recently opened so there were few residents. They would often walk Briggs through the community to get outside. But as more people moved in, they opted to take Briggs for walks outside directly from their first floor suite.

Briggs developed heart issues and passed away last week. He was 12 years old.

“He was a good natured dog and people really loved to see him,” said Gordon. “Our next door neighbour has a dog and they were great friends. We got a lot of cards and well wishes from the other residents. I would say that being able to keep Briggs with us when we moved in was one of the main reasons we chose United. It was a very positive experience to have him with us and we’re so glad that United allows pets. They mean so much to residents and employees. They really are family.”

Photos by United Active Living, Pat and Darlene McCulloch. Videos by Sherana Productions.

Take a look at our commercial, Life Experiences.

Contact us to learn more!

Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange in-person or virtual tours of our Garrison Green and Fish Creek communities. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

Contact us here!

 

 

 


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It is important when looking for retirement options that you can continue to live your current lifestyle while knowing you are able to plan for continuing care should you need it.

A jazz trio performs in the Fish Creek courtyard

A jazz trio performs in the Fish Creek courtyard

Our Garrison Green and Fish Creek communities offer a wide range of floor plans and amenities, unique programming, our revolutionary dementia care program and, of course, very flexible meal times and menus.

We are pleased to once again offer in-person tours by appointment and in accordance with COVID-19 protocols. Call us for a virtual or in-person tour today.

Besides the more common questions about cost, size of the suites, floor plans and amenities, there are other questions that you should ask yourself that can have a big impact on your quality of life.

1 – Should I consider a move during the COVID-19 pandemic?

United follows the strictest COVID-19 response protocols to ensure our residents, their families and our employees are kept healthy. We follow and exceed the guidelines provided by Alberta’s chief medical officer of health and according to our communities collective risk tolerance.

Living at home might not provide the same kind of support you may need, whether it’s running errands or preparing meals. As well, social distancing can take its toll emotionally and mentally, so living in a supportive community is beneficial.

At United, you never need to feel alone. Online programs, innovative ways to connect and socialize within a supportive community of friends are all part of the benefits of living at United.

2 – I may be healthy now, but what happens when I experience a health change? How will the community respond to that?

United ensures that health issues are well managed, and provides residents with the peace of mind that a crisis won’t force a move away from the community. There is nursing support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The United approach is focused on each person within a social model of care rather than a medical model. That means that we see each resident as a person. We focus on a person’s strengths not their medical conditions, and the residents tell us how they want to live. We ask ourselves with each interaction how we can make their lives enjoyable and meaningful.

3 – Will I be separated from my spouse if one of us develops health issues?

An important part of our philosophy is to support the close ties that spouses have by helping them remain together if they choose. Husbands, wives or life partners often want to stay together no matter the health issues they face. The two then can participate in programs and activities that support the general well-being of both.

4 – Will I be able to continue living in my suite should my cognitive abilities change?

Our art studios provide a creative environment

Our art studios provide a creative environment

Research has shown that those with dementia do better when included within the general community population. At United we are an inclusive community and do not segregate based on level of care. All residents are encouraged to participate in programs and events.

Living with dementia does not mean you have to stop being who you are.  You are able to have new adventures, to make new friends and to learn new things.

At United, we have purposely designed our environments, our United Minds program and our specialized staff education to support you in maintaining your independence.

5 – What do I want the next chapter of my life to look like?

Living a full life in your later years is a focus at United communities. Programs are designed around the interests of the residents. The art studios, for instance, are open and facilitated by professional artists. A kinesiologist leads exercise classes and can also design individual programs. We have a dozen partnerships that give the residents opportunities to be involved in different aspects of arts and culture in Calgary –  for example Calgary Civic Symphony, Lunch Box Theatre and the Calgary Philharmonic. During the pandemic we continue to offer world-class programs remotely.

6 – What is my initial reaction to visiting the community? Do I feel comfortable and welcome? Can I see myself living here?

Meeting new friends is a benefit of living in a community

Meeting new friends is a benefit of living in a community

Residents have told us that they felt immediately at home when they first entered one of our communities. That’s the way it should be. Making new friends, learning new things and enjoying life are some of the reasons new residents choose a United community. This is your new home and it should feel that way.

Photos by United Active Living. Videos by Sherana Productions.

Take a look at our new commercial, Life Experiences.

Contact us to learn more!

Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

Talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange tours of our Garrison Green and Fish Creek communities. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

Contact us here!

 


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Fish Creek residents collaborated with art studio employees to create a unique art project that is more than par for the course.

Lining up a tricky shot

Lining up a tricky shot

For several weeks, the art studio facilitators at Fish Creek worked with residents to create a mini-golf obstacle course set up on the courtyard’s putting green. Using scraps of wood, a combination of ramps, mazes, and even a mini-windmill were created in the woodshop to challenge the golfers at every level. Seven challenging holes were constructed and painted as a collaborative art project involving a number of residents.

“The idea of a mini-golf project had been percolating for about a year,” said creative facilitator Jeff Chan. “And when COVID hit, the regular projects planned in the art studio were put on hold. So it actually gave us a window to plan and build the obstacles needed for the mini-golf course. When the studio opened again, several residents were keen to be involved, so we were able to get everything done in about three weeks.”

The courtyard at Fish Creek

The courtyard at Fish Creek

Resident Al Gething puts a few colourful touches to the windmill obstacle

Resident Al Gething puts a few colourful touches to the windmill obstacle

The courtyard at Fish Creek is a one-of-a-kind amenity, with a putting green, bocce ball court, walking paths and unique pieces of art by Canadian artists. The putting green was a natural fit for the obstacle course.

“This was a great project for the residents to be involved with,” said resident Al Gething. “It was very well done, and working with Jeff was a plus. It worked out very well and everyone enjoyed it.”

United is unique in that the art studios in both communities are staffed by professional artists who bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the projects that residents are involved in.

“This was a true collaborative effort,” said Jeff. “We consulted with the residents and worked with them to design, build, decorate and paint the obstacles. When one or two residents took the lead, they were soon joined by others, and the whole project just took off. The residents and employees all joined in and had a great time testing their golf skills. It was just an opportunity to get outside and enjoy the great weather. We had the course set up for two days this week, and we plan two more days next week.”

Take a look at our two new commercials. Wise Words, and Life Experiences.

Contact us to learn more!

Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

The restrictions on visiting mean that tours aren’t available right now, but don’t hesitate to talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange for a tour once we are able to do so. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

Contact us here!


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Dinner was a special occasion at United Active Living’s two communities to not only celebrate Father’s Day but also mark the resumption of dinner service – the first time dinner has been formally served in the dining rooms since early March when  COVID  limited dining room and bistro services.

“I am very excited to have the meal service back at Garrison Green,” said chef Mark Henri, who started with United just a few days before formal dining room service was stopped. “Residents are very pleased to be able to once again have dinner and lunch in the dining room, and breakfast in the bistro.”

For Father’s Day, Mark served steak, garlic shrimp, asparagus with roasted mushrooms and mashed potatoes. “This has become the traditional meal we serve on Father’s Day and it’s always a hit,” said Mark, whose philosophy is to serve fresh and nutritious meals with a strong, visual appeal. “I particularly depend on feedback from the residents and try to incorporate as much as possible into the menu. My style suits them in that I favour a home-grown style of cooking. For instance, tonight we’re having barbecue ribs, baked potatoes, corn-on-the-cob and broccoli. That’s comfort food, which everyone likes.”

Employee Eva Villar reflects the joy felt by everyone with the reopening of the dining room

Employee Eva Villar reflects the joy felt by everyone with the reopening of the Fish Creek dining room

When COVID hit, meal service had to be adjusted. Instead of residents being able to eat together through the day in the dining room and bistro, the kitchen provided meal delivery to their suites. While residents still had flexibility to eat what they wanted, when they wanted, meals were eaten away from their friends and family.

“Because this was new for everyone, we had to create new processes,” said Mark. “We quickly got into the rhythm of it, but getting back to serving in the dining room is a big plus for everyone.”

Special Father’s Day treats were handed out by employees to the residents of both communities. Over at Fish Creek residents were also treated to an unexpected 20-minute concert by the Salvation Army Brass Quintet, which entertained residents outside the building.

 

For dinner, Fish Creek chef Jayson Quimpo served a classic dish with a modern twist. “The residents were served a baked Salmon Wellington with orange beure blanc (white butter) sauce, bacon wrapped asparagus and Yukon Gold whipped potatoes. For dessert, a chocolate pot de crème with sugar cookies and macerated berries ,” said Jayson. “We wanted to do something special for them given that this was the first day back for dinner service in our dining room.”

As the pandemic progressed, Jayson’s team discovered that they could continue to give residents the same quality,  variety and choice of meals they have come to expect at United.

“Our employees shared the excitement with the residents in seeing dinner service resuming,” he said. “Meals are a highlight of the day, but even with the new protocols in place with regard to social distancing, everyone was very happy. After dinner, I spoke with several residents who all remarked on how much they enjoyed their dinner. Being able to see their friends at dinner resulted in a great atmosphere. We’re not back to normal yet, but now we can look forward to planning special nights and be more creative when it comes to the plating and presentation of the meals.”

Jayson noted that during the pandemic, many residents were appreciative of the efforts the kitchen put into the difficult process of meal delivery. “Despite having to change our processes completely,  we very much appreciated the support we received from the residents, and the team never stopped thinking about how to give residents a great dining experience.”

Take a look at our Public Service Announcement.

Contact us to learn more!

Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

The restrictions on visiting mean that tours aren’t available right now, but don’t hesitate to talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange for a tour once we are able to do so. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

Contact us here!

 


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Con Irving with one of his many paintings

Con Irving with one of his many paintings

Con Irving isn’t letting the COVID isolation slow him down. Not only is he looking after his wife Dorothy, who is living with dementia, but he also sits on the Fish Creek Residents Council and is a talented wood carver and painter in his spare time. Now, he is taking on the challenge of helping other residents find some relief from isolation.

“I’m on the Residents Council so I know most of the people who live here,” said Con. “One day a few weeks ago I thought that there must be residents who don’t have family nearby and who could use an encouraging phone call.”

Every day, Con calls five or six people to see how they are doing, whether they need anything, and to listen.

“I’ve been a salesman all my life and one of the most important attributes is being able to listen, so when I call them, I always listen to them. People like to talk, especially if they don’t have a lot of family or friends,” said Con.

Being able to connect with others is therapeutic, said Con. “People need people, and you can’t visit in the hallways or at dinner anymore, so getting on the phone is a real morale booster. Plus, I’m getting to know a lot of people I might not normally visit with.

“Generally everyone is happy and feel fortunate that they are here. A lot of them have family in Calgary and can wave at them through the windows when they visit. The families write messages in chalk on the sidewalks and have a few ways to communicate with each other, such as phone and Zoom. Others miss out on that connection because their family isn’t in Calgary, so I see this as another way to build community. I hope my calls help them through this and let them know they have friends who care about them.”

Sheila Brinsmead with daughter at Fish Creek

Sheila Brinsmead with daughter Mary-Leigh Doyle at Fish Creek

Sheila Brinsmead is one resident who is thrilled with the calls. “I have a large family in Calgary that I speak with regularly, but to have a call from a friend in here just to chat was a complete surprise and most welcome. The isolation that we are all living with is difficult so the calls really speak to his kindness and thoughtfulness for other residents. It is the most wonderful thing. I think it is just superb!”

Con praises the efforts of United’s management to keep everyone informed, and the creative facilitators who are working hard to keep residents engaged. “Management has really stepped up to the plate and put things in place even before Alberta Health Services said we should. I’m so happy that Dorothy and I are here. I can’t think of a better place to be.”

Con Irving gets an ice cream treat on his birthday

Con Irving gets an ice cream treat on his birthday

And a happy birthday to Con and fellow resident Joan Galley. To mark the occasion, Con’s family paid for an ice cream cart to deliver treats to every resident at Fish Creek.

Photos by United Active Living, Sherana Productions.

Take a look at our Public Service Announcement.

Contact us to learn more!

Imagine! Live the life you've always dreamed of at one of our United Active Living communities. Please contact us today to learn more about our two communities Garrison Green or Fish Creek

The restrictions on visiting mean that tours aren’t available right now, but don’t hesitate to talk with one of our active living advisors about life in a United community. They can arrange for a tour once it’s safe to do so. If you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community, send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a future visit. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Fish Creek community, watch this short video.

Or, to find out more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

Contact us here!