You're Browsing Community

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!


You're Browsing Community

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!


You're Browsing Community

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!

 

 

 


You're Browsing Community

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!

 


You're Browsing Community

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!


You're Browsing Community

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!

 


You're Browsing Community

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!

 

 


You're Browsing Community

Garrison Green residents Lex and Meta Davis

Garrison Green residents Lex and Meta Davis

Employees are working hard these past weeks to ensure they deliver the best service possible under difficult circumstances. And families and residents are noticing.  They have written to United to thank employees for their extra efforts to keep everyone safe and looked after. The cards and letters have boosted everyone’s spirits.

Jean Saunders, daughter of Lex and Meta Davis, wrote: “I can’t tell you how thankful I am that my parents are at Garrison Green where I can see that they are being extremely well looked after. Thank you to you and your staff for all that you are doing. You have been far more proactive than any other community that I know. And I know that doesn’t happen without a lot of work and not without having all hands on deck!”

We spoke with Jean after she sent the note. “We really appreciate everything they are doing,” she explained. “My Mom and Dad have a lot of friends and family around the country, so they are used to having lots of company, but of course they can’t do that now. Employees come and go throughout the day and Mom and Dad often comment how cheerful they are. They do miss going down for meals and socializing with the other residents, but they understand that it’s not possible right now. Like everyone else, they want to know when this is going to end, but nobody really knows that just yet.”

The list of accolades grows each day, and United plans to post the letters in employee break rooms. Another resident said: “I want to pass on a message from my daughter, who lives in Vancouver. She said she is thankful that UAL has a strong protocol in place to deal with COVID-19. I’m sure she’s not the only relative of the residents of our community residents who feel this way.”

Garrison Green resident and author Joan Clark

Garrison Green resident and author Joan Clark

Pam Clark, who is a daughter-in-law to resident Joan Clark, said the family is very grateful for the care Joan is receiving at Garrison Green. “When we talk with Joan, we joke that she’s getting room service, since residents are being asked to stay in their suites. Joan sees employees each day, and when we drop off flowers, magazines and treats, we really appreciate the staff taking the time from their busy schedules to take things up to her. Joan feels safe and content. She misses her exercise programs, but she has always felt a real sense of belonging and acceptance there, and it’s a relief to us knowing she is in good hands.” 

Thank you notes dot the walls along the main floor

Thank you notes dot the walls along the main floor

Here are a few more letters that have come in recently:

  • “Let me reiterate how grateful we are for everyone’s diligence and keen attention to all requirements to protect the population from COVID-19.  Right now all measures are critically important and we hope to see all your UAL family come through this in health.”
  • “I just want to take a moment of your time to thank you and the staff at UAL and Garrison Green for all you are doing to keep our loved ones as safe and healthy as possible.  I imagine the strain this puts on your team.  Please pass on my gratitude to the managers, coordinators and nurses, housekeeping, dining/kitchen and other frontline staff.”
  • “I just want to pass along the many, many expressions of gratitude that I have heard from Fish Creek West residents over the past two days. They are so grateful for the care that is being taken on their behalf, the obvious commitment by UAL to keeping them safe and they have sometimes very emotionally stated how fortunate they feel to be living in such a community.” – Jill LaForty, music director, United Active Living
  • “It’s all the frontline and integral staff at UAL that are making the COVID-19 virus bearable for me. Without your team of trusted caregivers and professionals I don’t think I could manage the physical distancing and emotional weight of concern for my mother.”
  • “Throughout this challenging virus our sensibilities and sensitivities to the demands on the personal and professional lives of the UAL staff has been heightened in every way … Our family is more than grateful for your professionalism and dedicated frontline commitment to the health and well-being of the entire community.

One of United’s employees responded by saying, “That is indeed empowering. There is NO doubt in my mind how entirely professional and compassionate this team is! Above and beyond!”

Photos by United Active Living, Jean Saunders, Sherana Productions. Videos by Sherana Productions.

Take a look at our new 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!

 


You're Browsing Community

Laurie Dolph in her backyard

Laurie Dolph

“I miss my dad a lot,” said Laurie Dolph, whose father Jim Dolph is a resident at United’s Garrison Green community. Laurie is used to spending time there four or five times a week, and volunteers running movie nights and hosting regular community sing-a-longs with Jim.

“My family is really close, and the priority for us is dad. He’s in good health, but there are some who aren’t so everyone is concerned about keeping this virus away from the community and the residents.”

Jim watches TV and enjoys painting, but admits that life isn’t the same. “Our way of life has changed quite a bit,” said Jim. “I miss being with my family, going out to restaurants and going for drives. We can walk around the neighbourhood, but the other recreational parts of life are restricted. I think we’re all fighting cabin fever, but we all understand why it’s necessary. Everyone is staying healthy.”

Jim Dolph with one of his many paintings

Jim Dolph with one of his many paintings

Laurie is very impressed with the procedures United has put in place. “United is giving residents and families lots of communication and a lot of heads-up about changes and why they are doing them. I’m very impressed with the food services staff who are very good at explaining things to residents. Garrison is really the best place for him right now. They are doing an excellent job at keeping everyone safe.”

Programs have been cancelled for the time being, and United will reassess as the situation changes. Residents who enjoy working in the art studio or who wish to exercise will be able to work on projects in their suites with the support of staff.

“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. He doesn’t use Skype or Apple’s FaceTime, because he doesn’t use that technology, but that would also be a great way to stay in touch.”

Jim Dolph shows off his paintings with his daughter and grandson

Jim Dolph, his daughter and grandson, show off his paintings

Laurie says another way people can stay in touch is to drop off treats. Even though visitor restrictions are in place, doing errands and dropping off special items are other ways to make a difference.

“My dad loves his port, so I found a special bottle for him and dropped it with someone at the entrance where it was sanitized and given to him. He and others enjoy the special effort. And I can wave at him, even though I would like to give him a hug!”

“And my granddaughter dropped off a beautiful bag with my favourite beer and cheese. I’m being well looked after!” said Jim.

“I’m not worried about him, I know he’s in the best, safest place right now. I trust that he is getting the best care there,” said Laurie.

Laurie has special praise for the staff. “They are really going above and beyond, and it’s really something that they are giving my dad and others the care they need while not always being able to be near their own families. They have become an important part of our family.”

Laurie has some advice for people who are also having to remain distant from their families. “If you’re feeling down, do something nice for  someone else. Take them treats, or find something special to do for them. You’ll find it will also lift your own spirits.”

Jim agrees. “We can’t be selfish and think only about ourselves. Listen to the health professionals, and think about others. We need to care about each other. This situation can either bring out the best or the worst in us. You have a choice. Nothing can be gained by bringing out the worst, but being your best can benefit everyone.”

Photos by United Active Living, Laurie Dolph. Videos by Sherana Productions.

Ask us about our short-term respite stays.

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

Do 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 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!


You're Browsing Community

Moving into United’s Fish Creek community doesn’t mean giving up the things you enjoy doing. In fact, many residents find that their lives expand – new friends, new opportunities to learn, more socializing.

If you or a family member are finding that living in the family home is no longer working as well as you would like, consider Fish Creek.

What we have come to expect in a traditional retirement community has been replaced by communities that offer more. While the common expectation is that older adults will ‘age in place’, often the home a person has lived in for many years no longer meets their changing needs. What we are seeing are the benefits of ‘aging in community’ where there is more support to ensure that a person ages well, and has more opportunities to thrive.

Living in a United community brings a host of benefits – health care options that fit your needs, fine dining or bistro meals on your schedule, larger-than-average suites, and programs that stimulate your urge to continue learning.

Programming Inspired By Residents

A wide range of programming is a definite plus.  “Our programming is not about what we as staff think is best,” said Kim Coulter, Fish Creek’s program development coordinator and creative expressions manager. “We draw on the residents’ interests, skills and experience. The most successful programs are those that are inspired by residents.” You can read more about United’s unique approach to programming here.

A big part of United’s programs is the professional art studios at both Fish Creek and Garrison Green. “The most rewarding moments for me occur when people realize they don’t have to be good at art right away in order to be a part of the studio and have fun,” said creative facilitator Maddison Klein. “As soon as our residents decide to ignore their hesitations and break that initial barrier of uncertainty, they realize that they can, in fact, make art!”

The Calgary Jazz Orchestra is one of our newest partners

The Calgary Jazz Orchestra is one of our newest partners

Another important distinction of United’s programs is the partnerships with community groups and organizations. “We have many successful partnerships that promote United’s philosophy to promote creative expression in all of its forms,” said United’s music director Jill LaForty. “We’re always looking to broaden our offerings to meet our residents’ interests.” The newest partnerships include Lunchbox Theatre and the Calgary Jazz Orchestra. Partners regularly bring performances into United communities, giving residents an up close and personal experience.

 

 

United Minds – A Unique Memory Care Program

Calgary Opera's emerging artists perform often for residents

Calgary Opera’s emerging artists perform often for residents

United’s approach to supporting residents with memory issues is on the leading edge of a movement that integrates them into the active community rather than segregating them in separate wings. “United’s philosophy of including those living with dementia rather than segregating them from the community is very attractive to older adults and their families,” said Cheryl Crich, United’s director of quality enhancement and innovation. “It’s rare to find a community that does this, but other inclusive communities, particularly in Europe and the U.S. are developing and enhancing their approaches.  We are part of that movement and can both share our experiences with them and learn from them.” Read more about United’s memory care program.

Residents Give Fish Creek A Thumbs-Up

Inger Copland with one of her paintings

Inger Copland with one of her paintings

Is Fish Creek a great place to live? Here’s what residents have to say.

“We fell in love with it right away! We didn’t need to look anywhere else. This is exactly what we wanted.” Read more of Inger and Bill’s story.

“When we looked around, we discovered that there are very few places that focus on an independent lifestyle. We went on United’s website and discovered that United’s Fish Creek community attracted us because we could live independently but still have access to assistance if and when we ever needed it.” Read more of Ross and Ellenore’s story here.

One of United’s newest programs is respite care. Should you be recovering from a stay in hospital and need a little extra support, this program may be for you.

Photos by United Active Living, Sherana Productions. Videos by Sherana Productions

Ask us about our short-term respite stays.

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

Do 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 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!