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Residents and staff at United’s Fish Creek community have created close working relationships that have evolved, in many cases, into meaningful friendships.

While employees are traditionally seen as separate from residents because of their role, many staff at United find themselves becoming an integral part of a family’s inner circle due to the relationships they create.

“I’m very impressed with the caring and respect shown by the staff here,” said Conrad Irving, who with his wife Dorothy, moved into Fish Creek North. “It’s hard to put into words, but the relationship with staff has grown deeper. In the couple of years we have lived here, we have found that staff have become more like family.”

Both Conrad and Dorothy are very involved in the arts and music programs that United offers. Dorothy, who is experiencing memory issues, is also part of United’s unique United Minds program.

“I was one of their first contacts when they moved into Fish Creek,” said Becky Robertson, United Minds aide. “We built up a trusting relationship and I feel a deep connection with them. They are very welcoming people and I feel that I’m part of their family.”

“I would adopt her if I could!” laughs Conrad. “She is more than simply a staff member. There is such energy and compassion in the time she spends with Dorothy.”

Becky is one of several staff members that Conrad and Dorothy consider as close friends. Jeanette Padilla is another. She became involved with United more than eight years ago, first as a volunteer in the art studio at Garrison Green, then she moved full time into food services.  “I treat everyone with TLC (tender loving care), like they are close family members,” said Jeanette, Lead Server at Fish Creek. “If Dorothy usually comes in for a meal, but misses a day, I always ask if everything is okay. It’s important to me that the residents are happy and comfortable.”

Jenny from the nursing department, who comes in each morning to help Dorothy get ready for the day, and Kim Coulter, who oversees the programming at United are also counted as close friends.

“Jenny has become part of our family,” said Conrad. “I hear Dorothy and Jenny laughing and that starts our day off on such a positive note. As Dorothy’s main caregiver, I always put her needs first and sometimes forget about mine. But with Jenny here, her presence and support is invaluable.”

“Every time I come in to work, I look forward to connecting with our residents. Dorothy is special to me. I treat Dorothy and all the residents as I would my own family,” said Jenny. “I always bring a smile and laughter. I want to make each day a good one for them!”

Conrad also considers Kim Coulter a good friend. “With Kim, I can speak with her about anything I might have on my mind. She is a terrific listener, and always has a way of giving me the right advice just when I need it.”

Kim said that building trust and truly caring about the residents is what leads to meaningful friendships. She recalls a time when a new resident was reluctant to go on an outing. She agreed to go but only if Kim went with her. The two held hands the whole way and the resident was glad she had made the trip. That small gesture opened the door for the resident to go on more outings and explore new things.

Kim, Conrad and Dorothy have built a similar friendship, and she is honoured that Conrad trusts her to share his concerns. “He is very supportive of the programming work that we do. The programs are based on what the residents want so their input is very important. The residents are so involved in everything. Building friendships and trust – it’s a two-way street and a big part of what strengthens our community as a whole.”

“The staff at Fish Creek have made our stay here enjoyable,” said Conrad. “They really care about us. They just want to be here for us, and that has become something special for our family. Coming to Fish Creek was a lifestyle change for us, but the staff has gone above and beyond to make our new home enjoyable and comfortable. I can’t say enough about how positive that’s been for us.”

Why wait? Arrange a tour today! Lunch is on us!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at 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 tour. We are happy to help! 

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

Contact us here!

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

 


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When you’ve spent many years living in your home or community, it can be a difficult decision to move, especially when moving to Calgary from another province.

“It was a tremendous change for me to come here,” said Dagmar Albert, a long-time resident of White Rock, B.C. She moved in October to United’s Fish Creek community. “I had a townhouse in B.C. but I fell and had trouble getting around, so my daughter in Calgary started looking around and found that Fish Creek was a great place to live. My family was very supportive and helped make the transition a smooth one. There are a lot of little things that need to be handled but having family and friends to help makes the job much easier.”

 

Barbara Burns moved into the Fish Creek community last summer from her home in Kelowna, B.C. She lives next door to Dagmar in Fish Creek West, which offers a completely independent lifestyle. “The hardest part was leaving my friends. I got pneumonia and my family from Calgary drove out often to see me, but it was hard on them, so when they suggested I move to Calgary, I knew it would make things easier for everyone. The move was very easy, and I kept most of my furniture, so my new suite feels in many ways like my home in Kelowna. We love our kids and their children. Moving here gives them peace of mind, and I know they are nearby.”

While leaving friends behind is difficult, Dagmar and Barb have become close friends, and living in a community gives them a chance to make new friends and explore their interests.

“I was sitting in one of the chairs near the elevator when Dagmar was moving in,” explained Barb. “We got to talking and found out we had a lot in common. There was something there, so our friendship just grew from that.”

Both Barb and Dagmar were attracted to the openness of their new home. “As soon as I saw how open and spacious the common areas are, that was what made my decision,” said Dagmar. “There are so many glass doors, large windows and the large courtyard. There is so much light, I really get a sense of freedom here.” Barb agrees. “We looked around at other places before deciding to move. I really liked the courtyard, the spaciousness. There is lots of light. You don’t feel constricted. Plus my suite faces west, the same as my condo in Kelowna so I get the sun in the same way.”

Barb was also drawn to the variety of programs Fish Creek offers. “We like to go to the concerts they have here. I haven’t tried the art studio yet, but I might give acrylic painting a try.”

“For me, I’m more into writing,” said Dagmar. “I was a member of the Langley Writer’s Guild for many years. I’m drawn to fiction and history. Right now I’m tracking my ancestry, which I find fascinating.”

Both Dagmar and Barb can’t say enough about the staff. “This place has it all,” said Dagmar. “The staff are simply amazing. It’s so nice to see how they treat people who need a little extra help. So much kindness, dignity and respect.”

One question prospective residents ask themselves is, “Would I be happy inviting friends and family over?”

Both were enthusiastic in their response. “We’re really proud to have our families over for dinner. The dining room is open any time during the day. The meals are great and the staff is so welcoming. Even though moving was stressful, we couldn’t be happier with our decision.”

Why wait? Arrange a tour today! Lunch is on us!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at 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 tour. We are happy to help! 

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

Contact us here!

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

 

 


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United's Fish Creek courtyard

United’s Fish Creek courtyard

The best time to research an older adult community either for yourself or a parent, is when you don’t need one. Time is on your side, and the pros and cons can be weighed without the stress of a time constraint. Searching when a crisis occurs can limit your choices without thorough consideration for the results.

Besides the usual questions about cost, size of the suites, floor plans and amenities, there are other questions that should be asked that can have a big impact on your quality of life.

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 such a crisis won’t force a move away from the community. There is nursing support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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

Hugh Kuwahara celebrates his 104th birthday with wife Kay and their two children

Hugh Kuwahara celebrates his 104th birthday with wife Kay and their two children

Husbands, wives or life partners want to stay together no matter the health issues they face. United communities focus on supporting the close ties that spouses have by ensuring they remain together. The two then participate in programs and activities, which support the general well-being of both.

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

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.

I want to continue to enjoy life and learn new things. What types of programs are offered?

Calgary Civic Symphony is a regular performer at United communities

Calgary Civic Symphony is a regular performer at United communities

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 24 hours and facilitated 7 days a week by professional artists. There is a kinesiologist on site who leads exercise classes and can also design individual programs. We have several partnerships which 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.

What is your initial reaction to being in the community? Do you feel comfortable and welcome? Could you see yourself living there?

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.

Why wait? Arrange a tour today! Lunch is on us!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at 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 tour. We are happy to help! 

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

Contact us here!

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

 


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“I’m getting more out of this than they are, for sure!”

When 23-year-old Stephanie Wright saw an email from St. Mary’s University looking for students to live at United Active Living’s Fish Creek community for a semester, she jumped at the chance.

“I lived in Chestermere, so the daily drive to St. Mary’s was quite long,” said Stephanie. “United is right across the street from St. Mary’s, so the location is perfect. Plus, I’ve always wanted to volunteer at an older adult community. And I have a cat, which United accepts. Everything just fell into place!’

United Active Living’s student-in-residence program began in 2016 with a student from Mount Royal University living at United’s Garrison Green. It was so successful that it expanded to St. Mary’s University the following year. United’s residents play a key role in the process of choosing the student. Once applicants are shortlisted, they are interviewed by Bob Hann, St. Mary’s vice-president of student services; Dr. Alisa McArthur, associate professor, psychology; Kim Coulter, Fish Creek program development manager, and two resident volunteers.

Stephanie is in the second year of a four-year Bachelor of Science in Biology degree. When she graduates, she would like to go to medical school and eventually work in a medical clinic that specializes in the health of older adults.

“As a potential medical student, I find that it’s really awesome the way the nursing staff here work with the residents,” said Stephanie. “There are no white coats. Everything is relaxed. The residents are treated with dignity and respect. When I’m older, this is a place I would definitely like to live in.”

Barbara Amrisko shares a laugh with student Stephanie Wright

Barbara Amrisko shares a laugh with student Stephanie Wright

Resident Barbara Amrisko, who moved into Fish Creek last summer, has high praise for Stephanie. “I like having her here. She has a big smile all the time!”

Gerald Hankins, a retired surgeon, thinks Stephanie would make an excellent doctor. His advice to her? “Keep a positive attitude, no matter what.”

 

 

 

Ray Waldock shares his perspective on history with Stephanie Wright

Ray Waldock shares his perspective on history with Stephanie Wright

Ray Waldock is helping Stephanie appreciate philosophy and history. “He has shown me how important it is to understand what has gone on before, and the value of learning from history.

“My friends thought it was odd when I told them I planned to live here,” said Stephanie. “There is such a wide age difference, but we hang out, have lunch and talk. I really like the community environment and the focus on the active lifestyle. There is the stereotype about the lonely senior, but people can be lonely or isolated at any age, so it’s very important to become more involved. People like to sit and talk. It’s just a matter of making the effort to connect.”

Stephanie will live at Fish Creek for the next couple of months until the semester ends. She hosts a weekly game night, and likes to meet new residents and introduce them to others. “I like being around the residents. They have taught me to keep a positive attitude, to enjoy what I have. Being here has changed my life and my perspective on life.”

Why wait? Arrange a tour today! Lunch is on us!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at 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 tour. We are happy to help! 

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

Contact us here!

Photos and video by Sherana Productions.

 

 


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“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” – James Sherman, author

Have you made a New Year’s resolution yet? Most people at least think about change at this time of year. It could be health related, or revolve around money, time, family, or a host of other good intentions. Whatever you want, it’s never too late to try something new. Ageist attitudes in our society often tell us the opposite. In fact, older adults often have the time to pursue new interests that they put on the back burner while raising a family. Do you want to start a health or exercise habit? Do you want to start a new hobby? How about learning to play an instrument?

We’ve compiled a list of 10 New Year’s resolutions, in no particular order, to get you thinking about personal improvements you would like to make. And we’ve included links to articles on the United website to help further your research:

  1. Eat healthy

“Dietitians don’t talk about calories very much any longer, unless there is a concern with weight. Instead, we want to ensure the calories you do get come from quality sources,” said Marie-Anne Nason, United’s nutritionist. Chef Ryan Bourquin tells us more about United’s view of good nutrition in this article.

Of course, getting proper nutrition means preparing quality meals. Meals are based on feedback from residents. When they move in, food interests and issues are discussed with staff and noted in a database. When a resident comes in to eat, the kitchen staff knows what the person prefers and what ingredients to avoid.

2. Keep your brain active

We’ve written extensively on brain health and ensuring the mind stays active as an important component of active aging. Read more at these links:

The value of lifelong learning

Engaging in creative pursuits

Thriving as we get older

We also have a terrific video with professional artists that explains their creative process.

 

3. Exercise regularly

If you’re new to exercise, start slowly and build your way into a regular routine.  You can read more about the importance of regular exercise in this blog article.

4. Get involved

Isolation can seriously affect an older adult’s health. So get involved in community activities to make new friends and stay active. At United, there is a large variety of activities and ways to develop a community of friends.

Here is a link to our activities brochures so you can see the variety of activities available. Here is an article on the importance of community.

As well, United has signed partnership agreements with music and cultural organizations in the city. You can read more about that here.

5. Challenge yourself

Expect more from yourself. Age is no limit. Make the rest of your life the best of your life by doing something you have always wanted to do. Here are articles about a couple of very inspirational people at United.

A 104th Birthday to Remember

Letting Go: One Man’s Journey

 

6. Planning for the future

Moving into a new year often means looking ahead and perhaps preparing to transition from your family home to an older adult community. Finances come into play, as does the psychology of moving. We’ve written extensively about this phase of an older adult’s life. You can read more in the links below:

The future of aging

Top 5 questions to ask yourself when searching for an older adult community

7. Make a new friend

Having someone to share your thoughts with is important for anyone, but especially so for older adults who can often find themselves isolated when friends and family move out of the community. At United, you are surrounded by potential new friends. Read more about new friendships here. And for those with memory issues, United ensures they are included in every activity.

 

 

8. Start a journal

One way to keep the mind active and the memories of a lifetime present is by starting a journal. United’s writing programs partners with students from Mount Royal University and St. Mary’s University. You can watch a video about that here. As well, residents can learn more about writing at poetry and writing clubs. Often, music and writing combine nicely to spark the creative impulse. Take a look at this video.

9. Discover a new hobby

Have you ever wanted to learn piano, or create a pot from a handful of clay? United has full art studios, staffed by professional artists to help get you started. Here are links to help you learn more.

Developing creativity

Pursuing creative interests

10. Decide what’s best for you

Most importantly decide what is in your best interest. Read, research and talk with your friends. Tour a few older adult communities to understand whether a move makes sense at this stage in your life. You can arrange a tour at United’s communities by clicking on the contact link below. And don’t hesitate to call and ask questions. You deserve the very best in your later years. We talk about that in this article.

Why wait? Arrange a tour today! Lunch is on us!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at 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 tour. We are happy to help! 

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

Contact us here!

Photos by Pixabay, United Active Living and Sherana Productions. Video by Sherana Productions.

 


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United residents and staff put their Christmas creativity into high gear to create this year’s Christmas card. The card is based on a small village, created in clay that both staff and residents worked on.

The village scene reflects the idea of a community that brings people together. It is a celebration of winter, and how working and living together creates a close feeling of community.

Along with the clay houses, staff signed the inside of the card, which will be distributed to residents and staff as one of several ways the community marks the season.

Residents and staff at both Fish Creek and Garrison Green communities decorated the Christmas trees, decorated their doors and created a number of Christmas-themed paintings and other art projects. And what’s for dinner? “The residents decided they wanted to do a ham dinner on Christmas Eve and a turkey dinner on Christmas Day,” said chef Ryan Bourquin. “And each location will be doing a special menu on New Year’s Day. At Fish Creek we are also doing a taco bar.”

Bob and Doreen Wolfe

Bob and Doreen Wolfe

Garrison Green resident Bob Wolfe was born on Christmas day. “We always had a small birthday party on Christmas Eve. My parents were always very good at keeping the two celebrations separate,” recalls Bob. “Our family didn’t make a big fuss over birthdays. The big celebration was always Christmas and New Years when all the relatives who lived on farms in rural Ontario would get together. It was a great tradition to see the whole clan in one house over the holidays.”

Today, Bob and his wife Doreen enjoy Christmastime with their daughter, who lives in Calgary, and their grandchildren. Even though the family gatherings are smaller, the community at Garrison always celebrates the season. “It’s always nice to see the Christmas tree up and all the decorations. I really enjoy it!”

From our communities to you, we wish you the best of the season, Happy Holidays and a very merry Christmas!

Photos by United Active Living; video by Sherana Productions

Why wait? Arrange a tour today! Lunch is on us!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at 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 tour. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.


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An integral part of how United’s Garrison Green community operates is by encouraging and supporting resident involvement. Through the resident council, the residents are directly involved in how they live, the programs that are offered, the menu and meal choices and other day-to-day details as well.

The council gives residents a focal point to discuss a wide variety of topics such as new programs, how the community functions and to contribute to the overall improvement of the community.

Nigel Way, left, and Ron Fraser sit on the council and actively participate in community events

Nigel Way, left, and Ron Fraser sit on the council and actively participate in community events

“The resident council is an important way for residents to communicate with our team and for us to understand what is important to the residents,” said CEO Kim O’Brien. “While daily communication is usually informal, and is always taking place, some residents like the idea of speaking with other residents about any issues they may come across. In our regular monthly meetings with the council it gives us a better perspective on what residents are thinking and creates a two-way dialogue that continually improves life at Garrison Green.”

Council chair Mary Fenwick moved into Garrison Green eight years ago. She has seen the many benefits that having a council has brought to the community. “I think that communication is the most important function of the council. It runs both ways. If residents have a question or concern, we work on it or pass it along to staff and administration. As well, if administration wants residents to be aware of something important, such as the availability of the annual flu shots, we spread the word to make sure everyone knows.”

Council member Jim Dolph, left, with resident Carlo Romano in the Garrison Green art studio

Council member Jim Dolph, left, with resident Carlo Romano in the Garrison Green art studio

Resident Jim Dolph also sits on the council. “I really like what the council is doing to continuously improve life in the community. Everyone has the best interests of the community at heart. It’s also interesting to see how departments work, and the whole process of keeping a community running efficiently. For instance, residents may not understand how food is ordered or any of the other processes and we can help explain that. We have to give a lot of credit to our chefs, Ryan Bourquin and Ryan Chisholm. We have seen a marked improvement in the food and service over the last few years.”

By its very nature the council is focused on concerns raised by residents, but also handles requests for programs, outings and other lifestyle requests. The results improve the operation and well-being of the residents. “Recently, we’ve been looking at safety, and educating residents about the proper use of elevators,” said Jim.  “If there’s an emergency, everyone needs to know what happens to the elevators, and how residents who are less mobile get to the ground floor. These questions have been answered, so we help ensure that residents understand how the whole process works.”

Along with the resident council, which meets once a month, residents are welcome at a general town hall meeting where administrative departments provide updates and residents ask questions. As well, residents are encouraged to make suggestions for new programming or other areas of the community’s operation via a suggestion box that sits in the bistro.

Council members Ron Fraser and Jane Kelly, left, and Nigel Wright, far right with residents in the life writing workshop

Council members Ron Fraser and Jane Kelly, left, and Nigel Wright, far right, with residents in the life writing workshop

“Having the council and the regular town halls really focuses on what is important to residents,” said Kim. “This is our residents’ home and we want to make it as comfortable and enjoyable as possible. It’s also a great way to improve the overall communication and collaboration between residents, staff and administration. It helps to reinforce that Garrison Green is a community where everyone has a voice.”

“Residents don’t live in a vacuum. There is constant communication between us and staff and management. Being on the council, I know they really care about the health and well-being of residents,” said Jim.

“Garrison Green is truly a community,” said Mary. “It has that easy, welcoming feel to it. I’m a big fan!”

Photos by United Active Living, video by Sherana Productions

Why wait? Arrange a tour today! Lunch is on us!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at 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 tour. We are happy to help! 

To learn more about life at United’s Garrison Green, watch this short video.

 


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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 attending our open house at Fish Creek this Saturday. Learn more and RSVP here.

“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, 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 coordinator. “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 between United’s programs and those of other communities 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 innovative approach to wellness.

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.

Check Out The Suites At Our Open House

The suites available at Fish Creek are large and well appointed. Click on our Fish Creek page to see the details.

Are you intrigued about what United has to offer? Come to our open house this Saturday at United’s Fish Creek community. Times and address are in this link. Or, if you can’t make it to the open house, click on the links below to set up a personal tour.

Why wait? Arrange a tour today! Lunch is on us!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at 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 tour. We are happy to help! 

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

Contact us here!

Photos by United Active Living and Sherana Productions. Video by Sherana Productions.

 


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“There are some people in life that make you laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger, and live just a little bit better.” – Anonymous

What began as a simple, friendly gesture has turned into a close friendship.

Joan Patterson, left, and Sheila Brinsmead share a laugh at lunch

Joan Patterson, left, and Sheila Brinsmead share a laugh at lunch

“I was sitting down for dinner in the dining room, when I noticed a new lady with a beautiful smile come in,” recalls Fish Creek resident Sheila Brinsmead. “I know how difficult it can be to come into a room full of strangers, so I got up and invited her to sit with us. We got to talking and that’s how it started.”

Joan Patterson, who had just moved into Fish Creek was recovering from a broken shoulder after a fall. The same thing had happened to Sheila, so they had a connection to get to know each other. The two have become “sisters from another mother”, as Joan likes to say, and they often eat their meals and attend concerts and outings together.

“I don’t think we would have connected like we did had we lived in a place that had assigned seating at mealtimes,” said Joan. Sheila agrees. “The freedom to choose where to sit and with whom to eat really opens the door to meeting new people and finding new friends.”

Sheila, who is an accomplished artist who has participated in art shows with her daughter, moved into Fish Creek in March of 2017, just a few months before Joan moved in.

“I was recovering from my broken shoulder, and it became clear that living in my home with several flights of stairs wasn’t going to work for me any longer,” said Sheila. “My family drew up a short list of places for me to consider and I knew that Fish Creek, with it’s professional art studio, was the place for me.”

One of Joan's quilts on display in the Fish Creek art gallery

One of Joan’s quilts on display in the Fish Creek art gallery

“For me, I made the decision to move on my own. I fell at home and broke my shoulder. My daughter lived next door and just happened to be there so she could help,” said Joan. “I realized that I should move into a community where I could get help right away should something like that happen again.”

The two of them are independent, make their own decisions and pursue their own interests. They take advantage of the many concerts and other programs that Fish Creek offers. “Just last week we attended three performances!” said Joan, who is an ardent quilter and music enthusiast. “We have met so many people here. Because of that, we don’t always sit together. We each keep so busy there are times we don’t even see each other, but we always find time to get together.”

“Fish Creek has so many programs. It’s a marvellous place for learning,” said Sheila. “As well, I really like the idea that everyone is included. You’re not separated by physical or memory issues that limits your association with other people. Here everyone is encouraged to mingle. I like that.”

Joan has a corner of her suite where she creates her quilts, and Sheila works in the art studio, often alongside her daughter, who comes to visit and paint with her. “We cheer each other on,” said Sheila. “Joan makes such beautiful quilts. That’s nothing that I could ever do!”

 

 

Standing in the art studio next to her most recent painting, Sheila, who has been an accomplished painter for more than 20 years, has nothing but admiration for the space and the creative facilitators, who are all professional artists. “This is one of the best studios – the space, lighting, instructors – it is so well equipped.”

“I really like Sheila’s work,” said Joan. “Once I finish my latest quilt, I’m going to try my hand at painting. I did try pottery and it was a lot of fun. It’s always interesting to try new things.”

What’s next for this active pair? Both Joan and Sheila are working with St. Mary’s University students in a life writing project, and Sheila is working towards an art show that she and her daughter are involved in next spring. Joan is putting the finishing touches on her latest quilt. And, oh, isn’t there another concert to attend this weekend?

Interested in learning more about life at Fish Creek? We’re having an open house in the community on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 11 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. so be sure to mark your calendar and let your friends and family know. Click this link to learn more. 

If you plan on coming out, please let us know at rsvp@unitedactiveliving.com or call us at 403-471-3735.

Photos by United Active Living and Sherana Productions. Video by Sherana Productions.

Why wait? Arrange a tour today! Lunch is on us!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at 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 tour. We are happy to help! 

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

Contact us here!

 

 

 


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“We fell in love with it right away!”

Inger Copland, who lives with husband Bill Fennell at United’s Fish Creek West, recalls the day they visited the Fish Creek community during an open house in 2016.

“Bill and I had been talking about making a move from our home, but we weren’t sure what that would look like,” said Inger.

They saw an ad for Fish Creek in the newspaper and toured the new community during an open house. “We didn’t need to look anywhere else,” she said. “This is exactly what we wanted.”

Inger and Bill put their home up for sale and it sold within a few days, which put them in a bind. “We thought it would take longer, which would allow us to move in October when the suites would be ready,” said Inger. “Management was very kind and allowed us to move in August, so we were the first ones to move into Fish Creek West.”

The community took a unique approach when it was planned. Fish Creek West is designed for independent living, while Fish Creek North is intended for those who need extra assistance.

 

Inger and Bill chose a one-bedroom, two-bath suite on the fourth floor facing the mountains. They were married in 1998. Bill, who retired some 15 years ago after careers in construction and financial management had a condo in Mckenzie’s Mountain Park Estates. Inger was born and raised in Norway, but moved to San Francisco in 1962. She worked for Norwegian Cruise Lines and met Bill on a cruise. She moved to Calgary after they were married.

“Inger likes to paint and really likes the art studio. She has produced some very impressive paintings since we moved here,” said Bill. “I have Parkinson’s so I exercise in the fitness studio, and we’re very close to Fish Creek Park, so I can walk there when the weather is nice. When we lived in our house, we were often by ourselves. Here, there are other residents, so you never have to be alone.”

Both Inger and Bill are impressed with the quality of the programs available to residents. “There is more opportunity to do more things,” said Bill.  He plays cribbage in the evenings while Inger pursues her painting in the art studio.  Bill also enjoys the political discussions with visiting academics. “We wouldn’t have those if we still lived at home,” said Bill.

Inger with St. Mary's student Sean Burman

Inger with St. Mary’s student Sean Burman

Both Inger and Bill are working with students from nearby St. Mary’s University who are involved in a writing program similar to United’s writers-in-residence program, which has been operating for several years with students from Mount Royal University. The students conduct interviews, and are considering producing a book and a video about the residents’ lives.

 

 

Interested in learning more about life at Fish Creek? We’re having an open house in the community on Saturday, Nov. 17 from 11 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. so be sure to mark your calendar and let your friends and family know.

If you plan on coming out, please let us know at rsvp@unitedactiveliving.com or call us at 403-471-3735.

Photos by United Active Living, Video by Sherana Productions.

Why wait? Arrange a tour today! Lunch is on us!

Imagine! Flex your creative side. Fine dining. New friends. Luxurious suites. Live the lifestyle you deserve at one of our United Active Living communities. Click the button on the right to arrange a tour at 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 tour. We are happy to help! 

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

Contact us here!