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Open houses are a great way to see a community such as United Active Living first hand, have a tour and ask questions. Open houses at our Garrison Green and Fish Creek communities last weekend generated a lot of interest in floor plans and amenities, United’s unique programming, dementia care and, of course, the meals.

Where you live and ease of movement is paramount when it comes to choosing the right suite. Are you independent, or do you need a little extra assistance?

Tell Me About Your Floor Plans

Suite at Fish Creek

Suite at Fish Creek

“United offers some of the largest suites in the market, some up to 1,300 sq. ft.,” said Daphne Reid, active living advisor, Fish Creek. “The suites come in a variety of styles from one bedroom, to one bedroom plus den to two bedroom floor plans. Each suite in Fish Creek West comes with full kitchens and washers and dryers, plus residents have access to our full dining options and our programming.”

United’s Fish Creek North  offers suites more suited to support assisted living and memory care options. They come with kitchenettes, washers and dryers and full access to dining and programming.

 

Suite at Garrison Green

Suite at Garrison Green

Garrison Green floor plans offer a range of lifestyle options to support your desire to live an independent life even if you need a little extra assistance,” said Tim Hinton, active living advisor, Garrison Green. “Many of the people who came to the open house remarked on the size of the suites and the ease of movement from the suites to the dining and programming areas.”

A Big Attraction for me is your Programming

Choosing a spacious suite is one part of the equation. The other is living well, among friends. This removes the concern about isolation. United’s philosophy reflects a growing demand for more in our later years. United supports the whole person, so the communities and programming are developed around a social perspective rather than a medical one. Friends and family are very important in developing programs. In fact, programs are based on what the residents want, which creates a rich and varied list of programs that promotes the well-being and interests of our residents.

Mark DeJong with saxophone

Mark DeJong

“United’s unique programming attracted a lot of attention at our open house,” said Kim Coulter, Fish Creek program development coordinator and creative expressions manager. “Mark DeJong and Mark Limacher brought their jazz impressions to residents and visitors at Fish Creek. This kind of high calibre performance is typical of the programming we have at both communities. Many performances are in conjunction with our arts and culture partners in the community.”

United’s partnerships include the Calgary Philharmonic, Honens, Calgary Opera, Calgary Jazz Orchestra, Mount Royal University, St. Mary’s University and many others.

These partnerships not only bring residents to concerts and lectures outside of the community, but bring artists into the community for concerts and workshops. You can attend art classes guided by professional artists, hear lectures from visiting professors, choose from a variety of fitness programs or attend a concert by a world-renowned musician.

The activities and programs offer a wide variety of entertainment and educational options to residents, many arranged at the request and support of residents.

“Many of our residents have chosen United because of the variety of programs whether it’s music or our professional art studios,” said Kim. “As one resident said recently, ‘United is heaven for artists!‘, so whether prospective residents are looking for support for an existing talent, or are interested in pursuing an interest that’s been on the back burner while raising a family, living in a United community is the place to expand your creativity.”

Tell Me About Your Dining Options

When United Active Living opened Garrison Green more than a decade ago, it introduced an innovation in older adult dining – flexible meal times, an all-day menu and no assigned seating. “United’s approach to serving nutritious meals makes perfect sense,” said Ryan Bourquin, United’s food services manager. “Our residents are attracted to United because of the lifestyle, the community, the social aspect, the activities and programs. Healthy, nutritious meals go hand-in-hand with the lifestyle.”

One of the attractions of living at United is the flexible mealtimes and all-day menu. The kitchen is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and features a menu that is available throughout the day.

Residents can choose what to eat, when to eat, and with whom to eat. Plus, the all-day menu gives residents flexibility should they arrive back home after an outing and want a meal or snack.

United has also created a new dining experience leader position in its two Calgary communities to enhance the dining experience for residents and their guests throughout the day. The implementation of this new position raises the dining experience to a new level.

What About Your Approach to Dementia Care?

A CPO quartet performs for residents

A CPO quartet performs for residents

Some visitors at the open house wanted to know more about United’s groundbreaking approach to dementia care. Unlike other older adult communities that segregate residents based on their cognitive or physical abilities, United chooses not to. Residents with dementia live on the same floors as everyone else, they eat in the same spaces and attend the same programs. Importantly, couples stay together even if they have differing needs.

“In our United Minds program, we focus on who the person is and build a relationship with them,” said Amy McDonough, United Minds manager. “We focus on including people with dementia in our community. There is more to someone than their diagnosis. The person with dementia isn’t lost; they are still there. Our job as caregivers is to find out who they are. It’s a relationship-centred approach. We truly get to know them, what’s important to them.” That approach recently earned the support of two major advocates of inclusive community living.

Ask us about our short-term respite stays and other short-stay options.

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. Ask us about our respite care and trial stays! 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.

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

Contact us here!


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“The first half of our life is about being interesting. The second half is about being interested.” – Chip Conley, author of Wisdom @ Work: The Making of a Modern Elder.

Residents enjoying a meal in the Garrison Green dining room

Residents enjoying a meal in the Garrison Green dining room

“A very beautiful place.”

“What a stunning courtyard!”

“This is what I’ve been waiting for!”

Those are just a sampling of comments from visitors to one of United’s open houses earlier this year. This Saturday, we’re opening our doors to the public once again to show you a new vision of what aging well can mean. United’s approach to active aging is based on what is called a social model. While medical care is available, the emphasis is on encouraging socialization and creativity to keep the mind and body strong.

While the common expectation is that older adults will “age in place” – often in the home a person has lived in for many years – but that home may no longer be the best option. Instead, the focus should be on “aging in community” where there is more support to ensure that a person ages well.

Diane Osberg in her spacious suite at Fish Creek

Diane Osberg in her spacious suite at Fish Creek

“The first impression a person gets when they walk in the door is that this is a warm, inviting place to be,” said Fish Creek resident Diane Osberg, who moved into the community after attending an open house last April. She was so impressed, she held an open house of her own for her friends. “What attracted me was the vast number of exceptional lifelong learning opportunities at United –  art programs, fitness classes, musical performances and visits to art and music programs outside the community.”  Diane said that what is also very appealing is the flexibility in dining. “You can eat any time you want, sit where you want, and your food allowance gives you flexibility to use it at your convenience.”

Diane was also very complimentary about the attentive service at meal times, and when her suite required simple maintenance. “They treat you like you are in your own home and are very quick to respond to little things when they need servicing.”

Mark DeJong

Mark DeJong

Diane sees open houses as a great way to see a community without needing to make an appointment. “There is no pressure. You’re there just to look around, and if you like what you see, you can make an appointment. It’s an easy, relaxed way to see what a community has to offer.”

Aaron Young

Aaron Young

Mark DeJong and Mark Limacher will perform jazz favourites at United’s Fish Creek community in the afternoon during the open house, and Denis Dufresne and Aaron Young will perform popular fiddle and guitar favourites in the afternoon at Garrison Green.

United’s open houses are at its Fish Creek and Garrison Green communities this Saturday, Oct. 19 from 11 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Win a week’s stay at either Garrison Green or Fish Creek by entering our draw at the open house.

 

 

Fish Creek is at 51 Providence Boulevard SE, near St. Mary’s University

Garrison Green is at 3028 Don Ethell Boulevard SW, near Mount Royal University

Please RSVP to: 403-873-3953
or by email at: rsvp@unitedactiveliving.com

 

 

 

 

Ask us about our short-term respite stays and other short stay options.

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. Ask us about our respite care and trial stays! 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.

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

Contact us here!


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United Active Living is opening its communities for short-term respite care stays. These stays are intended to help you recover from surgery, to provide a supportive environment while your caregiver is away, or to simply give you a much-needed break from life’s hustle and bustle.

Guest suite at Fish Creek

Guest suite at Fish Creek

A respite stay includes:

– Three professionally prepared meals each day;

– A private furnished suite;

– Care provided by professional nursing staff including Registered Nurses and LPNs;

– Access to all of United’s amenities including art studios and musical performances.

 

 

“Spending a few days or a couple of weeks to recover from surgery is a great way to experience the community,” said Daphne Reid, active living advisor, Fish Creek. “People gain a better understanding about what living in an older adult community would be like, and when they go home many people tell us they really miss the community.”

Calgary Philharmonic quartet performs at Garrison Green

Calgary Philharmonic quartet performs at Garrison Green

One person, who came to stay in August for two weeks was excited about experiencing the programs the community offered, and when she went home, decided she wanted to move permanently. She will move in this month.

“I think the experience of a respite stay really helps someone get over any nervousness about living in a community,” said Tim Hinton, active living advisor, Garrison Green. “A respite stay also helps the family understand the support the parent will have in a community, which gives them peace of mind.”

“We will do a wellness assessment with the person when they come in,” said Nikki Bonsall, director of health and wellness. “From that, we develop a wellness plan for them. This helps us determine whether there are any food allergies, what medications they require and whether they might need help showering or getting dressed. At the same time, we introduce them to the community and answer any questions they may have about meals, programs and their time with us.”

Daphne has also seen family members of existing residents use the convenience of a respite stay. It allows the family member and the resident to spend more time together. “It’s not like staying in a hospital while they recover. It’s more like a hotel or a resort coupled with the care they need.”

Casual bistro at Fish Creek

Casual bistro at Fish Creek

In our communities, you will find a range of independent and assisted lifestyle choices, rental and life lease options, world-class arts and culture programs, fine and casual dining that fits your lifestyle and your schedule. Our kitchen is open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with no restrictions on meal times or table assignments.

 

 

Call us today to make your arrangements.

Garrison Green 403-685-7200

Fish Creek 587-481-7907

or contact us through the “Start Now” button below.

 

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. Ask us about our respite care and trial stays! 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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“When I came here, I was looking for a community. Then I realized I was helping to create one.” – Unknown

What does community mean? Depending on your perspective, community can mean simply a building, its activities or the people in it. Or it could be defined in a larger perspective to include friends and family in the greater community.

Ray Waldock's community extends well beyond his home

Ray Waldock’s sense of community extends well beyond his home

“It depends on the context that you bring to a community like this one,” said Ray Waldock, a resident of United’s Fish Creek community. “What we see here is a community that is working to redefine the psychology of aging. You can live here and plan to do nothing for the rest of your life, or you can see this as an opportunity to see yourself in a new context that has lots of possibilities.”

Ray knows about possibilities. Ray and his wife LaVerne, who passed away in 2017, spent a lifetime involved in their church. This gave them the opportunity to travel – 10 years in India, another five in Zaire (Democratic Republic of Congo) in Africa. Along the way Ray learned two languages (French and Swahili), earned degrees in philosophy and theology and eventually a PhD in theology from the University of Montreal.

Ray and LaVerne first moved into United’s Garrison Green community, but when Laverne’s dementia progressed, she and Ray became two of the first residents at United’s Fish Creek community in 2016. Eventually, LaVerne transferred to long-term care at the nearby Father Lacombe Care Centre while Ray remained at Fish Creek so he could visit her regularly.

Ray Waldock on the putting green at United's Fish Creek community

Ray Waldock on the putting green at United’s Fish Creek community

Garrison Green became our community because of the people in it. We have friends there, and I still see them regularly,” said Ray. “My community extends beyond Fish Creek to Garrison Green and to my friends from our church, so community to me extends well beyond these four walls.”

Ray says that moving into an older adult community doesn’t signal the end of life. He prefers to see his home as a new opportunity.

“Our travels helped us learn that home is wherever you are at the moment. We see that life in the present is based on our experiences in the past. My experiences living overseas, learning new languages and experiencing other cultures opened the door to new possibilities here. And this place accepts those changes,” said Ray.

Ray is particularly pleased with how the staff and residents interact. “It’s not a ‘them or us’ mentality that you might find at other places. Instead, there is a free and easy attitude. The staff and residents depend on each other, and that creates a supportive environment that encourages new opportunities.”

Ray recognizes that not everyone is comfortable with change, so when new residents arrive, or someone is simply checking out the community, Ray likes to meet them and make them feel welcome. “This is their new home, or likely could be, so I want to be sure they are comfortable.”

In many ways, Ray is extending his personal community each time he meets a prospective resident and sits down over a cup of coffee with them.

“I see life as possibility. I’m 90, but I still see a lot of open doors ahead of me.”

Photos and 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. Ask us about our respite care and trial stays! 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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Diane tends garden on her deck overlooking Fish Creek Park

Diane tends garden on her deck overlooking Fish Creek Park

When Diane Osberg moved into United’s Fish Creek West a month ago, she wanted to wake up on the morning of her birthday and look out over the expanse of green grass and trees that opens up onto Fish Creek Park. She lived in another older adult community, but fell in love with her new suite on the fourth floor of Fish Creek West with north and east-facing windows. “On the advice of my children to enjoy the summer on her new deck, I decided there was no point in waiting.  What sold me? The programming sold me, the building sold me, the flexible meal schedule sold me,” said Diane. “And when I moved here, my friends wanted to see what I was so excited about.”

Diane invited her friends, many of whom already live in older adult communities, to her suite and let them know why she decided to move. “So instead of showing them the suite and the amenities one or two at a time, I decided to hold a large house warming, or open house. Forty of my closest friends came out, and United was very gracious to help out with catering and facilitating tours to show them around. It was an amazing afternoon!”

Diane invited 40 friends to her suite at United's Fish Creek West

Diane invited 40 friends to her suite at United’s Fish Creek West

“We helped out with the food, beverages and wine as a way to contribute to Diane’s house warming,” said Daphne Reid, an active living advisor at Fish Creek. “We also decided to give everyone who attended a small gift package on her behalf that included a gift certificate for dinner any time they want to come back.”

Diane already has a friend who is talking with Daphne about moving in, and others have expressed interest.

Diane and her husband Robert had lived on an acreage and lived into their “forever” retirement home in Black Diamond, and she served on the Black Diamond town council. When Rob passed away suddenly, Diane moved to an older adult community. But after a couple of years, she wanted more. “I’m a social person, and I wanted a variety of programs. When I toured here during an open house in the spring, I was blown away.”

As a former head of continuing education at SAIT, Diane is an advocate of lifelong learning. She recognized that what United had in place fit her idea of what active aging is all about. “I love this place. It’s full of programs and activities with a lot of opportunities to learn. There are partnerships with Mount Royal University and St. Mary’s University, Honens, the Calgary Philharmonic…and the art studio is unbelievable!”

Diane is a big fan of the arts. She has done some painting, and may indulge that passion again this fall, but she really likes quilting, and has produced a large number of works, some of which hang in her quilting room.

“It’s like being in a grand hotel,” said Diane. “I’m so impressed with everything. The meal schedule – the kitchen is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with an open menu. You can have anything you want, any time you want. I’ve only been here a month and I’ve already booked the private dining room in December for my book club.”

Photos by Sherana Productions and Diane Osberg. 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. Ask us about our respite care and trial stays! 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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United Active Living has created a new dining experience leader position in its two Calgary communities to enhance the dining experience for residents and their guests throughout the day. United has always had a flexible dining philosophy – eat what you want, with whom you want and whenever you want. There is no assigned seating and the kitchen is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The implementation of this new position raises the dining experience to a new level.

Food and beverage manager Ryan Bourquin shares a laugh with a resident

Food an beverage manager Ryan Bourquin shares a laugh with a resident

“The dining experience is very important in an older adult community,” said Ryan Bourquin, food and beverage manager. “That’s why we have such flexibility, but we’ve always wanted to add a front manager position – similar to a maitre ‘d position in any fine restaurant – who is essentially the head waiter, and who manages the service staff. The new position complements the chef’s position in each community. In this way, we will be able to ensure an even better experience for residents and their guests.”

The two dining experience leaders have long experience with United. They know the residents by name and are familiar with many of their preferences. By removing them from serving duties, they have more time to talk with residents and work with the servers. As well, the leaders will be involved in redecorating and redesigning the dining areas in each community. They attend financial meetings and new resident transition meetings, plus weekly wellness committee meetings where any significant changes in residents’ eating habits are relayed to every department in case the change might signal a general health issue that might need to be explored with the resident or family.

Jeanette Padilla discusses a special menu request from resident Diane Ness

Jeanette Padilla discusses a special menu request from resident Diane Ness

“I will often check with residents during meal times to be sure they are happy with the food and to ensure they get the best service possible,” said Jeanette Padilla, dining experience leader, Fish Creek. “The servers get to know each resident, and their food and seating preferences. Staff training is part of my responsibilities. While servers might have experience in restaurants, they may not have experience serving older customers, or residents with dementia, so I ensure the servers are trained to serve all residents with respect and patience.”

 

 

Violeta Cacho sets a table for four

Violeta Cacho sets a table for four

Violeta Cacho is the dining experience leader at Garrison Green. “It has always been my goal to provide exceptional food and service to residents and their families. I see that everybody works as a team and that residents are served with respect, much like you would find in a high-end restaurant.”

Ryan says one of the main responsibilities of the dining experience leaders is to be accessible to residents. Should a question or issue arise, the leaders are there to answer questions or resolve issues immediately. “Our flexible dining schedule also creates complexity. For instance, residents may wish to have family or friends join them at dinner. The dining experience leader will let the kitchen know that family members are coming in, and will ensure that seating is arranged to accommodate them. The leader position greatly improves communication. So far, the new positions have been well received by residents.”

“My wife and I chose Fish Creek because of the flexible dining options,” said Con Irving, who also sits on the resident council’s food committee. “As a former senior server, Jeanette really knows the job and how to talk with people. She’s the right person for the job. She watches for people coming in, and can move the servers around to accommodate them. The goal is to provide the best service possible. The dining experience leaders listen to the residents and promote communication. That’s so important.”

Photos and 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. Ask us about our respite care and trial stays! 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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Sharyn and Landis Kraus in their suite at Fish Creek West

Sharyn and Landis Kraus in their suite at Fish Creek West

Landis and Sharyn Kraus have lived at United Active Living’s Fish Creek community for two years, and they couldn’t be happier. The community offers a unique blend of lifestyles within a single community – independent living, assisted living and memory care options are available, as well as month-to-month rental and United’s Life Lease.

Landis and Sharyn chose a suite in Fish Creek West, which focuses on an independent lifestyle.

“We have a full kitchen, but we like to go down to the dining room for dinner,” said Sharyn. “We really like the flexibility. We sit with whom we want and eat what we want. If we want a steak sandwich at three in the afternoon, we can get one!”

 

Chef Ryan Bourquin serves Landis in the bistro

Chef Ryan Bourquin serves Landis in the bistro

“We aren’t locked into certain times to eat, or if we want something other than the evening special, we can just over off the menu. It’s all very flexible,” added Landis. “They have a private dining room that we can reserve for family functions. You can even bring your own bottle of wine down if you want!” added Sharyn.

“We didn’t think we would move into an adult community when we did,” said Sharyn. “But we felt it was prudent to research what was available in Calgary before we needed something. A friend suggested we have a look at the Fish Creek community on the United website. We liked what we saw, put our condo up for sale and moved in. We just love it. It’s perfect for us.”

 

 

The Fish Creek courtyard with bocce ball court, putting green and sitting areas

The Fish Creek courtyard with bocce ball court, putting green and sitting areas

The Krause’s chose a ground floor one bedroom suite that opens up onto the expansive inner courtyard. 

“The courtyard is one of a kind,” said Sharyn. “It’s so beautiful with fruit trees and flowers. There are always people out walking around or sitting. It’s really nice.”

“We’ll often see residents’ grandkids out playing on the bocce ball court or the putting green. It’s very family friendly,” said Landis.

“We really like living here. We have a full kitchen and in-suite laundry. At the same time, we can go to the dining room and access the theatre, gym and spa, plus there is a wealth of things to do,” she said. “The physical space drew us to the community but there are so many programs and activities, it just made sense. For instance, we were big fans of the CPO (Calgary Philharmonic) but stopped going because it was no longer convenient. But here, we started going again because United makes it so much easier to go. Plus, we have a lot of friends and family in Calgary, so we’re often out visiting.”

Like the Krauses and others who have moved to Fish Creek, 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 your health takes a turn not only limits your choices, but decisions can easily be made in haste without a thorough consideration for the results.

“Another thing that was important to us,” added Sharyn, “is that we felt that moving from our home to another condo that didn’t have medical support, just to move a few years later to a place that does didn’t make any sense. The Fish Creek community has everything we need, or will need for the foreseeable future, so we may never have to move again. And with all of the personal belongings we have gathered over the years, that’s appealing!”

Photos and 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. Ask us about our respite care and trial stays! 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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Bud and Betty Lou Purkiss getting in the Stampede spirit

Bud and Betty Lou Purkiss get in the Stampede spirit

Serving breakfast for a hundred or more is nothing new for the chefs at United’s two communities. And when it comes to Stampede season, the breakfasts bring out the cowboy and cowgirl in all of us.

Eggs, sausage or bacon, and pancakes and entertainment are traditional fare served for residents and their families at the annual Fish Creek community Stampede breakfast. Among those enjoying the festivities were Bud and Betty Lou Purkiss.

Add in a healthy dose of fun, family and flare, and everyone enjoyed a great week of Stampede  activities.

Joan Hutton recalls some of her Stampede memories

Joan Hutton recalls some of her Stampede memories

Fish Creek resident, 91-year-old Joan Hutton hasn’t missed a Calgary Stampede in 65 years. “I like the chuckwagon races and the crowds of people,” said Joan., who also took in the Fish Creek Stampede Breakfast. “I’ve been at Fish Creek about a year, and I just love it! The staff is great!”

Singer Jeff Pedora provided the country tunes at both Garrison Green and Fish Creek.

Garrison Green resident Jim Dolph, left, with family and friends

Garrison Green resident Jim Dolph, left, with family and friends

Over at Garrison Green, United joined forces with neighbour Carewest Garrison Green in a breakfast that brought both communities together for the 10th year in a row to enjoy pancakes, sausage and beans along with a wide assortment of pastries.

Added to the fun of the Stampede breakfasts this year for Fish Creek residents was the first community block party, hosted by the Father Lacombe  Care Society and involving the neighbouring Father Lacombe and Providence Care Centres. Music, trick dogs, horses and hay rides entertained residents.

Stampede  breakfasts and barbecues are popular with United’s residents throughout the year. They are an example of how United’s programs bring residents and families together into an active community that promotes friendship, activity and socialization.

Photos and 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. Ask us about our respite care and trial stays! 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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Garrison Green resident care manager Keziah Angeles with resident Jane Kelly

Garrison Green resident care manager Keziah Angeles with resident Jane Kelly

“It’s important to us that employees are engaged and feel empowered to give residents the best experience,” said Kelly Johansson, director of human resources at United. The interaction between leadership, staff and residents is paramount in contributing to a positive living and working relationship at United’s two communities. While United encourages honest communication to improve life at United, United surveyed staff recently in an anonymous, third-party survey to confirm the ongoing feedback they were receiving. “The response from employees was overwhelmingly positive, but also highlighted a couple of areas that can be improved, which will help guide us in making living and working at United even more rewarding.”

Seventy percent of United staff completed the engagement survey, providing United with a comprehensive assessment of employee perceptions regarding the workplace and culture.

United's two art studios help residents produce amazing artwork. Here, Betty Earle at Garrison Green shows off one of her paintings

United’s two art studios help residents produce amazing artwork. Here, Betty Earle at Garrison Green shows off one of her paintings

United’s philosophy centres around a people-focused culture. The two communities are built on a social model rather than on a medical model of operations. This means that programs, lifelong learning and an active lifestyle are in the forefront of operational decisions. While the medical side is important and necessary, it operates in the background to ensure residents are looked after without staff in white coats and stethoscopes being an obvious part of the landscape.

“What we found was very encouraging and confirmed that staff find United a great place to work,” said Kelly. “Some 95% of staff said that doing their work well was satisfying, they understand what is expected of them and they understand United’s goals and philosophy.  Being an inclusive community – one that includes residents with dementia in all of our programs – is a unique business model. Not many older adult communities have moved in that direction. We encourage staff to spend time getting to know residents. This includes housekeepers, food servers, reception, programming, etc. It takes more time, but these are areas that are very important to us and to residents in order to maintain the positive lifestyle that residents expect, and the positive work/life balance that we encourage for staff.”

“I like the people I work with, I’m making a difference in the lives of residents, I like what I do” were the three top reasons for the high level of job satisfaction found in the survey.

Licensed practical nurse Cristine Torlao checks in with resident Ron Fraser

Licensed practical nurse Cristine Torlao checks in with resident Ron Fraser

“When I came here in October, 2017, I walked through the front door and heard laughter,” said Cristine Torlao, a licensed practical nurse. “It’s a very welcoming environment and I’m excited to come to work each day. There is no feeling of boss and staff. We are treated as friends not just employees. Important for me is that my perception of aging has changed. The residents here are lively and friendly. It’s a good environment to work in.”

“The staff are great here,” said resident Ron Fraser, who with his wife Irene, celebrated their 65th anniversary last September. “After  Irene passed away in February, the staff would greet me with a hug.  We were blessed to have moved in here when we did. Everyone is so helpful and nice. The servers are excellent and very friendly. One could not ask for more!”

Resident Jim Dolph moved into Garrison Green in 2014. Shortly afterwards, his wife passed away. “I was amazed at how much the staff cared about what was happening in my life. They genuinely care and are always there when I need it. The staff in every department is so caring – nursing, the arts and music programs, food services, housekeeping. Because we live in a community, there is always someone around. That wouldn’t be the case if I lived on my own. There’s a comfort there.” Jim, who also sits on the resident council, said that United’s philosophy encourages resident involvement. “We give them suggestions for programs and food services. For instance, the chef, Ryan Chisholm, sends surveys around asking residents for suggestions about the meals they would like served.”

“I think understanding about United’s philosophy goes back to who we are hiring. United is very different than where they may have worked before. It’s not just about delivering medication on time,” said Kelly. “It’s about living and working in a community, getting to know everyone as you would a family member, and being there for support when it’s needed. It’s encouraging that the survey confirmed that employees not only understand United’s philosophy but are engaged in it in everything they do.”

Photos and 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. Ask us about our respite care and trial stays! 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 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, who were married in 1998, chose a one-bedroom, two-bath suite on the fourth floor facing the mountains. 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. 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, April 13 from 11 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. so be sure to mark your calendar and let your friends and family know. Register at the open house for a chance to win an entertainment gift basket.

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. Ask us about our respite care and trial stays! 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!