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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.

Fish Creek residents Bud and Betty Lou Purkiss, their son Jim and their great granddaughter Brielle

Eggs, sausage or bacon, and pancakes are traditional fare. Add in a healthy dose of fun, family and flare, and United’s residents enjoyed a great start to their 10 days of Stampede  activities. Bud and Betty Lou Purkiss who have lived at United’s Fish Creek community for 15 months, enjoyed breakfast with son Jim and great-granddaughter Brielle.

 

Chef Ryan Bourquin tops up his famous endless pot of coffee

Chef Ryan Bourquin tops up his famous endless pot of coffee

Over at Garrison Green, United joined forces with neighbour Carewest Garrison Green in a breakfast that brought both communities together to enjoy pancakes, sausage and beans along with a wide assortment of pastries. Singer Jeff Pedora provided the country tunes while United’s Cheryl Crich showed staff and visiting firefighters how to line dance.

 

 

 

Garrison Green residents enjoy their Stampede breakfast

Garrison Green residents Beryl Turner, left, Jim Dolph, daughter Laurie Dolph, Veronica Kubik and Doris Bingham enjoy their Stampede breakfast

United Garrison Green resident Carlo Romano (left), who has become a gifted artist and sculptor while at United, was joined by daughter Lucia Cousin and granddaughter Michela Cousin for a morning of pancakes and entertainment.

 

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

Next up, a Stampede barbecue lunch at Fish Creek!

Photos and video by Sherana Productions

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

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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Ross and Ellenore in their Fish Creek suite

Ross and Ellenore in their Fish Creek suite

When Ross and Ellenore Campbell made the decision to move out of their family home, they wanted to be confident their next move would be the right choice for their lifestyle. United’s Fish Creek community stood out as a perfect fit for the couple who sought to continue living full and active lives. United Active Living values their residents’ right to live life on their own terms. United communities are designed to promote lifelong learning, creativity and connection while at the same time providing residents with a variety of healthcare and service options. Ross and Ellenore’s five children were all consulted in the decision, but it was daughter Jean Edmonson who first encouraged a dialogue about their transition to a new home.

Daughter Jean Edmonson

Daughter Jean Edmonson

“I encouraged a discussion with them about moving,” said Jean, who lives in Victoria. “I knew they were fine where they were but I wanted to know where they wanted to be should they ever have to move. They have always been very proactive about where and when to make a move. I was thinking about their future needs at the time because I didn’t want the decision to be made in a panic.”

Although thinking about leaving your family home can be difficult, it’s beneficial to consider your options while you have the time and energy. It’s important that your desires and preferences are reflected in the community you choose. Ross and Ellenore made their decision while they had plenty of time to consider what community best suited them.

Daughter Arleen Yee

Daughter Arleen Yee

“So Mom and Dad started looking around, but they didn’t find a community that worked for them. That is until they found United,” said daughter Arleen Yee of Calgary. “They were extremely encouraged and after determining that the Fish Creek community met their financial, social, mental and physical goals, they sent the family an email saying ‘We’re moving!'”

“They looked at a lot of communities, but when they found United, they wanted to move in right away,” said Jean. “They didn’t need to move but it was the right place to be, and should they need extra assistance, the community offers that without them having to move again. They are healthier and happier since their move to Fish Creek,” said Jean. “They are exploring new things, and are more active than they were in their previous home. Dad is in the art studio every day and many of the things they enjoyed, such as theatre, come to them or are easily accessible.”

Ross and Ellenore at a New Year's celebration

Ross and Ellenore at a New Year’s celebration.

“Today they are thoroughly enjoying themselves,” said Arleen. “Mom will call to say that she hasn’t heard from me in awhile, but it’s because I can’t keep up with them! I tease them that they are acting like a couple of 18 year olds!” Arleen chuckles. “They aren’t marking time, they are extremely active. It’s like it has been a total reboot for them. They are always doing something. Dad had to give up some of his artistic endeavours because the last place didn’t have room. Now, he practically lives in the studio. They are definitely looking forward, not back.”

 

“I like the whole package – the dining room, coffee bar, the suites,” said Jean. “I stayed in the guest suite at Fish Creek earlier this year and was very impressed. Staying in the suite gives them the space they need yet I was able to be in the community with them for the time I was there. It makes visiting very easy. It also gave me a different perspective. I wasn’t coming and going, I was there all the time. There is no doubt in my mind that this was a wonderful move for them.”

“Having all of the amenities that United has, and all of the support the staff provides, it really gives us peace of mind that they are being taken care of, but also that they are taking care of themselves,” added Arleen. “They have jumped right in and are thoroughly enjoying themselves!”

The decision to move can be overwhelming for older adults and their families. However, being proactive allows you to take advantage of all of the wonderful new opportunities, experiences and connections that a supportive community provides.

Photos by: United Active Living, Sherana Productions

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

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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When people get together to discuss issues and create art, the result can often be inspiring. That was the basis for Project Inspire, a collaborative project involving older adults from United Active Living, the United Way, LINKAges and the Calgary Chinese Elderly Citizens’ Association.

For the past year, the project combined discussions on matters that affect older adults – ageism, health and isolation – with the creation of artworks that reflected their thoughts.

For the participants, it opened discussion on a variety of sensitive subjects while bringing them together as new friends. “It’s a very worthwhile project,” said United Active Living resident Betty Earle. “It brings the different cultures together in a way that encourages friendship.”

The idea for the project was sparked by a donation by the Kanovsky Family Foundation to United Way of Calgary and Area. A six-week pilot project was developed that focused on ageism and how it affects older adults. The project was so successful, three more six-week projects were developed that expanded into discussions around health, spirituality and wellness, which were reflected in the art the participants produced.

“This project created opportunities for social inclusion,” said Alicia Lewis, LINKAges. “For our seniors in the East Village, social isolation is a concern, so seeing them so involved and interested in meeting others, and making friends with those in a different culture has been very important. It would be great to see this type of project expand to include other communities and other cultural aspects such as music and theatre.”

Social isolation can affect anyone, and Project Inspire provided an opportunity to connect with others. In fact, connections and friendship were two of biggest benefits for those taking part.

 

“What really impressed me about the project was that there was always something new to learn, both from our perspective as facilitators, and by the participants who learned from each other and by trying their hands a creating art, even though painting and drawing may have been new to them,” said Chantel Traub, creative facilitator, United Active Living.

A collaborative piece, with each participant contributing a painted square

A collaborative piece, with each participant contributing a painted square

For the participants, strangers became friends who opened up to each other with respect.”The most incredible thing came from being asked a question at the start of each session, and the people just relaxed with each other, the barriers came down,” said Frank MacLeod, who lives in the East Village. “There was no criticism of anyone’s point of view. Everyone was so respectful.” Chantel agreed. “There was no criticism or judgement despite the differences in culture, and the different educational backgrounds and life experiences. Just a simple respect for the different points of view.”

United’s creative facilitators who are also professional artists introduced a variety of creative elements to the participants. They encouraged them to express their thoughts through paint and paper. Creative expression is a cornerstone of the activities within United communities. Providing opportunities for participants to engage in a variety of stimulating creative workshops led by United’s practicing artists formed the framework of the project.

Wendell Yu and others from the Calgary Chinese Elderly Citizen’s Association were keen participants, who hosted one of the sessions and were quick to accept their new friends. “The project made me so happy!” he said.

Chinese interpreter Louise Lee, who participated in the project said that increased socialization was an important result from the sessions. “They encouraged each other, and gained confidence to express themselves through art, which some of them hadn’t done since school.”

“This project was all about making connections with others, and sharing their experiences with each other,” said Maddison Klein, creative facilitator, United Active Living. “It truly was inspiring to see the energy that everyone brought to the table and the relationships that developed.”

Artwork from the latest Project Inspire session was displayed at C-Space in Marda Loop. The results have been so inspiring that there are now discussions about how to expand the program, either to other communities or to other generations.

“The intergenerational aspect would be a really good thing,” said Frank. “The different ages think very differently. People think about things differently based on their life experiences, so having a program like that would be very interesting.”

“Even though we spoke different languages, we found that it wasn’t a barrier to being friends. Today, I was given hugs from the people I met in the program from the Chinese community. That was great. That’s what friendship is all about,” said Betty.

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

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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Living with dementia is life changing and everyone experiences the journey differently. Regardless of having a diagnosis, people with dementia deserve to have a good quality of life, whatever that may look like for them.

United Minds is a service offered at United communities for residents living with memory loss or some form of dementia. Our ultimate hope is by getting to know the resident, we can ensure that they are living life to its fullest within our environment.

The United Minds team empowers individuals to make decisions throughout their day, direct their care and services, live lives that are reflective of their personal preferences and goals, and have the opportunity to not be defined by their diagnosis.

Musicians from the Calgary Philharmonic perform

Musicians from the Calgary Philharmonic perform at United’s Garrison Green community

“We don’t rely on formal cognitive assessments to determine resident suitability for our community or their level of service. Instead we spend the time getting to know them and how they spend their day,” said Bridget Coulter, United Minds coordinator. “Our United Minds team connects with each resident and our programs promote a sense of personal achievement and belonging. This is often lost with a diagnosis when someone is no longer seen as a vibrant contributing individual.”

United Minds offers small, intimate programs which are led by dedicated program facilitators who tailor the experience to the resident’s abilities and interests. This ensures their active participation and encourages them to be present in the moment. United Minds has a variety of customizable services available to meet the needs of each person.

Upon move in, residents who require the United Minds service are invited into the United Minds Welcome Program to ease their transition into our communities. In the same way you prepare your garden soil in the spring, our three-month Welcome Program is intended to set up new residents to thrive in their new home. Our other available programs support residents in getting rooted into the community, branching out and connecting with others to flourish.

Here’s what a day in the life of two United Minds residents might look like. Jerry has a difficult time navigating familiar places. She often gets confused about where her kitchen is located. Through the United Minds service, she is able to attend the intimate music programs she enjoys and arrive at the bistro at her leisure free of stress.

Alice has always been a shy person and never one for joining clubs. Alice receives one-on-one programs from the United Minds team because of her preference for quiet interaction. She enjoys the personal touch of a private program brought to her suite where she can relax with a United Minds staff member as they explore Spain and armchair travel together.

Claudia Collins sits with her mom Elsie at Garrison Green

Claudia Collins says her mom Elsie has really come alive at Garrison Green

The benefits of the United Minds program are vast. Staff and families alike have shared stories of the positive changes they have seen in the residents because of their involvement with United Minds.

Claudia Collins is the daughter of 91-year-old Garrison Green resident Elsie Collins. She believes that her mom has blossomed with the support given by the United Minds team.

“We wanted her to live in a place where she wouldn’t have to be on a locked ward. She is now living in her own one bedroom suite with regular support from staff and happily participating in daily, stimulating activates that she loves.” Claudia said her mom is making jokes, following conversational threads, attending two exercise classes per day, singing with a residents’ choir, having meals with friends, going to a music therapy group, and attending musical and cultural events.

Elsie with her music therapist

Elsie with her music therapist, Elaine Cheung of JB Music Therapy

“We can’t believe the change in mom,” said Claudia. “Rather than living on her own at home, which can be socially isolating, she has really come alive. The staff have been amazing! Everyone has been so friendly, patient, welcoming and kind. Mom calls the staff her friends. They gently and consistently monitor Mom’s well-being and get her to activities and meals. Mom feels safe and cared for; she knows she matters. There is tremendous dignity and fun in the program.”

“Just because someone sees the world differently than we do doesn’t mean they can’t continue to be valuable, contributing members of the community,” said Bridget. “Everyone has a strength even when other skills may be declining. They still have a lot of life to live. We find out what connects them and anchors them and then we work on that. It doesn’t take much to find out what their passion is and then we focus on how we continue to support that passion and those strengths.”

The approach and benefits of the United Minds program are summed up in an online brochure available for viewing or downloading on the United
website. Take a look at the brochure and contact us if you would like to know more about our unique approach to dementia care. Check out this blog article on resources that can help you make the right choices for your family.

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

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.

Contact us here!


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“Coming to a place like this where there are so many options, it’s just awesome!” – Resident Hertha Reich

Resident Hertha Reich in the Garrison Green art studio

Resident Hertha Reich in the Garrison Green art studio

United’s summer program guides are out for both Fish Creek and Garrison Green communities. Each contains over 30 pages of programs and ongoing activities that make living in the two communities fun and engaging.

Music, drawing, painting, pottery, discussion groups and fitness are just some of the ongoing programs. When you combine these with programs offerred by United’s community partners, the list is even more impressive.

“We have a wide range of partnerships with some of the best artistic, cultural and educational organizations in the city that give residents the opportunity to learn and experience a wealth of programs that broaden their horizons,” said Fish Creek program coordinator Kim Coulter. “The partnerships expose residents to plays and concerts outside our community. They also enable us to bring world-class performers on site, making the offerings accessible to all.”

Calgary Civic Symphony performing at Fish Creek

Calgary Civic Symphony performing at Fish Creek

“The programs and activities we offer residents are unique,” said Monica Schmidt, program development coordinator, Garrison Green. “At United, being creative is a way of life. We have professional artists on staff who provide support to everyone, from those who have never picked up a brush or a handful of clay, to those who were attracted to United specifically because they can continue their lifelong passion for art.”

To keep the mind active we foster a focus on the arts, creativity and stimulating social interaction. United’s extensive list of programs and activities ensures there is ample opportunity for ongoing learning and creative expression.

In collaboration with the residents, United has compiled a comprehensive guide of upcoming specialty and ongoing programs at both communities. Residents, along with their friends and families can use this resource to make plans to participate.

Both guides are available as printable PDFs at the following links:

Garrison Green program link

Fish Creek program link

Check with the monthly calendars and newsletters for any additions or updates.

“While the partnerships provide a number of one-of-a-kind opportunities, it’s often the residents who suggest programs or activities they would like us to put together. That’s why the list of programs is so unique. It’s as varied as the people who live here,” said Kim.

“Check back often,” advises Monica. “There’s always something new and the programs are always evolving based on resident feedback.”

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

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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“None are so old as those who have outlived enthusiasm.” – Author Henry David Thoreau

As the population ages, and is staying healthy longer into their later years, older adults are looking for lifestyles that support their interests. Health, community and creativity are the new expectations of those in their 70’s and beyond.

While lifestyle is about people, the environment and infrastructure around them must support their lifestyle choices.

“The last thing an older adult wants is to move into a community that reminds them of a hospital,” said Kim O’Brien, CEO. “Anyone can build four walls and a roof, but a great deal of care must be taken to ensure amenities function well and that residents feel at home.”

To support your lifestyle needs, United has used its more than 20 years of experience to look at the kinds of programs and activities residents want, then design communities around them.

United offers a range of suites to suit your lifestyle, from smaller studios, up to large two-bedroom suites, some up to 1,300 sq. ft.

A great deal of thought went into the design of the two United communities – Garrison Green and Fish Creek.

What are residents looking for? Creative activities and amenities are high on the list of importance. United’s activities are designed around the idea that an engaging and interesting lifestyle shouldn’t end when we hit 65. Research into aging shows that learning continues well into our later years. United’s Garrison Green community boasts one resident in her 80’s who earned an English degree, others are learning to play piano and guitar, while others are discovering hidden talents as artists.

Residents have the same freedom they enjoyed at home to do what they want, when they want and to come and go as they please. Communities are designed to ensure the safe movement of those who need the extra care, and United fully supports an integrative model where everyone is included in activities.

In each community there are green spaces, dining spaces for casual, formal or family get-togethers, where executive chef-designed menus offer variety and flexibility in meal times, a theatre, heated underground parking, an art studio and fitness area.

The Fish Creek community boasts a stunning, professionally designed open-air courtyard accessed from the dining room, art gallery and fitness areas. Walking paths, a water feature, orchard, putting green, bocce court, barbeque area, and sculpture gardens are all there for the enjoyment of residents, friends and families.

The building designs include spaces where guest lectures and other gatherings can be held. “We fully support the concept of lifelong learning. A person is never too old to learn something new. That’s why we have established close connections with St. Mary’s University, Mount Royal University, the Esker Foundation, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra and many other groups that extend those learning opportunities for the residents,” said Kim Coulter, program development coordinator, Fish Creek. “These partnerships allow for professionals to come to our communities to host lectures and musical events. They provide the opportunity for intergenerational programming and bridge the gap for accessibility.”

Included in the  Fish Creek community is an expansive art gallery. This main floor gallery displays art by residents, staff and greater community artists. In addition, the courtyard is highlighted by sculptures created by well-known Canadian artists.

“Art and creative applications are an integral part of our programming,” said Jeff Chan, creative facilitator, Fish Creek. Residents have the capacity to create and express themselves through a variety of creative outlets no matter their age. Just recently we celebrated Hugh Kuwahara’s 104th birthday with a display of artwork created by him an his wife, Kay. Our art galleries have become a place to share resident artwork with the greater community, creating a sense of belonging and empowerment.”

“The whole focus on creativity and lifelong learning really highlights the fact that no matter a person’s age, the creative spark remains as strong as ever,” said Kim O’Brien. “And it’s such a pleasure to watch someone who is new to painting or working with clay, achieve something they never thought possible!”

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

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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Nicole Kendall, director of health and wellness

Nicole Kendall, director of health and wellness

A major consideration when thinking about moving to an older adult community is the quality of health care offered should you need medical support. United’s approach is very different than what you might find in other communities. “We focus on the resident as a person,” said Nicole Kendall, director of health and wellness at United. “We follow a social model of care, which means the resident is the expert in their wellness. We focus on their strengths not their medical conditions, and the resident tells us how they want to live. Our philosophy focuses on enjoying an active, creative life supported by a highly educated staff that are trained to see you as a unique individual.”

Nicole, a registered nurse, worked in specialized geriatric clinics before coming to United three years ago. “Training in the nursing profession is primarily concerned with a person’s medical conditions that need to be fixed or changed, but I have always believed that residents know how they want to live and that we can support them by providing choice and control over their lives. It’s all about helping the resident live well rather than what is most efficient for staff. We don’t impose restrictions on the amount of time we spend with residents. We allow time to talk with them and get to know them. We focus on the person, not the illness. I was drawn to United because of the philosophy.”

Garrison Green resident care manager Keziah Angeles with resident Jane Kelly

Garrison Green resident care manager Keziah Angeles with resident Jane Kelly

Garrison Green resident care manager Keziah Angeles said it’s the residents that determine how they want to live rather than staff imposing rules. “For instance, one resident was used to having  her tea and breakfast at a certain time and a certain way. When she came here, we followed her lead because it’s her life. It’s more fulfilling for me from a professional standpoint because we get to know the residents as individuals.”

That approach can be a pleasant surprise for nursing staff who come to United from another community. While they may be used to referring to a resident by their room number, nurses at United always refer to the person by name. As well, nurses wear business casual attire, not scrubs or medical uniforms. Medications are given to residents in their suites,  and nurses knock before entering a suite. Residents are treated with dignity and respect.

Nicole and resident Alexis Beddoe work on a particularly difficult puzzle

Nicole and resident Alexis Beddoe work on a particularly difficult puzzle

When a person moves into a United community, a comprehensive assessment is conducted that involves all aspects of wellness. The team gets to know the resident and his or her interests and strengths.  It is a community approach that provides opportunities for residents to connect, while respecting their individuality and preferences. Each week the wellness team (nursing, food services,  housekeeping, programming, fitness, United Minds team members and artists) meets to share their knowledge about individual resident’s concerns, capabilities and needs and develop approaches that can help residents improve their quality of life. The team takes a collaborative approach to help residents live life as fully and comfortably as possible, in accordance with their choices and values, regardless of any health issues they may have. The members of the wellness team are different than you would see in a traditional medical model, which is a reflection of the relationship that all staff have with the residents at United.  Often, housekeeping or serving staff will see changes in their day-to-day interactions with residents.

“We are very sensitive to the fact that United is our residents’ home,” said Nicole. ”Should they need to go to the hospital we work with hospital staff to ensure that they have the health supports they need to come back home. Often, we will meet the hospital’s discharge team to advocate on a resident’s behalf,” said Nicole.  She recalls one resident with cognitive difficulties who needed to go to the hospital. Nicole travelled with him to ensure he was with a familiar person during his stay. “We can be as involved as residents want us to be.”

Residents are empowered to make their own decisions about what is right for them, such as when they eat, what programs they attend, and the relationships they build. The benefit to this approach is that it supports residents in maintaining their independence in order to have a meaningful and fulfilling life. To this end, United has resident councils at both Garrison Green and Fish Creek.

“The council is a liaison between residents and staff. They listen to us about food, health, building maintenance and the social side such as arts and music programming. We have a lot of control over our own health. And it’s nice that staff are always walking around and are very approachable. They are so good with everyone,” said resident Jane Kelly who sits on the Garrison Green Resident’s Council.

“The medical world is turning more toward a person-centred approach, which involves taking into consideration a person’s desires, values and lifestyle, and working with that person to support their overall wellness,” said Nicole. “This is an approach that United has been working with for several years, and we see an ongoing benefit to the residents who are engaging more in community and creative pursuits. It’s an amazing place to work!”

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

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.

Contact us here!


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One resident gave money online to what she thought was going to support the families of the Humboldt hockey bus accident. Another has received several phone calls from Revenue Canada demanding payment of taxes. What do these have in common? They are both scams.

While the initial fundraiser for the Humboldt accident was legitimate, other sites have popped up trying to continue to collect funds online. “Tragedies attract the vultures. After the Fort McMurray fire, some 137 fake charities were identified who took donations and disappeared,” said retired Calgary Police detective Brian Holmes.

And the Revenue Canada scam? Brian says Revenue Canada will never phone you about your taxes. They use the mail. Brian and retired businessman Gord Keegan volunteer their time to speak with older adults in Calgary about fraud. They made the first of about a dozen presentations at United’s Garrison Green community as part of United’s commitment to lifelong learning. Similar presentations will be conducted at the Fish Creek community. Check the monthly calendar for dates.

Brian told a large group of residents gathered at Garrison Green this week that fraud is the crime of the century. Brian and Gord are keen to educate older adults, their families and friends because fraud doesn’t discriminate based on age. Brian pointed out that fraud can come from strangers and family members. As well,  anyone can be a target and scams are continuously changing. With each type of fraud, Brian gave practical tips about how to detect whether a call or an email is a scam.

He outlined the most common scams that are directed at older adults.

  • Health care insurance fraud. A person will phone claiming to be from a health clinic and want health care card and other personal information. That information is then sold or used to double bill Alberta Health Services or Blue Cross.
  • Funeral scams. Someone will attend a funeral and demand payment of a debt supposedly owed by the deceased. The family, in a fragile state of mind, might go along with it.
  • Thieves will read obituaries and know that a home is unattended during a funeral service. Have a neighbour watch your home if you are away.
  • Internet fraud. Email and pop-up browser windows can upload viruses to your computer, giving scammers access to personal information. Don’t open emails from people you don’t trust and use good computer protection software to guard against viruses.
  • Revenue Canada phone calls. A person calls in an aggressive tone demanding payment of taxes or saying you have a refund coming. Either way they will want banking information. Revenue Canada doesn’t call. They send information by mail.
  • Telemarketing scams. More and more people are buying online. Be aware of what information you are providing, particularly banking or credit card information.
  • Pigeon Drop. This is an old scam whereby a person calls to say they have access to a large amount of cash, but need your upfront money to help get it. The Nigerian letter scam is similar, suggesting you will receive large amounts of money if you will only put up a few thousand to facilitate the transfer.
  • The Grandparent scam. A person will call saying they are a grandchild in trouble and ask for money for bail, travel expenses and other costs.

“If you do get calls or online donation requests, either hang up or do some research into the charity that may be asking for money. Call a family member to discuss before agreeing to anything,” said Brian. “Sometimes, especially online, it’s very hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys, so spend time to check them out. It could save you a lot of financial pain.”

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

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.

Contact us here!

 


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Wendy Martin has a passion. For more than 50 years, she has been reflecting the world around her in quilts. Big or small, the quilts she makes tell the stories of her life.

Wendy's son Robert with Wendy's first quilt

Wendy’s son Robert with Wendy’s first quilt in 1967

Wendy's quilt for Canada's 150th anniversary

Wendy’s quilt for Canada’s 150th anniversary

“I started quilting in Canada’s Centennial year, 1967. I thought it would be nice to honour the 100th anniversary by making a quilt. And 50 years later, I created another one for Canada’s 150th. I was attracted to quilting because it’s considered a traditional North American craft that has its beginnings in the Middle Ages in Europe. Various quilting styles have developed over the years, but I consider mine the Wendy Martin style,” she laughs.

Wendy shows her quilt to Calgary Civic Symphony conductor Rolf Bertsch

Wendy shows her quilt to Calgary Civic Symphony conductor Rolf Bertsch

Wendy calls herself an Old World patchwork quilter, but while patchwork quilting often doesn’t involve a particular theme, many of her quilts spring from an inspirational moment.

“When Calgary Civic Symphony conductor Rolf Bertsch played Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition for us, many residents were inspired to create artwork that reflected what they heard. For me, I saw colours and images in the music – children, witches, catacombs and the like, so I created a large quilt which impressed Rolf!”

 

 

Wendy doesn’t waste any piece of cloth, and her suite at United’s Garrison Green community is piled with more than 50 quilts and boxes of material, some containing unfinished quilts, which she calls her UFOs, or Unfinished Objects. She is often working on more than one project at a time, completing about two quilts a year.

Over her life of quilting, she estimates she has completed  more than 100, some of which were on display at her Trunk Show, which displayed dozens of her quilts to a highly appreciative audience.

What inspires her? “Really, it can be just about anything. Music inspires me. I see pictures in the music. One time, a particular piece was being played in our Music Appreciation program, and I saw a river. I found blue and green material in my boxes and created a quilt from that. While others see only the colours, I see the rivers.”

Wendy was involved in Girl Guides and Scouting for more than 30 years. She collected crests at international camps and Leadership Training that she used to create a quilt. “I really enjoyed my time in Guides, especially teaching the leaders and guides in wilderness camping, and the need to respect the forest,” she says.

“I’ve easily got enough material for another 20 quilts, but I never sell them. Quilting is a hobby and a passion, so I make them and give them away to family and friends. It’s simply a wonderful way to express the world around me. I’ll keep at it even though threading a needle is more difficult these days, but I don’t see that stopping me any time soon!”

 

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

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! 

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United Active Living’s two communities have earned accreditation “with commendation” from Accreditation Canada. The organization provides an independent, third-party assessment of an organization’s operations using a wide range of standards that are based on best management and operational practices.

Dianne McDermid, director of quality enhancement

Dianne McDermid, director of quality enhancement

“Accreditation is available every four years, and this is our third accreditation from them,” said Dianne McDermid, director of quality enhancement at United. “Accreditation is an ongoing process of assessing an organization’s operations against worldwide standards of excellence to identify what is being done well and what needs to be improved. Based on the outcome of this year’s accreditation, United is doing very well, earning the accolade ‘with commendation’ from them, which is especially meaningful.” 

Accreditation involved all staff and residents at United, from the board of directors to frontline staff to residents and their families and United’s community partners. The result is a lengthy report about what United is doing well, and what areas might need improvement. 

Dianne likens accreditation to listing with the Better Business Bureau or adhering to ISO standards. “Earning accreditation is a strong signal to residents, potential residents and their families that United takes delivery of services seriously, and by earning the ‘with commendation’ status, it means United’s services far exceed simply earning accreditation,” said Dianne. “It means the quality of services and care we provide to those who need assisted living supports are superior. We’ve always strived for that, but when a respected third-party organization confirms that, it means a great deal to us.”

Conductor and pianist Rolf Bertsch regularly performs for residents

Conductor and pianist Rolf Bertsch regularly performs for residents

Accreditation put all aspects of United’s services under a microscope – food services, maintenance, housekeeping, nursing care plus the variety of arts, culture and learning programs that United provides, and the overall operations of each community. In all, there were more than 440 standards that were examined.

As well as the management and operational side, the surveyors conducted focus groups with residents and their families and even went outside to several partner organizations. One surveyor, a nurse with a long history of care in the assisted living sector, was heard to say, “You have created a place where we would love to work!”

“At United, we have gone well beyond the basics. Our all-day menus, variety of programs, our flexibility in supporting our residents were all noted by the surveyors,” said Dianne. “Everything revolves around our residents. We are always striving to make things better, and that is something that Accreditation Canada paid particular attention to – how all of our processes, services and programs are focused on the person.

“One resident at Garrison Green said in the focus group ‘I don’t feel like I’m old here. I’m still learning and growing’, and a family member at Fish Creek noted that ‘my dad now lives in an 80,000 sq. ft. home! Even though he has dementia, he can go anywhere. The entire community is his home’.

“And that speaks volumes about United’s approach. The accreditation from Accreditation Canada reaffirms everything we are doing,” said Dianne.

Why wait? Call today to arrange a tour!

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! 

Contact us here!