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After more than three months of limited movement and socializing, residents at United’s two communities are enjoying the safe and gradual relaunch of programming, fitness classes, bistro and dining room meal services and more socializing with other residents – while adhering to the guidelines and orders as set out by the Chief Medical Officer of Health (CMOH). The easing of restrictions means that residents can enjoy more of the things that United has become well-known for.

“When we developed a plan for reopening the communities, we looked to guidance from the Chief Medical Officer of Health and the protocols they have in place for older adult communities,” said Kelly Johansson, executive director of operations. “Our protocols differ from the ones that are in place for the greater community because of the greater risk to our residents. These tighter protocols are a good thing, and everyone understands why it’s taking longer to ease the restrictions.”

A questionnaire was sent out asking residents to outline their priorities for United’s relaunch plan. At the top of the list was reopening the dining room and bistro. Breakfast and lunch service has already resumed and dinner service is expected to follow shortly. Next on the list was United’s varied programming and fitness classes.

Fitness session at Fish Creek pre-COVID

Fitness session at Fish Creek pre-COVID

“Fitness was the first program to once again welcome residents,” said Kim Coulter, program development and creative expressions manager. “We started with baby steps offering small classes with a few residents in each class. We’ve gradually expanded that. Fitness is such an important program both for physical and mental health, and the social benefit that comes from it. Many residents were walking regularly in the courtyard, or exercising in their suites, but there is more variety in a fitness class, which is very beneficial.”

Understandably, meals are an important part of the day, and United’s unrestricted dining options were missed. Prior to COVID, residents could eat what they wanted, when they wanted and with whom they wanted. There were no seating assignments and complete flexibility. Today, to ensure physical distancing guidelines are followed, United has temporarily instituted three seatings at lunch, ensuring that tables are kept proper distance and offering smaller tables for two residents.

The bistro is open for breakfasts. The dining room for lunches.

The bistro is open for breakfasts; the dining room for lunches.

“I’ve lived at Fish Creek for about a year, and I was so excited when they opened the dining room for lunch,” said Yvette DeGagne. “I dressed up that first day. I looked terrific!” she quipped. While she remains cautious about the virus, she is anxious to see the restrictions lifted. “I think United is doing the best job to protect us, but it can be difficult for some people. I love the programming, so I’m excited for the community to get rolling again.”

Following the direction of the CMOH, United has been facilitating outside visits and walks with residents and their designated essential visitor and an additional guest. There have been areas set up outside to accommodate these visits, which are very popular especially since the nice weather.

Programming is restarting, but without outside entertainment and with limited seating. The first program in the theatre in three months will be a televised Michael Bublé concert. The program will be shown several times to accommodate as many people as possible.

Watercolour workshops are being held in the Fish Creek courtyard

Watercolour workshops are being held in the Fish Creek courtyard

Since the art studios at both communities are still closed, the creative facilitators will be holding watercolour painting workshops in the courtyard. The facilitators are working in other areas of United’s operations while the art studio is closed, but will slowly return to developing new programs for residents as restrictions continue to loosen.

“I’m looking forward to the opening of the art studio,” said resident Olive Hein. “When I moved to Fish Creek three years ago, I had never painted, but now I’ve found a new passion and during the restrictions I’ve been painting in my suite.” Olive says she has 40 to 50 paintings hanging on her walls. “I’m also physically active. I’m glad the exercise program has started up, but I used to run marathons when I was younger, so I’ve been walking in the courtyard. Usually 10 to 15 times around each day.”

“It is so refreshing to see the residents out and about in the community, enjoying the meals and laughing and waving to their friends,” said Kim. “And that makes us feel better too.”

Take a look at our Public Service Announcement.

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

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

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

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

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Lynn, Richard and Addison marking a special day

Lynn, Richard and Addison marking a special day

When it’s your birthday, it’s time to celebrate no matter the circumstances. On April 24, Richard Odland, who has lived with his wife Lynn at United’s Garrison Green for three years, turned 81. Rather than letting them celebrate on their own, their family came by to wish him well. To put the icing on the cake, it was an extra special day for Richard and Lynn as their granddaughter, Addison, turned 10 on the same day.

“It was a lot of fun, and a very different way to celebrate birthdays,” said Lynn Odland. “We were separated by glass, but we spoke with each other on our cell phones. While it’s not our first choice, we feel safe here. Very comfortable. Life is good.”

Motorcycle drive-by outside United's Fish Creek community

Motorcycle drive-by outside United’s Fish Creek community

The next day, a group of motorcycles and cars did a drive-by salute for employees and residents at Fish Creek and Garrison Green. “I’m a member of Against All Abuse, a local group of motorcycle riders who ride for charity to support anti-bullying and other anti-abuse initiatives,” said Cheryl Crich, director of strategic projects for United Active Living. “Our colleagues who are providing care and support are working so hard, we felt they deserved a show of respect, recognition and a salute to the incredible work they are doing. As well, we wanted to salute our residents for their patience and understanding.” The entourage also drove by Providence Care Centre and Father Lacombe Care Centre while at Fish Creek, and Carewest Garrison Green, across the street from United’s Garrison Green community.

“Employees are working hard to keep every resident safe. We are all supporting each other,” said Cheryl. Watch the video of the drive-by.

Chalk message outside United's Fish Creek community

Chalk message outside United’s Fish Creek community

To put the finishing touches on the day, families of residents at Fish Creek wrote special messages of love and support in chalk on the sidewalks.

“It was really wonderful, really very special,” said residents Inger and Bill Copland. Eight members of their family came out at Easter to wish them well, and again last Saturday. “The employees here are doing a terrific job looking out for everyone,” said Inger. “I have to say that we would like to be able to go for a walk or a drive just to get out a little, but we understand why it’s necessary. We just hope it doesn’t last too much longer.”

 

Photos by United Active Living, The Odland family.

Take a look at our new Public Service Announcement.

Contact us to learn more!

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

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

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

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

Contact us here!

 

 

 


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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. 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

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. There is no assigned seating. Plus, the all-day menu gives residents flexibility should they arrive back home after an outing and want a meal or snack.

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

Hertha Reich: A Creative Mind

 
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. 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 partner 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. Visit 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.

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

Ask us about our short-term respite stays.

Contact us to learn more!

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

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a visit. We are happy to help! 

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

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

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Madge with some of her baby hats

Madge with some of her baby hats

For Garrison Green resident Madge McAdam, volunteering has been a lifelong passion.

Daughter Susan Snowdon says she can’t recall a time when Madge wasn’t volunteering for something. “She helped out with the Holy Cross Hospital’s teddy bear program for kindergarten students, spent time at the Colonel Belcher Hospital’s palliative care program, and even organized no-charge figure skating lessons in the community.” Though Madge stopped much of her volunteer work when she chose to stop driving at 80, she continues to find ways to give back.

“My mom was assistant director of nursing at the old Holy Cross hospital in Calgary when she retired at 65 around 1982,” said Susan. “When the hospital closed, she turned her attention to volunteering at the Rockyview Hospital as a baby cuddler, which is a pretty coveted position.”

Madge cuddling baby at Rockyview Hospital

Madge at Rockyview Hospital

Keeping a baby’s head warm is, of course, very important in helping them maintain a healthy body temperature. And it was during her time as a baby cuddler that Madge came up with the idea of knitting hats for these tiny newborns. At that time nurses would use whatever convenient materials they could find to cover the babies’ heads and Madge, an avid knitter, knew that little hats would be a great fix. She’s kept it up for almost 40 years, producing hundreds of baby hats, which are delivered twice a year to the Rockyview Hospital. The parents take the hats home with them, which become valued keepsakes of the day their child was born.

“I like to knit and there was a need,” Madge, now 102, says in her quiet voice, when asked why she started.  “These hands have to do something!” she laughs.

Madge’s volunteer work and her baby hat project have not gone unnoticed. She was given a Canada Volunteer Award in 1990.

Today, you can find Madge knitting in her favourite chair by the fireplace at Garrison Green, or in the weekly Fibre Arts Club meetings – “I like getting together with my friends.” –  where she continues to knit hats, scarves and baby blankets, many of which are donated to charity.

Photos by Susan Snowdon, Sherana Productions. Videos by Sherana Productions

Ask us about our short-term respite stays.

Contact us to learn more!

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

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a visit. We are happy to help! 

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

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

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There was a lot of positive reaction to our article of a couple of weeks ago that spoke about the six questions you should ask when considering a move to an older adult community. So we thought we would take a further look at adjusting to living in your new community.

Most of us would prefer to stay in our homes as we age for as long as possible, but this can become an issue when we reach a point where our needs outgrow our home environment.

A transition to a supportive community is complex, and to be successful, older adults and their families go through a series of adjustments. The most obvious adjustment is the physical relocation to a new home. This includes ending some established habits and adopting new routines, which can appear to be overwhelming.

There is no question that moving from the family home requires a period of adjustment. “I can’t say enough about the staff; they’re the most caring, efficient, pleasant, and helpful people. I was so familiar with my community all my life so moving here was an adjustment. The staff is what helped me make the adjustment,” said one resident of our Fish Creek community.

 

Relocating is often described as one of the most difficult decisions faced by older adults and their families. In 1989, Virginia Brooke, then an assistant professor in Spokane, Washington, identified four phases of adjustment that older adults typically go through during a move.

Screen Shot 2016-07-04 at 9.41.28 AM

The transition to a new community has many positive outcomes. Research suggests that after a transition, people often feel more secure and less lonely than they did before the move. In addition, feeling a sense of relief is common. Think about all of the work that goes into maintaining a house. No longer having to worry about yard work, home maintenance or cooking can be very freeing. Many older adults will discover new opportunities to develop hobbies or skills and form new bonds with others in the community, which results in an enhanced quality of life.

When the decision is a result of personal choice instead of a consensus of family members and health professionals, older adults will adjust better to their new home.

Joan Patterson working on a quilting project

Joan Patterson working on a quilting project

“I found it easy to make the decision to move,” said Fish Creek resident Joan Patterson. “I fell at home and broke my shoulder and I realized that I should move into a community where I could get help right away should something like that happen again. My transition was very smooth because I made the decision on my terms rather than someone else’s.”

 

How to make the transition easier

Involvement in the decision to move is one of the most important aspects that can either help or hurt the adjustment. Older adults who are included in the decision-making process feel empowered, respected and view the move as more desirable. However, when older adults have little or no input in the decision they tend to feel hurt, angry, misled or depressed.

United is committed to supporting resident adjustment to our communities. We strive to understand resident needs and work with them and their families to help everyone adjust positively.

Quick tips for families


Make sure you visit the new community, sometimes more than once. This will help develop relationships and become acquainted with the physical space and programs and services available.

Before the move:

  • Consider counselling or a more informal family discussion, since older adults and their family members need to feel safe expressing their feelings about moving

After the move:

  • Family members can help a parent settle in by recognizing the emotional impact of the move and respond with compassion and patience
  • Offer them choices in how their new suite is decorated, the meal choices they have, and developing routines around their lifestyle will enhance the feeling of control
  • Display documents or items of significance in their new home and encourage the continuation of previously enjoyed activities.
  • Build new bonds with staff and other residents. Our staff – and other residents – will introduce themselves to new residents and make them feel comfortable.

Transitioning from your home to another community can be very difficult, and it can take time to finally feel settled. However, understanding what the move means and planning ahead can help everyone make a successful adjustment to a new home.

Photos and video by Sherana Productions.

Contact us to learn more!

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

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.

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Joan Patterson, left, and Sheila Brinsmead became close friends after moving into Fish Creek

Joan Patterson, left, and Sheila Brinsmead became close friends after moving into 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 a crisis occurs not only limits your choices, but decisions can easily be made without thorough consideration for the results.

For more on this, refer to our article on tips for moving to an older adult community.

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

 

1. I may be healthy now, but what happens when I experience a health crisis? How will the community respond to that?

United ensures that a health issue is well managed, and provides residents with the peace of mind that such a crisis won’t force a move away from the community.

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

Con and Dorthy Irving chose United partly because of its philosophy not to separate couples due to illness

Con and Dorthy Irving chose United partly because of its philosophy not to separate couples due to illness

Husbands and wives 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 if they choose. We find that the two often participate in programs and activities, which support the general well-being of both.

3. Will I be locked away in a separate wing should I develop dementia?

Research has shown that those with dementia do better when included within the general community population. At United, all residents are encouraged to participate in every program and activity. None are excluded, and there are no locked wings. Check out our article on dementia care.

4. I want to continue to enjoy life and learn new things. What activities and programs are offered, and are they offered on my terms or yours?

Living a full life in your later years is a focus at United communities. Activities are designed around the interests of the residents. The art studios, for instance, are open 24 hours and residents are free to come and go as they please. Take a look at our latest program guides.

5. What about meals? Is there assigned seating or other restrictions?

A United community is your home, and just like your home, we don’t put restrictions on meal times. You can eat what you want,  when you want and with whom you want. Our kitchens are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day, and we feature an all-day menu. Read more about meals in this article.

 

 

 

6. What is your gut reaction? Do you feel comfortable and welcome or does the community feel more like an institution?

This is your new home and it should feel that way. Your former home didn’t feel like a medical clinic, so why should your new home? While your medical needs are important, we ensure those are provided in the privacy of your suite.

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

Contact us to learn more!

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

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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“It’s absolutely great. People live their whole lives without seeing the cup. This is my first time and I’m thrilled!”

Garrison Green resident Ed Eisler summed up the sentiment of the residents who were excited to get an up close and personal view of the Grey Cup.

Rogers Lehew, who moved into Garrison Green with his wife Joann five years ago, was an assistant coach with the Calgary Stampeders from 1960 to 1963, and general manager from 1965 to 1973. He arranged to have the cup brought in for a few hours.

Rogers, left, with Stampeders greats Wayne Harris and George Hansen

Rogers, left, with Stampeder greats Wayne Harris and George Hansen

“The Grey Cup is an important symbol of the CFL,” said Rogers. “Yes, it’s part of our Canadian heritage, but I see it as a symbol of why we play the game. There’s so much pride in winning the cup.”

The Stamps have won the Grey Cup eight times. The first in 1948, then again in 1971 while Rogers was with the team. “I remember it was so hard to get there. We tried in 1968 and again in 1970, but it was third time lucky I guess with the win in 1971.”

His name is forever etched on the cup.

His son Garry recalls the cup arriving at their home that year. “Dad brought the cup home and it lived with us for about a month. All of our friends came over to see it. He was in charge of taking it around to community events and schools, so having it here at Garrison Green with Mom and Dad, even for a few hours, is special.”

Eleanor McGachie, left, shares her excitement with Rogers' wife Joann, centre and Filomena Sangregorio

Eleanor McGachie, left, shares her excitement with Rogers’ wife Joann, centre and Filomena Sangregorio

Rogers was instrumental in establishing several important changes to the team that have endured to this day. “I wanted to have a horse on the field during the national anthem. The rider at the time asked if she could ride the horse down the sidelines for exercise. I had a path cleared along the east sidelines for it to run, and that evolved into the touchdown rides we see today.”

Rogers also changed the icon on the helmets to the white mustang, and he brought in the concept of the President’s Ring, which is awarded to the player who best demonstrates leadership ability, as voted on by the players.

“The Stampeders were – and still are – an important part of my life.” said Rogers. “When they won the cup in November, I was very proud of the staff and the team and the hard work they put in.”

Photos and video by Sherana Productions

Contact us to learn more!

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

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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The marker honouring Don Ethell outside United's Garrison Green community

The marker honouring Don Ethell outside United’s Garrison Green community

His Honour, Colonel (Retired), the Honourable Donald Ethell and Lieutenant-Colonel Richard Wright, vice-president of the Canadian Association of Veterans of U.N. Peacekeeping, recently spent an afternoon at United’s Garrison Green community. They were invited to give their unique perspective on the history of this area of Calgary that is currently residential, but for many years served as home to Canadian Forces Base Calgary. Thirteen streets in the area are named after Canadian peacekeepers. The one that the Garrison Green community sits on is named after Don Ethell.

When CFB Calgary was closed in 1998, the land was turned over to the City of Calgary for residential development on both the east and west sides of Crowchild Trail. On the west side, an area known as Garrison Green was developed. The streets were originally named for the places where Canadian troops had served on peacekeeping missions, but when the base closed, the streets were renamed for the peacekeepers. Plaques were placed on street corners to identify them and provide a bit of their backgrounds.

Colonel Don Ethell, who retired in 1993, is Canada’s most decorated peacekeeper, having served 14 missions. He also served as Lt. Gov. of Alberta from 2010 to 2015. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada, a member of the Alberta Order of Excellence and the Order of Military Merit and a Knight of Justice of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem. In 1987, he received the Meritorious Service Cross.

 

Don Ethell, left, and Rick Wright talk about peacekeeping

Don Ethell, left, and Rick Wright talk to residents about peacekeeping

“My wife and I toured United’s community at Garrison Green a number of years ago after it was built. It’s nice to see that it’s a home to so many great people. It was a real honour to have a street named after me. There are so many others who are deserving of the same honour,” he told a standing-room-only crowd in Garrison Green’s theatre.

Don and Rick spoke about the history of Canada’s peacekeeping mission and how it has changed over the years. They also spoke of the dangers to those who serve. More than 300 have been killed while performing peacekeeping duties around the world. They are honoured every year at ceremonies performed at nearby Peacekeepers Park and Buffalo Park.

Don and fellow retired peacekeeper Rick Wright told the crowd that peacekeepers not only keep the peace, but also focus on the well-being of some of the most vulnerable citizens: children. “Children are very important to us,” said Don. “They are the innocent victims in these conflicts, so we do what we can to make life a bit easier for them. Peacekeepers will lend a hand to repair an orphanage. We hand out candy, and in recent years we have started giving them Izzy dolls. The children we encounter on these missions often have nothing, so the little bit we provide brings a lot of smiles.”

The Izzy Doll was named after Master Corporal Mark Isfeld, who saw a mangled doll in the ruins of a home in Croatia. It inspired the creation of the first crocheted dolls, which his mother made. He was later killed by a landmine while on peacekeeping duty in 1994. In the 20 years since the first Izzy Doll was created some 1.3 million have been distributed, and they are regularly sent overseas as an important part of peacekeeping missions. You can read more about the Izzy Doll’s history here.

“I was very impressed with the information Don and Rick presented,” said resident Jim Dolph. “I know a lot of the history of the area we live in, so it was great to hear them talk about Peacekeepers Park and the important role the peacekeepers have played over the years. It was very informative!”

Don, Rick and other retired peacekeepers remain active in their support of a number of military and humanitarian causes.

Photos by Royal Canadian Legion, Sherana Productions

Contact us to learn more!

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

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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It was a day to remember for Joyce Doolittle. Surrounded by residents, family and friends, Joyce was recognized recently at United’s Garrison Green community for earning the Order of Canada.

She was named to the Order of Canada in January but received the award from Governor-General Julie Payette at a ceremony in Ottawa in September.

When she returned to Calgary, staff and residents were treated to a standing-room-only special event that honoured Joyce’s achievements in theatre.

“I’ve been very blessed to be able to work and create in an artistic area that I have loved my whole life,” said Joyce. “I am honoured to receive the Order of Canada. It is very special because of the recipients who have won it before. I’m in good company!”

Joyce and Eugene Stickland share a humorous moment

Joyce and Eugene Stickland share a humorous moment

Joining her for the event was good friend, author and poet Eugene Stickland, writer-in-residence at United’s partner, St. Mary’s University.

“Joyce has been a key figure in theatre in Calgary. She was instrumental in creating the theatre scene we have in Calgary today while also teaching at the University of Calgary. This included leading the drive to turn an old city water pumping station into today’s Pumphouse Theatre. When she retired, she turned to performing. When she turned 80 in 2009, she asked me to write a play for her – Queen Lear. That was the only time she performed in a play in the theatre named after her at Pumphouse Theatre.

Our friendship really consolidated after that. She is my mentor. I look up to her immensely. I can always go to Joyce. She is a deeply authentic person.”

Joyce remains modest about her lifetime achievements, but there is no doubt the impact she has had on Calgary theatre. Her clippings, posters and playbills speak for themselves.

Photo credit: Sherana Productions. Video credit: Rogers TV

Contact us to learn more!

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

Do you know a friend or family member who could benefit from living in a United community? Send them a link to our website or blog, or arrange a tour. We are happy to help! 

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


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Kieran Corrigan has always looked up to the late Nelson Mandela. “I like his character,” said Kieran. “He accepted everyone, disability or not. There was no prejudice.”

Kieran Corrigan receiving his gold medal

Kieran Corrigan receiving his gold medal

This month, the Special Olympics National Summer Games were held in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. Kieran ran in several events but his winning performance came in the 1,500 metre race. It was a gold medal run, but it took a heroic effort on his part to pull off the win. “This was my first time running in the Nationals,” he said. “I had been training hard for it and was in the lead when I pulled a hamstring in the last 100 metres.” While it slowed him down, he pushed for the finish line and beat his nearest competitor by just under one second to take the gold. You can watch the final seconds in this video.

Kieran has worked at United’s Garrison Green community for two years. His dad, Bob Corrigan, had spoken with Kelly Johansson, director of human resources, and suggested a volunteer position. But it was soon clear to everyone he worked with that Kieran had earned a more permanent position. He is an invaluable part of the kitchen team, handling dishwasher and food prep duties.

Kieran in the kitchen at Garrison Green

Kieran in the kitchen at Garrison Green

“Every day is a gold medal performance for Kieran,” said Garrison Green chef Ryan Chisholm. “He’s one of my hardest workers. He’s always positive and is an important part of our work environment. We would be lost without him. I was very happy when Kieran won the gold, but I wasn’t really surprised. I see that focus in him every day.”

Kieran started playing soccer when he was six and played until his teens when he switched to running. Bob, himself a long-distance runner, helped Kieran with his pacing. Often, the two run together to the local Starbucks for coffee. A literal coffee run! You can read more about Kieran in his Special Olympics bio.

 

Kieran with gold medal at Garrison Green eventAt an event at Garrison Green last week, Kieran brought his gold medal to work to show to residents. After his success in Antigonish, where does he plan to go next?  He has set his sights on alpine skiiing in the Special Olympics Alberta Winter Games in February. The ultimate for Kieran would be to qualify for the Special Olympics World Games.

Photos: Special Olympics, Sherana Productions
Video: Corrigan family

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