The best time to research an older adult community either for yourself or a parent, is when you don’t need one. Time is on your side, and the pros and cons can be weighed without the stress of a time constraint. Searching when a crisis occurs can limit your choices without thorough consideration for the results.
Besides the usual questions about cost, size of the suites, floor plans and amenities, there are other questions that should be asked that can have a big impact on your quality of life.
I may be healthy now, but what happens when I experience a health change? How will the community respond to that?
United ensures that health issues are well managed, and provides residents with the peace of mind that such a crisis won’t force a move away from the community. There is nursing support available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Will I be separated from my spouse if one of us develops health issues?
Husbands, wives or life partners want to stay together no matter the health issues they face. United communities focus on supporting the close ties that spouses have by ensuring they remain together. The two then participate in programs and activities, which support the general well-being of both.
Will I be able to continue living in my suite should my cognitive abilities change?
Research has shown that those with dementia do better when included within the general community population. At United we are an inclusive community and do not segregate based on level of care. All residents are encouraged to participate in programs and events.
I want to continue to enjoy life and learn new things. What types of programs are offered?
Living a full life in your later years is a focus at United communities. Programs are designed around the interests of the residents. The art studios, for instance, are open 24 hours and facilitated 7 days a week by professional artists. There is a kinesiologist on site who leads exercise classes and can also design individual programs. We have several partnerships which give the residents opportunities to be involved in different aspects of arts and culture in Calgary – for example Calgary Civic Symphony, Lunch Box Theatre and the Calgary Philharmonic.
What is your initial reaction to being in the community? Do you feel comfortable and welcome? Could you see yourself living there?
Residents have told us that they felt immediately at home when they first entered one of our communities. That’s the way it should be. Making new friends, learning new things and enjoying life are some of the reasons new residents choose a United community. This is your new home and it should feel that way.
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.
Photos by United Active Living, Sherana Productions. Video by Sherana Productions.