Wise Words From Our Residents During COVID-19Careen Chrusch
Our residents interests and passions have always helped us create the community atmosphere, programming and services here at United and we feel privileged to have our residents’ knowledge, expertise and life experiences to draw upon. With life experience comes wisdom. Our residents have lived through war, depression and other challenges. So what can we learn from them as we go through the current challenges with COVID-19? We asked several residents to let us in on their secrets for staying optimistic and positive. The result is two new TV commercials that bring a message of hope and optimism to viewers, and encourage them to connect with the older adults in their lives.
For one commercial, called “Wise Words”, we spoke to residents via Zoom. Garrison Green resident Trudy Martin maintains an optimistic view of life. “We came through the depression. If we got through that then you guys can get through this. We are all in it together. Everybody will come through it fine,” Trudy tells viewers.
“We’re optimistic about how this will turn out because we have a great group of employees who have made us all feel very safe,” she said afterwards. “We are seeing more programs open up and expand. The ice cream carts the employees bring around are always a hit, and the artists from the Leighton Centre gave everyone handmade cards. There were lots of smiles that day. We restarted everything slowly and we’re building on that. The weather is great, we can get outside more often. Things are looking up!”
Fish Creek resident Les Stewart has remained positive throughout the last five months. “The employees are to be applauded for going above and beyond to help to keep a positive environment,” said Les. “Today, there are more programs opening up, more exercise classes and more programs in the theatre.” Les said that at the height of the quarantine, some residents felt a little cabin fever, but now that things are opening up, everyone is looking forward to the day when family and friends can once again visit and get together for a meal in the dining room. But he stresses that it’s important to keep some controls in place to forego any risk.
“I didn’t find it difficult to stay positive,” said Les. “I have a schedule of things to do each day. I manage my own affairs with the assistance of my family and I use the computer a lot to keep up with news and information. I maintain an exercise schedule and I stay involved with my family. We installed a video camera on my computer to engage with my family while we are speaking.”
Les and his family were quite innovative during the quarantine by creating the grandparent project, which gave him and his grandchildren more opportunity to get to know each other better, even though they couldn’t visit in person.
The commercial is running on CTV Calgary during the noon, 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. news as well as Dr. Oz in the afternoons. It emphasizes the need to stay positive and to build a strong community together. A second commercial, also featuring residents and running in tandem with the first, speaks about how the residents, with their strengths, skills and passions, help build stronger United Active Living communities. The commercial encourages viewers to connect with the older adults in their lives.
Links to both commercials are below.
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.