United’s Response to COVID-19 Earns Residents’ Support

“The health and safety of our residents and employees is top of mind for us, so the measures we are taking, which align with the recommendations of Alberta Health, are focused on that,” said Kim O’Brien, president and CEO of United’s two communities. “This week we enhanced our procedures by allowing only essential visitors into the communities, and began actively screening for everyone including staff entering our communities. We also introduced social distancing practices by reducing the seating capacity in our dining rooms, as well as the number of residents who gather at our program and fitness offerings.”

Read the current update on United’s response here.

President Kim O'Brien greets visitors at Fish Creek's front entrance
President Kim O’Brien serves as one of the active screeners at Fish Creek’s front entrance

Essential visitors are those who are required to assist in the direct care and support of residents. Family can be an exception should they be involved directly in supporting a resident who may be nearing end of life. Contractors and volunteers will only be allowed in should they be performing essential services, such as building maintenance or for emergency work.

“We know how these changes can be difficult for our residents, their families and our team, however, it is so heartening to see how supportive and understanding everyone has been this past week,” said Kim. “We are making every effort to ensure our residents and employees remain healthy and safe, especially since the situation is changing so rapidly. Our team is working hard to strike the right balance between doing everything we can on the health side, with maintaining an active, engaged community, which United is known for.”

“I’m thankful that I’m here,” said Fish Creek resident Joan Patterson. “If I was in my own home, I wouldn’t be going anywhere. I would be quite concerned being on my own, but I don’t feel that here.”

Since moving into Fish Creek, Joan has established a group of friends. She cites United’s programming for giving residents a variety of new experiences. She also serves on the Fish Creek residents’ council.

“I’m learning to paint, which I can do in the art studio even though there are fewer people there, and I have my quilting, which I can do in my suite, so I’m still able to keep quite busy.”

Joan is pleased with the extra effort the community is putting in to keep everyone informed and safe. “I think it’s a good idea to limit visitors and that they have extra screening in place for those who need to be here. It’s hard not being with family, but everyone here understands the necessity. I’m very re-assured by what United is doing. We are getting plenty of communication, so we know what is going on, and we are getting a heads-up on future planning. It gives everyone a lot of comfort that we are being well taken care of.”

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

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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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