Programs & Services

United Minds

United Minds

United Minds is an innovative program you won’t find anywhere else. It is designed to provide a safe, nurturing environment where seniors with dementia and other cognition challenges can enjoy a positive life experience.

United’s communities provide a sense of home and belonging, which are important if you’re living with dementia. We have designed community spaces to encourage all residents to explore, create, engage and relax at any time.

Learn more about United Minds by  watching the United Minds video. Click on the headlines below to expand each section’s information.

“Labels can become so frustrating, as instead of being Jim, John, Lucy or Ann, you suddenly morph into a person with dementia first, followed by your name and other qualities. It’s as if the rest of the person has vanished into thin air, never to return.”

Person with dementia (Alzheimer’s Disease International (2012), World Alzheimer Report.)

Getting to Know Dementia

Dementia describes a set of symptoms that are caused by different disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease or stroke that affect the brain. These symptoms may include things like memory loss, difficulties with language, or problem solving. They are severe enough to interfere with daily life.

Research confirms that getting a diagnosis of dementia is the single greatest fear that people have about growing older. This is due in part to a widespread lack of awareness and understanding about the disease. This fear is the reason that the symptoms of dementia are commonly misinterpreted to be a normal part of aging or as a sign of mental illness. The truth is that the symptoms of dementia are caused by progressive damage to the brain.

The stigma around dementia can create a negative reputation that discredits individuals living with the disease. It prevents them from fully participating in all aspects of their lives.

Dementia is a shift in the way a person experiences the world.
Dr. Al Power

It doesn’t have to be that way.

This disease can affect us all, regardless of our health, social status, gender or occupation. The numbers tell the story. Your risk of getting dementia increases as you age. The disease impacts 1 in 11 older adults over 65 and 1 in 3 older adults over the age of 80.**

While these statistics may seem discouraging, it’s important to know that there is still life with dementia. As our aging population is growing it’s arguably more important than ever before to consider how the disease will impact your life.

The reality is that as of 2016, there are 13,000 individuals living with some form of dementia in Calgary.*

*Statistics and Projected Growth report, Alzheimer Society Calgary

**The Impact of Dementia on Canadian Society, 2010, Alzheimer Society of Canada

What are the things most important to you to live well?

We recognize that living with dementia is life changing. You may feel a range of emotions when you first get the diagnosis. Now you know that your increased forgetfulness or difficulty finding the right word is caused by a disease. But keep in mind that your dementia journey is unique and you still deserve to have a good quality of life, whatever that may mean to you.

Living with dementia does not mean you have to stop being who you are. No matter where you are on your dementia journey, you are still entitled and able to have new adventures, to make new friends and to learn new things.

As dementia progresses, you will experience changes and find that things that were once simple tasks can become more difficult. At United, we have purposely designed our environments, our United Minds program and our specialized staff education to support you in maintaining your independence along your journey.