Personal Connections Open the Door to Close Friendships

When residents and employees work closely together, a mutual respect develops, which in turn often leads to close friendships. At United, employees and residents often talk about the friendships that have developed, which makes for a mutually beneficial environment for both.

Over time, Kinesiologist Heather Wiebe at Garrison Green has developed close relationships with a number of residents while helping them improve their physical health.

 “It’s more than just working with them to improve mobility and strength. It’s getting to know them and how to deliver and input the information that resonates with the resident. Over time, personal connections develop and perhaps blur the line between client and friend. Taking time to listen is a simple act to do.

- Heather Wiebe, Kinesiologist

Nigel Way takes his walker for a spin

Nigel Way takes his walker for a spin

One resident, Nigel Way, had a breakthrough last Friday. He has had some health issues that kept him in a wheelchair for close to two months. He wanted to be able to use his walker again and regain his independence. We worked together for three weeks and on Friday he was back using his walker. 

He was all smiles because he had regained his strength, mobility and confidence. At times during a session there may be an opportunity to share our life happenings, and that personal connection can help open the door to make changes.

The relationship starts off as professional, but it develops into a friendship,” said Nigel. “You get to know the employees and they get to know you. That goes for all of the employees here. We really get on as a family. Heather has gotten to know my daughter, who is also a kinesiologist, so the two of them talk frequently and compare notes."

- Nigel Way, Garrison Green Resident

Licensed Practical Nurse Christy Armamento

Licensed Practical Nurse Christy Armamento

One Garrison Green resident was feeling anxious recently about a health issue, and LPN Christy Armamento was there to lift her mood and make her laugh. 

Christy saw it as a simple thing, but it made a world of difference to the resident. The resident’s daughter was so moved by the help her mother was given that she wrote a note of thanks to Christy.

Mom had been anxious and upset during the day because of a medical issue. Christy was absolutely marvellous with mom. She listened respectfully, empathized with her, explained why she might be feeling nauseous, and tactfully examined mom regarding her medical issue. They shared a laugh together and mom felt worlds better after Christy’s visit!

- Resident's Daughter

I love helping people. I always approach my work from the heart and offer extra assistance when I can. I empathize with them. It is amazing to know that just doing something simple for them can have such a positive impact. It felt so good being able to help. It meant the world to me too!

- Christy Armamento

Megan Angelini, concierge for Fish Creek West, has developed close bonds with the residents who care about her as much as she cares about them. One resident, Donald McKee had an interesting career as an engineer on cargo ships and has built a number of model ships that sit in his suite. 

He and Megan often share their experiences and Megan has come to know Donald and his family very well. One of the interesting stories that Donald shared with Megan involves a painting and Donald’s family.

British artist Gordon Bauwens loves to paint ships. In the 1950s, ships regularly travelled between the U.K. and Canada. The Empress of Britain was one of them. Gordon painted the ship lying at anchor, which was loading passengers emigrating to Canada.

When Donald saw the painting, he had to have it. It turned out the three people pictured resembled his wife, son and daughter who were emigrating to Canada in 1962. He bought one for each of them.

The Empress of Britain by Gordon Bauwens

The Empress of Britain by Gordon Bauwens

Megan and I talk quite often. In fact, we’ve become good friends. I’ve got to know Jeff Chan in the art studio really well and we talk often. It’s great to meet the employees and other residents here, and I hope to do more of that when we can get out more

- Donald McKee ,  Fish Creek Resident

"The relationships we have forms trust that goes both ways between resident and employee," said Megan. “It gives residents a feeling that there is someone here for them. I get to know them and their families and they get to know us.

This is much more than just a job. I have a whole building full of grandparents who are watching out for me too!”

Wondering if a Retirement Living Community like United Active Living is right for you or a loved one?

  • United's residences are perfect for you if you love being creative, enjoy lifelong learning, and experiencing new things.
  • United's residences are perfect for you if you do not want to be defined by your medical conditions, but rather want to live life on your terms - focused on your strengths, abilities and interests.

Here is what our residents say about living at one of United Active Living's residences:

Trudy Martin

...two steps below heaven.

Living at Garrison Green is like two steps below heaven. It really really is. Everything is provided.

- Trudy Martin | Resident

Sharyn Krause

We never separate couples based on their medical needs.

"We are completely satisfied that United Active Living will be providing for us as a couple. We can be independent if we like to. And we can have assistance if we like to. But we can go through it together."

- Sharyn & Landis Krause | Residents

Diane Osberg

...the level of lifelong learning experience

"When I saw the level of lifelong learning experience that United offered, it only took me a week to decide that this was a place I wanted to live."

- Diane Osberg | Resident

Give us a call or visit our information pages below to learn more!

United Active Living's Garrison Green

3028 Don Ethell Boulevard SW
Calgary, AB T3E 0C9

United Active Living's Fish Creek

51 Providence Boulevard SE
Calgary, AB T2X 0X2

"I’m thankful that I’m here"

I’m thankful that I’m here. 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.

"applauded for going above and beyond"

The employees are to be applauded for going above and beyond to help to keep a positive environment. Today, there are more programs opening up, more exercise classes and more programs in the theatre.


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