United’s Dementia Services Featured in New Film

United Active Living’s memory care service, United Minds, is the subject of a short documentary film available to view below and on United’s YouTube channel.

The video profiles Fish Creek resident Con Irving, his wife Dorothy and their daughter Karen Leussink.

As well, the program speaks with United Minds manager Amy McDonough and two dementia experts who toured United’s two communities and received a first-hand look at how its innovative memory care program works.

Following their visit, United’s approach to dementia care earned accolades from Dr. Allen Power and Daniella Greenwood.

United is a trailblazer, going against the grain of the safe and easy way. This is a path that most people have not embarked on yet. I’ve always encouraged people to think about creating inclusive communities and not segregating people based on a diagnosis. What I love is finding a community like United.

~ Dr. Allen Power

Dr. Allen Power is an advocate for inclusive communities

Dr. Allen Power, an advocate for inclusive communities

"I think United is courageous,” said Daniella Greenwood, a consultant, speaker, author and activist who is a proponent of inclusive communities in Canada and Australia. “You are going against a system that is focused on disease, disability and categorizing people. It’s easier not to be inclusive. Creating such a practice shows others that it can be done. It’s also about doing the right thing.

Amy McDonough, United Minds manager

Amy McDonough, United Minds Manager

The person with dementia isn’t lost; they are still there. Our job as caregivers is to find out what makes them who they are, how we can provide meaning, purpose and a sense of belonging here with us. We don’t separate couples should one of them have dementia. We keep them together. So many changes happen to a couple’s relationship so we support them both.

~ Amy McDonough, United Minds Manager

Fish Creek residents Conrad and Dorothy Irving came to United four years ago after Dorothy was diagnosed with dementia.

We looked at three or four places so we could live together. But others wanted to separate us. That was upsetting to me. We decided United was the best place for both of us. Several residents have made friends with Dorothy, and I know I can go out and residents and employees are watching out for her. I know as a caregiver I have to look after myself. I’m comfortable knowing she is in good hands.

~ Conrad Irving, Fish Creek Resident

Conrad and Dorothy Irving with daughter Karen Leussink

Conrad and Dorothy Irving with daughter Karen Leussink

There’s always a risk in being a frontrunner.  Over 10 years ago, United took a risk. Everyone is welcome to live here. They won’t lock you away. There are no guidebooks, they just did it and the sky didn’t fall.

~ Daniella Greenwood, Dementia and Human Rights Advocate

Dementia and human rights advocate Daniella Greenwood

Dementia and Human Rights Advocate Daniella Greenwood

“United said we are not waiting for others to prove this is the right thing to do, we are just doing it,” said Power. “You should never ask what the risk is of doing something without also asking what the risk is of not doing it.”

The short documentary film was produced for United by Sherana Productions. Watch it here

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.