Wellness Sessions Lift Spirits and Optimism at United

Wellness sessions for residents of United’s two communities are lifting spirits and injecting a sense of optimism into their lives after more than 18 months of restrictions caused by COVID.

United is one of the first communities in Calgary to bring a clinical psychologist into the communities to hold sessions of this kind.

There was a sense of loss for the toll the virus took on lives, choice, freedom and routines. Nobody thought we would be where we are more than a year later. We found we needed to acknowledge that loss, that things aren’t back to normal yet, and let the residents voice how this has affected them.

Kera Redlack, Director of Health and Wellness

Clinical psychologist Dr. Paras Persad at Fish Creek

Clinical psychologist Dr. Paras Persad at Fish Creek

“During the sessions, residents have voiced a sense of isolation, loss, loneliness and uncertainty,” said clinical psychologist Dr. Paras Persad who is facilitating the sessions.

They are grieving for lost family and friends. They haven’t been able to say goodbye, the meaningful ceremonies around that have been denied them by COVID restrictions.

In a future session I’m going to hold a service of memory for them to help bring closure, and the residents want to have a give-a-hug session once they are able to, to bring back the human contact we’ve all been missing.

- Dr. Paras Persad, Clinical Psychologist

Paras has a very special way of connecting with people. He shows them a positive way forward that is tangible and realistic,” said Kera.  

“It’s a cathartic experience, and I’ve heard from residents that his sessions are some of the most beneficial experiences they’ve had. 

It’s exactly what the residents need.”

 I usually take my guitar and play songs for them that are light and fun. It gets the residents moving, which gives them a healthy physical and emotional release. I also don’t lecture to them.

I listen to their stories and affirm their experiences. They are given the freedom to express themselves. 

I can see it in their faces, their eyes and hear it in their voices. There is a renewed sense of hope that we will soon be able to return to normal.

-  Dr. Paras Persad, Clinical Psychologist

Fish Creek Resident Sheila Brinsmead

Fish Creek Resident, Sheila Brinsmead

"I was very impressed with the session," said Fish Creek resident Sheila Brinsmead. “His approach is very personable, low key and relaxed.

He offered us very practical, simple ways to be more positive such as offering a kind word, thought or gesture to people we meet. 

We will feel better about ourselves and avoid some of the negativity that has come from being isolated. He really lifted our spirits and people left the session smiling and excited!”

Kera Redlack, director of Health and Wellness at Fish Creek

Kera Redlack, Director of Health and Wellness at Fish Creek

With Dr. Persad’s help, United is expanding the sessions to include employees. “Employees are experiencing the same challenges as residents so it’s important that we recognize that, keep them informed, and give them the tools they need to be successful.

They too need to take the time to grieve over their losses. They haven’t been able to take part in family events such as birthdays, weddings and funerals. These are major events that normally bring people together.

Residents have told us that they are getting so much from these sessions with Dr. Persad that they want to keep holding them. We will do that because everyone wants to get back to normal as quickly as possible.

-  Kera Redlack, Director of Health and Wellness 

To know more about our programs, speak with an Active Living Advisor at either Fish Creek or Garrison Green to better understand the benefits of living in a United community.

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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