A Message FROM THE CEO
W e know that deciding to live in a retirement community is a big step, and we want to reassure you that our team is here to assist you along your journey. At Seasons, we all have one common goal; to build authentic connections with our residents so that we can take care of the important details. We are confident that once you connect with our passionate team members, they will show you how a Seasons Community can positively impact your life. As they consider a move such as this, people often focus on what they leave behind; we encourage you to envision all you will gain by moving to Seasons. Here, you will find a sense of community among new neighbours and a staff that genuinely cares about your well-being. By freeing you from the hassles of meal preparation, home maintenance, cleaning etc., there are ample opportunities to make new friends or perhaps rekindle old ones with Seasons residents you already know. We spend a lot of time planning every detail, from the design of our communities and the amenities to your daily menus and activity calendars, ensuring that what is important to you is reflected
in what you will experience at Seasons. We have achieved Great Place To Work ® and Canada’s Best Managed Company accreditation. These milestones recognize organizational excellence and the significant contributions of our team members. We know that engaged team members provide our residents with the best possible care and customer service and deliver on our promise to create meaningful moments full of purpose and joy. As a Canadian- owned and operated organization, we hope this gives you confidence in our people-first operational excellence. You have many choices regarding retirement community living, and we encourage you to explore them all. Should you decide that Seasons is the right choice for you, we will do our utmost to ensure this is a community you’ll be proud to
call home. Sincerely,
Mike Lavallée Chief Executive Officer
The Evolution of Retirement Living
S M Contents
Seasons will work to support our residents in their journey to becoming as healthy and active as possible, regardless of their fitness level.
Ten years of celebrating our residents' outstanding achievements, contributions, and talents.
Mission, Vision, Values Remarkable Residents
10 12 15
Why I Love My Job The Importance of Giving Back
Better Living Less Worry The Difference Between Retirement Living & Long-Term Care
Seasons understands that pets are often an extension of our family, which is why all of our communities are pet-friendly.
The Difference Between Retirement Living and Long-Term Care.
The Seasons Approach to Care
Memory Care: The Seasons Way
28 31 34 36 38 40 43 47 50
Care RX: Did You Know?
Your Food Is Our Passion
Recipe: Potato Leek Soup Memories Through Meals
It can be intimidating and emotional for everyone involved. Seasons provides conversation starters when discussing retirement living with a loved one.
It can be overwhelming to know what to keep, donate, or throw away. Seasons offers some strategies to help make downsizing a more positive process.
We believe in a flexible approach to care that supports our residents' preferences.
The Signs of Change Is It Time for a Talk? Ensuring Your Savings Last
Downsizing to Right-Sizing
We encourage resident feedback and aim to cater to the tastes and the desires of the patrons in a specific residence.
There's peace of mind knowing a Seasons team member is always available if needed.
Make Your Friend a Neighbour Program Frequently Asked Questions
Is Retirement Living Safe?
Seasons Strathroy Strathroy, Ontario
WHAT WE PROMISE.
Understand our residents so we can deliver meaningful moments.
WHAT WE ASPIRE TO DO.
Understand our residents so we can deliver meaningful moments. Connect. Care. Change.
HOW WE DO IT.
C ommitment Make a positive impact A ction
Build meaningful connections
Engaged staff + happy residents = results
Love what you do
Deliver "wow moments" that matter
TEN YEARS OF Remarkable Residents A t Seasons, connecting with the people who call us home is important. One of the ways we accomplish this is through the Seasons Celebrates Remarkable Residents program, designed to celebrate our residents' outstanding achievements, contributions, and talents.
We feel this new charitable component perfectly reflects our residents’ generosity and aligns with Seasons’ desire to give back to the communities where we operate retirement homes,” says Amanda. “We are excited to keep the donation component going forward and hope to continue making a difference where it matters most,” says Amanda. The recipients chose to donate to organizations they have served in their communities with The High River Royal Canadian Legion, Goodfellows Foodbank and the Kanai Food Bank receiving $25,000 each, respectively. To watch the videos of our past finalists and winners, visit our YouTube channel.
“This contest truly embodies our vision to Connect, Care, Change. It has a lasting, positive impact on residents and their families whose stories are heard. It also allows our team members to learn something unique and personal about the individuals we have the pleasure to serve daily,” says Amanda White, Senior Director of Marketing and Communications. Based on entry forms, the selection committee takes the time to read and discuss each submission, then has the task of narrowing down the finalists. In the past, the finalists have had their life stories filmed by Seasons, and the winner was awarded one month of free rent. For the 10th Anniversary of the program, Seasons gifted each of the three winners two months of free rent in addition to a $25,000 donation to each of their charities of choice.
My heart is full knowing that my parents could not have gotten luckier to come across Seasons Amherstburg, with its amazing leadership and hard-working staff of incredible caregivers. You all have our heartfelt appreciation for treating my parents with such dignity and respect. Family Member, Seasons Amherstburg I just want you all to know that I appreciate all you do, and I’m grateful that all of you are here. You make our lives better through various activities and kind, caring gestures. Resident, Seasons Royal Oak Village Thank you so much for the warm welcome as Dad moved in! This year has been full of challenges for him, but he’s glad to be back in Ponoka. And we can rest more easily knowing that he’s in good hands with you.
It’s nice to see the wonderful things you plan for the residents at Seasons. We wish we lived closer to our Dad, but I believe, as does he, that he is in the right place. Thank you for your enthusiasm, creativity and special care for all the residents. It’s lovely to see Dad enjoying life. Family Member, Seasons Cambridge We are lucky that grandma lives in a safe home, is well cared for, and is close to family, so we keep in touch often. I want to say that, as a family, we appreciate everyone on your team for all of your continued support and unwavering efforts. Thank you very much for your consideration of the residents' safety, health and enjoyment. Family Member, Seasons Owen Sound We can’t thank you enough for the wonderful care you have given our Mum. She was very happy living there, and it was comforting for us to know how well the residence was being looked after, especially during the pandemic. You always made us feel so welcome. Family Member, Seasons Royal Oak Village
Thank you for all that you do. Family Member, Seasons Ponoka
Thank you for your friendly, positive and supportive ways that helped my Mom move into her new chapter at Seasons. She is happy! The patience and guidance you offered us have helped me more than I can express. You are a gift! Family Member, Seasons Belle River
We call the positive cards, letters and emails we receive from our residents and their loved ones 'Love Notes'. Here are some of the best ones shared with us recently.
WHY I Love MY JOB
S easons is committed to a culture that genuinely connect with and care about our residents. Seasons wants all our residents to feel proud to call us home. These stories from Seasons team members reflect authentic examples of that mission: “Seasons is family to me, and I am proud to be part of a community that never loses sight of the reason we do what we do: building strong relationships with our residents and families while working hard with amazing team members to ensure care is exceptional.” - Brenda, Senior Director of Care Services. “I always say that when I started at Seasons, I took on a home full of grandparents! Building a provides exceptional customer service. We can positively change their lives when we connection with our residents is incredibly important to me. We also have amazing team members who consistently go above and beyond to help our residents.” - Jenn, Seasons Amherstburg. “Seasons culture truly demonstrates the understanding of person-centred care and the importance of relationship-building. As a result, the work environment is fun, upbeat, friendly, and enjoyable. Also, the residents never fail to put a smile on my face.” - Carissa, Seasons Brantford. “When we welcome new residents to our home, I try my hardest to incorporate their interests and invite them to relevant programs; I personalize most events for our residents so that we can make sure we cater the experiences to things they truly enjoy.” - Chrystal, Seasons High River. “The moment I started to get to know our residents, I knew that I wanted to make this my career; I love learning from them and hearing all their fun stories. My grandma always used to tell me that I had an
‘old soul’ and that whatever I did in my life, I would do it because I loved it. I never knew what she meant until now, though.” - Marden, Seasons Lethbridge Gardens.
“I am thankful for my team because they are energetic, dependable, and fun to be around. Our staff show they care by doing extra things for residents." - Kevin, Seasons Olds Encore. “I call this my other home; I don’t feel like I’m coming to work. What I love here is the interaction and connection with the residents. We don’t just know the residents, but we know their families. And we all become a part of their extended families.” - Stephanie, Seasons Royal Oak Village. “I like connecting with the residents and hearing about their amazing lives and the things they’ve experienced. I also enjoy making a resident’s day better, even if it’s something as simple as repairing their suite.” - Zac, Seasons Wetaskiwin. Seasons would not be successful were it not for our fun, dedicated, passionate team members who bring our culture to life each day. If you know someone you think would be a great fit for Seasons and is looking to make a difference in the lives of others, encourage them to apply today by visiting our website.
15 THE Importance OF GIVING BACK A s a good corporate citizen, Seasons Retirement Communities designates a portion of community relations budgets for supporting events and programs in the cities and towns where we operate retirement homes. FOOD BANKS Donated $220,000 Seasons Retirement Communities first partnered with Food Banks Canada in 2016 after learning that more seniors aged 65 and older need to access its services. This direction allowed us to focus our corporate giving efforts on local food banks. As of January 2023, Seasons has donated more than $220,000 in funds and food. PENNIES FOR POPPIES Over 5,000 Paper Poppies ‘Planted’ Seasons is home to many heroes. In November, each retirement community takes the opportunity to recognize and thank our veterans who fought for our freedom by collecting pocket change for the Royal Canadian Legion and planting a display of poppies in the gardens. These ‘planted’ paper poppies serve as a promise to honour the brave men and women who bravely served our country. SENIOROSITY ® Seniors + Generosity Launched in 2018, this Seasons Signature Program is designed to provide opportunities for residents to connect with their neighbours and others in the community while finding meaning through spreading joy! These resident-directed activities include surprising hospital workers with baked treats, sponsoring a family in need, or donating toys and other supplies to a local animal shelter. It’s powerful when people come together in hopes of making a difference. Seasons is pleased to have donated so significantly to local communities and is proud of the charitable efforts of our team members, residents and their families.
BETTER Living LESS WORRY
W hether it’s a team member who delivers your morning coffee just the way you like it or a friendly neighbour who invites you to join an activity, Seasons residents know they are surrounded by people who genuinely care. According to Harvard Health, good connections and social support lead to improved health, longevity, and increased happiness. At Seasons, we want to learn who our residents are as individuals, understand what is most important to them and then do whatever we can within each interaction to exceed their expectations. We call those small instances “wow moments” because we know how significant they can be in making someone feel valued, cared for, and at home. One example of this is the annual Seasons Celebrates Remarkable Residents program, designed to highlight the remarkable lives of our residents and celebrate them. While contestants are asked to illustrate their achievements and
contributions to their community, a particular skill or talent, or making a positive contribution to their Seasons residence, everyone is welcome and encouraged to share their story. The program is an excellent opportunity for our staff and residents to get to know each other in a meaningful way while having the chance to win one month of free rent at the residence in which they live, along with a charitable donation in their name (for more, see page 9). We understand it takes a special person to continually go the extra mile for our residents. Therefore, we must recruit and hire qualified individuals who are enthusiastic about providing excellent customer service and making an impact on the lives of the people they meet at Seasons because this is what our corporate vision of “Connect, Care, Change” is all about! When we take the time to genuinely connect with our residents and show them that we care, we can affect positive change in their lives and, as a result, the lives of our team members too. We make sure to recognize and reward our team members who go above and beyond our standards because engaged employees who feel respected by their employer will naturally extend the same courtesy to our residents.
THE Difference BETWEEN RETIREMENT LIVING AND LONG-TERM CARE A s you begin your search for senior living options, you will soon realize there are many different choices. At Seasons, we are
who enjoy the convenience and support of communal living. Our teams work hard to ensure residents are engaged in meaningful activities and connected with their neighbours and loved ones. Residents enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing they can count on our dedicated team members if and when they need us. Prospective residents want reassurance that professionally-trained staff can provide care when needed. Still, we know this isn’t their only priority: They also demand a comfortable lifestyle in a safe yet welcoming environment, surrounded by genuinely caring people. Seasons strives to accomplish this by providing excellent customer service and being a place our residents are proud to call home.
here to help you understand what these choices mean. Retirement residences and long-term care are terms often used interchangeably to describe a senior’s home. The truth is that each option offers different types of services based on the amount of care a person needs. A retirement residence is typically an independent living community that offers housekeeping services, meals, activities and care if needed. This should be distinct from long-term care (LTC). Long-term care residences cater to individuals requiring the highest level of care, including 24- hour support. In Alberta, we partner with Alberta Health Services to accommodate care needs up to a specific measure. In Ontario, LTC homes are subsidized by the provincial government, while most retirement homes are not. Today’s retirement residences are typically lively communities full of active, independent seniors
W hen moving into a retirement home, it’s important to do your research. There are many options to choose from, and you want to make the right decision for yourself or your loved one. Seasons’ team members are happy to help you understand these options and answer any questions. Additionally, here is a list of community resources available to you: Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care is committed to providing excellent customer service, and is guided by the principles of accessibility, responsiveness, reliability, caring, and accountability. Toll-Free: 1-866-532-3161 Veterans Affairs Canada deeply values the contribution that Veterans have made to the development of our nation, and we honour the sacrifices they have made in the defence of freedom and the pursuit of world peace. Veterans Affairs Canada offers a wide variety of services for Veterans and their families—programs to assist you after an injury or during the transition from military to civilian life, and many other services to help you and your family throughout your life. TTY Toll-Free: 1-800-387-5559 Website: www.health.gov.on.ca Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (please do not e-mail personal or confidential information) Website: www.veterans.gc.ca Retirement Homes Regulatory Authority (RHRA) Established in 2010, the RHRA is an independent, not-for-profit regulatory body that works to protect the interests of residents living in retirement communities in Ontario. On behalf of the Ontario government, the RHRA ensures that all Ontario retirement homes are licensed and compliant with the Retirement Homes Act, 2010 (the Act). The RHRA protects the interests of residents in the following ways: Toll-Free: 1-866-522-2122 TDD/TTY: 1-833-921-0071
> Licenses retirement homes > Routinely inspects retirement homes against the Act > Responds to resident or staff complaints > Informs the public about non-compliant retirement homes > Educates residents, retirement home operators and the public about the Act All Seasons Retirement Communities in Ontario are licensed and compliant with the Act. At Seasons, we believe the RHRA empowers current and future residents to choose a retirement community that is right for them. Phone: 416-440-3570 Toll-Free: 1-855-ASK-RHRA (1-855-275-7472) Email: email@example.com Website: www.rhra.ca Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA) For over 40 years, ORCA has set the standard for operational excellence through its leadership in offering quality retirement living education to our members. ORCA represents over 92 percent of retirement home suites in Ontario, with members providing accommodations to over 55,000 seniors. ORCA provides leadership in areas of education and training and supports members to meet provincial regulations, adopt best practices and promote quality and excellence in all areas of operation. ORCA also strongly promotes and advocates on behalf of its members with government and other stakeholders and positions the sector for growth and success as an invaluable service to today’s aging population. Seasons Retirement Communities’ voluntary decision to become a member of ORCA is based on our company's value on the well-being of our residents, staff, and family members. Phone: 905-403-0500 Toll-Free: 1-888-263-5556
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.orcaretirement.com
THE Seasons APPROACH TO CARE
A t Seasons, we believe in a flexible approach to care that supports our residents’ preferences. We understand that our residents are individuals at different stages of life and that the support they need today may change in the future. Before moving in, new residents will have their needs assessed by a medical professional, including questions about the resident’s health, ability to perform daily living tasks, and risk for falls. Based on the assessment results, we will recommend the bundled care package that is most appropriate. For peace of mind, Seasons’ service team members are trained to notice even the smallest changes in a resident’s routine so that we can have proactive and discreet conversations with them and their families about their health and wellbeing. “Our residents are never alone in the process, so there’s no need to worry. We are here to help every step of the way, from the initial conversation to suggesting alternative care options to monitoring how residents adapt to their new regimen,” says Brenda D’Alimonte, Senior Director of Care Services. CARE OPTIONS Independent Living (IL) The townhouses and independent apartments at Seasons Retirement Communities offer Independent Living. They are designed for seniors who can live independently but wish to live in a community designated for seniors with access to social or recreational programming. Our one-storey townhouses and apartments are equipped with an
emergency call system, but no regular care services are provided. Independent Supportive Living (ISL) Independent Supportive Living suits an independent, active senior who does not need assistance with the activities of daily living but who benefits from a supportive, congregate living environment. Residents in ISL receive assistance with scheduled care and typically enjoy services such as 24-hour emergency response, three meals daily, weekly housekeeping, and medication administration. Assisted Living (AL) The Assisted Living program at Seasons provides supportive care to residents who need assistance with daily tasks but do not require the skilled care provided at a long-term care residence. Residents receive the same services as ISL, plus any additional care services that assist with the activities of daily living, including unscheduled care. Memory Care The Memory Care program at Seasons is specifically designed to care for seniors with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease in a dedicated, secure area within some of our residences. Memory Care community residents receive specialized AL care services. The Seasons Embrace Today ® Memory Care philosophy requires a deep understanding of who our residents are, so staff may adjust their interactions and respond with whatever is needed at the moment (for more, see page 24).
A t Seasons, our dedicated team is always looking for new ways to improve the lives of our residents. As the Canadian population ages, experts suggest that an increasing number of seniors and their families will be affected by dementia and Alzheimer's. According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, over 500,000 Canadians are living with dementia today. They project the number of Canadians living with dementia in 2030 will be 955,900. Seasons responded to this reality by developing a person-centred Memory Care program for seniors living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Our secure Memory Care areas incorporate bright, open spaces that feel like home and are comfortable for visitors. Our newer residences include private outdoor spaces to promote freedom of movement and ensure nature is close by. Learning to Embrace Today ® The Seasons Memory Care philosophy is based on our service team members’ commitment to Embrace Today ® , which means that they approach each workday with a promise to do their best to make all interactions positive and meaningful, one moment at a time. This philosophy is rooted in person-centred care with five key branches aligned with our core values. The branches include training, purposeful MEMORY CARE: THE Seasons WAY
opportunities for personal and professional growth,” says Stephanie Sanborn, Director of Innovation and Education. She was instrumental in building the Memory Care program at Seasons. “It takes special qualities to serve seniors with cognitive impairments, and we want our team members to feel supported and cared about, so they can provide the highest quality care to our residents. We believe that positive relationships among all care partners elevate the person-centred care approach,” continues Stephanie. We work with our residents and their loved ones to create a Legacy Today journal. We acknowledge and celebrate moments shared at Seasons and document elements of a resident’s life story through this journal. Understanding someone’s past accomplishments and interests strengthens our connection with them, helps shape our care plans, and empowers our residents to continue building their legacy while at Seasons. Our activity calendar for residents in Memory Care is flexible yet progressively balanced to incorporate the elements of the mind and spirit, like brain-enhancing games, exercises and physical activity routines, and calming meditative programs to promote sleep and happiness daily. For example, ‘Fire It Up’ is based on the research that engaging the body and the mind in one program encourages neuroplasticity in the brain. In other words, the brain’s ability to change throughout life could mean compensating for lost functions or maximizing remaining functions. What’s New Seasons continues to be open to and seek out partnerships in aging research with academic institutions, their students and professors across Canada. Through this continued outreach, we look forward to gaining increased insight and knowledge within our industry to embrace innovation, and best serve our residents, now and in the future.
We offer these institutions an excellent platform for interested researchers to access willing seniors for research purposes. Through these extensive efforts, we aim to bridge the gap between youth and seniors. > Seasons and The Centre for Elder Research at Sheridan College explored technology in design for a new and improved ‘den,’ a quiet space for relaxation, reminiscence, and social connection. > Seasons hosted a robot named Mindy as part of a pilot study to explore how we might use social robots to engage, entertain, and educate residents in retirement homes.
> Seasons developed a 4-minute virtual technology- based experience for team members and families from the viewpoint of someone living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. In Ontario, we have designated Memory Care areas in Amherstburg, Brantford, Cambridge, Clarington in Bowmanville, Milton, Royal Oak Village in LaSalle, St. Thomas, Stoney Creek and Welland. In Alberta, we offer Designated Supportive Living, Dementia (DSL4D) in Camrose, High River and Olds.
connections, reflective practice, support gatherings and an enabling, unhurried environment.
Positive relationships among all care partners elevate the person-centred care approach. “We host monthly peer support gatherings for our team members and residents’ families. They strengthen relationships by providing a safe place to discuss feelings and frustrations and allow
Seasons Royal Oak Village LaSalle, Ontario
Did you know?
S easons partners with CareRx to ensure medication service to our residents is accurate, effective and safe. Here is how having medication administered by Seasons staff and monitored by our pharmacy partner, CareRx, is convenient and can be beneficial to your health: 1) When medications are managed by Seasons staff, all faxes, daily deliveries, changes in doctor’s orders, etc., are coordinated through the Seasons Wellness Centre for your convenience and at no additional charge. This is especially beneficial when you see multiple doctors for different health reasons. In contrast, some external pharmacies charge for delivery and sometimes, the delivery is limited. 2) When the Seasons Health & Wellness team assists with medication administration, it is given at the correct time and dosage. This contributes to fewer drug interactions with other medications or supplements. 3) The Seasons Health & Wellness team can oversee the effectiveness of medications or the need to change medications. By monitoring general health concerns, such as blood pressure, blood glucose or pain levels, we can alert your doctor of a need for change.
4) For residents who choose to administer their medications, CareRx can have their prescriptions delivered to their Seasons home by CareRx. This removes the unnecessary need for residents to leave home and disrupt their day for medication pick-ups. 5) Yearly or as needed, residents can meet with a Certified Geriatric Pharmacist from CareRx, to review their medications, ask questions and discuss the benefits of different dispensing options, such as blister packs. 6) A complete profile (Administration Medication Record) from the pharmacy is readily available to the home and the resident to help record medication history for peace of mind. 7) At select Seasons communities, residents can access medication administration support technology in the form of a smart pill companion device supporting their independence and wellness. Should a resident miss a dose of their medication regimen, this technology automatically notifies the resident with a visual and audio alert, as well as the Health & Wellness team to follow up with the resident directly. For more information, please speak to the Seasons Health & Wellness Manager.
YOUR FOOD IS OUR Passion
F ood plays a significant role in how our residents feel about living at Seasons Retirement Communities. We know how important it is for them to enjoy the food we prepare. To achieve this, we hire skilled chefs who love food just as much as our residents. Our dining service teams know what it takes to ensure healthy and well-balanced meals without compromising taste and presentation. Many people continue to believe that retirement food is processed, boring and bland, which simply isn’t true. “While we sometimes prepare food with less oil
or salt, for example, we make sure the meals are delicious and flavourful by adding different herbs and spices,” says Sumith Sugathan, Dining Services Manager. “We invite you to come in and have a meal with us. People that move into our home will see how much love and attention goes into the food we serve,” says Dining Services Manager Phil Pigeon. At mealtimes, residents are presented with an abundance of menu options.* There is a Feature of
A 24-hour bistro or common area is available to residents for refreshments between mealtimes, including juice, coffee, tea, baked goods, and fresh fruit throughout the day. We also have spaces that residents can reserve to host events or gatherings for special occasions. For many of our team members, one of the most rewarding aspects of their job is making meaningful connections with residents daily. “My culinary team and I always want to go above and beyond to make our residents’ day special,” says Phil. “The most rewarding part of my job is the positive feedback from our residents when they enjoy a meal we prepared for them,” says Sumith. “We’re able to create connections with our residents through listening and learning; my team goes above and beyond to make them smile, whether a surprise for their birthday or simply knowing their favourite snack. These are the moments that make a difference,” finishes Phil. As you search for a retirement home for yourself or a loved one, during your visit, ask to see the menu or have a conversation with a member of the dining services team to get a glimpse into the dining experience. In your retirement years, you should expect to continue the traditions and routines that you appreciate most and enjoying meals should be no exception. *Meals provided vary by residence.
the Day at lunch and dinner, and five other options are always available. Each week, our homes feature a ‘resident’s choice’ meal, adapted from a resident’s recipe or a favourite of the community. If residents have special medical dietary needs, such as diabetes, we can help with portion control and offer desserts that are sugar-free or low in sugar. If you desire a vegetarian option, our chefs can accommodate this preference. Menus have a five-week rotation and reflect the changing seasons, with lighter fare offered in the spring and summer and wholesome comfort foods in the fall and winter. In addition, resident favourites are prepared year-round, such as classic meatloaf and roast beef dinners. Now, if you’re wondering where this food comes from, our food distributor Sysco acts as the middleman between food manufacturers and us, the food service operators. The distributor purchases, stores, sells and delivers products, providing us with a wide range of selections. Sysco continues to partner with more local ranchers, growers and producers than any other distributor in the industry, helping support local farm-to-table initiatives and provide the freshest products available. All the while, we encourage resident feedback and aim to cater to specific tastes and desires. Each community can share its comments and suggestions at a monthly Food Committee meeting. “Our residents have the opportunity to suggest lunch and dinner specials every Thursday, and we take their preferences and needs into account when planning menus, including intolerances, allergies, cultural practices, and tastes,” says Sumith.
POTATO Leek SOUP
CONTRIBUTED BY PHIL PIGEON, DINING SERVICES MANAGER
INGREDIENTS 2 bay leaves 2 leeks, sliced 6 Yukon gold potatoes, diced 1 shallot, finely diced 4 stalks of celery, finely diced
1 cup cream 2 tbsp. flour 2 tbsp. butter
2 sprigs of thyme 1 chorizo sausage (can substitute for hot Italian or mild Italian if preferred )
1 carrot, fine dice 3 cloves of garlic 2 cups chicken stock
INSTRUCTIONS 1) Brown sausage in a pot, breaking it into smaller pieces until fully cooked. 2) Remove sausage from the pot, leaving as much sausage fat as possible. 3) In the same pot, add leek, carrot, celery, shallot, and garlic and cook until translucent and not heavily browned. 4) Add flour and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes. 5) Add stock, milk, and potatoes. Continue to cook until potatoes begin to soften. 6) Once potatoes are cooked, use an immersion blender or stand-up blender for 1/2 of the soup. 7) Add the sausage to the blended soup and continue to cook for 10 minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste.
The image shown is for illustration purposes only and may not be an exact representation of the product.
Memories THROUGH MEALS
CONTRIBUTED BY SYSCO CANADA NUTRITION SERVICES TEAM
F ood can be used as a powerful way to stimulate positive memories and emotions to encourage adequate food intake while also improving resident satisfaction and quality of life. To achieve this, it is necessary to look into the past to build How food was prepared and consumed in the home rapidly changed during and after World War II. The impact of soldiers returning home and industrial development led to more activities surrounding food becoming more popular such as barbecuing, enjoying meals outside, and entertaining guests. At the same time, mealtime was highly valued in the home. Eating at the table was cherished family time where people would enjoy a version of the following classic dinner combination: today’s menu better. A Look into the Past
these foods provide emotional comfort, but the associated positive feelings may also even render the food more satisfying 2 . Another way to evoke memories of home cooking is through the sense of smell. The olfactory bulb, which is responsible for smell, is linked to the areas of the brain associated with memory and emotion 3 . For example, the aroma of a freshly baked apple pie may trigger the thought of mom’s homemade pie cooling on the counter of the family home. Using familiar, comforting foods and creating pleasant aromas in the dining areas can help bring positive feelings to the surface while potentially encouraging adequate intake. Past Meets Present Understanding yesterday's and today's trends is vital when developing your menu to support the needs and tastes of your residents. The drastic development of the food industry, combined with globalization, has allowed cuisines from across the globe to be available right here in Canada 3 . In the past, the availability of products was often limited by regional growing seasons, while local traditions and cuisine dominated what was served at the dinner table. Today, however, we have access to a vast range of ingredients with endless potential to create new flavour profiles. For example, we might try a potato salad made with Greek yogurt dressing or a curried pulled pork sandwich. Experimenting with new ingredients can elevate classic dishes and meet the demands for increased diversity on the menu, harmonizing the past and present. Food is not only about the flavour but also about how it is prepared and where it is consumed. Home-cooked meals were a fundamental part of family life after World War II, and so preparing meals from scratch or semi- scratch is one strategy to rekindle those memories related to family and belonging. It is also essential to consider residents' ever-changing dietary needs and preferences and adapt recipes accordingly. For example,
a homemade gluten-free lasagna allows those who do not consume gluten to enjoy home-cooked comfort foods. Accommodating resident needs has a powerful impact on promoting inclusiveness and community. Additionally, an ambiance of togetherness can be enhanced with décor reminiscent of the past, such as red checkered tablecloths or vintage centrepieces in dining areas. Carefully considering these aspects of dining can help enrich the overall mealtime experience. Making Mealtimes Memorable When it comes to what is on the plate, acknowledging the significance of the past is an important step to assist residents in enjoying the present and embracing the future. Recognizing recipes' and ingredients' emotional and memorable impact when building a menu can further connect people to their food. So how do we serve the fond memories of the past at mealtime today? By bringing people together to celebrate special events with themed menus on, such as Halloween and Remembrance Day, or throwing a 50s Party with classic mealtime favourites. We can add
nostalgia flair with music from past eras like Glenn Miller and Elvis Presley. Mealtime is much more than just when our residents eat; it is a perfect opportunity to foster the feeling of home! Supporting content: Sysco – Dorothy Jensen-Muniz, National Account Manager, Healthcare and Senior Living 1 Romm, C. (2015). Why comfort foods comfort: A new study looks at the intersection of taste, nostalgia, and loneliness. The Atlantic. Retrieved from www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/04/why- comfort-food-comforts/389613 2 Sifferlin, A. (2015). The science of why you crave comfort food. Time USA, LLC. Retrieved from http://time.com/3975676/comfort-food- cravings 3 Agriculture and Consumer Protection Department. (2010). Globalization of Food Systems and Nutrition. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Retrieved from www.fao.org/ag/agn/ nutrition/urban_globalization_en.stm
Cooked Green Vegetable
Despite these emerging changes to mealtime, rationing was still in effect and eating out remained a luxury after World War II. Home-cooked meals were the foundation of a household and served as a vital source of nutrition, comfort and a sense of belonging. Homestyle Cooking Comforts the Soul Certain foods can sometimes be referred to as “comfort foods” if they are related to a positive memory or feeling, for example, the feeling of being cared for. One study showed that people who associated happy family memories with specific foods were likelier to crave these items when feeling down 1 . Not only do
F or some, the decision to move into a retirement community stems from an increasing desire to be more social, make new friends or live a healthier lifestyle. Seasons offers many different activities laid out in a monthly calendar shaped by the preferences and desires of each home’s residents. Our Fun Managers are open and willing to incorporate favourite pastimes, respond to feedback and encourage residents to lead their own workshops using their talents or hobbies. While there are many ways to get involved, people can spend the day as they wish. They will be encouraged to join in but never forced. There are many other ways for residents to socialize with their neighbours. Sometimes, more introverted residents simply enjoy reading a book in the bistro or heading out on a walk with a friend. In contrast, other outgoing residents may enjoy participating in game nights or group activities. “When my grandma Ellie moved into Seasons, she was worried that being in a new place meant she wouldn't know anyone and have nothing to do, but now she’s the busiest woman I know. She’s made friends with people who have common interests and they like doing activities together—she’s also started trying activities she has never done before, and she loves it!” says Erica Boer, Fun Manager. Seasons offers fitness classes to keep our residents physically active and socially fulfilled. We have partnered with a company called StrongerU Senior Fitness, which empowers our team members to deliver exceptional senior fitness experiences. Once team members become certified, they can access pre-choreographed programs each month, specifically designed for older adults. “We bridge the gap between theoretical knowledge
and practical implementation by giving instructors everything they need to teach quality, safe, effective and engaging senior fitness classes that adhere to Canada’s physical activity guidelines,” says founder Emily Johnson. “My goal has always been to give residents exciting activities to do that benefit them physically, emotionally and spiritually,” says Fun Manager Emily Reitsma. “We also provide them with volunteer opportunities that allow them to use their skills while making a difference in the local community.” At Seasons, we also understand that thoughtful and comprehensive integration of a wellness philosophy is proven to meet the expectations of current and future clients, improve the perception of senior living, and counteract the adverse effects of COVID-19. Therefore, Seasons has partnered with the International Council on Active Aging or ICAA. ICAA is a professional association that leads, connects and defines the active-aging industry and supports professionals who aspire to develop wellness cultures for older adults. This support includes creating wellness environments, programs and services. The association is focused on active aging, an approach to aging that helps older adults live as fully as possible within all dimensions of wellness, and provides its members, like Seasons, with education, information, resources and tools. Remember, you should consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice before starting a new exercise program or concerning emotional well-being. If you have questions about the activities offered at Seasons, please speak to the Fun Manager.
*Activity calendars and offerings are subject to change.
S easons understands that pets are an home, which is why our communities are pet- friendly. We never expect residents to choose between living with us or their beloved pets. We ask that residents provide us with emergency contact information if they need assistance caring for their pets. In addition, residents must ensure that their pet’s behaviour is well-suited for a community- style living environment. This means the pet must be good with people and other animals and not interfere with neighbouring residents’ quiet enjoyment of their homes. General Manager Stephanie Waldron even helped a resident adopt a dog she had connected with at a local shelter. extension of our family. When residents move in, we want them to feel comfortable and at One of our residents, Vivian, had been looking for a dog for some time until she met a three-year-old labrador mix named Penny,” says Stephanie. “Still interested, Vivian had not heard back about adopting Penny, so I called myself, knowing I had a
connection. Within a few days, the paperwork was filled out and not long after that, Penny moved into Seasons! We greeted her with a welcome basket with treats, toys, and a new Seasons leash!” Some communities have adopted animals together, allowing them to live permanently in the home. The residents and team members at Seasons Clarington have a rabbit as a community pet. “He has a great personality and was truly made for a retirement home. We had a contest to name him, and the residents decided on Mr. Nibbles,” says Fun Manager Laura Sleeman with a laugh. “He loves to get out and greet residents and even join our activities from time to time. It’s heartwarming to see the smiles when he’s making his rounds.” Many Seasons homes offer access to Animal- Assisted Therapy or pet-visiting programs, which have been shown to have physical and mental health benefits such as lowering blood pressure and increasing feelings of happiness and comfort. These activities can also encourage social interaction, communication and a shared sense of community within group settings.* When researching senior housing options for yourself or a loved one, ask about the pet policy. It is also valuable to ask if they offer Animal-Assisted Therapy or pet visits, which can provide all the joy of animal companionship without the responsibility. *Activities vary depending on the residence and are subject to change.
THE Signs OF CHANGE
When is the best time to move to a retirement residence? T here is no magic age or time in someone’s life to move into a retirement residence. Everyone is different, and people have different needs and wants for their retirement. Many times, people wait for a crisis before they start looking at retirement living. Maybe it was a fall or health issue that prompted them, or their loved ones, to begin the search. While this is a natural response, and we are prepared to help people with this decision at any stage in life, we encourage individuals to start thinking about Seasons before an issue arises. When you are well, you have the luxury of time on your side. You can visit the different retirement residences in the area and weigh your options. At Seasons, you are welcome to book a personalized appointment to view the home and potentially meet your new neighbours and service team members with whom you will be interacting each day. If you are still unsure as to whether it’s time to think about moving into a retirement residence, you might consider these questions: > Are you eating three nutritious meals a day? > Is it getting harder to keep up with cleaning and maintaining your home? > Do you still drive, and if not, is it easy for you to arrange transportation? > If you live alone, do you feel unsafe or lonely?
A move to Seasons means you no longer need to worry about cooking meals, cleaning and taking care of a house, or figuring out how to get to the grocery store or doctor’s appointments—we happily take care of all that. Making this decision sooner means more time spent enjoying yourself! Are you concerned about a loved one? There are some signals that your loved one may be struggling to live at home alone. Changes in physical appearance and mood and changes in their surroundings are indicators that they may need assistance. For example, maybe your dad
used to take pride in his home, but now you see signs of neglect and disrepair. These could be signs of a more significant issue. Take a look at this infographic and ask yourself some of these questions the next time you pay a visit to your loved one. If you notice any of these or other changes in your loved one’s routine, it may be time to discuss retirement living. Our teams often hear from residents that they “wish they made this decision sooner!” and they are happy to help you, or a loved one, make this same decision if and when it’s right for them.
1) Kitchen Check the fridge for spoiled food or evidence of fresh food from a recent trip to the grocery store. Is your loved one living on tea and frozen or processed food? 2) Washroom Has your loved one stopped bathing? Did they once take pride in their appearance, and now it seems they don’t care? Take a look around. If there are spills on the floor, it could mean your loved one isn’t reaching the bathroom in time. 3) Bedroom Do you have concerns about correct medication use? Have pills been left in the blister pack, or are medications spilled on the floor? 4) Living Room and Dining Room Aside from watching TV, how else is your loved one staying busy? If bills and newspapers are making the house look cluttered, it could mean your loved one is having trouble keeping up with the housework. 5) Stairs Does your loved one stick to one floor of the house? This could be because they feel they can’t manage the stairs, or they could be afraid of falling. 6) Laundry Room Is the laundry piling up? Does your loved one complain they don’t have any clean clothes? Household chores are tiresome, and washing machines in the basement can be tough to access. 7) Yard Are the gardens and lawn looking as good as they once did? Yard work is strenuous. Your loved one might need a helping hand to keep the yard looking neat. 8) Garage Has your loved one lost their driver’s licence? This can limit their independence, as they will need to depend on others to run errands and get to appointments.
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