Seasons Alberta Magazine


T here is no doubt that 2020 and the COVID-19 pandemic has brought us many challenges. Directives from our provincial governments, sector regulators and public health units have changed frequently and we have had to quickly evolve our daily operations to accommodate them. We have remained steadfast in our infection prevention and control (IPAC) protocols and have seen solid results from these efforts. There isn’t a part of our business that hasn’t been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. I have had the humbling experience of seeing our team members work tirelessly through months of heightened precautionary measures. I understand the sacrifices they have made in their households to keep their coworkers and residents safe. I have felt how challenging it can be to remain distant from those we love most to keep them healthy. These unprecedented times tested our ability to support our staff and uphold our commitment to their safety, but I am proud to say that every facet of the company rose to the challenge. We believe it is important to recognize our team members’ commitment to making a difference in the lives of Canadian seniors. In 2020, Seasons was the first in our sector to introduce a pandemic pay increase well before the government-led programs. Along with many other businesses, we also had to virtualize our corporate office teams and the work they do to support the team members in our retirement communities. It required the rapid deployment of technology and steep learning curves for everyone to figure out how to successfully continue their daily operations in a new and remote environment.

Throughout all of this, we have appreciated the patience and cooperation of our residents and their families. We are thankful for the kind words and thoughtful gestures they bestowed upon our team members, some of which can be found in this magazine, on page 40. It meant a great deal to our staff. Our residents are from a generation that can remember times of extreme hardship as a result of the Great Depression, they can recall the fear and uncertainty amidst the second World War. They, themselves, are survivors and we continue to draw inspiration from their resiliency. As we look to 2021, we are more knowledgeable than in the early days of the pandemic, and hopeful about new technologies and vaccines to help us control the spread. In the meantime, we remain committed to the protocols and best practices we have in place today. Our residents’ health and safety are always our greatest priority. Whether it’s you or a loved one considering retirement community living, we know this is an important decision. I encourage you to research your many options and speak with our on-site teams to answer any questions you may have. Thank you for considering Seasons. We take our responsibility to our residents very seriously and would love to welcome you home with us in

the future. Sincerely,

Mike Lavallée Chief Executive Officer

The Evolution of Retirement Living


We believe in a flexible approach to care that supports our residents' preferences.

When is the best time to move to a retirement residence?




The Difference Between Long-term Care and Retirement Residences


Signs of Change It's Time For a Talk

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Cost Comparison

The Way Home Feels Mission | Vision | Values Remarkable Residents Your Food Is Our Passion

Seasons will work to support our residents in their journey to becoming as healthy and active as possible, regardless of their fitness level.

It can be intimidating and emotional for everyone involved. Seasons provides conversation starters when discussing retirement living with a loved one.

Creamy Potato Dill Pickle Soup Recipe SYSCO - From the Ground Up Seasons Approach to Care






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Care RX: Did You Know?

Memory Care: The Seasons Way

Care Definitions

Seasons remains committed to

Seasons understands that pets are often an extension of our family, which is why all of our communities are pet-friendly.

Love Notes

Remarkable resident stories of generosity and resiliency.

maintaining the highest IPAC standards while ensuring our residents are engaged and connected.

Living the Fun Life Let's Get Moving Pet Friendliness Staying Connected With Technology The Importance of Giving Back





Is Retirement Community Living Still Safe?

We encourage resident feedback and aim to cater to the tastes and the desires of the patrons in a specific residence.

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.

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Why I Love My Job Downsizing Tips Frequently Asked Questions Seasons Locations






A s you begin your search for senior living options, you will soon realize that there are many different choices. At Seasons, we are here to help you understand what these choices mean. Retirement residences and long-term care as terms are 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 not be confused with long-term care (LTC). Long-term care homes cater to individuals who require the highest level of care which might include 24-hour support. In Alberta, we work in partnership with Alberta Health Services to accommodate care needs up to a certain measure. In Ontario, LTC homes are subsidized by the provincial government, while most retirement residences are not. Today’s retirement residences are typically lively communities full of active, independent seniors who enjoy the convenience and support of communal living. While a heightened focus on health and safety has changed the day-to-day routines of our residents, our teams work hard to

ensure our residents are engaged in meaningful activities and connected with their neighbours and loved ones. Our residents continue to enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing they can count on our dedicated team members if and when they need us. We understand that our future residents still want to know that professionally-trained staff can provide care when needed, but this isn’t their only priority: They also demand a comfortable lifestyle in a safe yet welcoming environment surrounded by people who genuinely care. Seasons strives to accomplish this by being a place our residents are proud to call home.



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 you or a loved one 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 who 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?



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 like 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 laying on the floor? 4) Living Room Aside from watching TV, how else is your loved one staying busy? 5) Dining Room If there are bills and newspapers making the house look cluttered, it could mean your loved one is having trouble keeping up with the housework. 6) 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. 7) Laundry Room Is the laundry piling up? Does your loved one complain that she doesn’t have any clean clothes? Household chores are tiresome and washing machines in the basement can be tough to access. 8) 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. 9) 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.










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! Concerned about a loved one? There are some signs that your loved one may be struggling to live at home alone. Changes in physical appearance and mood, as well as 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're seeing signs of neglect and disrepair. This could signal a larger issue at hand. 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 changes or others 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.


Conversation starters when discussing retirement living with a loved one

H aving a conversation about a move to a retirement living community can be intimidating and emotional for everyone involved. However, it is an important one to have before a crisis occurs, such as a serious health event. Instead of having time on your side, the decision becomes required, rather than desired, which could result in you or a loved one not being able to get their first choice of accommodation. This prompts the question, “When is the right time to move to a retirement community?” There is no one size fits all answer, what may work for one family may not be right for another.

Each situation and its factors are different. If you remain unsure, looking at The Signs of Change infographic in this magazine may be helpful. “These indicators highlight important factors that should be paid attention to. They can mean that a loved one’s lifestyle is shrinking. Maybe they’re no longer interested in activities they once enjoyed or not eating regularly. These are usually silent but strong signals that now may be the right time to consider a positive move to a retirement community,” says Maribeth Gregor, Senior Director of Sales.



We do our best at Seasons to encourage people to have the conversation early, even before these signs present themselves. This way, you’ll be prepared and ready to take the next steps as they come with an informed and willing loved one. Hopefully, both parties will be on the same page in terms of what the future holds, adding to overall peace of mind and a sense of shared understanding. That said, many wonder how to bring up the topic. How do I have “the talk” about alternative living arrangements with an aging parent or loved one? Maribeth suggests starting the conversation with something small such as asking them their feelings about living at home on their own: > When home alone, do they feel safe and secure or worried and anxious? > How are they managing home maintenance? Is help needed to cut grass or shovel? > Do they have enough groceries for the week? It could be that you’re beginning to notice subtle changes in their routine, like wanting to drive less or calling more frequently. These could be conversation starters too. Signs like these could indicate that bigger ones are on their way, making this a good time and opportunity to sit down and have a genuine discussion. “It helps to be open and honest. Sometimes aging adults don’t realize the extent of the changes happening around them until they’re highlighted and discussed with someone who cares about their wellbeing. They get used to functioning as they are,” says Maribeth. “Patience is also important. This isn’t a transition that happens overnight unless it’s a ‘crisis-type’ of scenario which will surely accelerate that timeline. Objections will arise, many say they aren’t ready—but what does ‘ready’ really look like? It can be a journey and a process to get to the final decision.” The truth is, several long-standing myths that exist around senior living options continue to influence people’s most common concerns and objections, yet they simply aren’t accurate. For

example, the idea that once in a retirement home, residents lose all of their independence. Many people make the move to a retirement community without needing the full complement of supportive services that are offered. Highly independent seniors decide to move for a variety of reasons. It could be that they are tired of household chores, they want access to a social calendar and healthy meals, or enjoy the peace of mind that comes from knowing someone is always there if you need them. Other people move to a retirement setting because they desire the care and support we can provide. Oftentimes, independence can increase after a move. When someone has support with nutritious meals, access to social programs, regular fitness classes, and a health and wellness team to oversee their wellbeing, they can lead happier and healthier lives. “After the initial conversation, the first step I would take would be to go explore your options. Ask your parents if any of their friends are living in a retirement community. If so, then go visit them, see how you feel when you walk in, take a tour, get to know the people there. This will give you and your loved ones a better idea of what life can hold in a retirement home. They aren’t nursing homes or long-term care facilities as many imagine,” continues Maribeth. As options become informed decisions and residents move in, the transition comes with freedom from worry and a sense of relief, often a healthier and happier parent, and more time to spend simply enjoying each other's company. “Seasons team members understand the weight of this decision and want to make the process as comfortable and pleasant as they can for new residents and their families,” says Maribeth. Know the signs: Are you experiencing caregiver burnout? Caregiver burnout is a heightened state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion that may be accompanied by a change in attitude toward required and/or expected care tasks. Burnout occurs when primary caregivers don’t get the help they need, or they try to do more than they can handle, which can

result in feelings of increased fatigue, anxiety and, depression. Some may also experience feelings of guilt when they spend time on themselves rather than spending all of their time taking care of a loved one. Symptoms: > Withdrawal from friends and family > Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities > Feeling blue, irritable, hopeless, and helpless > Changes in appetite, weight, or both > Changes in sleep patterns > Getting sick more often > Feelings of wanting to hurt yourself, or the person for whom you are caring > Emotional and physical exhaustion

> Excessive use of alcohol and/or sleep medications > Irritability recognizing-burnout In this situation, Maribeth adds, “We know that something has to give eventually, either for the safety of the person receiving the care or for the caregiver’s wellbeing. Many people who are struggling to manage these tasks still work full-time jobs with busy schedules and families of their own. There should be no shame or feelings of guilt in seeking out and accepting help if you need it.” If you believe you may be suffering from caregiver burnout, speak with a trusted medical professional for personalized advice.




M aking the move to a retirement living important to do your research beforehand. The team members at Seasons are always happy to answer any questions you have. Additionally, here is a list of community resources to help make the best decision for yourself or your loved one. Alberta Health (AH) Alberta Health is the ministry that sets policy, legislation and standards for the health system in Alberta. The ministry allocates health funding and administers provincial programs such as the Alberta Health Care Insurance Plan and provides expertise on communicable disease control. 780-427-1432 (Dial 310-0000 first for toll free calling within Alberta) Outside Alberta: 780-427-2711 (charges may apply) community is an important decision with many options to choose from. Therefore, it’s Alberta Health Services (AHS) is Canada’s first and largest province-wide, fully-integrated health system, responsible for delivering health services to the over four million people living in Alberta, as well as to some residents of Saskatchewan, B.C. and the Northwest Territories. AHS offers services and programs at over 650 facilities throughout the province including, hospitals, clinics, cancer centres, continuing care centres and community health sites. The province also has an extensive network of community-based services designed to assist Albertans maintain or improve health status. Phone: 780-342-2000 Toll-Free: 1-888-342-2471 Website: Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC) Veterans Affairs Canada deeply values the Website: Alberta Health Services (AHS)

T his “Cost of Living Comparison” illustrates the average monthly expenses associated with living in your own home. Seasons Retirement Communities is here to alleviate the burden of household chores, the maintenance of your own home and the associated costs.

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. Toll-Free: 1-866-522-2122 TDD/TTY: 1-833-921-0071 Email: Website: Alberta Seniors Communities & Housing Association (ASCHA) For over fifty years, the Alberta Seniors Communities & Housing Association (ASCHA) has been advocating on behalf of the owners and operators of seniors housing in Alberta. Its core roles are advocacy and member services. As a member-driven association, they act as a centre of excellence of best practices and resources for the industry, to help providers empower seniors to age well in community. ASCHA currently represents almost 70 percent of the seniors housing sector in Alberta. Its members serve over 35,000 seniors across the province in independent, supportive and designated supportive living spaces. ASCHA proudly champions all sectors of seniors housing, including public, private and voluntary providers. Not only is ASCHA comprised of regular members, but they also engage corporate and stakeholder members that contribute to the enhancement of seniors housing. All Seasons Retirement Communities in Alberta are members of ASCHA. Phone: 780-439-6473

Your monthly fee at Seasons incorporates these expenses, making retirement home living more affordable than you may think.

Average monthly household expenses are $3,823 * . These costs are all included at Seasons.

*Please visit the Seasons website for sources

$147 Transportation

$65 Social Events

$300 Food & Dining

$1,851 Accommodations

$960 Care

$500 Maintenance & Security

Email: Website:



Understand our residents so we can deliver meaningful moments.



Understand our residents so we can deliver meaningful moments. Connect. Care. Change.


W e want our residents to know they are surrounded by people who genuinely care. Whether it be a team member who delivers your morning coffee just the way you like it with a smile, or a friendly neighbour who invites you to an activity after discovering a shared favourite pastime. According to Harvard Health, good connections and social support have been proven to improve health, longevity, and increase feelings of 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.

designed to highlight the remarkable lives of our residents and celebrate them. While contestants are asked to illustrate their achievements, contributions to their community, special skill or talent, or making a positive contribution to their Seasons residence, everyone is welcome and encouraged to share their story. The program is a wonderful opportunity for our staff and residents to get to know each other in a meaningful way while having the chance to win one-month free rent at the residence in which they live. We understand that it takes a special person to continually want to go the extra mile for our residents. Therefore, we 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, at the end of the day, this is what our corporate vision of “Connect. Care. Change” is all about! We believe that 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 team members who go above and beyond our standards because we believe that engaged employees who feel respected by their employer will naturally extend the same courtesy to our residents.


C ommitment Make a positive impact A ction


Build meaningful connections

R esults

Engaged staff + happy residents = results

E nthusiasm

Love what you do

S ervice

Deliver "wow moments" that matter

One example of this is the annual Seasons Celebrates Remarkable Residents program

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S imilar to many aspects of life, the 2020 Remarkable Residents program looked different than in years past, as we could not film these important stories in person. However, this remote storytelling did not impede the telling of these inspiring messages of hope, resiliency, and the importance of giving back.

We decided not to hold a contest and ask for our followers’ votes; instead, we simply awarded five winners with one-month of free rent. We then asked our Facebook followers to like, share, and comment on the videos so we could share their positive messages with our winners, who deserve much love and accolades. Here are their stories:



Air Commanders Commendation. John also received the QEII Golden Jubilee medal and the Minister of Veteran Affairs Commendation for outstanding service. In 2012, he was honoured with the QEII Golden Jubilee medal for his contribution to promoting the interests of retired navy personnel. John also enjoyed volunteering with children. He received the Mel Osborne Fellowship Award for his dedication to the non-profit organization, Kiwanis International. Greta Blance, Seasons Stoney Creek, Ontario Greta Blance worked as a teacher at an inclusive school, offering education to regular, gifted, and special education students. She and her fellow teachers demanded zero tolerance for bullying, a feat to which she was very proud. A number of her students wrote sentiments as part of Greta’s entry to this contest, including, “[Greta] was one in a million for her insight, time, and the care she took with her students and colleagues.” Another said, “I am who I am because of [Greta], she put me on the path of being an artist. Now here I am, painting my visions and showing my work to the world.” For years, Greta remained dedicated to many causes she felt connected to. Her daughter’s earliest memory of volunteering with her mother was when they would drop off baby food at the local shelter. “Mom knew what struggle was like.” Greta also advocated for women’s rights and was featured in the Globe & Mail for celebrating one of the Canadian Famous Five Women being featured on the fifty-dollar note.

Lucy values her Italian heritage. She has long been involved in the Sons of Italy, an organization that works to preserve and promote these traditions. She served as president of the women’s lodge and later became secretary and treasurer. These roles allowed her the opportunity to travel across the country and see many sights. Lucy volunteered weekly teaching children to read. She understood the importance of these skills in the children’s future. Lucy was honoured by the Boys and Girls Club of Hamilton for her contributions. At the age of 73, Lucy registered at an adult continuing education centre to earn her diploma and complete her grade 12 education. John Eden, Seasons Dufferin Centre, Ontario Many children look forward to attending summer camps. For John Eden, the first day turned into several challenging months ahead. He was feeling sick, but chalked it up to nerves beginning a new adventure. He saw a doctor the following day. It turned out that he had a temperature of 107 degrees and after seven days in a coma he was diagnosed with a rare bone infection in his hip. He spent the next five months bedbound. This gave him time to contemplate what he wanted to do in life; he decided he wanted to join the Navy. His early military career provided him knowledge in aircraft maintenance and repair. Years later this allowed him to take part in a restoration project. After 14 years and approximately 28,000 hours of work, the “Fairy Swordfish” aircraft was in full airworthy condition. John received the Transport Canada Medallion of Excellence and the Maritime

Marie Harrington, Seasons Drayton Valley, Alberta Marie Harrington was born in Ambala, Punjab, India when it was under British rule. As a child, she attended boarding school atop the Himalaya Mountains. Her best friend there was named Creena. By the time she was 15, World War II had started. Shortly after, Marie left to go live with her distant family outside London, England. By then, air raids and warning sirens had become frequent. Later, Marie was accepted to train as a Radiographer at a London hospital to which she travelled two hours on the Underground. Her most memorable day was when she was asked to x-ray a guarded prisoner who was being held in a single-ward bed. “I think he must have been a German [soldier], shot down from the previous day’s bombing.” After seven years, she was able to reunite with her immediate family. Following a move to Canada, she found an Indian food shop where she was hoping to find a special childhood dessert, but instead, the owner put her in contact with someone special they both knew. It was Creena! Marie could not believe that after all the years and distance, she was reunited with her old school friend. They remain friends to this day. Lucy Giangregorio, Seasons Brantford, Ontario Lucy Giangregorio had to quit high school to help her parents run their business. It remained a lifelong dream of hers to receive her diploma. In time, she met her husband and they began a family. Her husband owned and ran an ironworks business. After he passed, she took over the responsibilities.

Fern Olson, Seasons Olds, Alberta Fern Olson enjoyed life on the farm with her family. She is a talented trumpet player, who was honoured by The Royal Canadian Legion for playing at Remembrance Day services for 25 years. She also plays the harmonica and enjoys dancing for entertainment. Fern loves to bake. When a new resident moves into Seasons, she welcomes each one of them with a basket of goodies, as well as on their birthday. She feels like, “she should be useful for something in her life, no matter how old she is.” It’s with that mindset that she has become an integral part of the community. Fern was recognized by Alberta Health Services for volunteering for more than 20 years at the Olds Hospital. She is the second oldest volunteer in the Alberta Central Zone. As recently as 2019, Fern received the AHS Spirit of Excellence Award in the category of Outstanding Service. She also received the Humanitarian of the Year Award from the Olds Rotary Club. Thank you once again to everyone who supported this program and congratulations to our 2020 Remarkable Residents. We are proud residents like you have chosen to call Seasons their home. To watch the 2020 Winners’ videos, please visit Seasons Retirement Communities on Facebook.


W e know food plays a major role in how our residents feel about living at Seasons Retirement Communities, so they must enjoy the food we prepare for them. To achieve this, we hire skilled chefs who love food just as much as our residents do. Our dining service teams know what it takes to ensure meals are healthy and well-balanced without compromising taste and presentation. Many people continue to believe that retirement food is processed, boring, and bland, which simply isn’t true. “The meals at our residence are all made in-

house. We have recipes we know our residents will enjoy, but we add herbs, spices, and fresh ingredients to make the final product flavourful and exciting,” says Wanda Berg-Johnston, Dining Services Manager at Seasons Wetaskiwin. At mealtimes, residents are presented with an abundance of menu options.* Breakfast features continental and à la carte selections. The day might begin with fresh fruit, yogurt, hearty eggs and omelettes, hot oatmeal, or even good old- fashioned pancakes.



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. **Events may be restricted due to visitor protocols.

Throughout the day, there is a 24-hour bistro available to residents for refreshments between mealtimes, including juice, coffee, tea, baked goods, and fresh fruit. 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 the opportunity to get to know residents and their families. “I like to make sure I spend time in the kitchen cooking, but also out in the dining room getting to know the residents. One time, I met a resident who

Lunch includes a main entrée with a variety of sandwich options and warm soup choices. Dinner is the main meal of the day and is served more restaurant-style. It includes soup and salad choices, an entrée, two potato choices and two vegetable choices for a balanced plate. There are always five to seven options to choose from for the entrée such as steak, chicken or fish. If you desire a vegetarian option, our chefs can accommodate this preference. If residents have special medical dietary needs, such as diabetes, for example, we can help with portion control and offering desserts that are sugar-free or low in sugar. 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 prepared year-round, such as classic meatloaf and roast beef dinners. We encourage feedback and aim to cater to the tastes and desires of the residents in each community. Each community has an opportunity to share their comments and suggestions at a monthly Food Committee meeting. “Our residents have prepared meals for their households, many have even farmed to feed their communities. We understand that they will want to have a say in the meals we prepare for them, having them involved makes our final product even better. We want to focus on developing a menu and recipes that will provide a taste of nostalgia with added flare to expand and elevate their palates,” adds Ramon Thompson, Dining Services Manager at Seasons Camrose.

shared with me how much she loved to bake, but because of the amount of preparation needed, she had stopped. I suggested that we book a time in the open kitchen, choose a recipe, and we could prepare it together. It turned out she was very talented and it became an enjoyable experience for us both. Her smile at the end of our session was a memorable one,” shares Ajay Chhabra, Dining Services Manager at Seasons Milton. As you search for a retirement home for yourself or a loved one, during your visit ask to see the menu or have


CONTRIBUTED BY SEASONS CHEF, RAMON THOMPSON, SEASONS CAMROSE INGREDIENTS 3 cups Mashed Potato (homemade or instant, follow box direction for instant) 1 Cup Vegetable or Chicken Broth 1 Cup Milk

½ Cup Pickle Juice ½ Cup Sour Cream 1 Tbs. Butter Salt & Pepper to taste ½ Heavy Whipping Cream Fresh Dill Chopped

INSTRUCTIONS 1) Heat and blend the first 6 ingredients together in a soup pot or use a hand blender if available. 2) Salt, pepper to taste and dill to simmer. 3) Add heavy cream, blend well and simmer for 3 to 5 minutes. 4) Serve in a soup cup and garnish with a dill sprig.


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I n a conversation about how food is planned, prepared and delivered at Seasons Retirement Communities, it’s important to understand where our food is sourced from. Not long ago, retirement living had a reputation that food was boring and void of nutritional value. However, many retirement communities are changing perceptions by creating fresh, locally- sourced dishes. You’re probably wondering where Seasons gets its food from and how our dining services teams manage to feed hundreds of residents three meals per day, 365 days of the year, all while keeping flavour, ingredients and nutrition top of mind. It’s no secret that we don’t grow our food in the backyards of our retirement communities. To bring fresh, high quality food selections to our residences, we use Sysco, a well-known food service distributor. A food service distributor acts as the ‘middle-man’ between food manufacturers and the food service operator, in this case our Dining Services Managers at Seasons. The distributor purchases, stores, sells and delivers products, providing food service operators with access to items from a wide variety of manufacturers. Most food service operators purchase from a range of local, specialty and broadline food service distributors on a daily or weekly basis. Sysco’s growth is home grown. As they partner with more local ranchers, growers and producers than any other distributor in the industry, it helps support local farm to table initiatives and deliver the freshest products available, regardless of location. Sysco is committed to going global while staying local.

Sysco is excited about the growing local movement in support of our regional farmers, suppliers, and businesses within Alberta and Ontario’s foodservice community . Although Sysco Corporation operates in over 300 locations throughout Canada, the United States, South America and Europe, it is important to note that each Sysco house conducts business as its own individual operating company. This enables them to respond to the unique needs of our market and as such, each Sysco location has been providing local products for decades. By utilizing a five-week menu rotation that takes into consideration our residents’ food preferences and choosing not to create a corporate menu, this allows our teams to create seasonal dishes that are both flavourful and full of nutrients. Although some staples are enjoyed year-round, many of our meal options take advantage of Sysco’s local offerings, especially when it comes to fresh produce. Many of our residents living in both Ontario and Alberta grew their own food and therefore knew exactly where it came from. We believe this should still be the case when they come to live with us at Seasons. Supporting content: Sysco – Sarah Emmerton, Regional Vice President, National Sales

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A t Seasons, we believe in a flexible approach to care that supports our residents’ preferences. This is because we understand that our residents are individuals with different needs at different stages. Furthermore, the support they need today may change in the future. Seasons offers many accommodation options that can adapt to residents as they age in place, including Independent Living, Independent Supportive Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care for people living with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia. Upon move-in, new Seasons residents have their care requirements assessed by a medical professional and provided with a detailed report. They can expect to receive an updated assessment annually or as care needs change. During this assessment, the resident and/or substitute decision-maker will be asked a series of questions about the resident’s health, ability to perform activities of daily living, and their risk for falls. After, the new resident will be recommended the appropriate bundled care package that best meets their requirements. This consultation helps us understand each resident’s needs and desires and how we can best support them. All Seasons service team members are trained to notice even the smallest changes in our residents, so we can have proactive and discreet conversations with them if and when we see their needs changing. For example, if Mary who once took pride in her appearance has seemed to have

stopped caring, or if Bob who is normally social no longer wants to come out of his suite, it could signal a mental health concern. On the other hand, if Peter has a physical illness like diabetes, we can help him monitor his blood sugar, order his insulin, and provide appropriate meal choices. If Carol had a fall, we can help arrange for a walker, escort her, and act as her cheerleader until she can physically manage on her own again. If John enjoys reading and notices his eyesight is deteriorating, we can arrange for enhanced reading materials, have our house physician see him, or arrange transportation to a local optometrist. “Having someone around consistently to notice changes in an individual’s behaviour that might otherwise be missed can add to peace of mind for residents and their families,” says Brenda D’Alimonte, Director of Care Services. “We understand that changing care requirements can be a cause for anxiety, but our residents are never alone in the process so there’s no need to worry. We are here every step of the way, from the initial conversation to suggesting different care options, to monitoring how residents are adapting to their new routine,” continues Brenda. After we have determined and agreed to a care package that best reflects a resident’s current needs, we discuss it with the individual and often their families to understand how they would like that care delivered. It is important that our residents have input into their care plans and we will work with them to support their preferences.


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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 ensures medication is given at the correct time and correct 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 own medications, CareRx can have their medications delivered to their Seasons home by CareRx, which takes away the unnecessary need for residents to leave the 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. For more information, please speak to the Seasons Health & Wellness Manager.



Learning to Embrace Today ® 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 disease. According to the Alzheimer Society of Canada, over 500,000 are Canadians living with dementia today. They project the number of Canadians living with dementia in 2030 will be 912,000. Seasons responded to this reality by developing a person-centred Memory Care program for seniors living with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. Our Memory Care areas incorporate bright, open spaces that feel like home and are comfortable for visitors. In our newer residences, we include private outdoor spaces to promote freedom of movement and to ensure nature is close by. Furthermore, we provide engaging tools that encourage conversation for families and staff to connect with residents. This “enabling of the environment” is one branch of our Embrace Today philosophy that promotes wellness and positive interactions for our residents living with dementia and Alzheimer’s. Stephanie Sanborn, Director of Innovation and Education, was instrumental in building the Seasons Memory Care program. “We understand the importance of hiring for heart to build authentic relationships with our residents and their families,” says Stephanie. “We believe that positive relationships among all care partners elevates person-centred care and makes it more meaningful.” The Seasons Memory Care philosophy is based on authentic relationships. Each of our highly-trained service team members

commits to ‘Embrace Today’ which means they approach the workday with a promise to do their best to make all interactions positive and meaningful, one moment at a time. Because of this, Seasons also fosters an unhurried environment, where building genuine friendships with residents and their families is prioritized over daily routine. We strive to understand who our residents are to adjust our interactions and respond with whatever is needed at the time. Additionally, we work with our residents and their loved ones to create a Legacy Today journal. Through this journal, we acknowledge and celebrate moments shared at Seasons, as well as documenting elements of a resident’s life story. When we understand someone’s past accomplishments and interests, for example, it strengthens our connection with them. Life stories shape our care plans, allow us to create “wow moments” that truly matter, and help us empower our residents to continue building their legacy while at Seasons. Collaboration with family members and healthcare professionals allows us to: > Know and understand a resident’s life story to build daily routines around preferences

In Ontario, we have designated memory care areas in Bowmanville, LaSalle, Milton, Amherstburg, Stoney Creek, and Brantford. For Alberta residents, we offer DSL4D (Designated Supportive Living, dementia) in Camrose, High River, and Olds. Since our philosophy is rooted in person-centred care, we are open to growing and expanding our Memory Care platform as emerging science and evidence- based programs emerge. For example, implementing pets into our care programming and hosting virtual reality experiences to promote understanding and compassion between residents, family members, and caregivers. The positive impact of technology: In-house research on the impact of VR training on caregivers. 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

> Build supportive friendships > Host ‘Living with Dementia’ support gatherings with residents, families and staff > Provide continuing education for staff and family members > Develop meaningful, individualized programs 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, along with calming meditative programs to promote sleep and happiness daily. For example, our Signature Program "Fire It Up" is based on the research that engaging both the body and the mind in one program encourages neuroplasticity in the brain. In other words, the brain’s ability to change throughout life, which could mean compensating for lost functions or maximizing remaining functions.



forward to gaining increased insight and knowledge within our industry to embrace innovation and best serve our residents now and in the future. What we offer these institutions is an excellent platform for interested researchers to access willing seniors for research purposes. Also, we hope that through these expansive efforts, we can continue to bridge the gap between youth and seniors. We embarked on building a dementia experience that could offer team members some understanding into the resident’s world by leveraging virtual reality (VR) technology. The viewpoint of the 4-minute simulation, using a 360-degree headset, was from a person living with dementia being approached to have morning care completed. We piloted this experience on 150 team members from Ontario and Alberta. After participating, Seasons team members understood the importance of slowing down during care and offering an empathetic approach. Without it, the wrong approach can quickly become overwhelming, frightening, and frustrating.

Some of their feedback included statements such as: > “This has shown me a new, wonderful way of caring.” > “This will benefit my entire career, patience is very important.” > “For [people living with dementia], their frustration is their reality. I see the importance of the positive physical approach which helps initiate that connection to provide comfort and reassurance.” What's new: Seasons partnered with The Centre for Elder Research to develop a new design relaxation ‘den’ for residents. The Centre for Elder Research at Sheridan College recently partnered with Seasons Retirement Communities to explore the use of technology in design for a new and improved ‘den,’ a quiet space for relaxation, reminiscence, and social connection, specifically for residents with dementia or other cognitive impairments living in specialized memory care areas within the homes.



S easons will assess each resident’s needs prior to move in and then recommend the appropriate bundled care package that best meets those needs. See below for our care options and what they mean for yourself or a loved one. For detailed information, we encourage you to book a personalized appointment at your community of interest. Independent Living (IL) The apartments at Seasons Retirement Communities offer independent living. They are designed for seniors who can live independently but who wish to be in a community designed for seniors, with access to social or recreational programming. Our apartments and townhouses are equipped with an emergency call system but 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. Designated Supportive Living (DSL) Adults living in Designated Supportive Living (DSL) need significant support for many aspects of daily living but do not need care in a long-term care residence. DSL residents receive personal care as determined by Alberta Health Services individual care plan, wellness checks, three meals daily, housekeeping services, 24-hour emergency response and optional additional services as needed. Designated Supportive Living (DSL3) no regular care services are provided. Independent Supportive Living (ISL) Independent supportive living suits an Designated Supportive Living 3 is a setting that allows you to enjoy privacy and independence with the comfort of knowing your health and personal

care supports are onsite when you need them. Accommodation, meals, housekeeping, linen and recreational services are provided. A higher level of personal care supports is provided, as compared to home care, onsite for scheduled and unscheduled care needs according to the plan of care. Health care services are provided on a scheduled basis but can be accessed as needed. housekeeping, linen and recreational services. A higher level of personal care supports is provided and health care services are offered onsite for scheduled and unscheduled care needs, according to the plan of care. DSL4 is suitable for individuals who have more complex medical needs that are predictable and safely managed with onsite, professional nursing (LPN level) and the direction of the case manager. Designated Supportive Living (DSL4D) Designated Supportive Living (DSL4) DSL4 includes accommodation, meals, DSL4D provides specialized dementia care. DSL4D is for individuals with moderate to severe dementia, who may have a high risk of wandering and unpredictable behaviours but who are not a safety risk to themselves or others. Memory care community residents receive specialized care services. The Seasons Embrace Today ® memory care philosophy is an integral part of DSL4D care in a Seasons residence. This philosophy requires a deep understanding of who our residents are, so staff may adjust their interactions and respond with whatever is needed in the moment. Each of our trained service team members commits to approaching the workday with a promise to do his or her best to make all interactions positive and meaningful, one moment at a time. We believe that when we have positive, authentic relationships among all care partners, it elevates person- centred care, and makes it more meaningful.

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