No ordinary seniors' home

By Geoff Lee

September 1, 2016 12:00 AM

POINTS WEST Living manager, Suzanne Power welcomes residents and guests to an presentation of an Eden Alternative Seedling Award for a resident-focused approach to seniors' living.

There is no warehousing of seniors going on at Points West Living in Lloydminster.
The assisted living facility is basking in its recent recognition as an Eden care home for seniors with the emphasis on wellness and independent living.
The 60 bed home celebrated its Eden Alternative Seedling award Friday as a follower of the Eden model of resident-focused care.
Doug Mills, CEO of Points Wests Living and Connecting Care, the Edmonton-based operator, presented the Lloydminster home with the award last Friday and said it is only the second assisted living home in Alberta to be Eden recognized.
“It follows our philosophy of the Eden model which is to try to eliminate loneliness, boredom and helplessness,” said Mills.
With Eden there is no institutionalizing of seniors that’s prevalent at many assisted living facilities.
“That’s why you see our staff in regular clothes, not scrubs—it’s more like a home environment,” said Mills.
“We try to encourage our residents to participate in the activities of daily living so that they maintain some of their independence.”
He said that’s the concept that works through the Eden philosophy.
This philosophy founded by U.S. doctor Bill Thomas, an authority in geriatric medicine, supports seniors to continue to be active, healthy, contributing members of their community.
“It’s all about relationships and choices and spontaneity,” said Sarah Walker, an administrative support worker at the home.
“The family is encouraged to be very involved in our daily happenings.”
The Eden award was presented to Points West at the annual Eden Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas in April after being nominated.
The Eden Alternative is an international, non-profit organization dedicated to creating quality of life for seniors and their care partners.
“I think this is the first award of any of the Points West site in Alberta, if not Western Canada for this award,” noted Mills.
The award ceremony included a couple of traditional India dances from Points West core partners, and some words from facility manager Suzanne Power about the award.
“I feel great more about my staff than I feel about myself—they’re the ones who make this place what it is right now,” said Power.
She said she hopes other care facilities follow Eden’s hospitality focused management, with lifestyle choices, and resident involvement including caring for their own pets.
“You have to give them choices and in institutions most of the time residents don’t have choices,” said Power.
“Here they have choices of meals; they have choices of when to get up in the morning—it is home.”
That’s the way it seems these days for Fay Hladchuk who has been a resident for six years.
“It’s like home; there’s good food here,” she said.
Ditto that from Vera Gallant, a visitor and volunteer whose husband Bob has been at the home for two years.
“It’s very much a homey atmosphere; it’s all about the residents,” she said.
She said the residents do what they want to do and they get up when they want to get up.
The friendly informal atmosphere at the home led her to choose it for her husband.
“I was made to feel very welcome, I had shoulders to cry on and I loved the staff,” she said.
“The staff here really are angels.”

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