Keeping the ties to family,
friends and pastimes
WRITTEN BY COLLEEN SETOPHOTOGRAPHED BY RANDY PONDS
When we think about what’s mostimportant to us, it often comes downto people—our family and friends. Thethought of losing our connections withthem and the things we enjoy doingtogether can be a concern as we age,especially if we’re considering moving toa continuing care home.
Thankfully, staff at continuing carecentres appreciate the value of socialconnections and help new residentskeep the relationships and hobbiesthey cherish.
“We know that social relationships
are important to us and our health,”
says Sophie Sapergia, director with
Alberta Health Services’ Provincial
Continuing Care team. “Care providers
are increasingly aware of the importance
of social engagement and meaningful
Michelle Taylor is a lead for AHS’s
Provincial Continuing Care team. She
says social connections are the biggest
influence on whether people flourish in
their new home. When residents first
move into a care home, their social needs
are assessed along with their cognitive,
physical and emotional abilities.
“Think of these as the four legs of a
chair—all are important to create a strong
foundation,” Taylor says, adding that
residents with rich social interactions say
they have a better quality of life.
As healthcare researchers delve
further into the value of the social side
of care, new theories emerge about
how best to meet this dimension of
health in supportive living and long-term
“Some follow the butterfly care
concept, which focuses on creating
meaningful interactions and activities for
residents with dementia,” Sapergia says.
A care home that adopts the butterfly
Residents participate in the fun and fitness program at the Vegreville Care Centre.