by Gail Hinchliffe and Dianne McDermid
United Active Living (UAL) is an Alberta based corporation that develops innovative housing for older adults. Currently UAL has two sites: River Ridge Seniors Community in St. Albert, and Garrison Green Seniors Community in Calgary. The housing sites are designed, constructed and operated based on research findings that focuses on providing opportunities for fulfillment, independence and wellness. Both sites are assisted living residences in which the majority of programming emphasizes creative expression and lifelong learning. At Garrison Green, for example, there are two full-time artists-in-residence as well as well as a part time artist. There are two dedicated art studios where there are art classes offered, open studio time and supported art projects. Residents’ art is displayed throughout the lower floor.
Besides these art programs, there is a drama club, choir, kitchen band, ballroom dance lessons, yoga and drum circles. Continuing learning is encouraged through such activities as a lecture series done by faculty from Mount Royal University, educational webinars, and a resident-led men’s education and discussion group. Outings to art galleries, museums, philharmonic performances and plays are common. This level of programming can only be provided through partnerships with family and the greater community.
For more information, go to: http://www.unitedactiveliving.com/