When Bob* (a nickname bestowed upon her by her grandchildren) first came to Edmonton’s Grace Manor over 15 years ago, she wasn’t sure what to expect. The facility was transitioning into a new building and shifting from women’s only programming to an assisted living facility that would accommodate both men and women aged 65 or over who have a diagnosed mental health condition.
For Bob, independence is crucial. She relishes popping out to Tim Horton’s for a coffee, picking up some snacks at the grocery store, and spending the weekend with her family. She enjoys taking her meals with the other residents in the dining room but also savors quite moments alone in her room with her jigsaw puzzles. The staff at Edmonton Grace Manor encourage
s residents to be as independent as they are able to be, all they have to do is sign out of the building when they leave and in again upon their return.
“I like it here; I’ve made some good friends and had some good experiences. I come and go as I please and am very self-sufficient,” says Bob. “The staff is very friendly and they always help me. They’re very good at helping residents and know what they require.”
The mission of Edmonton Grace Manor is to provide a home in a Christian environment for persons who require physical and mental health support and accommodation following the example of Jesus Christ in compassion and acceptance.
“We have an incredible staff that works here. Some of the residents have no family so we become their family,” says Grace Manor’s chaplain, Captain Raelene Russell. “Because we have trained nursing staff on site, we are able to improve the resident’s quality of life with things like medication management as well as the other programs available to all residents through our recreational therapy and pastoral care departments.”
The team at Grace Manor works to ensure residents have access to a variety of programming that helps stimulate them mentally, physically and spiritually. In addition to Chapel services, which are held 5 days a week, residents can participate in morning exercise classes, weekly bingo, shuffle board, and other group games as well as enjoying visits from pet therapy animals and musical entertainers.
“I’m a people person and I like to be around people and help when I can. I like that they have chapel every morning and I usually arrange the chairs and put out the books. I like to help out,” says Bob.
“It’s a very holistic approach to care at Grace Manor; between the Chaplains who are trained in spiritual and emotional care and the Recreation Department, who are educated and experienced in providing programming that engages the residents’ mental, physical, and social needs, and the nursing staff who are trained and equipped to ensure physical and medical needs are being taken care of residents of Grace Manor are well provided for,” says Captain Russell. “I look at so many of our residents, many of whom don’t have any family or other external supports, and I wonder where would these people be if they didn’t have somewhere like Grace Manor to support them?”