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Canterbury Manor means to me a safe, attractive place in which I can live during my declining years with a maximum amount of privacy yet use opportunities to socialize with a variety of pleasant other residents when I wish to do so.

- Canterbury Resident

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Welcome Respite Relief for Guests and their Caregivers

For 92-year-old Pleasantview resident Charles, an independent spirit has kept him living at home his entire life.

The award-winning Professional Engineer and father worked well into his later years, undoubtedly making major contributions in his field, until his retirement at an impressive 91 years of age. With support from a live-in caregiver Charles has been able to remain in his home for the past year, until his caregiver booked some time off. “His caregiver was going away for two weeks and I managed to convince him to try the respite suite,” says Charles’ son Robert.

Canterbury had already made a short list of supportive living facilities Robert had put together in case his father decided to make a move, and this seemed like the right opportunity to test the waters with a stay in the brand-new Respite Care Suite. With public respite beds in high demand, It’s a need that Registered Nurse and Canterbury Health Services Director Lauran Chittim was all too aware of  “The public respite beds in the greater edmonton region can have a huge waitlist - as long as six months,” says Chittim. “The demand is higher than the amount of beds that the public system has - so we created this to fulfill that need.”

Unsure of what he would expect at a seniors residence, Charles found he was warmly greeted by a much different experience than he had anticipated. “I found it to be a lot more simulating of an environment than him just being at home,” says Robert. “My dad is a very musical person and he seemed to enjoy all of the musical events. They seemed to have several throughout the week so I think that was a real highlight for him.”

With an RN on staff, a chaplin making the rounds, social workers to involve all residents in Canterbury events, and a welcoming staff that truly enjoys engaging and building relationships with guests, a stay at Canterbury’s respite suite not only fulfills care needs, it’s aim is to be an enriching and enjoyable experience. “We want to give them a positive impression that going into supported living isn’t scary or institutionalized,” says Chittim. “We want our guests to come and have fun, to make relationships with health care aids and the staff, enjoy good meals in an environment with lots of entertainment.” 

The second floor suite, located next to the nursing station, looks out onto Canterbury’s atrium where the harmonies of choir performance and uplifting piano recitals fill the room and trickle out to all areas of the building. “If a guest wants to take in our activities but they may be too fatigued to go down, they can take in the music by opening their window and simply taking a seat in the chair where they can see and hear the performance and be a part of the experience,” says Chittim.

It’s a scene Robert never had the opportunity to witness, recalling his dad’s visit at Canterbury to be a bit different, “What really struck me when I had the opportunity to come up for a visit during his stay, was that not on one occasion did I find him in his room,” says Robert. “Dad usually spends a lot of time in bed when he’s at home, and the whole time he was at Canterbury it seemed that he was up, alert, awake, active and stimulated which was great to see.”

Fully equipped with a hospital bed and assist rails in the washroom - the room is perfectly set up to help support all guest care needs. With bookings open to the public since the beginning of 2019 it’s a much needed space - available when families need it most. “When you’re caring for a mother, or a father or a husband or a wife, you need that break,” says Chittim. “They need a safe place to bring their loved one so they can have that full mental and physical break and that’s what we try to provide.”

“I was very pleased with the level of care he received,” says Robert. “The staff to resident ratio was great, they were very attentive and you could tell they genuinely enjoy engaging with the residents.” Robert happily reports that his dad enjoyed his respite stay so much he’s decided to go on a waitlist for a Canterbury Manor suite - an option that offers access to all of the services with an in-suite kitchen and a level of independence Charles is familiar with.

 

Canterbury’s Respite Care Suite is open for bookings to the public. For more information on our please contact Leasing Administrator Hector DuVivier at (780) 930-3729 or hectord@canterburyfoundation.com.