14 June 2022
Writing, cycling and even a game of 21 on the basketball court. These may not be the first things you associate with seniors living in Calgary.
And that’s the point.
“At Silvera, we are passionate about challenging ageism and many of the traditional ideas people have about seniors,” says Cathy Hume, Senior Manager of Brand, Marketing and Communications for Silvera. “Whether it’s gardening, IT or even writing a book – which two residents in the Aspen community did during the pandemic – we’re focused on co-creating programming that’s relevant to residents.”
In a recent interview with Business in Calgary Magazine, Olivia Chubey, Chief Service and Operations Officer, discussed the Silvera Scholar program, which is designed to leverage resident feedback to develop more targeted programming and relevant services. In some cases, it’s involved having residents co-lead or even host many of the activities they want to see in their communities.
“Instead of just having people move into our communities and wait for bingo to be presented, we want to get them engaged and do something meaningful that fits them,” she said, noting examples include an in-development art program that will connect residents with local artists.
“We’ve tried to be creative while still keeping our residents as co-designers so they maintain some autonomy, contribute in meaningful ways and continue to have a voice,” says Chubey.
Hume also points to Silvera’s concept of a learning centre, which offers Calgary seniors the ability to continue their pursuits of lifelong learning while living in a Silvera community.
And from the classroom to the pavement and dance floor, Silvera offers residents plenty of activities to remain active, whether that’s ballet classes, mini golf or ping pong. Westview Town Suites, for example, offers everything from a bike rental program to axe throwing and a basketball court.
“It’s about choices and being able to wake up and make the choices of how your day is going to unfold – to be able to do new and different things. That’s our passion. That’s what we’re looking to achieve at Silvera,” says Hume.
“Aging is changing. The spirit to remain active, body and mind, is a strong as ever for many older adults. We’re here to accompany residents on that journey by supporting their dreams and providing an outlet. They get to do the rest.”