Inside Silvera, issue 19

Silvera employees celebrate at 15th annual conference

For the first time since 2019, Silvera employees recently had a chance to gather, learn and grow together outside of their regular daily jobs at our 15th annual employee conference. The theme of the two-day event on June 7 and 8 was “Diamond Relationships: Strong and bright as we reunite”, a nod to Silvera’s 60th anniversary this year. 

Employees took part in several development and networking sessions, including an opportunity to work together to build an ideal community that supports older adults, tell better stories through photographs, and learn about cultural sensitivity to help foster inclusion. The conference is always a great time to learn and laugh with colleagues and appreciate what we can accomplish when we work together. 

Several Silvera employees were also recognized at the conference with Long Service Awards and Service of Excellence Awards. Kathy Secord, a 36-year employee, received the Randy Adrian Memorial Award. This special award recognizes a Silvera employee who has exemplified our values and demonstrated a high standard of consistent excellence in their work, and someone who has served in several of our communities over the better part of their career.

2022 Long Service Award Recipients

This year’s Service of Excellence Recipients:

  • Laura Foster, Executive Assistant, Admin
  • Jocelyn Graham, Receptionist, Aspen
  • Diane Goopio, Community Night Attendant, Beaverdam
  • Lourdes Albadawi, Dining Attendant, Bow Valley
  • Almaz Gedle, Community Evening Attendant, Confederation Park
  • Melgrace Estayo, Community Evening Attendant, Shawnessy
  • Lualhati (Lu) Araza, Community Night Attendant, Shouldice
  • Williebell Mangosing, Dining Attendant, Spruce
  • Maria Riza Pangilinan, Administrative Coordinator, Valleyview
  • Vannjann Galapon, Cook, Westview
  • Chris MacEachern, General Maintenance Person, WPOTB

Check out a video compilation of photos from the employee conference!

End of Life program offered to Silvera residents

A new program has begun at Silvera to help residents manage and learn about a variety of end-of-life situations.

“Grief and loss are realities for every person, but more so for the demographic we serve,” says Barbara Hagen, senior manager, Impact & Innovation. “It’s important to acknowledge the many losses people experience over the course of a lifetime and help them still feel that they’re living fully.”

Memorial spaces being established in SL communities

Eje Ogheneovo, a social work student, is conducting a survey with residents in Supportive Living about setting up a memorial space in each community where residents can go to remember friends and neighbours who are no longer here. Many residents leave for higher levels of care, but some leave suddenly without the opportunity to communicate with friends at Silvera. 

Barbara is developing a new advanced consent form for residents to sign if they want to share their basic information should they have to leave suddenly and can’t say goodbye themselves.

The memorial spaces will allow friends, neighbours and employees to leave notices, cards, photos and messages for residents who have moved away or for the families of residents who have died.

“Some communities have designated inspiration places where people can go for quiet time or prayer time, and we would like memorial spaces to be similar destination spots within each community,” says Barbara. “Having a common space to go to remember someone can provide a real sense of peace.”

The spaces will be important for employees as well as residents, says Barbara. “Employees understand the demographic of the people in our communities, but they can and do suffer from cumulative loss. They forge relationships with residents over the course of years, sometimes decades, and it can be really difficult when those relationships end.”

Death doulas provide later life planning sessions

Eje is currently delivering a Grief & Loss education presentation to residents in SL communities. This summer, a death doula will provide two sessions on later life planning for residents who would like to talk about their personal plans for the end stages of life.

These are ‘beyond the paperwork’ sessions that do not deal with the legalities of wills and power of attorney but instead focus on personal planning, legacy and celebration – identifying what they would hope people say about them when they’re gone, what to leave behind, favourite memories and music, and people who should be advised when a resident dies.

“Residents have a real interest in speaking about ‘later in life’ planning, whether that is about MAID [Medical Assistance in Dying], palliative care or just the realities of dealing with their own many losses — the people in their lives, mobility, health, independence, homes,” she says.

“There’s not a clear line between living and dying. We want to support people all the way through their entire experience.”

Seniors’ Week at Silvera: residents share art show and so much more

Silvera Seniors Week 2022 was packed with activities, including chocolate ice cream making, floor curling, flower planting, trivia games, art classes and a spelling bee!

Several Spruce and Aspen residents and employees also attended a showing of resident art at the Rocky Ridge YMCA.

A private reception provided an opportunity for 10 residents to display the art they created during a 12-session art program this spring, specifically designed for older adults by the YMCA. Read more about the program on the Silvera blog.

"Come make with us" day

Garden tending and flower planting

Floor curling tournament at Confederation Park

Report to Community and 60th anniversary video released

This year, Silvera is marking 60 years as a provider of housing and services to older Calgarians. Our latest Report to Community reviews Silvera’s past year of serving Calgarians.  

2021 was a year of transition for Silvera: managing the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic while advancing our strategic objectives to add more affordable housing spaces and improve services and supports that ensure older adults live fully and age successfully in our communities.

We were voted Best Seniors Residences in Calgary in 2021, receiving the Postmedia Reader’s Choice Award, recognition that our independent and supportive living communities continue to be safe places for older adults to live and access the supports and services they need.

“It takes a community of committed people to make Silvera a leader in the housing and seniors’ sector, including employees, service providers, community supporters, and government partners,” says Arlene Adamson, CEO, Silvera. 

We also recently shared our celebratory 60th anniversary video, marking our journey through the past six decades. Check it out!

Celebrating 60 years at Silvera