Fort McMurray wildfire: one year later
Memories of kindness and compassion stand out for long-term care evacuees.
They are gone, but not forgotten.
Lydia Kleppe and Naomi Mercer were two of nine long-term care residents evacuated from Fort McMurray to CapitalCare Lynnwood a year ago.
A photo of the city now hangs over the spot where the two roommates were reunited after being separated in the evacuation.
A twin of the photo also hangs on the long-term care of the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre, forever joining the two units in remembrance of the tragic circumstances that brought them together.
Both are a gift from Lydia’s daughter in appreciation of the efforts made by staff at both facilities to keep her mom safe. “The staff were amazing,” says Ingrid Kleppe, who also fled Fort McMurray with her family. “It gave me peace of mind to know my mom was safe and being well taken care of in Edmonton.”
Long-term care residents were airlifted out of Fort McMurray and arrived with nothing but the clothing they were wearing. What they found in Edmonton was nothing short of a second family.
CapitalCare Foundation, with donations from listeners of CFCW Radio, organized toiletries and clothing for them. When they went back, The Foundation provided suitcases so they could take their belongings with them. Some of those clothes still hang in Lydia’s closet today.
“It was an honour to have taken care of them during the disaster,” says Bonnie Roberts, Site Director of CapitalCare Lynnwood. “They will always be a part of our Lynnwood family.”
Lydia, Naomi and all but one resident returned to Fort McMurray last July.
“The most important thing was how we welcomed our residents back,” says Denise Wilkinson, Area Manager or Seniors Health in Fort McMurray. “We wanted a calm approach; there was no need to rush.”
Staff returned a month ahead of the residents to pack up residents’ belongings, and residents returned in small groups so that staff could assist them to sort through them.
Naomi has since passed away, and Lydia now lives in a private room on the long-term care unit.
Though reminders of the fire remain on the land and city around them, it is as the words on Lydia’s shirt says; “We are here. We are Strong.”
Mikiko Van Horn
CapitalCare, Corporate Services
Laurier House Lynnwood's "Cover Girl" turns 100
Jean Jamieson was 97 years young when she was photographed for the cover of CapitalCare’s Laurier House brochure. On January 21, she celebrated her 100th birthday.
Constance Jean Jamieson (nee Morgan) was the child of English immigrants who settled in Edmonton near the beginning of the First World War. The newly completed High Level Bridge was the marvel of the time allowing the amalgamation of Strathcona, where the family lived, and Edmonton just across the river.
Jean was born and raised in Bonnie Doon, in an era where water was supplied by a communal well, where coal (for heat) was delivered by teams of horses, and where sanitary services were situated “out” by the alley for ease of pickup by the “honey wagon.” She attended King Edward Park and Rutherford schools, and spent her recreational time roller skating in summer and skating in winter.
She met her future husband, Allan Jamieson, through the community league, and was married during the Second World War years. Jean supported her husband in his growing livestock business, cooking, cleaning, canning and chauffeuring her two children and their friends. Coming from a musical family, she loved to sing and passed on her love and appreciation of music to her own children, as well as her six grandchildren, and now two great grandchildren, newly arrived.
She moved to the Crestwood community and lived on Candy Cane Lane for over 20 years. When her mobility became greatly reduced due to arthritis, she moved to Laurier House Lynnwood in 2006, and remained active, conversive and thoughtful of others.
“Mom really enjoys Laurier House,” says her son David. “She appreciates the staff and loves all the entertainment and goings on that happen so regularly.”
Jean attributes her longevity to the fact she has seldom been ill during the past ten decades. Her son adds his mom’s kindness, good humor and positive attitude has played a role in her long life.
“Her genuine interest in people has sustained in her an incredible vitality and enthusiasm for life,” says David Jamieson.
McConnell Places provide ideal supportive living for people with dementia
February 16, 2017 - Fort Saskatchewan resident Scott Day travels to Edmonton every day to visit his wife of 63 years, who has Alzheimer’s. He said he knows of seven people who have had to move to Sherwood Park or Edmonton to have the level of care someone with dementia needs. Read More.
Edmonton Oilers Honour Veterans on Remembrance Day
November 11, 2016 - Dr. Ken Abbey, a resident of the Kipnes Centre for Veterans, drops the puck for captain Connor McDavid at the Edmonton Oilers game on Remembrance Day. Retired Sergeant Abbey flew 34 missions over Germany during World War II. He was a tail gunner with the Lancaster Bomber Crew WW2 of the Royal Canadian Air Force. See it on SportsNet. Click here for video.
Dougald Miller lived at CapitalCare Norwood for 16 years.
September 26, 2016, Edmonton Journal - Lesley Miller was working at a hair salon in a small town in Scotland blissfully unaware that the man she would marry was her neighbour.
Dougald Miller moved to Canada and it was only because he came home to visit his parents that he eventually met Lesley and they fell in love. A year and half later, she joined him in Westlock, and they were married.
On Saturday night, after finding him improbably 34 years ago, Miller lost the man she describes as her soulmate.
"The nurses up there were so good with Dougald. They were so upset, they were crying last night. They've looked after Dougald for 15 years. I can't say enough good things about them," she said (Read More)
CHOICE Program marks 20 years of teamwork for AHS, CapitalCare
August 29, 2016 - For 20 years, Edmonton CHOICE Programs have been quietly keeping frail seniors out of hospitals, emergency rooms and long-term care - and in their homes where they prefer to age. Expansion of the program could do even more to ease the pressure on the health system as well as lighten the load for caregivers in need of support (Read More)
Feast on the Field raises thousands to help elderly and disabled adults
August 21, 2016, Edmonton Journal - It was a major win for Capital Care last week when some 400 fans dined in the end zone at Commonwealth Stadium and raised about $50,000.
Scoring big for one of the largest public continuing care organizations in Canada were three award-winning chefs: Brad Smoliak, chef and owner of Kitchen; Steve Buzak, the Royal Glenora Club’s chef and Zinc’s executive chef David Omar.
Savvy food-loving fans warmly applauded the chefs’ local sourced barbecued feast at Feast on the Field.
Francine Drisner, Capital Care’s chief operating officer, said the dinner would help provide care and services for 1,400 elderly and disabled adults living in 11 Edmonton care homes and 300 people in daycare programs
An increasing number of people are being diagnosed with dementia, but there is no cure.
“People with dementia may not speak one word, but when they hear a song they will sometimes start to sing and live in the moment,” she says.
“Music is very powerful and kept in a different place in the memory. As soon as music begins eyes often open, feet start tapping and hands clapping.”
Sadly, CapitalCare’s music grants are in jeopardy of ending and a $250,000 Don’t Stop the Music campaign has been launched. (Read More)
408 serves up beer, pancakes, and a whole lot more at veterans' centre
August 4, 2016 - Western Sentinel - Among the moments she'll remember in her 36-an-a-half career with the military, Warrant Officer Patricia MacWilliams of 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron switched between tears and laughter when recalling her volunteer experience at the Kipnes Centre for Veterans. (Read More)
Aging gracefully at Laurier House
Lois Bergot (nee Cooke) was born on May 27, 1916 to an Alberta pioneer family - Emma (nee Boyd) and T.Edmund Cooke - who arrived in Grande Prairie by horse and cart in 1911 and established a sawmill.
The middle child of five siblings, Lois enjoyed a childhood filled with happy memories mostly associated with her superior athletic and musical achievements. In her teens, she was scouted by J. Percy Page, coach of the famous Edmonton Grads, but shortly thereafter, the team disbanded due to the onset of the depression and World War II. (Read More)
'Roomies' reunited by CapitalCare
May 30, 2016 - Alberta Health Services - When Naomi Mercer and Lydia Kleppe saw the flames and smoke rising outside their home at the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre in Fort McMurray, they were “scared to death.”
Naomi and Lydia, who met at Northern Lights this past January, have been inseparable ever since. The two women share a room in the continuing care unit and have forged a very strong bond.
When the centre was evacuated, the close friends became separated from each other. The two women left Fort McMurray with only the clothes on their backs. (Read More)
102 reasons to celebrate a birthday
June 10, 2016 - Alberta Health Services - Born before the First World War, centenarian Else Lindberg takes the cake at CapitalCare. Today, as the 102-year-old and her descendants gather to celebrate her birthday, she was surprised to see her birthday treats - including the stunning, many-layered Kransekage cake - were prepared by someone else, for a change. Read More
Benefactors endow Kipnes Centre for Veterans with comforts of home - and more
Edmonton Sun, November 11, 2015 - The Dianne and Irving Kipnes Centre for Veterans had a lot to celebrate on November 5th, when donors and community groups joined staff, residents and families for a tour of the continuing care centre they have made a true home over the past ten years (Read More)
Dental hygiene services delivered to your door
University of Alberta, November 6, 2015 - The University of Alberta's School of Dentistry and Dental Hygiene is brining dental hygiene care directly to seniors' residences, making the trek to their dental hygienist much shorter. (Read More)
Health watchdog ranks Alberta Long Term Care centres
Edmonton Journal, October 28, 2015 - Most of the Edmonton zone’s 36 long-term care facilities — whether run by Alberta Health Services, privately owned or non-profit — scored well in terms of “global overall care". Ability to meet basic needs also earned mostly high scores across the board, ranging from 72.2 out of 100 at Edmonton Chinatown Care Centre to 98 out of 100 at CapitalCare Norwood. (Read More)
Apple Magazine, Fall 2015 - Khushboo Goyal, volunteer at CapitalCare Grandview often feels joy after giving. Khushboo Goyal says she often feels joy after giving. The 18-year old Edmontonian volunteers at CapitalCare Grandview. The high-school grad recently took CapitalCare's Loving Spoonful MealthtimeCompanion Training Program and n ow spends time on weekends helping residents eat breakfast. (Read full story on page 59) http://bit.ly/1JLeSWq
Feast on the Field - A spectacular success!
Edmonton Journal, August 13 - Held on the turf at Commonwealth Stadium, Feast on the Field was a fundraiser for CapitalCare Foundation, which helps fund nursing homes in Edmonton (Read More)
Click here to view pictures from the event
Caring for seniors with casino night
Sherwood Park News - October 5, 2015 - Those wanting a fun night out can do so while benefitting a local seniors centre. Read More
Restorative care model may provide solution to Alberta’s hospital crisis
March 23, 2015 - Lois Davis, 90, is working hard at CapitalCare Norwood’s restorative care unit in Edmonton. The facility provides a transition place for patients to stay who don’t need to be in acute care in hospital but aren’t ready to go home.
Santa visits residents at McConnell Place North
December 23, 2014 - Santa and a group of Edmontonians 'adopted' residents at McConnell Place North, delivering present for each senior, as well as singing Christmas Carols.
Click here to view pictures.
From Hospital to Home in 50 Years
Operating in Edmonton and area since 1963, CapitalCare - Canada’s largest publicly-funded,
continuing care organization - marked 50 years of caring in 2013. As if reaching this important milestone
were not enough for an organization that grew from 72 beds in one auxiliary hospital to nearly 1,400
across 10 residential centres, CapitalCare also received recognition in its anniversary year as one of
Alberta’s top employers, and one of Canada’s safest employers.
Community Matters: One Spoonful at a time. CapitalCare Dickinsfield volunteer helps with
the Loving Spoonfuls initiative.
After suffering from a complex eye condition that left him with severe vision loss for seven years,
Manuel DaCruz became unable to work and was forced into an unexpected early retirement.
DaCruz, though at the time uncertain as to his own future, took the opportunity to become
involved in his community and has been an active volunteer with CapitalCare Dickinsfield for the
last five years.
CHOICE Edmonton Day Program - An Outlet for Social Seniors
March 1, 2014 - Adult day programs are growing in popularity across the country as governments recognize the advantages to supporting the frail elderly to age in place. One model for such delivery is the Comprehensive Home Options of Integrated Care for the Elderly (CHOICE) program in Edmonton, Alberta.
Anonymous donor provides cool treats for staff and residents at CapitalCare Norwood
August 16, 2013 -Hundreds of servings of ice cream were dropped off at CapitalCare Norwood on Friday, August 16. The donation came through the Dairy Queen located in Sherwood Park.
CapitalCare Staff Shows a Passion for Compassion
Celebrating its 50th anniversary as an organization in 2013, CapitalCare has been leading the way in
continuing care in Edmonton with innovative models, and the recruitment and retention of caring staff
dedicated to improving the quality of life for the people it serves.
Yarn bombers brighten the day for Edmonton Seniors
May 18, 2013 - Anonymous "yarn bombers" brightened the day for seniors at a north Edmonton care facility by lining their garden fence with over a hundred crocheted sunflower.
CapitalCare celebrated 50 Years in 2013
The Spring 2014 issue of Caring Now magazine, the magazine of the Alberta Continuing Care Association,
features photos and an article based on the displays we produced for our 50th anniversary year.
CapitalCare Introduces Resident-Centred Concepts into the Dining Experience
December 2012 - For most people, meals are an important part of the day; in residential care facilities, the take on added significance. Not only do meal times mark the passage, they are often the highlight.
New menu for seniors
Edmonton Sun, July 31, 2012 - Capital Care is bringing long-term care residents a taste of home. Canada’s largest public continuing care provider unveiled a new home-style food menu and a revamped dining room at its Grandview location Tuesday.
Number of country's centenarians rising fast
National Post, May 29, 2012 - Two Kipnes Centre for Veterans residents share their secrets for living a century.
Making the visible shift to resident-centred care
Axiom News, January 06, 2012 - It has long been recognized that the kitchen is the heart of any home, but for far too many elderly residents in long-term care, comfort can be hard to come by in the sterile dining halls and kitchens where their meals are served.
In mid-December, Edmonton’s CapitalCare — Canada’s largest public long-term care provider — took a grand step towards bringing comfort back into its oldest kitchens and dining rooms with the launch of a newly-renovated gathering space at one of its homes.
Bequest builds bistro at CapitalCare Norwood Palliative Care
It’s not often that someone leaves their life savings to a hospital. But Walter Hubschmid was more than happy to give what he had to the centre where he spent his final days. With no wife or kids of his own, he chose to give his $250,000 in savings back to CapitalCare Norwood. Hubschmid was a former farmer who lost his battle with emphysema in November of 2009.
Edmonton Sun, October 6 2011
Global TV News, October 6 2011 - Download and view the video (5MB)
Integrated care benefits seniors and cash-strapped governments
Globe and Mail, July 12, 2011 - Lillian Clyne is spending the afternoon knitting a scarf at CapitalCare Norwood in Edmonton, a one-stop health-care and recreational centre for the elderly with chronic medical conditions.
Twice a week, a bus picks up Mrs. Clyne at her home and takes her to the centre, where she is assessed by medical staff and participates in her favourite activities – knitting and painting ceramics.
Senator Tommy Banks holds piano concert at CapitalCare Grandview
CapitalCare Grandview (Edmonton, Alberta) held a piano concert featuring jazz pianist and Senator Tommy Banks on June 8, 2011. The Rotary Club of Edmonton West generously donated the grand piano to the long-term care facility.
Watch the video.
Edmonton Journal, April 5, 2011 - Music therapist Carla Rugg and Lando, a Canine Assisted Intervention dog visit CapitalCare Norwood Palliative Hospice. Edmonton Journal photo gallery - April 5 2011
The soothing sounds of music therapy
Edmonton Sun, March 13 2011 - As the tune of Amazing Grace flows out of a guitar, terminal cancer patient Neville Nero is taken to another place for a brief moment where he can forget he is in palliative care. Music therapist Carla Rugg made her way around Edmonton’s CapitalCare Norwood Palliative Hospice Sunday afternoon much like she does every week. Her job is to bring music, comfort and some relief to families and patients that are facing death.
Computer tool tracks, improves seniors' care
Alberta Health Services, March 23 2011 - “Now I’ve started to live my life. It’s changed. I could hardly lift my hands before — and now I can be more independent,” says Jerry Onyschuk, 60, who has MS and uses a wheelchair.
A grand piano arrives at CapitalCare Grandview
CapitalCare Grandview is home to 145 elderly and disabled adults who need 24 nursing care and services. The Rotary Club of Edmonton West supports this centre through donations that enhance quality of life for residents. Their most recent donation is a brand new grand piano, valued at $32,000. This video shows the joy it brought to residents who assembled in anticipation of the grand piano arriving.
Watch the video
2011 Valentine's Day Gala
Edmonton Journal, February 14, 2011 - The February 14 event was sponsored by Edmonton Opera and CapitalCare as a fundraising collaboration between continuing care and the arts.
View the Edmonton Journal photo gallery.
On November 5, 2010 members of Edmonton Opera paid a surprise visit to the CapitalCare Kipnes Centre for Veterans.
Watch the video
Edmonton Sun, July 23 2010 - Helicopter squadron serves breakfast to veterans
120 veterans were served pancakes by members of the 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron at the annual Capital EX breakfast at the Kipnes Centre for Veterans.
There's just no stopping this lady - CapitalCare Strathcona volunteer relates well with seniors
Edmonton Examiner, April 8, 2010 - Helen Lavender doesn't let retirement stop her from keeping busy.
This avid volunteer and former teacher spends most of her week volunteering at a variety of organizations, one of which is CapitalCare Strathcona.
You can go home again
CapitalCare Grandview orthopedic rehabilitation program helps surgery patients return home sooner.
Alberta Health Services Innovation Improving Care, April 1, 2010 - Grace Foster is home again, sooner than she expected. The 77-year-old had surgery on her fractured right hip last month. After two weeks in an Edmonton orthopedic rehabilitation program, she returned to her home in Beaumont.
Seniors have CHOICE
Alberta Health Services Innovation Improving Care, February 2010 - Edmonton program catches problems before they require emergency care. At 85 years old, Frank Blackwell has just discovered how much he loves dominoes, card games and the interesting stories of new friends. He discovered these passions after being referred to the CHOICE program at CapitalCare Norwood in Edmonton.
Caring when it counts: Government workers play Good Samaritan to special seniors
Edmonton Sun December, 2009 - Struggling with multiple chronic ailments, long-term care resident June Evans hasn't seen or heard from her children or grandchildren for more than 10 years. So when a brightly-coloured bag stuffed with Christmas gifts from strangers was delivered to her bedside recently, she was almost in tears.
Myth Busting: Proven dynamics in geriatric care
Care magazine Winter, 2009 - Continuing care today provides opportunities in leadership, innovation and relationships. This feature showcases the variety of work of three different Licensed Practical Nurses working for CapitalCare.
A purr-fect prescription for therapy
Edmonton Journal October 19, 2009 - David Younie and Shadow were destined to be good friends. He loves cats and she is one, and both live at the Strathcona Alzheimer Care Centre.
Being: an approach to dementia care Senior Care Canada, second quarter 2009
CTV News June 6, 2008 - Furry new neighbours move into continuing care centre
Edmonton Sun, June 7, 2008 - Critters delight city seniors
Edmonton Journal, May 10, 2008 - Breathing new life into your job
November 19, 2008 - Institute for Continuing Care Education and Research selects interim director
June 6, 2008 - Miniature horse and pot-bellied pig arrive at summer home at continuing care centre
February 8, 2008 - Futurist Richard Worzel speaks about the Challenges of the Future of Health Care at the People & Progress Conference
February 6, 2008 - Life or Death: Who decides? Panel of experts discusses treatment decisions at the end of life at the People & Progress Conference.
March 7, 2016 - Walk with Me Conference 2016
“I’m told that progress and change can be measured in baby steps, and my response is ‘I don’t have time for baby steps."
- Jim Mann, living with Alzheimer’s since the age of 58
4-Year old raises $3K for "Grannies and Grandpas"
Izzy participated in her first Run for Brave 4 years ago - from a jogging stroller pushed by her mother. Izzy has been training and fundraising for this year's 5K walk since December.
Edmonton philanthropist recognized for $100,000 donation to nursing home dining room project
Donald Oborowsky, co-founder and CEO of Waiward Steel, presented CapitalCare Foundation with a cheque for $100,000 towards improving dining rooms for people living in CapitalCare long-term care facilities.
CapitalCare showcases home-style cooking, dining in long-term care centres
July 31 2012 Edmonton – On the eve of revealing the second phase of dining room renovations to its long-term care centres in Edmonton, CapitalCare - the country’s largest public continuing care provider - showcased its new home-style meal program, serving up lunch to media and special guests.
April 29, 2010 - Palliative care hospice like dying at home. Family gives back to hospice for care and support received.
January 30, 2009 - Creating a caring culture in long term care discussed at conference
January 30, 2009 - WestJet “culture guru” Don Bell discusses corporate culture at conference