Remembrance Day at Kipnes Centre for Veterans
November 10, 2023 - Remembrance Day has special meaning at the Kipnes Centre for Veterans. The centre has been home to veterans since 2005 and provides a space of unique connection where veterans who served in conflicts around the world share experiences, stories, and favorite activities. This Remembrance Day the Great Room at Kipnes will host the centres’ veterans and their families for the traditional service.
“Attending the ceremony at Kipnes you can feel the importance of this day,” says Bonnie Roberts, Site Director at the Kipnes Centre for Veterans. “Our residents have a unique shared history that they connect on every day, sharing jokes and old rivalries between service branches or squadrons. But on November 11th they are remembering the shared conflicts and struggles, and the people who are not here to share stories.”
Veterans living at the Kipnes Centre help to create the Remembrance Day service, including forming the color party, laying wreaths, and providing readings. Other residents and their visitors are encouraged to recognize Remembrance Day in the manner they wish in their own neighborhoods.
Currently the centre is home to nine WWII veterans, five Korean War veterans along with 28 Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) veterans, those who served Canada since the Korean War, three Allied veterans, who served for other countries, and 14 spouses of veterans who also reside at the Kipnes Centre.
This Remembrance Day will see the return of the support from the 408 Tactical Helicopter Squadron along with the support from other community and military groups and our Kipnes volunteers.
Following the service, residents will gather for a social hour connecting with family and friends over stories of remembrance.
Links: A history of Remembrance at Kipnes Centre for Veterans:
Spirit of Remembrance Spirit of remembrance is year-round at Edmonton centre for veterans | Edmonton Journal
Creating connection edmonton-sun-article-nov-11-2019.pdf (capitalcare.net)
The new Gene Zwozdesky Centre at Norwood is ready to welcome residents.
October 31, 2023 - CapitalCare celebrated the government’s opening of the Norwood West building at the Gene Zwozdesky Centre. This new centre expands on CapitalCare’s leadership in continuing care and puts people at the centre of care. A phased move-in of residents and programs is underway and will continue through to November.
“This centre has been about residents and supportive, independent living from the very beginning,” says Aileen Wong, COO of CapitalCare. “From the light that will reach each resident’s room to the gardens they can walk through, this building puts people first.”
The Norwood West building design creates a home-like environment for residents, a rooftop garden, plenty of green space and the unique ability to provide daylight to the 234 resident rooms.
“Residents have talked for months about the possibilities of the new building – how we can get coffee, and a snack from the Tuck shop,” says Helen Gulevich, Co-Chair of the Norwood Resident Council. “We’ll be the first residents to explore the new spaces, the new gardens and build new routines.”
The building expands continuing care capacity in Edmonton and will provide acute care services that will alleviate care services in hospitals. Norwood West also includes the opening of the CHOICE Norwood programs. This will create greater support for healthy, independent living in the community. The CHOICE program has already moved in and is open to the public.
CapitalCare staff and the team at Norwood have been working throughout the summer to ensure residents are ready for the move.
The CapitalCare Foundation has supported the development of many of the living and green spaces in the Gene Zwozdesky Centre. The Foundation’s “Stepping Up” campaign will support the new building in areas beyond government funding. It will support beautification of the garden areas, family visiting spaces, unique art spaces throughout the building and leading-edge equipment for rehabilitation and quality of life.
Fundraising has also supported the development of the training and research centre, which will create space and supports to advance innovation in continuing care.
You can support the Foundation’s continued work toward a goal of $6.3 million here.
With the completion of the Norwood West building, construction will now focus on the renovation of the Angus McGugan Pavilion.
Volunteers Create a Memorable Summer
September 1, 2023 - As summer comes to a close, we would like to take this opportunity to thank our summer volunteers! The great weather and the ability to get outside meant there were more opportunities for our residents to get out and enjoy the activities they love. Our summer youth volunteers did an amazing job helping our staff with activities, music, games, and taking residents out for a walk in the beautiful weather.
This year 178 youth volunteers dedicated over 5200 hours to walks with residents, completing puzzles, and chats about life. Thanks to all who helped create a memorable summer for our residents this year! We also want to acknowledge the excellent organizing and recruitment work of our two student Summer Youth Volunteer Coordinators, Nivas M and Simran S.
The Summer Youth Volunteer Program accepts volunteers aged 12 and older, but volunteers of all ages are welcome throughout the year. Check out all of our volunteer opportunities and be sure to join our youth volunteer team next summer!
Gene Zwozdesky Centre Norwood
March 24, 2023 - CapitalCare officially received the keys to the new Gene Zwozdesky Centre at Norwood. As a leader in continuing care, this new centre of excellence will enhance CapitalCare’s ability to provide innovative programs focused on complex continuing care and seniors’ well-being. The state-of-the-art centre is a space of new technology, specialty programs including a community paramedic program, a dental clinic, and hemodialysis among others.
"This is about more than new spaces. It is about creating new homes for residents that provide a fulfilling life. This modern expansion will serve the needs of the diverse population who need continuing care,” says Chief Operating Officer, Aileen Wong. “I know we all look forward to seeing the rooms take shape and are excited to welcome residents, and the public, later this year.”
The Gene Zwozdesky Centre reflects the evolution of continuing care. It features a rooftop garden, and plenty of green space with the unique design allowing for daylight in all 234 of the private resident rooms.
“I know our staff are incredibly excited to begin the work of moving into this modern facility,” says Site Director Mike Rickson. “We have been hard at work getting our staff and programs ready and we’re excited for this next phase.”
CapitalCare Foundation has been hard at work fundraising for many of the additional unique features in the Gene Zwozdesky Centre. The Foundation’s “Stepping Up” campaign will support the new building in areas beyond government funding. It will support beautification of the garden areas, family visiting spaces, unique art spaces throughout the building and leading-edge equipment for rehabilitation and quality-of-life.
Angels Make Christmas Special for Residents in Need
Christmas morning was made special for residents of CapitalCare centres who do not have family or friends involved in their care when a gift arrived for them marked “from someone who cares.” Read More.
Together 4 Health Headlines.
June 7, 2021 - On May 20, approximately 120 residents enjoyed going through a custom-made Tim Hortons drive-thru at the CapitalCare Kipnes Centre for Veterans in Edmonton. Read More.
CapitalCare Kipnes Centre for Veterans resident Donna McCallum was a “hard working farm mom,” according to her son Stuart, raising her family on a 160-acre farm west of Edmonton in the Winterburn area, along with tending to chickens, pigs, cows, and a huge garden. Read More.
Seniors group show appreication for 170 Street pedestrian overpass replacement
July 9, 2021 - Edmonton Journal - A small crowd of seniors gathered outside of Laurier House Lynnwood for the appreciation ceremony of the new and improved pedestrain bridge. Read More.
Alberta Budget 2021
Global News - The provincial budget was delivered by Finance Minister Travis Toews, including detailed plans to spend $246 million on the Gene Zwozdesky Centre at Norwood over the next three years. Read More.
Long-term care residents receive second shot of COVID-19 vaccine.
February 5, 2021 - A little bit more hope has been injected into local long-term care centres.
CapitalCare Strathcona residents have received their second doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Read More.
CapitalCare Lynnwood now COVID-19 free.
January 23, 2021 - CTV News - “We are grateful for the support of our families and staff as we worked through this challenging time,” Bonnie Roberts, Site Director at CapitalCare Lynnwood. CapitalCare Lynnwood is now COVID-free. Read More.
The Sherwood Park News - Sometimes you just need a reminder that someone is thinking of you and that you're loved. Armed with 60 care packages and signs of encouragement, Strathcona Christian Academy grade 10 to 12 students paid a physically distanced outdoor visit to CapitalCare Strathcona residents. Read more.
CapitalCare Strathocona residents feeling the love amid the pandemic.
January 29, 2021 - The Sherwood Park News - Sometimes you just need a reminder that someone is thinking of you and that you're loved. Armed with 60 care packages and signs of encouragement, Strathcona Christian Academy grade 10 to 12 students paid a physically distanced outdoor visit to CapitalCare Strathcona residents. Read more.
What you need to know about mRNA vaccines
January 23, 2021 - When the opportunity came to get the mRNA COVID-19 vaccine, Sahra Kaahiye, a respiratory therapist at CapitalCare Norwood, she decided to get it. At first, Kaahiye was worried about getting it but then she said she did her homework. Read More.
CapitalCare resident Vera Saunders, marks 108th birthday
Edmonton AM with Mark Connolly, Tara McCarthy - Aug. 7, 2020: 108th birthday - "She lived through the Spanish Flu, and friends and neighbours perished in that flu, but here she is today, and because of their care & precautions, she's still with us and well." Read More.
Listen to the complete interview with CapitalCare Laurier House Lynnwood resident Vera Saunders and her family on the occasion her 108th birthday.
Social Distancing at its best at CapitalCare Dickinsfield
July 5, 2020 - Continuing Care Safety Association - In this new COVID world, we have adopted a new vocabulary. One of the terms we now hear on a daily basis is social distancing. When the announcement came that families of residents were allowed to have outdoor visits, the staff at CapitalCare Dickinsfield were very excited...Read More.
CBC’s Tara McCarthy paid Dickinsfield a visit to deliver cards to some residents.
May 7, 2020 - CBC News - It was heartwarming moment as she waved through the window to residents and handed over a stack of personalized messages from CBC announcers. Watch the story here.
Edmonton Dance Company gives outdoor performance to CapitalCare Dickinsfield seniors
May 6, 2020 - Global News - A group of Edmonton dancers from a local dance studio, Dance Theme, are taking performances off the stage and onto the sidewalk for residents at CapitalCare Dickinisfield. Read More.
Staying Connected at Kipnes Centre for Veterans during COVID-19
Alberta Prime Time - April 14, 2020 - Seniors residences a bastion of connection and care: At CapitalCare homes in Edmonton and area, staff are sharing ideas and likewise creating inventive ways for residents and families to stay connected. From technology-focused tablets, cellphones, face-time, Skype and Zoom sessions, to old-school postcards and letters, the goal is to keep life as normal as possible while maintaining the health and safety of residents. Read more... Read More.
Revamped Norwood care centre to honour the late Gene Zwozdesky
February 26, 2020 - Edmonton Journal - It was truly a wonderful moment on Monday when the new name was revealed for the expansion and re-development of the Norwood CapitalCare.... Read More .
Community benefits from globetrotting opera singer
February 10, 2020 Edmonton Journal - Edmonton born-and-raised opera singer, Darcia Parada, sang with the folks at the Kipnes Centre for Veterans at the Love is in the Air fundraiser to purchase Wi-Fi internet service for the centre's residents. Read More.
Kipnes Centre veteran celebrates big milestone
January 9, 2020 Edmonton Sun - Gordon King became Edmonton's last centenarian. Friends and family gathered at the Kipnes Centre for Veterans to celebrate the milestone. Read More.
Giving the Gift of Time
He survived the war, including the “great escape” from a German prison. Now, as he approaches his 100th birthday, Gordon King’s new-found friendship with an 87-year-old war enthusiast might just be the medicine both men need to keep fighting the war on loneliness.
The holidays are traditionally a period for reflection and catching up with friends and family. Seniors living in care homes often struggle over the holidays, even though there are an abundance of residents, staff, volunteers and activities.
“We know that those who are more connected with their family and friends lead longer, happier, and healthier lives,” says Jodi Hall, Chair of the Canadian Association for Long-Term Care (CALTC)
The CALTC is asking people to give those living in long-term care the gift of time this holiday season.
“By reaching out during the festive season to elderly family members or friends, we can make a huge difference in someone’s quality of life.”
Gordon King, 99, has lived at the CapitalCare Kipnes Centre for Veterans for three years. His family visits often, but the days can still be long.
Gene Sabo, 87, lives in the community and started coming to the Day Program at the Kipnes Centre this spring. Day Programs provide socialization and exercise to keep frail seniors healthy and living in the community as long as possible.
Gordon and Gene connected after discovering they had a mutual interest in war stories and memorabilia.
The two visit with each other every Monday and Wednesday while Sabo attends the Day Program.
“Mr. King always has a smile for me and we are always glad to see each other and spend time together,” says Mr. Sabo. “We can be content to just sit together. We don’t have to talk all the time. Sometimes we just hold hands.”
“CapitalCare Kipnes Centre for Veterans is a very special place,” says Gene’s daughter Shelley. “Caring staff create the conditions for natural friendships to nurture and grow. Being part of a community where one feels like they belong is known to be good for one’s well-being.”
“Human contact is so important. It is so needed in a place like this. Maybe it does not seem like much, but it means a lot to both of us. We hope our friendship encourages other friendships to grow.”
Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado's visit to Edmonton
September 12, 2019 - Her Imperial Highness Princess Takamado of Japan visited CapitalCare McConnell Place North last month to learn about our model for dementia care. Her Imperial Highness was in Edmonton to celebrate the 90th Anniversary of diplomatic relations beween Japan and Canada. Read More.
Volunteers keep soldiers past and present connected
November 11, 2019 - On Remembrance Day and always we remember our veterans - those brave men and women who went to war for our country. Read More.
Slow revolution in seniors' care a welcome boon for Edmonton
July 9, 2019, Edmonton Journal - Edmonton is serveral years in a much needed revolution in seniors' care. It started about five to seven years ago, when several local leaders toured dementia-care facilities in the Netherlands and brought expert Dr. David Sheard here to speak. Read More.
Resident of the Year - Justin Cooper
You wouldn’t think someone living in a nursing home is an avid collector of Funko Pops and a small-time, livestream gamer. But at just 24 years old, Justin Cooper is not only one of the most well-known residents of CapitalCare Dickinsfield, he’s also this year’s “Resident of the Year.”
“This year’s recipient has demonstrated that age and disability do not separate him from others, and this is evident in the relationships he has built with other residents in the facility, young and old alike,” care manager Brent Huculak told Justin’s peers and family, who gathered June 5 for the presentation of the annual award, typically presented during Seniors’ Week.
“Justin has a special charisma about him that makes others want to befriend him,” Huculak continued. “He always has time to talk with others, always offers to help, and shares his interests and passions with others.”
One of Justin’s interests is in online gaming. He was recently featured in an article about how gamers with disabilities find acceptance and inclusion in the digital world. Cooper’s technical competence is appreciated by staff and peers at Dickinsfield as well.
“We refer to him as our own in-house ‘geek squad,” says Huculak, referring to Justin’s willingness to assist whenever someone is having difficulty with their televisions, tablets or digital devices.
Cooper, who recently graduated from the Radio and Television Arts program at NAIT, and can be seen on video giving virtual tours of the centre, dreams of getting a job in broadcasting someday.
Meantime, with his positive attitude and great communications skills, he contents himself with building bridges between residents who have difficulty expressing their needs, and staff. “It’s my way of giving back,” says Cooper.
So how does Cooper, who was just 19 when he came to live at Dickinsfield, feel about living amongst older people?
”I’ve learned so much just talking to people here. We’re all just people. We like interacting just as much as anyone else.”
“Honestly, it’s gotten to be my home, and the staff…I think of them as my family.”
Part 5 of a 5 part series
In the present decade, Dickinsfield has focused on modernizing the building to support CapitalCare’s journey towards person-centred care.
Dickinsfield was one of three CapitalCare centres to renovate its dining rooms with funds raised by the CapitalCare Foundation’s Cooking Up Quality of Life campaign. Nine new dining rooms were redone between 2013 and 2014.
The new dining rooms led to mealtimes becoming more person-centred.
“Residents look forward to mealtimes,” says site director Tracey Buffam. “It’s the single biggest change we can make to improve their quality of life, and that’s what residents and families want most from us.”
Person-centered care is about knowing and respecting the resident as a whole person – hot just treating their medical needs – and helping them to live fully.
Improvements to the physical structure are made with this in mind, such as the addition of Connect Corner in the fall of 2017. Connect Corner and family relaxation area provides opportunities and equipment for residents to connect with their families and friends through Skype and other social media, therefore maintaining important relationships, which contributes to quality of life.
Dickinsfield is also making changes to accommodate the changing needs of people coming into continuing care. The swimming pool, which had closed in the previous decade and was a disused space, was renovated in 2018 into a modern space for the Young Adult Day Support program.
The space used by the YADS program is now being used as a day support program for people with dementia living in their own homes.
One thing that hasn’t changed at Dickinsfield since it first opened its doors is its commitment to caring. “Over the years we’ve made a difference in people’s lives and for staff, there’s great satisfaction in that,” says Buffam.
Part 4 of a 5 part series
In the 2000s, the trend towards smaller, more home-like long-term care facilities, the creation of Alberta Health Services, and the increasing complexity of people’s care needs caused further changes at Dickinsfield.
In 2005, renovations began to install kitchens on the units where residents lived. Main D, where the young adults live, was the first dining room to get a “servery,” a trend that would continue over the next decade throughout the centre.
CapitalCare’s central pharmacy, located at Dickinsfield, benefitted from advanced technology and medication delivery became more efficient, allowing CapitalCare centres to manage the complexity of conditions in people coming into continuing care.
Another corporate service department - materials management- amalgamated with Alberta Health Services, and the old Stores space at Dickinsfield was closed. This lead to another CapitalCare first: a classroom in a continuing care centre.
In partnership with NorQuest College, a Practical Nurse training program was offered at Dickinsfield. Students and residents alike benefitted from the daily contact and
students gained practical experience in the continuing care sector, which was experiencing a shortage of trained workers at the time. Several graduates of the program went on to work at Dickinsfield or other continuing care centres.
Part 3 of a 5 part series
If the 80s were about expanding nursing support to specialized populations, then the 90s were about expanding nursing care and services to the community.
In 1993, Dickinsfield led the way by introducing the Young Adult Day Support (YADS) program. This program enabled participants between the ages of 18 and 55 to come to the centre for social and rehabilitative activities, while still living at home and maintaining their independence.
In 1996, CapitalCare (known then as The Capital Care Group) took the concept of caring for young adults to the next level by opening the Young Adult Duplexes - care housing in the community - as a satellite of
Dickinsfield. Fourteen residents from the YAU who could live with more independence were moved to the Duplexes, located in a residential neighborhood on Edmonton’s north side.
That same year, Dickinsfield began operating CapitalCare’s first CHOICE (Comprehensive Home Option of Integrated Care) program, a day program designed to help seniors stay in their own home longer. Participants travel by bus to the CHOICE centre where they can socialize with other seniors, participate in activities and get support for their medical needs.
Part 2 of a 5 part series
In the 1980s long-term care in Alberta started to head in new directions. Programs were developed for specialized populations and Dickinsfield’s home-like setting made it an ideal setting for young adults with disabilities.
In 1984, Dickinsfield opened the Young Adult Unit (YAU) - one of only two such units in the province and a first for CapitalCare. To accommodate the unique interests and more active lifestyles of a younger population, Dickinsfield adopted a look and feel that was more rec room than nursing home; plush carpeting, wood paneling, sofa sets, coffee tables, fireplaces and even a shuffleboard started to make their way into the centre’s décor.
In Dickinsfield’s auditorium, residents could gather to watch the Oilers and the Eskimos rather than Lawrence Welk, play wheelchair floor hockey, and dance. The young and old mixed at pub nights in the centre’s social club, The Great Escape.
Connie Bleau has worked at Dickinsfield since 1986, where she started as a STEP Student in Recreation Therapy, and she managed seven different departments before becoming Care Manager. She recalls taking residents of the YAU on different trips. “We took some of the residents on a trip to Las Vegas, and we took some of them to Expo 86. Those were nice experiences for them.”
Part 1 of a 5 part series
When the Dickinsfield Extended Care Centre opened in 1979, it was a state-of-the-art building that set a new standard for long-term care facilities.
As the first facility in Alberta to combine auxiliary hospital and nursing home levels of care in a home-like setting, Dickinsfield led the way with establishing specialized units and programs to accommodate entirely new populations of people needing long-term care.
Forty years later, CapitalCare Dickinsfield has earned its reputation for providing quality long-term care for both young and older adults, and is modernizing its once award-winning building to pave the way for its latest endeavour - person-centred care.
In the 70s, Edmonton had experienced a major construction boom. Between 1971 and 1978 the city had built Commonwealth Stadium, the Edmonton Coliseum, the Muttart Conservatory, and the Kinsmen Sports Centre. By the end of the decade, it seemed as though Edmonton had it all.
CapitalCare, then-Hospital District #24, was already operating three auxiliary hospitals (Norwood, Lynnwood and Grandview) as well as the new Angus McGugan Nursing Home (at Norwood). However, there was a need for a long-term care centre on the city’s north side.
In 1974, Roger Parker, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, approved planning for the new Dickinsfield Extended Care Centre. The idea was to integrate auxiliary hospital care - the highest level of continuing care - with nursing home level care, in one, less institutional and more home-like setting. Combining these two levels of care meant that residents would not have to relocate as their medical conditions changed.
On May 28, 1979, the 300-bed Dickinsfield Extended Care Centre officially opened its’ doors. Not only did the centre offer the only integrated care in Alberta, it also boasted an impressive rehabilitation centre - including a pool where residents could work on muscle therapy- and a pub.
It had an on-site pharmacy, which dispensed pharmaceuticals for all of CapitalCare’s sites; a warehouse (called Stores) for materials used by the centres; and heated underground parking for staff. The building was so impressive it earned the 1979 Architectural Award from the City of Edmonton.
Many staff for the new centre relocated from CapitalCare’s three other centres to work closer to where they lived. Nursing attendant Adrien Mortensen joined Dickinsfield a week before it opened and recalled spending her first days on the job cleaning the building from the construction, then admitting 10 residents a day to unit Main C/D.
“It was hard work,” she said, “but it was fun too because the building was so new.”
Among the first residents to be admitted was a married couple. One advantage of the two levels of care at Dickinsfield is that married couples with differing needs could remain together.
Besides its state-of-the art building and trained staff, Dickinsfield benefitted from the efforts of a core group of dedicated volunteers. The Dickinsfield Auxiliary formed three months prior to the centre opening and had already swung into action, assisting staff members with admissions, then conducting tours and serving tea to guests on opening day.
The Auxiliary established the Tuck Shop to sell toiletries, snacks and some gift items and to generate funds to provide residents with extra amenities that government funding did not cover. These included pianos, a resident bus, and a chapel among many other things.
Angela Bennett is Dickinsfield’s Coordinator of Volunteer Services. “We cannot do without their support, and every day that they continue to serve CapitalCare Dickinsfield is a blessing for our residents and ourselves,” says Angela. “Volunteers are the unsung heroes who give their time and talents to improve quality of life for our residents.”
Next week we will hear how Dickinsfield expanded through the 80s with a program for young adults with disabilities.