When I heard that Generations Calgary had accepted my Nanimaa (grandmother) as a resident in late March, I had mixed emotions. I was elated at the opportunity for her to be in a new, cutting-edge, community based multi-generational housing facility. But I was also equally concerned that she was moving into a place with other seniors during a global pandemic crisis. I had read about the difficult experiences of seniors at other Canadian care homes and it really worried me.
Three months later and in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, I could not be happier or feel safer for Nanimaa. The Generations Calgary Team is so caring, professional and careful in their approach. This place is truly unique – in addition to incredible staff, volunteers and families rallying together, Generations is committed to upholding Nanimaa’s dignity, safety and care. When I was told that Generations would require their staff to work only at this site and no other facility as a matter of added safety, I knew that Nanimaa was living at a place that cared about her wellbeing as much as I did.
On June 26, as we celebrated my Nanimaa’s 95th birthday at her window, I was informed of the first COVID-19 case at Generations Calgary. I immediately felt a sense of fear and panic. However, when I learned about the efforts the Generations Team was taking to protect Nanimaa, my fear turned to comfort and gratitude to the staff that care so much about her safety. The Generations team communicates with my family and I almost daily, with updates on Nanimaa’s health and safety – from facility and outbreak updates, additional testing measures, enhanced cleaning and PPE rules and much more, all to take better care of Nanimaa and her neighbours. I feel comfortable and confident with the care she is receiving and I am grateful, every minute of every day for the way that the staff and care aides look after Nanimaa and her friends.
My recent visits with Nanimaa have been limited to seeing her at her window, and using our phones to communicate with her. Yes, Nanimaa can Zoom with the best of them! This has been a bit of a struggle, but what has made it easier is seeing the smiling faces of the nurses that regularly check in with Nanimaa, to make sure that she is comfortable and happy.
Generations Calgary is a wonderful example of a community coming together to support our elderly as well as those who care for them. This is a place that my Nanimaa can be healthy spiritually, physically and mentally, belong to a vibrant community, and be the best that she can be with a high quality of life. It is a place that she can call home and as one of her favourite granddaughters, this makes me really happy.
To all of the staff at Generations: From the bottom of my heart, I thank you every single day for all that you do. Your skill, hard work and genuine care for my grandmother and all of the residents warms my heart. You are what makes Generations Calgary an extra special place for Nanimaa to call her home.
From Tasneem Rahim, One of Nanimaa’s Favourite Granddaughters
Article originally published by the Ismaili Institutions for Canada.