The recreation centre was alive with activity as Hazel and Charlie made their way from session to session. Hazel already had a few goodies and information packages in hand from some of the booths they had visited. Although they were fortunate to have already made the decision to move into seniors housing, and were enjoying their community, there was still a lot to learn.
Charlie had recommended that they attend the Seniors Housing Forum at the Central Lions Seniors Recreation Centre. Even though there were many activities to partake in at the Manor, Charlie felt that there might be other places in the community that could offer Hazel some additional comfort and support. Hazel had been a little reluctant, but had to admit that Charlie had a point. Getting out and meeting new people was a good distraction from the emptiness she was feeling trying to do the things at home she usually had done with Millie. Now, she had so many ideas of things to do, she didn’t quite know where to start.
After enjoying a free lunch, they made their way into the exhibit hall. Exhibitors were offering even more information on practically everything you could think of related to seniors housing and services in the Edmonton area. Charlie busied himself by filling out ballots for all the door prizes being offered, while Hazel took her time chatting with each representative about the services they offered.
“Do you have time to fill out a survey?,” a friendly lady offered from behind one of the tables. Hazel was ready to shake her head, but Charlie noticed that participants had a chance to win a gift card, so he took one of the surveys from the pile and started filling it out. The booth representative smiled. “Are you enjoying the event?,” the lady asked. Charlie was too busy chewing a muffin to answer. Hazel decided she would have to be the one to speak for them. “Yes, we’re having a very nice afternoon.” Then Hazel noticed the signs. “Oh, you’re with ASCHA! Charlie and I used your online Housing Directory when we were looking for our new place.” The lady from behind the table smiled. “I take it you found a place then?” Hazel nodded enthusiastically. “Oh yes. We’re really happy with it too. The only thing that confused us was what your association did. We thought you helped people decide where to live, but that’s not quite how it works does it?” The lady chuckled. “No, not quite. ASCHA represents the owners and operators of seniors housing, just like a hotel association would represent all the different types of hotels in Alberta. So, we don’t make any recommendations, as that would be a bit biased when you represent almost all of them. But we can provide seniors with a full list of options in their area. Then they can decide what’s best for them, or search for the specific services or amenities they need. It really comes down to choice.” Hazel agreed. “Absolutely. I had a fall shortly before we moved in, and we almost lost a lot of decision making power. It’s important to make decisions when you still have a lot of choice and the time to check around.”
Charlie and Hazel stopped to chat with a few other booth representatives, and enjoyed meeting some of the other seniors at the event. Overall, it had been a very good afternoon, with a lot of useful takeaways…including a free dinner voucher Charlie had won in one of the draws.
Are you a senior or family member in the Edmonton area looking for more information about seniors housing? The Seniors Association of Greater Edmonton will be hosting its annual Seniors Housing Forum at the Central Lions Senior Centre this Saturday from 9:00 am – 2:30 pm. For more information, or to register, please follow the link below.
And if you do end up attending, be sure to stop by the ASCHA booth and say hi to Shannon. She’ll be there with goodies and will be asking seniors about their thoughts on the language and terminology used to describe seniors housing in Alberta.
See you there!