The Aspirations that Drive a Culture Change Quest

Each village enhances life for residents in different ways

By Kristian Partington

As Schlegel Villages continues its journey to reshape the way care and support is offered for the residents who make their home in the villages, team members are constantly drawn back to eight “aspirations statements” to guide them. 

   Residents and team members alike thrive when
everyone aspires to share meaning and joy together. 

Every education program and team development opportunity is focused on creating and nurturing an environment where these aspirations can flourish and enhance quality of life for each resident.

The aspirations are to: Create Opportunities for Meaningful and Shared Activities; Foster Authentic Relationships; Promote Resident Empowerment; Honour Cultural Diversity; Connect Research and Innovation to Village Life; Offer Flexible Dining; Promote Cross-Functional Teams; and Offer Flexible Living.

Examples of how each of these aspirations comes to life are many. They come from the corners of each neighbourhood in every village through one-on-one interactions or from the centres of Town Squares in large group gatherings.

They happen when residents at Erin Meadows come together with team members to plant heirloom tomatoes they’ve chosen together, eagerly awaiting the spring warmth as they share stories of their past.   

They happen when the chefs at Riverside Glen decide to offer fine dining options in unique one-off menus, giving residents a chance to treat themselves, or when their fellow team members offer the support and encouragement a resident needs to achieve the goals she sets in life.  

They happen when team members and residents get together to make videos at Wentworth Heights to promote active living, and they happen when residents from University Gates join forces with young people to become a musical force.

When residents are empowered to live on their own terms in the Villages, then life takes on new meaning, despite the fact they’ve entered a stage that societal stereotypes tend to dismiss. This is what the quest to Change the Culture of Aging is about: an understanding that meaning, purpose, growth and joy can all be found beyond the stage where the support of long-term care or retirement setting is required.   

When we share the stories of these successes, we shine a light upon the possibility that exists for meaning, purpose and joy to thrive for all the people connected to Village life: residents, team members, families, volunteers and partners.