Celebrating Life


Celebrating Life

My mom and dad love their neighbourhood. They have lived in the same house in Sherwood Park for 56 years – the house I grew up in. It was devastating on so many levels when my mom’s dementia forced us to find a new place for her to live. My dad, my brother, and I all knew it was the best decision for her, but I cried buckets for weeks just the same.

I am so grateful that she found a place at CapitalCare Strathcona. We all are. It’s a fantastic centre with clean comfortable rooms. And it’s only a seven-minute drive from the house where they created a lifetime of memories.

Most importantly it’s filled to bursting with caring and kind staff. I can tell that they all genuinely love my mom. And everyone makes such an effort to make it feel like home.

Having a great place like CapitalCare to call home is so important. I can tell you from my firsthand experience that started in February of 2015. You see, my mom was 89 at the time and had been in the hospital for about two and half months after a fall that broke her pelvis. She also suffers from mild Parkinson’s and has a diagnosis of dementia. Our family was told in the hospital that she needed to go into care.

The staff told my dad, who has health concerns and is elderly himself, that he really shouldn’t be trying to look after her any longer now that she needed more advanced care. That was hard to wrap our heads around. It was very devastating for him. But we understood that it would really be, in the end, the best thing for her. 

So we set about putting that process into motion. We met with a social worker at the hospital and very quickly were able to go to the CapitalCare Strathcona centre for a visit and tour. We had an amazing tour guide. Her name is Georgie, and she’s the social worker there. She gave us a tour of the centre that was filled with important information and details, but also with a lot of empathy and compassion.

We felt as though this was a caring place. This really was somewhere that we would feel comfortable moving my mom into. Both dad and I walked away from that tour with a good feeling. When an opening became available, we went to the centre and we met again with Georgie. She did all the move-in information with us and took care of everything. It all came with a lot of care and compassion, and that continues to this day.

I’m so glad my dad lives nearby and can visit my mom often. She gets excellent care. She’s well-loved by the professionals at the centre and she’s actually doing well. I know in my heart that she is where she needs to be. 

At my mom’s centre, they have a beautiful room called Le Petit Jardin, which has recently undergone a complete transformation into a beautiful, peaceful oasis full of plants, comfortable furniture, and soft light. There’s also a little fairy garden and a new centre pet, Pablo the Parrot, both of which bring great joy and meaningful interactive activities to the seniors in care. That’s all thanks to donors.

I know at other CapitalCare centres, donors have helped purchase special dining room chairs and tables that are specially designed with adjustable heights to accommodate the many residents in wheelchairs. This really enhances residents’ comfort and experience at meals. Donors also fund important programs like Music Care which has a profound positive effect on residents, especially for those with dementia and other cognitive issues. All of this means that hundreds of seniors in our community can continue to enjoy a full life in their later years.

And that just adds to the caring, the compassion, the respectfulness and the dignity that my mom is treated to by the staff that are in her centre. You know, it doesn’t matter if it’s housekeeping, nursing staff, the physiotherapist, or the social worker, she is uniformly treated so wonderfully and with so much care and compassion, and understanding of her and who she is. It’s quite lovely to watch.

I felt that caring compassion right from when my dad and I did the tour over two years ago and that has never waivered. I’ve never seen anything but just genuine caring and support. That, to me, really and truly is the thing that stands out!

I feel at peace with the fact that she is living in a care facility. She has excellent medical care. She likes the food that she’s fed. She’s treated well. There are activities for her to attend if she chooses to. She has a comfortable room and a comfortable bed. There are lots of things for her to try, to just give her the best quality of life, even if there are, at the age of 91, limits that weren’t there before.

I’m so grateful that we have the CapitalCare centres and wonderful people in our community who are contributing to make the centres feel more like home.

This is important to me personally, because it affects my mom. But on a deeper level, I’ve always felt that our seniors deserve great care and to live with dignity. I’m sure you’d agree. After all they’re our moms and dads and the people who built our communities that we enjoy today.

Sincerely yours,
Joelle Banasch-Campbell
Daughter of CapitalCare resident, Maurine

P.S. Make a donation today by clicking Donate Now at the top of this page.





Meet the Sarjas Family… A Family that Supports

On any given day you will see at least one member of this incredible family at CapitalCare Strathcona visiting their loved one Joseph Sarjas, a resident living with dementia. The whole family has become a welcome addition to the centre. 

Like many families, four years ago the Sarjas Family had to find a new home for their father Joseph as he could no longer stay in his home. They choose CapitalCare Strathcona because of its location near their own homes. Since then, the family has come together and has become very involved in the centre. This includes sitting on various committees and dedicating a lot of their time raising funds for the centre. The bonus - Joseph always has family around!The best piece of advice the family has to give for new families in the same situation is “it’s okay to get involved and it’s good to meet family members going through the same struggles as you.” Angela, Joseph’s daughter, says “Give where you live” cause Dad’s community is our community now.



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