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Decorated doors in Calgary seniors home capture true spirit of Christmas

Decorated doors in Calgary seniors home captures true spirit of Christmas
WATCH: Staff at a seniors supportive living residence in Calgary have gone above and beyond this holiday season, decking out the halls at St. Teresa Place. As Jill Croteau reports, the festive spirit is really contagious.

It started out as team-building idea to recruit the staff at St. Teresa Place.

Management devised a contest to decorate the doors of their offices at the seniors supportive living residence in Calgary’s northeast community of Redstone.

The resident care manager, Kera Redlack, is impressed at how the staff invested in this idea.

More decorated doors.
More decorated doors. Jill Croteau/Global News

“I don’t think anybody anticipated what it would turn into — that’s where the magic has tied in,” Redlack said.

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It has gone way beyond the traditional tinsel and garland.

Mandy Wright is a recreational therapist for St. Teresa. She said the project has fostered camaraderie among colleagues.

“It’s amazing what they collaborated with and worked as a team to execute this,” Wright said.

Staff wrapped all their office doors.
Staff wrapped all their office doors. Jill Croteau/Global News

They all levelled it up, working into the night hours, adorning all four floors of the residence. It inspired the seniors to dress up their own doors.

“Oh I love it. I think it’s so festive,” resident Jean Brandelli said.

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The 87-year-old said it brought back good memories.

“In my day, we only had paper. We used a lot of crepe paper to make decorations, but this is excellent,” Brandelli said.

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Resident Ellen Giroux was very moved by all the efforts to embellish their living spaces.

“It brings tears to my eyes,” Giroux said.

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“It’s a hard time of the year for some of us and they’ve done everything they possibly can to make this beautiful to us, so I’m really grateful to them.”

It reminds her of Christmases past.

“I had a mother who was like a Miss Walt Disney and my childhood was filled with magic and imagination,” Giroux said. “I was so close to my parents. I didn’t realize how much they gave me until I came to a place like this.”

Many used their imagination using paper cups to create a snowman.
Many used their imagination using paper cups to create a snowman. Jill Croteau/Global News

There are close to 245 residents living in this community. They have all been invited to vote on their favorite decorated door.

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“This is how you make it real. This is how you bring home into home-like living.

“When you can make a resident feel like, ‘This is home,’ and remind them of the things they wanted to have, then you’ve achieved your mission,” Redlack said.

No door is left without decorations.
No door is left without decorations. Jill Croteau/Global News

Staff said this has reduced workplace stress over the holiday season. They’re continuing to add decorations to their desks and other work spaces.