A long term care centre in south east Calgary has officially closed its doors after 50 years.
The residents of Clifton Manor have moved across the street to the newly opened Clifton House.
Glen McKinley’s retirement years are not what he expected: his wife Trisha has had dementia for years now.
When her needs became too great, Trisha moved from the couple’s home to Clifton Manor, a long term care centre in Forest Lawn run by the Brenda Strafford Foundation.
“It’s been quite a journey,” Glen said. “Every day we just take it a day at a time. We just don’t know what tomorrow’s going to bring.”
He spends many hours nearly every day visiting his wife of 49 years. It was a painful decision to place Trisha in a long term care facility but made easier knowing she was in good hands.
“I love the staff. The care she gets is just phenomenal,” Glen said.
COVID-19 turned their lives upside down. Glen and Trisha had no visits for four and half months at the start of the pandemic and, like at other facilities, many residents were dying from the virus.
“When we were first going through this, it was scary,” he said.
Together, they weathered the pandemic storm and now Trisha is one of the first residents to move into Clifton House, a facility that looks more like a high end hotel than what they expect of a seniors’ home.
Unlike the shared rooms at Clifton Manor, the ones at Clifton House are private, helping to reduce the spread of viruses.
“The Brenda Strafford Foundation has this bold vision to have a ‘Clifton Village,'” said Leo Escandor, Clifton House administrator.
“BSF’s vision for the ‘Clifton Village’ concept builds on these foundations of aging in place and community partnerships,”
The plan is for Clifton Village to be an “elder-friendly community” that would offer long term care and supportive living as well as affordable housing for seniors, with proposed plans for a high school classroom and daycare to promote intergenerational connection. Clifton Manor has previously partnered with near by Jack James High School
“What I’m most proud of is the community itself: the strength of the community,” said Escandor.
An adult day program will also operate from the new Clifton House, providing respite and support to clients living in the community.
Clifton Manor was built in 1972 and will be demolished this summer. Finalized plans for the new site are still to be determined and are being made in consultation with the Forest Lawn community.