Residents of Okotoks' Tudor Manor donned their best hats last week in celebration of the facility's birthday.
A Royal Ascot-themed party, complete with cake, wine and cardboard cutouts of the Royal Family, was the perfect way to commemorate 10 years and honour founder Dr. Barrie Strafford, who was British.
Carolyne Mondoux, vice president of service, excellence, quality and innovation with the Brenda Strafford Foundation, said the anniversary is a big milestone for the organization, not just because it marks the success of another facility, but it also gives space for recognition of staff members who have worked very hard over the last decade.
Loretta Landry, the longest-tenured resident at the supportive living and long-term care facility, moved into Tudor Manor on Oct. 23, 2012 — two days after it opened.
When asked how she likes living at the facility, Landry said, "I like it very much, it couldn't be better."
Milton Eby, the manor's second-longest resident, sang praise for the facility's recreation team and the residents' love for exercise, bingo, bus rides and musical entertainment.
Tudor Manor was originally established as a supportive living site, providing care services to elderly residents, including meals, recreation and nursing care, Mondoux explained.
In 2021, the facility added long-term care to its repertoire, allowing residents to live there longer; something known as an aging in place model, according to Mondoux.
Approximately 150 people now call the location home, with about 60 considered as long-term care and the remainder in supportive living.
At the heart of the work of the Brenda Strafford Foundation is the preservation of dignity and the pursuit of happiness, the vice-president said, which is why every aspect of care, from meals and activities, to care and compassion, are so important to all board members and staff.
"Everybody comes every day because they absolutely love the residents," Mondoux said. "They really want to be able to see them smile."
Another positive addition to the manor in the last 10 years was the VIK Academy child care in the building, she said. This allows the development of inter-generational relationships to form and for fun collaboration during events like Halloween and Christmas.
Tudor Manor was also a pilot site for a project called Dementia Friendly Communities, which worked with the fire department, schools, the Town and other community members to explore how residents with dementia can be supported while living in Okotoks.
On the subject of expansion, Mondoux said that while there is additional land at the current site, the future of senior care is changing — moving away from the typical nursing home model.
"We know that the future of aging, the future of continuing care isn't really the old model of a nursing home or sort of the brick and mortar," she said. "What we really want to see is people living in the community and aging in their homes as long as possible and bringing the community services into our spaces.
"It's trying to push innovation and come up with creative ways to help people stay at home a little bit longer and to leverage the community services that are available."
Joel Vorra, a member of the foundation's board of directors and a grandson of Strafford, said while he never had the chance to meet his grandmother, he is proud to be a part of the continuing legacy in her name.
"For those of you, some of you here you knew Dr. Barrie Strafford, sometimes he was a difficult person to please with pretty high expectations, but he would be very, very proud at this moment, so congratulations on the first 10 years," Vorra said.