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The strength of PWL Drayton Valley: its people

February 1st, 2024

Big trees and winding rivers coupled with tranquility, adventure and connection: those are what the Town of Drayton Valley prides itself on. There’s also another addition that helps make the Alberta community great: Points West Living.

“We’re a small, tight-knit community,” says Lydia Carter, General Manager of PWL Drayton Valley.

Opened in summer 2021, the building comprises 56 suits that offer a range of living options for seniors and others requiring supportive living. “We have people from their 30s to their 90s,” says Carter.

The community offers care based on the Eden Philosophy, which supports the whole person by upholding their right to a life full of purpose, connection, empowerment and possibility—regardless of age or changing abilities.

A place to call home

The location itself is homey and comfortable: residents decorate their rooms with their own belongings and some furnishings, and small pets are welcome. There are even communal cats that prowl from resident to resident—Zoey and Suzy Q, fostered through the local animal rescue society—sharing moments of playtime and rumbling purrs.

There are benefits like an on-site hair salon, a hobby room, courtyards and more, plus nearby walking paths that some residents regularly enjoy. Shopping is a short jaunt, and a quick trip across the small town brings residents to amenities like the pharmacy and medical clinic.

Kudos to residents, families and the community

The people also make the place stand out.

First, there are the residents. “At any given time, you can find someone who is interested in doing a task with you, whether that’s sitting and having tea together, or building a puzzle,” Carter says.

The residents also get a lot of autonomy in deciding what goes on, from regularly scheduled activities to special events.

Residents’ families and members of the greater community also step up. During Christmas 2023, for example, one resident’s wife went around town to get business donations for goodies like cookies and hot chocolate, and rounded up volunteers to appear as Santa and an elf. At the same time, residents also benefited from two community-led programs: Stockings for Seniors and Adopt a Senior.

Another resident’s daughter visits almost every day—not just to hang out with her mom, but to chat with anyone else or help them during activities. Carter says, “Family members like her really make this feel like home.”

Much more than staff

Finally, there are the people who work with residents, such as health care aides, licensed practical nurses, cooks and more. “They very much get to know people on the personal level,” Carter says. “They genuinely care for the people that they are providing services to. That really sets the tone for the community.”

They also go above and beyond—such as an employee care partner coming up with the idea of hosting a sock hop for residents, and then doing all that it took to make it happen, complete with floats and pop in glass bottles.

Carter says that thanks to this team, residents, family members and the greater community, “Everyday life is good here.”

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