The 96-year-old even remembers the exact date and time she moved in: May 1, 2011, at 12 noon. Lenny had been living in a nice condo in Calgary, but couldn’t stay there any longer due to heart troubles.
When her daughter told her a new seniors home was being built in Pincher Creek, Lenny decided to make the move south and lived with her daughter for three months while Whispering Winds was being completed.
After living in Calgary for 70 years, Pincher Creek was definitely a change of scenery. Lenny’s favourite part about living at Whispering Winds is the people she’s met.
“They’re all so friendly and good to each other,” she says. “I love it here.”
As an added bonus, Lenny’s youngest daughter’s family lives in Pincher Creek, which makes visits easier.
“She takes care of me for everything. I don’t have to worry about a thing,” Lenny says.
Favourite activities like bingo, card games and knitting all keep her busy, though she has a special place in her heart for canasta.
Lenny is always in good spirits and you’ll seldom find her without a smile on her face.
“I love her smile, she always smiles,” says Eileen Woolf, community manager at Whispering Winds.
Eileen says Lenny is the eldest resident at the home and is “doing very good.”
“Hopefully we can celebrate her 100th birthday here!”
Eileen has managed Whispering Winds for the past 9½ years, but prior to that looked after a medical clinic that mostly dealt with seniors.
“I enjoy seniors,” she says. “They’re very, very special.”
When she saw the job posting for Whispering Winds, Eileen knew it would be a great position where she could have lots of fun with the residents. The activities she has helped introduce have been a hit.
Besides the classic card games and bingo, residents have gone on field trips in the facility’s bus, though this had to be put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
With much of the time now being spent indoors, Eileen and her team are bringing the vacation to the residents. Every month, seniors prepare to take to the skies.
Chairs are arranged to mimic seating on an airplane, staff act like flight attendants and a video is played showing scenery of their destination, as well as its history. Snacks from wherever they’re travelling to are also served.
This month’s trip will see residents “fly” to Hawaii.
Every resident who participates is given a passport, which gets stamped every time they take a flight.
For Eileen, Whispering Winds is a very special place. She enjoys having coffee with the residents and learning more about their histories.
“You learn to see what their family is,” she says. “Sometimes I go into their suite, just have a talk, and I see all the grandkids’ pictures on the wall. That’s important to me.”
As you’ve likely surmised, Eileen’s favourite part of the job is interacting with seniors. Every day she enjoys mingling with them and seeing them happy, especially during the pandemic.
Since Whispering Winds is an independent facility, Eileen’s biggest challenge comes when certain residents have to move to assisted-living facilities.
“We wish we could keep the residents longer, but when they get too high in that care department they have to move on to a care facility,” she says.
While they’re at Whispering Winds, Eileen thinks the residents’ favourite aspects of the facility are being able to have small pets, regular housekeeping and getting together to socialize over coffee or games.
With so many activities available and lots of fun to be had, Whispering Winds is sure to stay around for many more years to come.
“We care about them — we love our jobs,” says Eileen.