Imagine a Day in the Life of Margaret

Margaret is an 82-year-old woman who has been living at Aster Gardens for the past eight months. During her time here, our care partners have worked with her, her two children, and her husband to develop a daily living plan that meets all her needs and desires, while fostering a healthy and active brain.

Margaret likes to wake up at 7:30 AM and spend about 15 minutes under the blanket, relaxing and listening to piano music. Once she is ready to get up, she likes to take a shower first, but requires some assistance adjusting the temperature of the water and finding her outfit for the day. Our care partners ensure they are nearby at 7:45 AM to help with her shower and choosing an outfit. 

Before leaving Margaret’s bedroom, our care partners ensure she has taken her vitamins and prescribed medication, because she prefers to have these in her room before breakfast. On Mondays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, our care partners check her blood sugar levels due to her type 2 diabetes diagnosis. Once she is showered, dressed for the day, and has applied her lipstick, she is ready for breakfast.

Outside her bedroom, Margaret finds the space glowing with natural sunlight streaming in from the atrium. She follows the scent of freshly brewed coffee to the dining area just down the hall. As she waves good morning to her friends and fellow residents, she finds a seat and has her favourite Monday breakfast prepared by our Red Seal Chefs—oatmeal with a side of blueberries and fresh black coffee. 

Once she has finished her breakfast and lingered over coffee, Margaret heads to her 10:30 AM yoga. She sometimes forgets about this class, but our care partners know how much she enjoys it and are always sure to remind her at breakfast.

It is sunny today, so Margaret decides to go out with our walking group for a short stroll in the rooftop garden. After returning to the Neighbourhood with her friends, she finds freshly-cut fruit, vegetables with hummus, and a cool glass of water waiting for her in the dining room. Her care partner has learned that Margaret loves puzzles, so she sits down with her to have a quick snack and start a crossword.

After a busy morning, Margaret returns to her room to listen to some music and take a short, 30-minute nap. Care partners are always nearby to help her set up her music on her personal Bluetooth speaker. When she wakes up, Margaret freshens up and sometimes likes to change into a dressier outfit for the afternoon and evening, which our care partners carefully selected with her in the morning. When she is ready, she once again heads over to the dining room for her choice of lunch. The care partners help her choose by describing her choices and then showing her pictures of the food: red pepper tomato soup and creamy macaroni and cheese served with cherry tomatoes, garlic bread, and tossed salad; or a grilled cheese sandwich, dill pickle, and coleslaw served with stewed strawberries and rhubarb.

After indulging in her yummy lunch with one of her favourite care partners, who happens to share a name with her granddaughter, Margaret and two of her friends head over to one of the couches by the window to knit. She loves to spend time knitting baby clothes, which are put on display and donated to hospitals and fundraisers, as per her request.

Later that afternoon, around 4:00 PM, Margaret’s daughter and granddaughter drop by for a visit. They love to sit in the second-floor lounge art room. Margaret’s daughter has brought some of her mother’s favourite art pieces from home. They remind Margaret of her passion for drawing and painting as a child, which she can now share with her 9-year-old granddaughter.

After spending a couple of hours with her family, Margaret returns to the Neighbourhood where she is welcomed by the warm scent of dinner being prepared. Here, she takes a seat and has a glass of her favourite orange juice (served to her by our care partners who know that she needs encouragement to drink throughout the day). Looking over the dinner options with a care partner, Margaret can choose from caesar salad with slow-cooked Alberta pork roast, applesauce, mashed potatoes and seasonal vegetables; or Indian butter chicken on basmati rice with naan bread and tomato salad, finished with a cherry tart. Margaret selects the butter chicken and flips through an art magazine while she waits for dinner to be served. After indulging in her scrumptious meal and enjoying an animated conversation with her neighbour, Margaret joins her Neighbourhood for a lighthearted game of bingo in the living room.

At 8:30 PM, after a full day of laughter, joy, activity, and engagement, Margaret decides to retire to her bedroom. A care partner escorts her to her room, and as per her desire, helps her lay out her nightgown, slippers, and a glass of water. The care partner reminds Margaret to brush her teeth, keeping both her toothpaste and toothbrush ready in the bathroom with the light on. A care partner also lays out a photobook on Margaret’s night table—her favourite album of her trip to Florida with her husband 30 years ago. Margaret loves looking at the photos and thinking of those days. She sometimes chooses to give her husband a call before bed too, so our care partners ensure her phone is charged and placed nearby. 

Before leaving, the care partners switch on Margaret’s night light by the bathroom door, just like she asks, to help her find her way if she needs to use the bathroom at night. After ensuring she is comfortable, our care partners say goodnight and leave Margaret to wind down her day and head toward a night of contented sleep.