The Winnifred Stewart Association has been supporting clients with developmental disabilities since 1953. A legacy started when Winnifred Mary Stewart didn’t give up in her dream to provide support to children with developmental disabilities, and the legacy continues today as the Winnifred Stewart Association provides support to our clients, however their needs may change.
In 2011, the Winnifred Stewart Association saw a support gap in the care provided to their aging clientele, specifically those with Alzheimer’s and other dementias. Over the past 4 years, the Winnifred Stewart Association has been diligently working towards a model of care that fills that support gap. Using a number of resources and best practices from around the world, the Winnifred Stewart Association has developed Mindful Hearts, a Winnifred Stewart Approach.
All caregivers can learn Mindful Hearts, a Winnifred Stewart Approach. The application of this model of care will give the patients awareness and feeling that they are valued and understood. Their fears and anxiety will be successfully addressed and prevented, and the physical and emotional environment is calming and reflective of their life experiences to which they can easily identify. Mindful Hearts is unique in a way that staff is able to customize the care of each client, day to day, hour to hour, based on certain behaviors. Not only are the clients happier and more composed, the staff are also now more confident that they can anticipate and address behaviours. The ultimate benefit is that the clientele live in a stable, secure, calming, and reflective environment.
In 2015, the Winnifred Stewart Association submitted a project proposal to the Government of Alberta to construct a new Memory Care Supportive Living Facility for our clientele, others with disabilities currently with other organizations, and those in the community, who would require Mindful Hearts care. This facility proposes to accommodate 40 individuals and will be built next to our current facility at 11130 131 Street. Our goal is to ensure that people with developmental disabilities and Alzheimer’s or other dementias are able to live comfortably, in a place that they can call home.