University of ReginaCentre on Aging and Health (CAH)

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Crystal Spooner Wins CAH Award for Innovation in Health Care Delivery

Crystal Spooner accepts CAH Innovation in Health Care Delivery Award from Dr. Thomas Hadjistavropoulos, CAH director.

The Centre on Aging and Health (CAH) is dedicated to recognizing innovations in health care, particularly for older adults. Therefore, the CAH has established the annual CAH Award for Innovation in Health Care Delivery. The award recognizes Regina-based individuals, groups, or organizations (offering health care to older adults) who have either introduced an innovative approach to service provision, or who have conducted field research to evaluate services and programs for older persons. The award is adjudicated by a committee of representatives for the Regina seniors’ community. The committee consisted of Dr. Joan Roy, Ms. Marj Thiessan, and Ms. Linda Anderson. The winner of the 2017 award was Crystal Spooner, developer and CEO of Orange Tree Living, the first multi-generational care home facilities in Saskatchewan.

Based on the concept of intergenerational living, Orange Tree Village, one of Crystal’s care home facilities in Regina, brings multiple generations together to live under the same roof, including children from 6 weeks to 12 years of age, university students, travelling professionals, and seniors. Orange Tree Village includes licensed personal care home rooms, daycare spaces, rooms for independent living, and four affordable suites for students at a subsidized rate in exchange for volunteer hours in the village. This living arrangement allows for interactions and meaningful connections between multiple generations, which inevitably lead to benefits for all of those involved, including an increased understanding across generations. It specifically benefits older adults by allowing them to have continued engagement and connections with younger generations so that they can share their knowledge and experiences. Orange Tree Village also has a restaurant, coffee house, and hair salon, which are all open to the public, and allow for older adults to continue to live and interact within a community. Rumour has it that the coffee house also has awesome butter tarts.

Crystal’s nominators described her vision as “unrivaled” and noted that she “looks beyond our borders for best practices in seniors living and works to surpass them.” They state that her vision and drive means Orange Tree Living “has the most innovative solutions for everything from medication management to senior friendly architecture to complicated dementia programming.” Having witnessed first-hand the interactions that take place within this multi-generational community, one of her nominators calls them “heartwarming” and a “privilege” to experience.

While accepting the award, Crystal Spooner credited her small town Saskatchewan upbringing, where she grew up in a care home environment, for inspiring the concepts behind Orange Tree Living. She emphasized that all people need a sense of community and belonging, and that a multi-generational facility allows for older adults, who may otherwise be pushed into a medical style facility, to have both.

The CAH congratulates Crystal Spooner for her dedication to innovative health care delivery. We would also like to acknowledge our magnificent adjudication committee.

For more information, or to nominate an individual or organization for next year’s award, please visit http://www2.uregina.ca/cah/ or contact Janine Beahm, CAH Administrator, at janine.beahm@uregina.ca or (306) 337-8477.