Alberta Premier Rachel Notley and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi attended the groundbreaking ceremony for Phase II of the Generations: Multi-Generational Housing and Community Centre campus on 3 November 2017.

Generations is located in Northeast Calgary and is developed and maintained by the Ismaili Council for the Prairies to help address Alberta’s aging population. The number of seniors in the province is set to grow by 50 per cent over the next 10 years. Generations was originally launched during Mawlana Hazar Imam’s Golden Jubilee in 2007, undertaken in response to the goal of taking care of the aged. The aim was to assist elderly members of the Jamat to live happy, healthy, and dignified lives, and encouraging them to play a positive, active role in their families and communities.

The first phase, which is now home to 55 residents aged 55-90, was completed in 2012. Since its opening, regular programming at the centre includes physical fitness classes, presentations on nutrition and well-being, and a variety of social activities.

The second phase of the Generations campus will add 120 assisted and long-term care units to the 40 single and double-bed rental units currently housed in Phase I. Thirty-one of the new units will be for residents with dementia. Phase II will also add an early childhood development centre as well as a multi-purpose community centre, which will include a social hall, library, technology centre, and classrooms.

“What that will do is allow for interaction between different ages — seniors and adults in the Jamat will come to drop off their children to the early childhood centre and visit their parents and loved ones who are in the long-term care centre,” said Ameerally Kassim-Lakha, chairman of the Multi-Generational Housing and Community Centre board. “That level of activity and visitation ensures people don’t get isolated or forgotten.”

President of the Ismaili Council for the Prairies, Fauzia Lalani-Khudabux, explained how the second phase will complement the current one.

“We’re seeing that the residents that came here for independent living are aging, so the timing of Phase II is perfect because some of them can continue on the journey of Generations and Inshallah be able to move into Phase II,” she said. “When the entire campus is completed, we will have open spaces, parks, and facilities that are not only going to be the envy of the city but will be open and utilised by the residents within this community.”

Phase III of the Generations Multi-Generational Housing and Community Centre campus, currently in its planning stage, will consist of affordable multi-family housing.

President of the Ismaili Council for Canada, Malik Talib, explained in his speech at the groundbreaking ceremony that the vision for Generations is to have grandparents, parents, and children all living near each other, “keeping everyone together while making sure everyone also has their independence — a concept to deliver programmes through a strong volunteer infrastructure that enables individuals to contribute to improving the quality of life of everyone around them.”