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Happy Mother’s Day! Extendicare Viking team member starts each day with a hug from a very special resident: her mom

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In celebration of Mother’s Day, we talked to Christina, the Office Coordinator at Extendicare Viking in Alberta. Every day, when Christina goes to work, she gets to spend time with one very special resident: her mom. 

Christina has always had a close relationship with her mom.

Born and raised in Viking, Alberta – a tight-knit community about 90 minutes southeast of Edmonton – Christina was drawn to health care by her mom’s career as a nurse. She then joined Extendicare Viking in 2000. One of the best parts of her job was being just two blocks from her parents’ house. On her way to work every morning, she would stop by to have coffee with them.

When Christina’s Dad passed away in 2016, Christina continued the morning coffee ritual with her mom. In 2020, Christina’s mom moved into a local retirement home. She was diagnosed with dementia about a year later. When her mom’s care needs increased last year, there was a silver lining: Christina’s mom moved to long-term care at Extendicare Viking – and she now gets to see her every day. 

“Just knowing that my mom is waiting at my desk to see me every morning and knowing that I will receive a huge hug and be told me how much she loves me, motivates me,” says Christina, explaining that when her mom isn’t attending the home’s many activities, she will sit beside Christina at her desk, busy with highlighters or pencil crayons.  

Popular with many of the home’s team members, Christina’s mom loves to sing, dance and laugh.  

“When we have entertainment, she is in her element. And when we don’t, she IS the entertainment!” Christina laughs. “The home’s physician comes to do her rounds every week, and one time, mom broke out into song. She serenaded the team with ‘Country Roads’ and Dr. Hagen joined in. Later that night, the physician texted me to say that mom had made her day and she was feeling so blessed to have her as a patient.” 

Although Christina is approaching retirement age, she wouldn’t dream of retiring yet. 

“My mom is 92 and I just turned 64, I will continue to work here until my mom is gone,” says Christina. “Her mom lived to be 97 so I think we have a few good years left to spend together.”