Engagement – to community and others
– is a critical factor for healthy aging.
When a person transitions into long-term care, their loved ones may feel concern about lost connections with friends, favourite activities and community. On the other side of the coin, caregivers may experience relief that their spouse, parent, or relative will have the medical care and personal support they need, while also becoming part of a new community.
At St. Pat’s, we understand the value of making human connections, and participating as fully as one can in daily life. Our philosophy is to provide person-centred care that reflects each person’s social, spiritual and medical needs, and allows them to live as fully and independently as possible. Research confirms that this engagement in daily life and with others is as critical to one’s wellbeing as nutrition, sleep, or not smoking.
Dr. Suzanne E. Salomon, associate chief for clinical geriatrics at Harvard’s Beth Israel Medical Centre writes that, ‘Even the most basic exchanges, require us to think about how to respond, and that stimulates the brain.” James Lubben, director of the Institute on Aging at Boston College also notes that, “Conversation is a particularly challenging activity. It engages multiple mental skills, including attention, listening, reasoning, language, and memory. You also have to stay abreast of topics, like the news, weather, sports, or politics.”
This is why St. Pat’s has ranked social and community engagement as one of its priority funding needs for 2019. We know that participation in the Watermelon Social, Breakfast Club, Family Game Night, Dog Visits, News & Views, daily mass, or any of the other activities offered each day, can make our residents’ lives more interesting and fulfilling. It can boost their sense of belonging, and keep many of the negative effects of aging – like cognitive loss, isolation, and depression – at bay.
Dale Sheehan recently emailed St. Pat’s to share his thoughts about his cousin’s first weeks at St. Pat’s. He wrote,
“It took two years of struggle to get my cousin properly placed and cared for. I simply cannot believe the difference these first weeks have made. Elaine is articulate, vibrant, and once again, excited to face the day. Your team has her outside, in the garden, communicating, doing activities; and she is treated spectacularly. It is very clear to me that St. Pat’s cares.”
This type of care is possible in part, because of people like you. And so we say, “Thank You!” Your donations to St. Patrick’s Home of Ottawa Foundation ensure that our residents are provided with many, many occasions to engage with each other and the community; and to enjoy an enriched schedule of social, musical and pastoral programs.
Throughout 2019, community donations have allowed us to cover the cost of transportation, tickets or admission fees, professional musician and entertainer’s fees, and so much more. Here is another sample of the community and social engagement activities held this year.
- The Annual Soirée for St. Patrick’s Home
- An afternoon at Stanley’s Olde Maple Lane Farm
- High Tea at Billings Bridge Estate
- The Capital Cruise Car Show
- Parties to celebrate Halloween, Oktoberfest, Christmas
- Tour of Gatineau Park to see the autumn leaves
- Sports events like an Ottawa 67s hockey game
- Shopping and lunch at local shopping centres