Residents, families, staff and local political representatives were on hand for the official opening of a beautiful patio area for residents of the Maples Unit at Lanark Lodge on Wednesday, Sept. 12.
The Lodge received approval from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care for the patio, which replaces an old greenhouse at the rear of the facility that had not been in use for more than seven years.
“This new three-season space will be a huge benefit to some of our most complex residents,” said Jennie Bingley, Interim Director of Lanark Lodge. “It caters to residents of the Maples, which is a more secure area for those who have a variety of cognitive impairment, such as dementia.”
There are currently 43 residents in the unit. They will be supervised when using the patio, which is wheelchair accessible and has railings in place. Residents in other parts of the Lodge have access to different outdoor spaces.
“It is exciting to be able to take these residents outdoors because before it was unsafe to do so,” explains Susan Roberts, Associate Director of Care. “Now they can access the fresh air and view the Tay River Pathway, where there are always people walking and lots of things to see, including wildlife. Our residents were used to being outside before they were admitted to the home, so this improves quality of life for them.”
Glenna Churchill, Director of Resident Care, notes it is also a benefit for visiting family members and provides a different environment for visits. “It offers another diversional activity for these residents given the complexity of their care needs.” She added the Lodge would welcome opportunities to partner with people in the community who can provide safe, outdoor games for residents to watch or take part in, such as croquet.
Local businesses were more than receptive when asked for donations of furniture, planters and plants for the space, and donors, including Canadian Tire (Pierre Hofstatter), Home Hardware (Chris Samson), Whyte’s Maintenance (Martin Whyte), Hillside Gardens (Carol Onion), and Joan MacIntosh and Hilda Sproule of the Lanark Lodge Volunteer Team.
“There was an incredible effort by volunteers, staff and the community to bring this beautiful space to fruition,” said Lanark County Warden John Fenik. “On behalf of our residents, their families, Lanark Lodge staff and county council, thank you for your contributions toward improving quality of life for our residents.”
Lanark Lodge is always seeking volunteers to help with activities. If interested, please contact Kevin Carnrite, Life Enrichment/Volunteer Coordinator, at 613-267-4225 ext. 7502.