Hope for the Generations

by SalvationArmy.ca
Categories: Annual Review

Due to the rapid growth of the senior population, Day Cares for the elderly and adults with impairments have become important facilities for communities across Canada.

Seniors have given immeasurable value to our people and country and The Salvation Army is dedicated to providing innovative and effective services that support their continued dignity and honour.

The Salvation Army in Hamilton, Ontario, responded to a community need and, in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and the Community Care Access Centre, Mountberry Adult Day Service was formed. Here, recreational and restorative activities are provided for elderly or disabled individuals who need daily assistance or supervision.

“The program provides a safe, comfortable and stimulating atmosphere for people who may be experiencing challenges like Dementia, Diabetes, Stroke, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.” says Joan McCormack, recreation programmer. “While the curriculum is designed to optimize participants’ physical, social and cognitive function, and emotional well-being, the program also provides much-needed respite to caregivers.

The Day Centre Experience
“Mountberry gives me something to look forward to each week,” says 76-year-old Allen Hallett. “I get a break from staring at a wall or a TV,” he chuckles.

Allen, a retired Pastor who battles with Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease, is one of more than 80 people who attend the program.

“It’s so much fun to see Allen’s eyes light up as he talks about his day’s activities,” says Margie, his wife of 46 years and primary caregiver. “He particularly loves the restaurant-style lunches and sing-alongs.

“Furthermore, the Army’s personal attention and passionate care gives me peace of mind knowing that Allen is safe, well-cared for and having fun. His day adventure also allows me a predictable time-out to relax somewhat, handle personal business and even volunteer.”

Activities at the centre include current events discussions; musical entertainment; cooking classes; table games; memory games; and chair exercises. Guest speakers review fall prevention and safety in the home, and pet therapy with “Scatter” gives participants’ opportunity to return to some favourite childhood memories.

“We want to add meaning to our clients’ lives, make them feel special, and preserve their dignity,” says Joan. “This might mean seating people together with like issues, listening to their stories, or adding gravy to a minced meal for those who have trouble swallowing. And we adapt our activities so everyone can participate.”

As for Allen and Margie, the Army has become like family to them. “These are moments we’ll cherish forever,” says Margie. “Here Allen is treated as he should be treated.”