The Resilience of Salvation Army Seniors

by Maritime
Categories: 2020, News Archive

We have heard it before – we are living in unprecedented times. But for seniors at The Salvation Army’s Lakeview Manor long-term care facility, this isn’t the first time in their more than 80-years that they have experienced something uncertain.

Located in Riverview, New Brunswick, Lakeview Manor is a 50-bed long-term care facility that provides compassionate care, community and sensory stimulation activities for seniors.

“From 100 to zero”

“The goal is community engagement,” says Jessica Morton, activity coordinator at Lakeview Manor. “We work to fill the emotional, physical, intellectual, and social needs of our residents through activities and programs.”

Jessica began her role as activity coordinator two-years ago, developing programs and activities to engage seniors and fit their interests. But when the pandemic hit, they were forced to cancel many activities and change how they ran the facility.

“The sensory stimulation went from 100 to zero,” says Jessica. “We went from having fun-filled activities everyday to basically nothing.”

“They’ve lived in uncertain times many times”

Like many, Jessica worried about the impact this would have on residents. But they quickly realized the resilience of the older members of our society. 

“There is an assumption that residents aren’t resilient,” says Kym Elder, Executive Director. “Sometimes there are things that we overcompensate for and we made assumptions that they’re not able to handle it, but when you talk to some of these folks you realize they’ve been through a lot.”

Jessica says that the wisdom seniors offer is more valuable than ever during these unprecedented times. “Their wisdom and experience can’t be underestimated, they’ve lived in uncertain times many times.”

“We’re prioritizing caring for our residents”

The Lakeview Manor team has been monitoring the health and safety guidelines closely and have been working to reintroduce programs and activities. The most important – visits from loved ones.

“We started with window visits, but once it was permitted by the government, we began outdoor visits,” she explains. “Now, we are allowed scheduled indoor visits. Caregivers are in such a fragile place, we’re prioritizing caring for our residents, being cautious and mindful and preparing for hazards.”

This week, Jessica is preparing to reintroduce small indoor activities for the seniors. She explains that while seniors may be resilient, sensory simulation and socialization is still important for residents in long-term care.

“Before we offered large activities like bingo, bus outings, carnivals, gardening, parties,” says Jessica. “But now we are working within the bubbles of our wings to reintroduce small group activities.”

The Salvation Army is dedicated to providing exceptional care for seniors at our long-term care facilities. Learn more about how you can help the team at The Salvation Army Lakeview Manor.


By: Angela Rafuse