Bikers from all over Canada and throughout the US converged on the area over the weekend of July 18 & 19, 2014 as the Annual Carleton County Toy Run delivered toys and donations to Hotel Dieu in Perth-Andover.
Before the bikers made their visit to the hospital on Saturday, a group made a special visit to the residents of Victoria Glen Manor Nursing Home.
Three of the residents, Neil Hamilton, Roland Miller and Val McLean, used to ride bikes or work on them themselves so they were particularly delighted to meet the riders and check out their bikes.
Trish St Amand has been the activities director at the Manor for the past three years, and after the bikers left she took me on a tour of the facility.
There are currently 60 residents at the manor and Trish and the staff organize regular social events to entertain all the residents, no matter what their level of mobility.
Just before the Toy Run visit, 8 volunteers had taken 8 residents for a tasty meal at Carl’s Dairy Bar.
They had gotten back home just in time to meet the bikers!
Trish is a certified activities director, and she is licensed to drive a bus. Twice a month she chauffeurs a group of residents to Grand Falls to go shopping at the Mall.
Victoria Glen Manor employs about 100 full and part time staff, making it one of the largest, if not the largest, employer in Perth-Andover.
During my tour, it was obvious that the staff care very much about the residents and that this is truly a community in every sense.
The Manor sits right next to two apartment building that are homes to many seniors. Lots of these residents are regular volunteers at the Manor.
As with every program in our villages, volunteers are essential and are always welcome at Victoria Glen Manor.
Volunteers are appreciated over and above just a thank you. Just to visit, go shopping, hold a bingo card or simply to socialize and listen to stories is gratefully appreciated.
John Larsen visits every Wednesday to read the Victoria Star to the residents, and is now reading the Blackfly Gazette as well!
Hairdresser Marion Moulton comes on Fridays to do the hair for two ladies who are long time
customers. Once they moved into the manor, they wanted to keep their regular stylist.
Lilly Bowmaster is the regular on site hairdresser, with a small parlour to style and barber the residents’ hair.
Trish took me to visit the activities room, and I was truly amazed at all the programs that are organized for the residents.
There is a regular Reminiscing Luncheon during which questions are pulled out of a box to stimulate memories and conversation.
No dreaded conversational lulls here! Questions like:
- What was your favourite subject at school?
- What did you learn from your mother?
- What did you most enjoy as a child?
Residents enjoy a Pizza Party once a month. A daughter of one of the residents makes dough for six pizzas which she delivers to the Manor.
Residents then make the pizzas, topping them with their favourite ingredients. The Pizza Parties are a big hit with everyone!
There are other regularly scheduled events, such as the Ladies Tea Party and the Men’s Breakfast Club.
In addition, there are socials organized around a theme such as Hawaiian Week which was held just this past June. Staff set up a Tiki Bar and served non-alcoholic strawberry daquiris and pina coladas.
Then there was Fabulous 50’s Week featuring a fashion show and vintage cars, Tractor Week, Hollywood Week during which a Red Carpet Awards Ceremony was held.
Everyone walked the Red Carpet and won an award for:
- Best Bingo Player
- Most Photogenic
- Most Glamorous
- Most Queen-like
- The Best Window Watcher
Last year, an Elvis Impersonator visited and thrilled staff and residents alike with his flashy show and music!
Life Biographies are done on the residents. Each is interviewed about their life, and then a power point slide presentation is organized using photos from their lives.
Family and friends are then invited to watch the show and celebrate the life of the resident.
Trish said, “It’s all about keeping residents connected to the world and community events and everything that is happening.”