By Adam Brazeau
CORNWALL, Ontario – A quarter century of programming aimed at breaking down barriers of isolation and depression for seniors was celebrated by the community.
The Day Away program at the Glen Stor Dun Lodge marked 25 years of service with a formal tea, attended by program members, Glen staff, politicians and community members and leaders.
For 91-year-old Agnes Leroux, the Day Away program is more than just a social outing. Staff is considered a second-family and the Glen building is her favourite hangout spot.
"It's like home here," said Leroux. "We have very nice exercises and lectures. They speak to you as an individual."
Leroux said lectures from government officials have covered subjects such as falling to detailed information about wills. The free advice is a real plus for her.
For $17/a day, Leroux receives transportation, a hot meal, snack and participates in the activities of the program.
Glen Stor Dun Lodge recreologists Ashley Hagen and Tarra Bryan have been working with Leroux as a part of the Day Away program for a few years.
They have developed a tight bond during their visits together. Bingo, cards, outings to the sugar bush, a boat cruise, trips to Dairy Queen and Tim Hortons and many more golden moments have been shared.
"They're all my grandparents," said Hagen. "I love to play cards with her. We battle it out."
Bryan said at the end of her shift, she feels proud about the connections she's made with seniors in the program.
"It's great being able to enjoy games and the socializing," said Bryan. "With the amount of wonderful stories I've heard, you learn a lot."
Glen Stor Dun Lodge supervisor of outreach services Anna-Marie Breuers said the program has 80 active clients.
"The wonderful staff and volunteers make this program a success," said Breuers.
The community outreach programs at the Glen are run as a not-for-profit entity. They receive support from the Champlain Local Health Integration Network (LHIN) and the Ministry of Long-Term Care. Additional funding stems from partnerships with the City of Cornwall and the Counties of S,D&G.
The program features two components: Senior Day Away and Special Day Away. They both provide a therapeutic program consisting of social contact, meaningful activities, stimulation and support. Both programs are designed for the elderly, adults with physical disabilities or persons with Alzheimer's or a related dementia - living independently or with assistance in the community.
The Day Away program (targeted to frail seniors) runs Tues. and Wed. from 10 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Thurs. 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. And Wed. a Francophone program is on from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Special Day program (for those with Alzheimer's or a related dementia) runs Mon. 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. or 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Thurs. 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. And Fri. 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
For more information on the Glen Stor Dun Lodge community outreach services, call (613) 933-3384 ext. 4234.