Until this past summer, 90-year-old Alfred Best lived on his own in his Coal Harbour condominium. After a heart attack and a series of strokes landed him in hospital, the widower realized it was time to move into a seniors’ residence.
“I looked at a few residential care homes but when I visited Brock Fahrni, I was impressed by the gorgeous garden,” says the navy veteran. “Then I fell in love with the staff here… they are just wonderful, they offer the best care a person could want.”
A social man, Best also likes the art program and outings. “I’ve never painted in my life and I’m finding that I really enjoy it,” he says. “Also, every Monday, we veterans hop on our new bus and go to a different legion for lunch. It’s really a nice afternoon out.”
Many of the programs Best enjoys at St. Vincent’s: Brock Fahrni are thanks to donors supporting Tapestry Foundation for Health Care. Founded in 2007, the foundation is focused on enhancing the lives of our province’s elders through its fundraising efforts. Tapestry Foundation was born out of a series of mergers with well-respected organizations such as St. Vincent’s, Holy Family, Mount Saint Joseph Hospitals and St. Michael’s Centre Foundations.
“Within Providence Health Care, we are the charitable arm for seven of its sites (Holy Family Hospital, Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, St. Michael’s Centre, St. Vincent’s: Brock Fahrni, St. Vincent’s: Honoria Conway-Heather, St. Vincent’s: Langara, and Youville Residence),” says Tapestry Foundation CEO Ann Adams. “We raise funds for medical equipment that isn’t covered by the government, as well as programs and services that enhance residents’ quality of life.”
Besides lunch outings that Best takes part in, the bus recently funded by donations also allows for Providence residents to enjoy weekly excursion to local restaurants, shopping malls, tourist spots, and scenic drives through parks, tree-lined streets or neighbourhoods they might remember from their younger years.
Donations also enable Tapestry Foundation to foster a greater understanding of seniors’ health needs through geriatric research and education.
Often it’s also the little things that count and add meaning to life in residential care. Tapestry Foundation funded attractive dishes to make mealtime more pleasant for its residents, and through its staff lottery, Providence hospitals host a variety of different activities aimed to engage residents. Recently, residents at Youville Residence enjoyed a visit by Pepper, a hefty French draft horse nicknamed the Gentle Giant. Pepper provided much-needed stimulation for its residents, many of whom live with acute dementia. They spent a few happy hours petting Pepper’s nose, holding his head and giving him kisses.
Larger donor funded projects, like a $350,000 garden upgrade at Brock Fahrni, also bring meaning to residents’ lives. “Like Alfred Best, many of the residents and their families love to get outside and walk around the beautiful garden space,” adds Adams.
“Our mission and goal is supporting the best care possible for seniors who helped build the communities where we live today,” says Adams, “And we’re grateful to all donors who share our vision.”
The impact Tapestry Foundation for Health Care has on the lives of seniors is truly invaluable.