From left to right: Liz Dutton, Jocelyn Wild, Lesley Weaver, Stasia Hartley, Shari Mason, and Derek Haynes (Hugo Wong/News staff)

Music therapy, memory boxes for Sidney seniors care facility residents

$33,200 in donations to Rest Haven Lodge wil help fund enriched programs for seniors

On any given day, Jocelyn Wild could be taking seniors to lunch, to the ferry to Vancouver, or just around the yard at Rest Haven Lodge.

As Activities Coordinator, Wild is overjoyed at the $33,200 provided to the Lodge by the Rest Haven Foundation this year, which will enrich the lives of seniors at the facility.

Rest Haven Lodge is publicly funded, so according to Shari Mason, treasurer of the Rest Haven Foundation, “that covers basic operations and staffing costs, but anything over and above to make someone’s life very enjoyable, we need fundraising activities to do that and we thank our donors so much for their ongoing support.” The Foundation, a not-for-profit society, manages the donations.

Of the $33,200, $13,200 will buy eight bolstered mattresses so residents don’t roll out of bed, but Wild is most excited for the programming opportunities. It will fund another year of music therapy, yoga therapy, and the Sunshine Clown program. In particular, Wild highlighted the “memory box project.”

As 85 per cent of the residents at Rest Haven have some form of memory loss, each of the 73 residents will soon have a display box filled with important personal objects like photos, which is meant to spark conversations with staff and help them to remember key parts of their lives.

“Sometimes when somebody has Alzheimer’s or dementia, they can’t explain their life, but these pictures bring so much of their life [back], they make it alive,” said Wild.

Wild requested funding for all these programs, but was not expecting to have it all funded.

“To find out that we received funding for all this programming brings tears to my eyes because it means my residents here are going to be receiving all these wonderful programs.”

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