Courtenay senior facility uses proven method to combat loneliness, helplessness, and boredom

Mary Hague lived at Glacier View Lodge for nearly two years. She was born in Victoria, but her family moved to Salt Spring Island during the depression.

On Salt Spring they tried to be as self-sufficient as possible by growing their own food. Her father opened a shop and Mary worked alongside her dad. She met and married her husband Alec. The young couple moved to Vancouver and started married life living on a boat with no motor. They had their first children there, before moving to Merritt to operate a jewelry store. Following that, they moved to Gibson’s, where Mary took in boarders to augment Alec’s income from the ferries and the Co-op. They raised four children, and the extended family grew to include 14 grandchildren and 39 great-grandchildren. Mary loved music and she learned to play the piano and eventually became a piano teacher, and performed with an Irish band. She and her husband Alec squared danced for many years.

When Mary came to live at the Lodge, it was evident that her passion for her family and continued interactions with them was her primary wish. She was also able to maintain her connection to her faith community, enjoyed the gardens and helped plant baskets, visited with the pets, enjoyed the variety of music, played the piano, and truly sparkled when young children visited. Indeed, she was a favourite of many children in the Grandbuddy and Strong Start programs who visited the Lodge.

One Ecole Robb Road Grade 5 Grandbuddy said “Glacier View taught me so much. When I’m with my big buddy, I feel so good. I think the biggest thing I have learned is how to be patient with older people. They are so kind, so sweet. Visitors truly make them happy.”

Mary was amongst many who truly impacted the children’s beliefs about aging. This was a lovely way for her to give care, as well as receive. Mary’s gentle and kind nature, her lovely stories of her life, and her beautiful smile were a gift to all. Mary’s life at Glacier View Lodge continued to be rich and full because we were able to support her interests, through our belief in the Eden Alternative Philosophy.

In the past few years, Glacier View Lodge has been learning about the Eden Alternative Philosophy of Care. The founder of the Eden principles, Dr. William Thomas, believes that it is not multiple health concerns that create the bulk of suffering, but loneliness, helplessness, and boredom. The staff at the Lodge strive to create a home that is vibrant and stimulating, and engages community people of all ages, along with access to nature and pets that provide comfort. It is important that each of our residents is able to engage with people and activities that are truly meaningful to them, and that life is still full.

Glacier View Lodge Lodge’s vision is building a caring community where people thrive. In fact, many people tell us the Lodge feels like home. We strive to meet the needs of all our residents thus ensuring that they have a rich and full life in their new home at Glacier View Lodge.

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