‘It’s like a community’

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Maplewood staff involves residents in activities, discussions

From bringing a petting zoo to its front lawn to engaging residents in everyday conversation, Maplewood is creating “a place to call home.”

Staff members strive to make life both entertaining and meaningful for residents of this small town long-term care home, says volunteer Wendy Coe.

Earlier this year, Maplewood in Brighton, Ont., held its first-ever petting zoo, one of its most popular events to date.
“This has probably been the best program we’ve ever had,” administrator Rachel Corkery told The OMNIway at that time.

“There was not one person who didn’t go away smiling.”

One resident reluctantly went outdoors but spent an hour with the animals. Others reacted with amusement as they held rabbits and ferrets.

Corkery hosted a barbecue at her country home shortly after this event, giving residents a chance to relax outdoors on a summer day and meet her children and horses.

“I think it’s the loveliest (day) and we’re very privileged to be able to come,” Maplewood resident Ena Clews told The OMNIway.

“Seeing the horses, seeing the animals and being out in the fresh air has been lovely.”

Activities are just one reason Coe’s parents enjoy Maplewood. For her father, John Closs, he particularly liked the outing to Corkery’s abode.

For her mother, June, it’s the day-to-day happenings at the home that provide the most meaning.

Coe said the employees engage with residents and share stories with the seniors about their own families. Her mother thrives on this aspect of living at Maplewood.

“It’s like a community,” Coe told The OMNIway.

“Like in any community, you like to get to know the people well and you like to be able to share the stories.”

Coe, who has volunteered for more than a decade at the home, moved both of her parents into Maplewood because she was impressed with the employees and the atmosphere.

“Staff have been so kind and loving and made it a place to call home.”

If you have feedback on this article or a story idea for The OMNIway, please e-mail deron@axiomnews.com or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23.