Resident Chris Todd turns 100; her family and Frost Manor staff organize memorable, safe celebration

It was a birthday celebration like none other for Frost Manor resident Chris Todd.

On Tuesday, Chris turned 100 and her family as well as staff members at the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home went all out to make sure Chris had a memorable day.

Normally, Chris’s family would have organized a “huge party” for her at Frost Manor, says life enrichment co-ordinator Lyndsay Burton, but this was not possible due to restrictions in place to keep everyone safe during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

Instead, Chris’s family helped the Frost Manor team organize a celebration for Chris. They sent flowers, cards and decorations they knew Chris would like. The life enrichment team then decorated Chris’s room with these items to surprise Chris when she returned from breakfast Tuesday morning.

“Her room looked like a greenhouse, there were so many beautiful flowers,” Lyndsay says.

Chris was born in County Mayo, Ireland, on Aug. 11, 1920. In June 1940, Chris left Ireland at age 19 to take her nursing training in England. The Second World War was underway and Chris helped care for injured soldiers who had returned home.

Chris was also a recipient of the Frost Manor 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award, an accolade recognizing people living in OMNI Health Care long-term care homes who have demonstrated commitment to other residents, their home and country.

During the afternoon on Chris’s birthday, a tea party with social distancing in effect was held in her honour. Chris’s family had a birthday cake delivered, and there were lots of cards and presents for her to open.

Chris also received messages wishing her a happy birthday from dignitaries, including Pope Francis and Ontario Premier Doug Ford. There’s also a certificate from Queen Elizabeth II that’s on its way.

“She was really surprised and excited about that,” Lyndsay says of all the messages Chris received.

After the tea party, Chris’s family members organized a safe outdoor visit with her on the home’s front patio. Chris even joined in on a video chat with some of her family in England.

“Chris was so surprised, she had tears in her eyes when she came outside and saw everybody,” Lyndsay says.

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