West Lake Terrace honours resident who keeps giving back to others

Dorothy Ferguson has been named the home’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award recipient

From the moment Dorothy Ferguson moved into West Lake Terrace, she took a shine to her fellow residents and has aimed to provide any help or comfort they need, say the Prince Edward County long-term care home’s team members.

But this isn’t surprising, they say: Dorothy has spent much of her life volunteering and helping others, which is why the West Lake team nominated her for the home’s 2018 Lifetime Achievement Award.

“Her compassion and acceptance for her new living arrangements and her co-residents was instant and she enveloped them as an extended part of her family,” team members say in nominating Dorothy for the award.

“She has engaged other more lonely residents and connected them to each other and has started one-to-one visits in their rooms or invites them to her room, and she also has started small craft (and) game groups. We often find (residents) gathered around her in the solarium or in parts of the dining room when not in use for meals.”

Some of the organizations that have benefited from Dorothy’s generosity over the years include the Wesleyan Church, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society and the Children’s Miracle Network and a women’s shelter.

Dorothy also makes crafts and donates them to residents and staff members at West Lake Terrace. Dorothy encourages other residents to complete crafts, especially knitting, crocheting and stitching.

Team members say that before going to meals or programs, Dorothy can be seen travelling the hallways and stopping in the doorway of many rooms and saying, “hey there, are you coming?”

If a resident does not want to attend meals or activities, Dorothy will stay and chat with them to see if there’s a reason they don’t want to go. If she feels the person needs a visit from a staff member, she will stop to let team members know and provide a heads-up.

“The social stimulation she has been able to engage lonely and confused residents in has been nothing more than a small miracle,” say team members. “Dorothy has inspired staff and residents alike to never give up, be thankful for what we have, cherish our time with family and friends, and to always be thinking of what we can do to help others.”

Lifetime Achievement Awards are presented to people living in OMNI Health Care long-term care homes who have demonstrated commitment to other residents, their home and country.

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