West Lake’s partnership with hospice creates a positive outcome for resident affected by depression

Since one-on-one visits began three months ago, resident’s quality of life has improved

A West Lake Terrace resident who was suffering from depression is now eating better, socializing and participating in programming since he started getting one-on-one visits from a Hospice Prince Edward volunteer.

Around Christmas, the resident began exhibiting symptoms of depression. Staff at West Lake Terrace called the hospice and asked for a volunteer to come to the Prince Edward County long-term care home to spend time with the resident.

Volunteer Riel Brown showed up at the home soon after. She has been coming to West Lake Terrace every Thursday since.

“It has been really good for (the resident) to have somebody else to talk to,” West Lake Terrace life enrichment co-ordinator Janie Denard tells The OMNIway.

Riel visits with the resident for an hour. If there are times outside of their schedule when the resident needs to talk, Riel will come to West Lake Terrace to help, Janie notes.

After the first couple of visits from Riel, West Lake Terrace team members noticed the resident was starting to engage with others again and was even participating in some activities. The resident was also starting to eat better. Before Riel’s visits, the resident was declining to go to the dining room for meals.

“Since then, the resident has been coming to all three meals each day, which has been a huge improvement,” Janie says.

“Riel has been a perfect match for the resident. They have similar interests and backgrounds; they both come from a country background, so they have lots of commonalities that they share. They have a really good relationship and rapport.”

There is a positive trickle-down effect from Riel’s visits, Janie says. Because the resident is eating better and becoming more social, he is also feeling better all around, she says.

West Lake Terrace and Hospice Prince Edward formally launched a partnership Sept. 10.
The foundation of the partnership is based on ensuring West Lake Terrace residents needing outside support can receive a hospice volunteer to come to the home to tend to their emotional needs.

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