Men’s clubs get men to programming
Engaging men in activities is a challenge in any long-term care community, however, staff members at homes which have established men’s clubs say they’ve seen nothing but success.
For the past 10 years, Southampton Care Centre in Bruce County has had a 30-minute, once-per-week men’s club. Brenda Misch, activity director at the Jarlette Health Services-owned home, says the club has been a hit with the male residents and that it’s an activity they look forward to attending.
The club is led by volunteer Allen Piper. Piper comes to the home with articles such as newspaper clippings, seasonal items or sports memorabilia, and the men will gather around him while he discusses the topic of the day.
“He has always got a topic of conversation and he’s able to pull a conversation out of the gentlemen,” Misch says of Piper.
Since women account for the majority of residents and staff members in the long-term care home, Misch says having a program specially designated for men is important. In fact, Misch says there are a few members from the club who don’t participate in any other of the home’s activities.
“I think it gives them the guy perspective on things,” she says.
Six months ago, Kentwood Park, an OMNI Health Care long-term care home in Picton, started The Boy’s Club. Like its counterpart at Southampton Care Centre, the goal of The Boy’s Club was to create meaningful programming for men.
Held once per month, The Boy’s Club is focused on traditionally male activities, with military history being a fan favourite with the gents, says the home life enrichment co-ordinator Linda Sheppard.
The Boy’s Club has been successful at filling a much-needed gap in men’s programming, notes Sheppard.
“Because there have been more women in long-term care than men, the programming seemed to be in a general way geared towards women (and) not focused on men’s interests,” she says. “It’s very hard to find men’s interests.”
Although Southampton Care Centre’s men’s club provides frequent activities for male residents to participate in, Misch says the home is still looking for more volunteers to help expand programming opportunities for male residents.
Anyone interested in volunteering with either of these programs can call Southampton Care Centre at (519) 797-3220 and Kentwood Park at (613) 476-5671.