Go-Getters realize the value of care program: Avalon Care Centre sees changes in residents

Naydene Roberts has been a very active member of the community. 

But a few months after moving into Avalon Care Centre last year, the then-87-year-old went through a phase of falling that led to reliance on a wheelchair, impacting her mobility and level of independence.

But now, she’s utilizing her walker again and supported by the Orangeville long-term care home’s staff members in carrying out her daily activities.

Roberts has also become more social, and she hasn’t experienced a fall in more than a year. She and her very supportive family are delighted with the progress.

“They’re really happy with what has become of the situation,” says Katelyn Burden, restorative care co-ordinator at Avalon Care Centre. “I think it was bothering Naydene that her independence had been impeded by what was going on. (Now) she’s really happy.”

Roberts is Avalon Care Centre’s Go-Getter award recipient for the month of May – the restorative-care program’s recognition of her commitment to being active and as independent as possible with the program’s support.

Burden says Roberts has always been a willing participant in restorative care since coming to Avalon. Things changed when she transitioned to a wheelchair from her walker following the falls. Her exercises, for instance, were revamped so she could focus more on strengthening.

“She’d come (to the sessions) but be fairly independent at the beginning.  … The falls resulted in her coming more which then resulted in more socialization and her realizing the importance of exercises,” Burden says.

During this time, Roberts also moved to a home area where she could associate more with other residents. It was a positive change for an individual who enjoys interacting with others and has been very involved in the community.

Roberts joined Avalon’s Walk and Dine program when it launched a few months ago. She’s among about a dozen r
esidents who are assisted in walking to all of their meals daily, complementing her work in restorative care. 

“She walks to all of her meals so she’s really motivated,” Burden says, adding Roberts’ ability to be ambulatory and complete daily activities means she is maintaining her independence.

The Go-Getter award recipient for April, Brenda Bovaird, has also experienced change with her involvement in restorative care. 

The longtime resident attends a community day program during the week and began coming to the Friday restorative-care session, but then also joined in on the weekend classes when they began at the Jarlette Health Services home.

At first, the highlight of the restorative-care sessions for Bovaird, who is a younger resident and has intellectual challenges, had been the snacks provided afterwards. But she’s come to learn about the value of this physical activity and enjoys it. 

“It’s the idea that it’s been really good for her health and motivation,” Burden says.

The program was beneficial for Bovaird’s health and well-being following a stay in hospital this past holiday season due to illness. She’d begun using a walker for the first time and had expressed interest in a wheelchair, but she found benefit in returning to the restorative-care classes.

“It was motivating her out of that little rut,” Burden says, noting the considerable stay in hospital had been a significant change for Bovaird.

Receiving the Go-Getter award has enhanced Bovaird’s enthusiasm. In addition to the certificate, she received some other items from staff, including a bracelet from her behavioural support worker.

“She still wears the bracelet every day,” Burden says.

In photo: Brenda Bovaird and Naydene Roberts