Southbridge Care Homes' Bridge to Dreams program helps Parisien Manor resident reconnect to his passion for horses

Robert is outside petting the horse from his wheelchairRobert White has a passion for horses. He spent his spare time riding and grooming horses until a move to long-term care forced Robert to set his passion aside. That is until one day in June when his dream again came true.

Robert’s reunion was made possible under the Bridge to Dreams program, a new resident-centred initiative developed by Southbridge Care Homes. In partnership with Parisien Manor, Southbridge was able to make Robert’s dream a reality. Parisien Manor is a 65-bed accredited and licensed long-term care home located in the beautiful community of Cornwall, Ontario.

Cindy Ingram-Lloyd, an Activity Aide at Parisien Manor, managed the Dream for Robert. Reaching out to an acquaintance who owned a nearby horse stable and coordinating transportation with Robert’s daughter Lindsay and his 
son-in-law Ralph, Robert was able to make the trip to the stable.

Robert is inside the stable helping to brush the horseAt the stable, Robert indulged in grooming the horses, guiding them by their leads, watching them perform jumps and, most of all, showing these magnificent animals profound expressions of love through his touch and calming voice.

Robert was all smiles from the start of the experience until he arrived back home. He enjoyed reminiscing about his days riding and will now enjoy viewing a picture collage of the recent experience that made such a wonderful impact on his life.

“We are grateful to the staff and volunteers at Parisien Manor who take the time to listen to what’s important to each of our residents and try to find opportunities to connect the two,” remarked Ryan Bell, Chief Operating Officer of Southbridge Care Homes. “The Bridge to Dreams program is a purposeful way for us to honour our residents in a sustainable and meaningful way.”

In photos: Robert bonds with the horses and helps with their grooming on his day out to horse stables.

This story was originally published by Southbridge Care Homes. Reposted with permission.