By Lynda Shadbolt
Greetings readers of this column! I hope you are well and finding ways to stay connected, safe and focused on being positive and hopeful in these unique times. We all inspire, support and remind each other that there are lots of good things happening and together we will get through these times. I am very happy to say that I am receiving short and long stories and even some poems from people who are sharing the goodness, beauty and love that they are noticing around them. Big thanks to Margie Lawrence and her bright and beautiful mother Ruth who sent this story along to me!
My mum Ruth and I enjoyed reading Lynda Shadbolt’s recent article in the Echo, about taking note of good things that are happening, amidst this time of uncertainty and anxiety due to the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Ruth, who is almost 90, is a resident at Highland Wood Long Term Care Home in Haliburton. She has a computer in her room which helps her to keep in touch with family and friends through emails and Skype visits. It’s Ruth’s telephone, her computer, and her weekly newspapers, she says that help to keep her connected to the world outside. It’s the staff at Highland Wood however, who help Ruth to feel connected inside her residence.
Like the saying, “it takes a village to raise a child,” this is similar to the concept that it takes a village of dedicated staff to care for our family members living at Highland Wood. There’s the nurses and resident doctor, the PSWs and physiotherapist, the kitchen/food service staff, the activities staff who offer recreational programs, the maintenance, laundry and cleaning staff, and the administration: they all play a role together in order to provide a cooperative approach to create a loving, safe and enriching environment. And there’s our community at large, like the Residents Council who serve as advocates. Volunteers continue to find ways to be supportive, like weekly church services which are offered virtually now to the residents.
Ruth says she especially loves Highland Wood’s garden with its gazebo where residents enjoy spending time outside throughout the warmer seasons. This includes participating in outdoor programs and watching many birds, chipmunks and squirrels.
Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been no cases of the coronavirus at Highland Wood or its sister facility, Hyland Crest in Minden. The staff at both facilities have upped their game in order to help keep the residents safe. While coping with the restrictions of visitors including family members, the staff have worked hard to create a safe and kind environment. I count my lucky stars every day, knowing that my mum is cared for so well at Highland Wood.