Senior Situation Room by Dawn Ford – Special Away Program & Ernie Appleton Gardening

DawnFord_SSR_YouthfulCFN – The Special Day Away Program provided to our community by the Community Outreach Services is offered at the Glen Stor Dun Lodge. It is a program designed to help in the care of a loved one which provides respite time for caregivers as well as support and education for them.



It helps to maintain the client’s independence, quality of life and provide social interaction preventing isolation. The hope is that the program will help delay the need for the client’s long term placement. People who have been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia are eligible to attend the weekly program.. However, the program is not available to any clients who exhibit aggressive behaviour.


The program runs on Mondays from 9:30 to 2:30pm or 10:30 to 3:30 pm, Thursdays from 10:30 to 3:30pm and Fridays from 10:00 to 3:00pm. Since this program is a non profit service the cost per day is only $20 which includes a hot meal at lunch time and two snacks as well as the activities of the program. The Glen Stor Du Lodge partners with Cornwall transit which makes transportation available for those who need it door to door at a cost of $17.00.

I had the opportunity to speak with Anna- Marie Breuer about the program. Anna-Marie is the supervisor of the Community Outreach Program at the Lodge. Anna-Marie , a Registered Nurse, is a graduate of the University of Ottawa. She once worked at the Lodge as a nurse on a floor, then became Director of Nursing at the facility. For the past ten years she has been supervisor of the Outreach Programs.

I enjoyed speaking with her because she was so enthusiastic about the program and it’s benefits for the clients. Anna -Marie was very gracious and I appreciate all the time she took out of her busy schedule to talk with me and give me so much information about the program.

Dawn photo client

The assessments and referrals for this Day Away Program are done by CCAC (Cornwall Community Access Center) or if someone calls the Lodge for info, Anna herself will go to the house of the client and do the assessment. It is available to clients living in their own homes as well as in residential centers such as Seniors Apartments and Retirement Homes such as Chateau Cornwall or Heritage Heights but not from other Long Term Homes.

Anna said that the supervised program is tailored to meet the individual’s needs. Sometimes the client will attend two days a week instead of once a week or may need to come earlier in the day and be there at breakfast time, depending on the needs of the caregiver.

She explained that with dementia the short term memory is a problem but the client retains a lot of the long term memory. This enables the program to suit the person’s interests of the past. For instance, if a person liked to garden or bake , the program can offer them the opportunity to do gardening or baking.


At the Lodge there is a beautiful fenced- in courtyard with a raised garden. I went to see it myself and it is beautiful. Clients who are interested have the opportunity to work in the garden, planting seeds in the spring and tending the garden as it grows. Right now there are staked tomato plants and green pepper plants growing and beautiful flowers as well. . There is also a BBQ and the clients enjoy having a fun BBQ outside in this lovely courtyard. At some point , the clients can pick the ripened vegetables and enjoy them with their BBQ’d lunch. For more information, contact the Glen Stor Dun Lodge Community Outreach Program at 613-933-3384 ext. 4234

Always interested in what Push, the beautiful Therapy dog is doing, I asked Anna-Marie if he visits the clients in the program. Apparently, this wonderful dog had been ill for awhile but is back to work bring joy to the clients once more. Anna-Marie said that other dogs and puppies , such as some orphans from the SPCA visit the clients also. Sounds wonderful to me. Nothing like a puppy licking your face to make you feel better.

I always enjoy the monthly newsletter , ‘The Lodger’ from the Glen Stor Dun Lodge. It is wonderful to see the happy faces of the residents attending various activities, etc. Great jokes, also.

csmith dawnCraig Smith

One of the features is a column, ‘The Caregiver Corner’, by Craig Smith who is the Social Worker at the Lodge and also The Villa ( St. Joseph’s Continuing Care Center).

He writes about things that are of concern to caregivers, interested friends, the residents and often has info on related topics and special helpful books such as “Ambiguous Loss by Dr. Pauline Boss and ‘Cracking The Dementia Code’ by Karen Tyrell. He has books available for loan as well.

Craig has an open-door policy and is there to help. I keep his articles and have referred back to them often whenever I have a family problem and need some wisdom and also whenever someone needs a bit of encouragement.

ernie DAWNThanks Craig for helping us in so many ways*** Ernie Appleton

The grounds of Beek Lindsay Seniors apartments are ablaze with color again. Early in the spring, Ernie Appleton was out before the birds I think (certainly before me) racking and bagging old musty leaves so he could start preparing the beds for the flowers. Hauling bags of earth and fertilizer cannot be an easy job. Ernie did not give up daily working and planting until each and every bed and planter is beautiful. Thank you Ernie for once again, bringing so much beauty into our world.

If anyone has any pictures, bibs, old starchy collars or whatever to donate, The Nurses’ Alumni are looking for Memorabilia for a new Memory Corner which will be added at the Cornwall Community Hospital in honour of the Cornwall General School of Nursing. Call Catherine Poirier for more info at 932-9164.

Here is a cute joke:

A new priest, born and raised in Texas is nervous about hearing confessions, so he asks the older priest to sit in on his sessions. The new priest hears a couple of confessions, then the old priest asks him to step out of the confessional for a few suggestions. The old priest suggests, “Cross your arms over your chest, and rub your chin with one hand and try saying things like, ‘Yes, I see’ and ‘Yes, go on’, and ‘ I understand.’ The new priest crosses his arms, rubs his chin with one hand and repeats all the suggested remarks to the old priest. The old priest says, “Now, don’t you think that is a little bit better than slapping your knee and saying, “No $%!+…what happened next?”

Have a good week, Dawn

1 Comment

  1. So… What happened next?

    Just curious Dawn.

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