News

In Person but Not Close Up!

In Person But NOT Up Close                                                       October 2020

By Julie Ireton

After months of exercising in the isolation of their own homes, via zoom, several Abbotsford members were eager to meet up at Lansdowne Park to work out in the bright, safe expanse of the Horticulture Building with legendary exercise instructor, Joseph Cull.

“He’s everyone’s favorite and we’re so lucky to have him,” said Pat Smart.

She and many members have missed their regular drop-ins to Abbotsford at the Glebe Centre, across from Lansdowne.

In fact, Smart admits she’s been avoiding exercise since the pandemic was declared in March, but now she’s pleased to have the option of an in-person class.

“It made me feel so much stronger and straighter. Everybody was so glad to be there.”

Forced isolation due to concerns over COVID-19 has been particularly difficult for seniors who’ve been told to take precautions to avoid contracting the virus.

For many, that’s meant avoiding any kind of group activities.

“It’s relaxing and social and I think we need that. It’s good for the soul,” said Smart.

“Joseph was wearing a skirt and using a pool noodle to illustrate the 2 m distance between participants. It was brilliant.”

More programming is being planned for inside the vast Horticultural building space including an indoor walking program that the city of Ottawa is set to start in October.

Virtual programming continues

Abbotsford continues to offer virtual exercise programs for older adults with access to tablets, smartphones and the internet.

Those classes include aerobics, dance, stretch, strength training and yoga.

Beyond physical fitness programs, many seniors are embracing the virtual watercolour and sketching classes, conversational Spanish, device training and book club chats.

“This will bode well for them as winter approaches,” said Karen Anne Blakely, director of community programs at Abbotsford.

Blakely notes that the closure of in-person, adult day programs has been difficult for both clients and caregivers, but some are participating in zoom programs throughout the week.

These one-hour programs include seated exercise, trivia questions, music, themed activities and discussions.

“As well program facilitators are visiting clients on driveways and porches, walking in the neighbourhood being socially distanced and wearing masks and delivering individualized activity kits to the clients homes to help keep clients active and engaged,” said Blakely.

A telephone meditation program helps seniors remain calm and focus on relaxation and more than 40 volunteers continue to regularly call 330 seniors for wellness checks, to help those suffering from the loneliness brought on by isolation.

Abbotsford staff follow up to make sure seniors have access to the help they need, according to Blakely.

Snow Go

For seniors who aren’t looking forward to digging out the snow shovels, some city of Ottawa programs may be able to help.

‘Snow Go’ refers seniors and adults with disabilities to contractors who have passed a screening test, are properly registered and insured.

Some senior clients with disabilities and or low income may also quality for the city’s Snow Go Assist program that will reimburse up to $250 on the cost of their snow removal.

Abbotsford is your Seniors Active Living Centre for Adults 55+.  It houses the community programs of The Glebe Centre Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit, organization which includes a 254 bed long term care home.  Find out more about our services by telephoning 613-230-5730 during regular business hours or by checking out all of The Glebe Centre facilities and community programs on our website www.glebecentre.ca

 

 

 

Abbotsford House…Serving Seniors in Community

By Karen Anne Blakely, Director of Community Programming for the Glebe Centre

The services and programs delivered today at and from Abbotsford House are much different than March 13, 2020, the day we closed our doors and began our pandemic response. Our doors remain closed however the staff are busy serving clients and members daily.  We are following guidance from Ottawa Public Health, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility. Regulations of the Emergency Measures Act caused some staff to be deployed to work in Long Term Care and some staff started a leave of absence. Our government funders have committed funds for 2020 while we offer new and different types of programs and services in Community Support Services and the Seniors Active Living Centre. We have focused our efforts on essential deliveries, drives to medical appointments, virtual programming, telephone conferencing, helping everyone navigate to get what they need, and sharing important information on how to stay safe.

We have a telephone reassurance program that has engaged 40 volunteers and students to check-in on over three hundred older adults, daily, weekly or occasionally. If more than a friendly visit is needed, the seniors is referred to staff for follow up. Everyone is dealing with the pandemic in different ways. We are assisting seniors who are struggling by referring to appropriate places and getting them what they may need to cope better.

As always we have been referring seniors for house cleaning, home maintenance, yard work and other services completed at home. We referred members and clients to foot care nurses who come to seniors’ homes.

Our virtual programming on the Zoom platform has been a grand success for those able to navigate their ipads and tablets to connect to instructors offering aerobics, dance, stretch/balance, yoga, language lessons and art classes. We have brought together small groups of people who wish to socialize together but from home.

We also have embraced telephone conferencing with a platform called Mercuri to offer Seniors Centre Without Walls so people can use their phone to connect to small groups of people for groups like that would normally meet in person like the Craft and Teddy Bear Groups, the Aerobic Gang, Luncheon Club, Dementia Day Program and for a weekly meditation class.

We started a book and puzzle sale on the front porch to help members be engaged with activities they are able to do at home and have provided a destination for a daily walk. While here, walkers can take in the lovely garden in full bloom surrounding the house.

We are planning on selling our already priced high end items during Bazaar Days on three Saturdays in September. (September 12, 19 & 26 10:00 am – 2:00 pm)We are taking pandemic measures seriously to ensure members can safely enter into part of the house to shop for treasures.  We will have some art displayed for sale on our patio (Bank Street Parking lot) and more in our multipurpose room, which will also house vintage and elegant treasures, handmade crafts, knit wear, teddy bears and high end jewelry, with new items each week.  We have limited capacity to fundraise in our traditional ways at the moment and we continue to rely on community support to make the seniors’ centre the best it can be.

Having received many cards, calls and emails throughout the shutdown, we are very grateful to all our members and clients for their care and concern. We are looking forward to the day we can open our doors, greet everyone in person and enjoy the company of friends in the multipurpose room, art room, pottery room, dining room, second floor and the boutique. Until then, and we do not know when, myself and the staff at Abbotsford House wish you all good health and happy moments during these challenging times.

Thinking ‘outside of the house’ at Abbotsford

By Julie Ireton

As COVID-19 continues to force everyone to adapt to new and safer ways of doing things, Christine Nassrallah thinks seniors should embrace new forms of technology to allow them to socialize, learn and enhance their lives.

At Abbotsford House at the Glebe Centre on Bank St., programs moved over to online platforms in the spring and continue to attract active seniors, including Nassrallah.

“Some of us are very conscious of the need to stay home and not mingle, but the Zoom classes connect us to the outside world without having to leave home. It’s a good way to diversify daily activities,” said Nassrallah, a member of Abbotsford House.

Every Monday morning, Nassrallah and half a dozen other members grab a tea or coffee, click on their Zoom app and greet each other in Abbotsford’s virtual Spanish class.

While the classes would normally be held at the senior’s centre across from Lansdowne Park, moving the program online still allows for lively conversations and direction from the instructor, in their own homes, according to Nassrallah.

But she says the zoom classes may inspire some to do a little house cleaning before class.

“Everybody comments on what they can see in the background, maybe a painting or something in your home. One person joined from her patio in Nova Scotia,” she said.

While the language classes help exercise the mind, Nassrallah and other seniors also take part in Abbotsford’s Zumba, aerobics and stretch classes to keep the body limber.

Over at Judith Yemen’s house, she shifts the dining room table so she can take part in her “functional fitness” classes on Tuesday afternoons in the air conditioned comfort of her Glebe home.

For Yemen, the Zoom class gives her the motivation to stay active.

“We’re still communicating with the instructor and the exercises are good, said Yemen, who plans to continue her twice weekly online exercise routine into the fall.

She, like Nassrallah, says she’s had no problem figuring out the technology, but notes that helpful staff at Abbotsford are eager to help those who have trouble getting connected.

“Once you have the app on your tablet or computer the link goes into your calendar. You go to that and tap it and it takes you right to the Zoom program, said Yemen.

Look for new interactive programming this fall to keep connected, challenged and fit.

“Zoom, Whatsapp, FaceTime are all essential, a lifeline throughout COVID to stay in touch and stay active and keep up with family,” said Nassrallah. “All community centres should continue to look at innovations that can engage people in the community to keep them active.”

Abbotsford is your Seniors Active Living Centre for Adults 55+. It house she community programs of The Glebe Centre Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit, organization which includes a 254 bed long term care home. Find out more about our services by telephoning 613-230-5730 during regular business hours or by checking out all of The Glebe Centre facilities and community programs on our website www.glebecentre.ca

Abbotsford is Blooming and Zooming!

Abbotsford is Blooming and Zooming!                              June 2020

By: Pat Goyeche

Abbotsford Programing and Services at the Glebe Centre is Blooming and Zooming, both inside and outside of our physical walls.  Nothing is the same yet we are doing it!

The COVID-19 pandemic has of course brought enormous worry, uncertainty and  change, upending each of our lives in ways that are both mundane and profound.  We have some common experiences as a society but so many differences as well, that come with age, race, socio-economic and other realities.

This is a big change for seniors. This house has been serving ‘senior community members’ since the 1890’s one way or another!  It is used to the fitness pitter patter of many feet and the chatter of many voices.  Alas, it is quiet as our in-house programming has been suspended and many of our staff have been re-deployed to help in our long term care home.  Only a few of us are still working in the house.

Like so many facilities, Abbotsford had to close its doors on March 16th.  While the doors are closed, however, our beautiful garden out front has burst forth in full bloom; and inside we continue to connect by way of land lines, cell towers and virtual means.  We, like so many, are re-tooling ourselves in order to maintain crucial links with our community of neighbours, members, clients and volunteers.

We have a strong core of volunteers reaching out through telephone trees, making sure everyone has access to food, pharmacy, medical appointments and mental health supports.  Beyond those ‘essential services’ we are also connecting with our folks through weekly e-mailed ‘blogs’.  Our volunteers are chatting with their ‘new friends’, checking in and forming new connections.  The Community Support Services team is reaching out to our clients, whose needs vary; sharing information and engaging with their clientele.

We have some amazing women in our community of volunteers who are making cotton masks for our members and clients.   We have volunteers delivering packages and reaching out through the telephone to do what they can to keep others safe, secure and connected.  We are so appreciative of their generosity.  We also appreciate our community partners, in particular Evelyn Metcalfe and Amanda Brown of Colonel By Retirement Residence for adding a sweet treat.

As we do service the elder population (who are particularly vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus) we will likely be amongst the last to re-open our physical doors. Yet we are by no means dormant in the meantime. The house is storing up good vibes for the day when it can once again open its doors to its community. While we wait there is much on offer to help keep our folks fit, entertained, challenged, engaged and connected.

Who knew that Boomers would be Blooming & Zooming themselves?  So many folks are connecting with family and friends in new ways and we have all learned to be open to technology and the wonderful opportunities that it brings.  Coffee Klatches are meeting, people are learning Spanish, and there is lots of dancing to Broadway hits and Zumba beats.  We can still ‘work out’ with our favourite teachers and chat with friends, either in a conference call or a virtual connection.

Keep vigilant, keep heathy, take care of each other.  Keep smiling at strangers and asking if they need a hand or something from the grocery store.  Enjoy the summer, join in a class or two and know that though the doors are locked our hearts and services remain open and engaged.

Abbotsford is your Seniors Active Living Centre for Adults 55+.  It houses the community programs of The Glebe Centre Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit, organization which includes a 254 bed long term care home.  Find out more about our services by telephoning 613-230-5730 during regular business hours or by checking out all of The Glebe Centre facilities and community programs on our website www.glebecentre.ca

Reaching out to the Abbotsford Community

Spring 2020

Abbotsford Community Day Program Facilitators facilitated the delivery of activity kits for some of their clients who are isolating in place along with everyone else…When you can’t come to the program, we will try to bring it to you! Thank you Terry (Glebe Centre Van Driver) for the safe delivery of kits and Meals on Wheels!

Look What’s Up at Abbotsford

Look What’s Up at Abbotsford

By: Karen Anne Blakely

Abbotsford house was built in 1872 and has seen many changes and renovations over the years. Recently, we replaced nine windows thanks to a generous grant from the Provincial Ministry of Seniors and Accessibility. Seven large windows originally built in a renovation during 1920s light up the multi-purpose room, which is just that, a room with multiple purposes. Older adults and adults with disabilities participate in fitness classes, dance, Zumba, tai-chi, and ping pong. The new windows will allow for fresh air into the room and continue to bring in light from the west.

The window in the main floor kitchen was also be replaced as well as one office window on the second floor.  One by one, grant by grant Abbotsford house is getting a new look.

The staff at Abbotsford house are busy calling and emailing all members and clients during our closure due to the pandemic. We want to ensure that our friends and neighbours are safe and secure during these times of social distancing and quarantine.

We continue to help seniors to get to essential medical appointments and we are helping with the delivery of Meals on Wheels. We understand the importance to remain connected during these challenging times. We will be recommending ways to socially connect in our email distribution and on our website. Call or email us if you would like assistance.

Abbotsford is your Seniors Active Living Centre.  We are the community programs and services of The Glebe Centre Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit, organization which includes a 254 bed long term care home.  Mon- Fri 8:30 am- 4:30 pm, telephoning 613-230-5730 or by checking out all of The Glebe Centre facilities and community programs on our website www.glebecentre.ca

Karen Anne Blakely is the Director of Community Programs and Services for Abbotsford at the Glebe Centre

 

Did you know?!

Students are a huge part of our organization, we’ve had students from across the country do their placements with us in all areas of The Glebe Centre. From long-term care to community support, students have not only gained valuable insights working in this sector but have provided countless hours of support for our clients, residents, members, staff, and volunteers.

  • We have 37 students participating in programs in long-term care and community support.  The students are from Ottawa U, Algonquin College, Heritage College, Algonquin Careers Academy and local high schools.
  • The students have provided over 1000 hours of support for clients and residents.
  • The students are an amazing part of our intergenerational programming.
  • The students have varied backgrounds with 15 being first year medical students from Ottawa U.
  • Several of our students are classical musicians.
  • Often once a placement is over the students will stay on and continue to volunteer.
  • Some of our students are now new staff.
  • Students can become very attached to our residents and clients
  • Students love to hear ‘stories’ from our residents and clients
  • Students take the time to engage!

Who Takes Care of the Caregiver

W

By: Julie Ireton

Every Friday morning at Abbotsford at the Glebe Centre, seniors who have taken on the role of caregiver to a spouse can grab a coffee and conversation with like-minded men and women.

“We plan for retirement. We don’t plan for caregiving,” said Janet Kuntz the volunteer facilitator of the caregivers’ coffee club at Abbotsford.

Kuntz, an active member of community, found herself a caregiver for 7 years. She knows that a spouse with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease can alter a relationship.  Now she helps connect others.

“Once the caregiving starts, you have to find a way to still enjoy life and still take care of yourself, while taking on the new responsibilities for someone else,” said Kuntz. “Here’s a support group to help with those responsibilities and still find joy.”

The caregiver coffee club meets at 10 am every Friday morning for two hours to casually chat and then listen to a guest speaker. They share advice and information about local services and supports. Many of those who attend the group are over 75.

Since the club began in September, speakers have dropped in to talk about a variety of topics, including respite care, retirement and long term care homes, banking, finance, and tax issues according to Kuntz.

She said many attendees are coping with the changes and stressful situations presented when a husband or wife is diagnosed with dementia.

Others, including Jill Vickers, come because they’re helping care for elderly parents.

Vickers, a former professor at Carleton University, lost her husband last year and is now trying to handle the stress of managing her mother’s struggle with advanced Parkinson’s disease on her own.

“We talk about our own circumstances,” said Vickers. “It’s been a real lifesaver. It lets me focus on more than being a caregiver.”

Those members who drop in on Fridays, 10 am to noon, contribute a dollar for a cup of tea or coffee. There’s no long term commitment to the club or need to sign up.

For some, this casual connection to other caregivers helps the senior realize they’re not alone and there are others they can turn to for understanding.

“You come from a world where you’re having to repeat things and constantly telling their spouse what the next step is,” said Kuntz. “Sometimes you feel like you’re going crazy. So this group is for people to say I’ve had the same challenge and this is what I did.”

New Canada’s Food Guide

By Annelise Duval, RD

You may have noticed that Health Canada published a new Canada’s Food Guide in January 2019. There are quite a few changes in this new edition with the most obvious one being the change from a rainbow model to a plate model filled with the recommended portions of foods to eat at meals.

With the new plate model, the Food Guide makes recommendations on WHAT you should eat by recommending more plant-based foods which includes eating plenty of vegetables and fruits, eating protein-rich foods with a special focus on legumes, peas and lentils, nuts and seeds (they have included dairy products like low fat yogurt, milk, cheese in the protein section) and choosing whole grain foods such as quinoa, wild rice and whole grain pasta. It also recommends drinking plenty of water instead of soda/juice to limit the amount of sugar eaten.  And it highlights the importance of choosing healthy fats such as healthy oils, avocadoes, fatty fish, nuts and seeds instead of saturated fats found in fatty meats, high fat dairy products, processed foods and tropical oils like coconut and palm oils. Lastly, it recommends limiting highly processed foods and using food labels when purchasing foods to make more informed food choices.

The new Food Guide also makes recommendations on HOW you should eat with the premise that Healthy eating is more than the foods you eat. With this, there is a big emphasis on the social aspects of eating by trying to eat with others at meals as well as cooking more often and involving your family in cooking/planning the meals. And it also encourages being mindful of how you eat (why did you eat?, when did you eat?, what did you eat?, where did you eat it?) to help make healthier food choices  and make positive changes to how you eat by being more conscious of the foods you eat and your eating habits.

Health Canada has also included several healthy eating recipes that align with the new recommendations.

If you haven’t had the opportunity to check out the new Canada’s Food Guide or if you want more information on the new recommendations, you can find the new version here: https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/

Amica The Glebe to provide $10,000 donation toward the Abbotsford House Restoration Fund



Despite freezing temperatures 45 guests made their way to Abbotsford House at The Glebe Centre on Saturday, January 12th for a brunch hosted by our new neighbours, Amica The Glebe.  Complete with a champagne toast by the Amica Leadership and Mayor Watson guests raised their glass to a happy and prosperous new year.

To kick off the event, Amica Senior Lifestyles and Succession Development donated $10,000 to the Abbotsford House Restoration Fund.  This significant investment by Amica will support the restoration of the historic Abbotsford House, having a positive impact on more than 1,000 local senior members and clients. With a growing senior population, these types of community services are increasingly important.

“For 133 years, Abbotsford House has provided community connections and a home away from home for seniors in the Glebe,” says Amica Chief Executive Officer Doug MacLatchy.  “Amica The Glebe is proud to support seniors and to help restore this important pillar of the community.”

Succession Development, a leading senior housing development company in Ontario, is working closely with Amica Senior Lifestyles to develop Amica The Glebe, which is set to open in 2021.

“We are excited to be developing a unique full continuum senior lifestyles residence in the Glebe and to be part of the Glebe community,” says Jeffrey Baum, CEO of Succession Development.

 “Abbotsford House has a storied history of supporting seniors in the Glebe,” says The Glebe Centre Executive Director Lawrence Grant. “We’ve established a restoration fund to help us restore the building. This significant donation from Amica The Glebe will enable us to restore the front porch of the building – one of our top priorities.” 

For more information about the Abbotsford House Restoration Fund please contact Courtney Rock (crock@glebecentre.ca, 613-238-2727 x 316).

About Amica The Glebe

Opening in 2021 in the heart of The Glebe in Ottawa, Ontario, Amica The Glebe is designed to fit its charming, historic surroundings. This senior lifestyles residence will offer a choice of private suites in independent living, assisted living and memory care, along with a host of premium amenities including a concierge, saltwater pool, fitness centre and a wide variety of scheduled social activities. Led by a Red Seal-certified chef, this residence will offer exceptional cuisine including healthy, balanced, dietitian-approved meals and a fully licensed dining room. With all shared and private spaces architecturally designed for comfort and accessibility, Amica The Glebe will provide its residents with everything they need to meet their current and future needs.

About Abbotsford House

Abbotsford House is a community support centre for adults 55+. With a 133-year history of serving local seniors, Abbotsford provides the community programs of The Glebe Centre Inc., a charitable, not-for-profit organization. Boasting 180 volunteers, Abbotsford House offers its 1180 members and clients thousands of connections through its community support services, drives for seniors and adults with disabilities, respite care to caregivers through its Day Away Program, classes, lunches, bus trips and more. To find out more about Abbotsford House services, visit 950 Bank Street (the old stone house) Monday to Friday, 9 – 4, phone 613-230-5730 or visit www.glebecentre.ca.