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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


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.

The Drive for Drivers


By Julie Ireton

For the past ten years Terry Dale has been driving seniors around in the Glebe Centre’s bus, making sure elderly residents get to where they’re going in good company.

But recently, Dale became the passenger.

After a recent knee replacement, he couldn’t drive to his follow-up appointments so he sought out the reliable, friendly volunteer medical transport service available through the Glebe Centre Community Programs at Abbotsford.

“My wife doesn’t drive so I reached out to Abbotsford,” said Dale. “They took all the concern away. It’s magic. Having their support meant the world.”

Dale and other seniors who subscribe to the medical transport service can have volunteer, screened drivers pick them up from their home or apartment and drive them right to their appointment at a clinic, hospital or doctor’s office.

The driver will also offer a helping hand to make sure the senior gets from door to door safely.

There is a cost of about $12 per round-trip ride which helps cover the gas used by the volunteer drivers who use their own cars.

The service is subsidized by both municipal and provincial programs according to Jane Stallabrass, the Abbotsford Community Support Program Facilitator.  

“Taxis are expensive and not always as helpful as our volunteers and Para Transpo is not reliable for getting to appointments at specific times,” said Stallabrass.

Right now, she has about a dozen drivers who will each drive one to three times a week, depending on availability.

Some of the volunteers are newly retired seniors looking to give back to the community, but Stallabrass says students in studying social work, policing and firefighting also lend their time to drive for the program.

“We never have enough volunteer drivers,” said Stallabrass. “Whether drivers are available for a short term or on a more regular, permanent basis, both are needed. We love our drivers and we’d love some more.

Wayne Thoms, a federal public servant, has been a volunteer driver for the past five years.

He rearranges his work schedule so he can help out once a week.

Thoms said for some of the clients, it’s clearly more than just a pick up and drop off.

“You can tell a number of people love the interaction, it’s a chance to talk,” said Thoms. “Some of the clients, you’re able to help them out and the idea of program is to help them stay in homes longer after losing their licence and their independence.”

If you want to know more about the services or how to become a volunteer driver please call Community Support Services within Abbotsford and ask for Jane at 613-230-5730.

Abbotsford is your community support centre for Adults 55+.  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.  Find out more about our services by dropping by 950 Bank Street (the old stone house) Mon- Fri 9-4 pm, telephoning 613-230-5730 or by checking out all of The Glebe Centre facilities and community programs on our website www.glebecentre.ca

Getting Ready to Embrace 2019

By Pat Goyeche

The New Year is a time of renewal.  It is the time of year when we resolve to do better, achieve our goals, and freshen-up our ‘to do’ list. 

At Abbotsford (your community centre for Adults 55 +) it is definitely a time of renewal. e It is the time to renew your yearly membership and recommit to your personal goals and community goals. 

This is a time of year when the staff, volunteers and members of Abbotsford come together to celebrate the New Year and each other.  Please join us for a celebration of all that is good at Abbotsford on Friday January 4th, with music by Colores Andinos.  Be prepared to enjoy the Latin American beat, some treats and good company.  Everyone is welcome to attend and ring in the New Year with us. Just give us a call so that we know how many to plan for.

Fitness is flourishing at Abbotsford this winter as we all struggle to keep our level of activity high even when challenged by weather conditions.  We have something for everyone.  Dance to a Latin beat in one of our Zumba classes, move to Music from Around the World, Belly Dance with us and/or challenge your core muscles with Stretch and Balance, Yoga, Joint and Mobility classes or the always-popular weekly Muscle Toning workouts.

Challenge your brain with classes in intermediate Bridge, Apple devices, Conversational Spanish, Classical Music Appreciation and Memoir Writing (advanced), as well as weekly stimulating presentations as part of our Learn & Explore ‘Speakers Series’.

Clubs keep us singing, talking about books, playing pool, crafting, practicing Tai Chi, making Teddy Bears, playing Ping Pong and even getting together with others who are facing the challenges of being a caregiver. 

The winter months are also prime time for warm kitchens, cooking delicious food and sharing it with others.  Check out our cooking workshops and weekly dining club.

Renew your goals, stretch your comfort zone and join in an activity of interest or two this winter at Abbotsford… ‘one of the best kept secrets of Ottawa’!  Shhh…

Abbotsford is your community support centre for Adults 55+.  We are 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 dropping by 950 Bank Street (the old stone house) Mon- Fri 9-4 pm, telephoning 613-230-5730 or by checking out all of The Glebe Centre facilities and community programs on our website www.glebecentre.ca

New Horizon Grant Update

By Julie Ireton

With the help of a federal government grant program, Abbotsford at the Glebe Centre has a whole lot cooking.

The annual New Horizon grant, worth up to $25,000, helps the seniors’ activity centre across from Lansdowne Park stay vibrant and relevant, according to Karen Anne Blakely, Director of Community programs at Abbotsford at the Glebe Centre.

The grant is funded by the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors Program.

In 2018, this money has helped with three different initiatives, starting with fixing up the main floor kitchen in the heritage farmhouse.

“We’ve remodeled the main floor kitchen which includes a stove, a vented hood fan microwave, heating table and new cabinetry,” said Blakely

Members come together to learn some specialized culinary skills and then provide the delicious results at various events. The aroma of tasty food has been wafting through the main floor all fall.

Another portion of this year’s grant will go towards the Ottawa Seniors Housing Alliance, an initiative involving several Abbotsford members.

The alliance is brainstorming different options for the elderly besides retirement or long term care homes such as living in smaller spaces, community living or co-sharing care options.  

Blakely says grant monies will be used to help set up a forum and bring in guest speakers to discuss how to solve housing issues for seniors throughout Ottawa.

The forum called, ‘My Place to Age’ will explore housing options for seniors, discuss priorities and provide informative lectures on Friday, November 30th 9:00am – 4:00 pm in Jean Pigott Hall at Ottawa City Hall.

There is a $10 registration fee that includes lunch that will also take place at city hall, 110 Laurier Avenue West.  

Everyone with an interest in seniors housing is encouraged to register and attend.  Please call: 613-798-3577 (extension 103) and/or find out more at www.coaottawa.ca

“It’s really about creating common spaces to socialize together and not be lonely as they age,” said Blakely.  “They want to create partnerships and tackle development of a housing plan.”

Another future project that will benefit from the New Horizons money is a friendly visit program to isolated seniors.

This special project will partner with local florists so volunteer visitors can drop off flowers and have a friendly visit with people who are just home from hospital, are socially isolated or physically frail.

The winter programming guide will be available mid-December.  Drop in to get your guide and find out when registration begins.  Your New Year resolutions can be fulfilled at Abbotsford.

Abbotsford is your community support centre for Adults 55+.  We are 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 dropping by 950 Bank Street (the old stone house) Mon- Fri 9-4 pm, telephoning 613-230-5730 or by checking out all of The Glebe Centre facilities and community programs on our website: www.glebecentre.ca

One Person’s Trash

By: Julie Ireton

Deep in the basement of Abbotsford House at the Glebe Centre are some hidden works of art that have been collected over many months, only to emerge for the annual, November bazaar.

“There’s some super interesting art work,” said Ian Carter, a volunteer at the senior’s centre across from Lansdowne Park. “Occasionally we also see the odd paint by numbers.”

So they aren’t all masterpieces, but the bazaar’s volunteer art team promises a few hundred paintings and prints, many of which are originals, at the Saturday Nov 24 sale.

Carter and other volunteers will spend more time over the next few weeks sorting and pricing the donated works.

It’s a task that can lead to some animated conversations about the value of a certain work, said Carter who holds a degree in art history and experience working at the National Gallery of Canada.

Some pieces come as seniors downsize from houses to apartments other donations come from estates.

 “The bottom line is that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure,” said Carter.

And that’s really what the annual, fundraising bazaar is all about.

The bazaar has a number of repeat customers including several collectors who’ve been known to camp out at the front door early in the morning, well before the 10 am opening.

There are a few notable paintings that require a professional eye when it comes to determining the value said Geoffrey Rider, Abbotsford member and volunteer.

This year, the highlight will be a couple of watercolour paintings, including one of the Glebe’s own Patterson Creek.

“Most of our art is original, we also get a fair number of prints, it generally runs in the amateur art category,” said Rider.

The sale will also feature some bins with cheaper art and empty frames priced at between $5 and $15.

“People buy what speaks to them,” said Rider. “People buy some of the art recognizing it’s poorly framed and if better framed will be wonderful.”

Abbotsford’s annual bazaar includes much more than art, also featured is a flea market, bake sale, jewelry, homemade crafts and teddy bears, books, stamps and much more.

Don’t miss the annual fundraising bazaar, mark Saturday November, 24 10 am – 2:30 pm on your calendar.

Abbotsford is your community support centre for Adults 55+.  We are 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 dropping by 950 Bank Street (the old stone house) Mon- Fri 9-4 pm, telephoning 613-230-5730 or by checking out all of The Glebe Centre facilities and community programs on our website www.glebecentre.ca






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