from Kathy’s Desk – January 2021

| News

2020 has been a challenging year, with COVID-19 dictating how we maintain safety for the Elders and staff. On behalf of our entire Kinsmen Lodge team, thank you for your support and understanding during this difficult time. We know you miss visiting your loved ones and we hope the COVID-19 vaccine will be available to the general public by early 2021, so that we can welcome you all through our doors once again. With you, our partners in care, along with our excellent staff, we continue to help our Elders find meaning and true happiness in their lives. The Recreation staff report 92% Elder engagement, up by nearly 15% from previous years.

You may have heard that, just in time for Christmas, KL produced a “Pandemic Party” CD under the guidance of Music Therapist, Sheila Harry, and her team. More highlights from the past year included selecting our new logo and updating our website, making regular posts on our social media accounts to keep our families and stakeholders informed and becoming proficient with new technology including Zoom, Skype and FaceTime.

For the past seven years, KL has partnered with Stenberg College to produce our annual desk calendar which has been mailed out to our families, friends and donors. I want to thank Nika Vaughan, our Art Therapist, and Bev Umlas for coordinating this initiative and, of course, our
Elders for sharing their artwork. If you do not receive a calendar in the next few weeks, please feel free to pick one up from Reception or at the Social Visitation tents. Proceeds from the calendars will go towards the Sunshine Fund and help us purchase gifts of safety and comfort for our Elders.

Drum Roll Please!! As is our tradition, we held our annual Christmas Decorating Contest again this year. Even COVID-19 could not dim our beautiful home that is entirely lit up by the imagination, thoughtfulness and love that both the Elders and staff put into decorating each neighbourhood. A panel of Elders was chosen to judge the winners and they did their walkabout on December 18th. It was so hard to choose, that all neighbourhoods ended up receiving a special prize for their efforts, with the overall grand prize being awarded to Cedar Grove for their inclusion of the Elders, the focus on the nativity scene and the homespun decorations. Congratulations to all! We had to forego the Gingerbread House Competition this year, but it will be back in 2021! When participating in virtual visits with the Elders, please ask your loved one and/or staff to focus on some of the spectacular Christmas trees and the decorations that make KL look so happy and festive. Our home looks truly amazing and I am so impressed by the number of our Elders who participated and their creativity.

Historically, November and December can be especially difficult months for families when Elders pass away at this time of year. This has been especially difficult in 2020 when families cannot visit as readily as before due to the restrictions imposed by COVID-19 precautions. On behalf of the Board, Leadership Team, staff and volunteers, we send our condolences to all the families who lost loved ones in 2020. It is our sincere hope that 2021 is a much happier and peaceful year!