Imagine living the first 16 years of your life being able to see colours, shapes and all of nature’s splendour, only to have your vision fade into darkness. It’s a difficult reality for anyone to manage—yet one that Florence, a resident of Chartwell Robert Speck in Mississauga, Ontario, faced with strength, perseverance and a positivity the likes of which few possess.
Most people would agree that many activities in life require two hands. However, if you asked Chartwell Heritage Glen resident Lionel, he’d beg to differ. Living with only one arm for more than 60 years, Lionel firmly believes “It doesn’t matter how hard it is, there’s always a way that you can do it!”
Storyteller and Chartwell Stillwater Creek resident Samuel “Bernie” Shaw isn’t accustomed to having the tables turned on him as the subject—rather than the author—of the story. With seven published books and nearly 300 articles on subjects ranging from aviation in the post-Avro years to the history of the Ottawa Valley region to his name, he understands what it takes to make a good story come alive.
Sébastien Chartier, General Manager of Chartwell L’Unique had an idea last year. “Initially, I wanted to organize a beach party for our residents to enjoy the sun and relax for an afternoon,” he says. Fast forward two years later, and the initial 2016 Beach Party where 200 or so residents from Chartwell homes in the Laurentians first gathered and its surroundings has now become Chartwell’s largest seniors’ gathering in all of Quebec.
It’s never too late to learn. That was the theme of the day at Chartwell Westmount Long Term Care Residence in Kitchener, Ontario, where a group of a dozen “students” donned their caps and gowns at a well-attended commencement ceremony celebrating their successful completion of courses at Chartwell’s Westmount Academy. There wasn’t a dry eye in the room as fellow onlookers, including family members, friends, residents and staff, cheered on the grads as they proudly obtained their coveted certificates of education.
Chartwell and Wish of a Lifetime Canada have been busy fulfilling wishes over the last few months. Making dreams a reality for seniors is what this partnership is all about, and April and May certainly didn’t disappoint! Have a look at some of the inspiring wishes we’ve fulfilled.
Peter, an optimistic and passionate 83 year-old and resident of Chartwell Imperial Place, has dedicated much of his life to both younger and older generations. A teacher of 43 years, Peter has taught children in his home town of Cape Town, South Africa, in Alberta and in British Columbia. He has also brought his passion for people, education, and counseling to a number of programs striving to improve the lives of seniors. As a true lover of classical music, his Wish of a Lifetime was to finally conduct an orchestra.
I’ve been a proud Housekeeper at Chartwell Rideau Place for the past six years. In addition to completing my typical duties each day—which includes cleaning residents’ rooms and ensuring their laundry is taken care of—I also pride myself on making residents feel welcomed and comfortable. I greet everyone with a smile, follow up with residents about their day and even work on puzzles with them in my free time. Getting to know residents on a personal level is important to help create a level of trust. If I hear a resident say “I missed you so much” or “what would I do without you,” I know I’ve made the impact I was hoping for.
Chartwell Royal Park resident, Jack Ryall, was overcome with emotion as he recently traveled to Nassau, Bahamas, to fulfill his wish of a lifetime. Born in England and a self-described “true cockney,” Jack lied about his age just to enlist in the Royal Air Force at 16. After serving in Nassau, he eventually made his way to Calgary in 1972, where he prided himself on being a good father and husband.
For the last 11 years, Wilbrod Projean has called Chartwell Le Duplessis in Trois-Rivières his home. “You know, I knew nothing about life in a retirement residence when I started looking,” he explains. Having served in Trois-Rivières’ police force for 35 years, Wilbrod eventually retired and alongside his passion for meeting new people, he also developed one for playing cards.