The Checkup - Fall 2016 - Page 2

Building strong communities With no grandchildren of his own nearby, Frank Gibot looks forward to visits with the children from the Walter and Gladys Hill Public School. Once a week, Frank and the other Continuing Care residents from the Northern Lights Regional Health Centre visit with elementary students as part of the Empathy for the Aging program. Frank cherishes this time and loves playing games, reading books and gardening in the “outdoor classroom.” “It’s really neat getting to know the kids, and telling them about my life and what it was like growing up in Fort Chip[ewyan],” says Frank. Designed to educate students on the realities of aging and illness, the Empathy for the Aging program allows children and seniors to build meaningful friendships. “Many kids don’t have their grandparents here [in Wood Buffalo], so it’s nice spending time with them,” says Frank. The Continuing Care team takes pride in this partnership that provides residents with interactive programming outside of the hospital setting. “It’s a wonderful program that we’re very proud to be a part of. It truly improves the quality of life for our residents,” says Denise Wilkinson, Area Manager of Seniors Health. “Through programs such as these, our residents remain integrated, active members of our community. That in turn, builds a healthier, stronger community as a whole.” Continuing Care residents like Frank, looks forward to his weekly visits with the students at Walter and Gladys Hill Public School. Thanks to support from ConocoPhillips, the Northern Lights Health Foundation contributed $5,000 towards expanding the activities offered during the time the residents and students spend together. With your support, the Northern Lights Health Foundation funds vital health care needs in Wood Buffalo. Support community health care close to home. Donate at northernlightshealthfoundation.ca/donate. 2 Fall 2016 | The Checkup