Life-long learning and a willingness to embrace new things defines this residents’ council.
Silverthorn Care Community recently became one of three winners in the Share Your Story contest run by the Ontario Association of Residents’ Council. They were recognized for “cultivating meaningful community links by bringing arts and culture to the home,” and for “working together to enhance the quality of life for residents.”
Silverthorn’s council has introduced a Strolling Minstrel program, where a paid performer roams the six dining rooms serenading residents as they eat. It also sponsors three Smile Theatre performances a year, which are open to residents and family. Smile Theatre is a charity that creates and presents musical theatre productions for older adults.
“The powerful experiences created by these small groups of performers leave our seniors feeling engaged, inspired and uplifted,” said John Graham, Resident Council President.
The council is open to all residents, with about 15 usually coming to the monthly meetings. Brainstorming is a huge part of the meetings, resulting in several innovative ideas for keeping the arts alive being implemented at Silverthorn.
A few years ago, the council bought three iPads for the residence, which have “expanded our horizons and eroded previously-perceived barriers,” said John. “We can escape through music and images… and feel the coveted immediacy of human connection through applications like Skype and FaceTime.”
“Living in a care community doesn’t mean that we’re isolated or cut off from the world,” said John. “We live for experiences that stoke the fires within us and make us feel alive and connected. Bringing forms of art and culture into our home is just one way we accomplish this, one day at a time.”