St. Andrew’s Terrace hosting seasonal fundraisers for Alzheimer Society

New way of hosting fundraisers has increased resident involvement
11/30/2018  - Deron Hamel

St. Andrew’s Terrace team members changed the way they do fundraisers this year, and as a bonus there has been more resident involvement.

The Cambridge, Ont. long-term care community has long been doing fundraisers for worthy causes, but team members were noticing they weren’t raising much money and were not involving residents as much as they wanted, says life enrichment manager Sara Byma.

So the team decided to concentrate on raising money for one charity per year through events held once each season. Team members approached the residents’ council at the start of the year to ask which charity residents wanted to support.

Residents decided on the Alzheimer Society of Canada.

The first fundraising event was in March. It was a chili lunch and the staff and residents “loved it,” Sara says. Chili with lots of toppings went on sale, and residents helped by baking goodies to go with the lunch.

Towards the end of summer, St. Andrew’s Terrace hosted an ice-cream sundae social which received lots of support, and residents were able to help with the preparation.

Later in November, there will be a pie and ice-cream social.

“We wanted the residents to have a choice in the selection of the charity – that is really important because we want them to be looking outside of our walls and into the community and partnering with organizations that we would like to support,” Sara tells S&R Today.

“This is their idea to support the Alzheimer Society. ... The resident involvement is what matters more to us than the dollars.”

Long-term care communities are home to a significant percentage of people living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, so supporting the Alzheimer Society was important to residents, Sara says. 

Alzheimer’s disease is a delicate subject matter for many residents, but having this series of fundraisers throughout the year has opened up dialogue, Sara says.

“It has provided opportunity to talk about that journey and how it feels – I didn’t really expect that, but it really opened up the door about having conversations that were a bit delicate,” she says.

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