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Empowering Seniors to Live Life on Their Own Terms | Bergen Gardens

Empowering Seniors to Live Life on Their Own Terms

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Interviewer (00:05) Good Morning! It is a beautiful day at Bergen Gardens. I'm very pleased to be joined by a few of their lovely staff who've joined us for a segment this morning. Lisa Martens, their Executive Director, and Jackie Dawkins, their Life Enrichment Director. Ladies, thank you both for your time on the show this morning. Lisa Martens (00:19) Great to have you! Interviewer (00:19) Yeah. So for our viewers just tuning in this morning, Lisa, introduce us to your assisted living facility. And I understand your building design really inspires wellness for the residents who reside here. Lisa Martens (00:29) It really does. And so our team was very deliberate. This whole entire building is based on research to actually make people feel well and make people feel much better after living here. And we've seen already a huge response from people who've been much better since they've moved in and have started walking and have started interacting with others. And so we can really see wellness hard at work already. Interviewer (00:54) And everything from your garden space out in front to this lovely courtyard we're standing in. Tell us a little bit about this space I understand you helped design and what it means again to promoting individual residents wellbeing. Lisa Martens (01:07) Yeah. Of course, being in nature makes everybody feel better. So we have two different gardens. We have another garden and a greenhouse on the other side for the people who live on our senior living side, as well as the people who live here in what we call memory care in the cottages, they have their own private garden, which they can access 24/7, which is just beautiful. Interviewer (01:26) And, Jackie, from my understanding, you guys take a lot of pride here at your organization in promoting empowerment through your residents. Give us a few examples of how you guys really take the time to put forward wellness as a key promoter in the best care you can provide. Jackie Dawkins (01:42) Sure, absolutely. So it starts off with our tenant meeting once a week. Every week we ask all the tenants to come together and we get their input on what their wellness needs are and then we act on that. So for instance, the garden, our big vegetable garden. Those are all planned by the tenants who lived here. They started right in April picking out their seeds, going through the catalogs, bringing in the seeds, getting their hands dirty in the soil. Then another group has taken care of the watering and the weeding. And I just had a group of ladies last week got together with all the excess cucumber. I mean, we started doing our pickles and they're already super excited about what's our next? What are we going to do? There's beans in there. Yeah, they're just super excited just to keep up and you could just see their happiness in the stories of talking about their grandparents and their parents, how they taught them how to do this stuff and still being able to do it. One of our ladies was saying her mother was in, as she called it, a prison, and she wasn't allowed to do anything. She was just sat in her room. Whereas she feels that she is in this great new community and she gets to still be who she is. And her soul is happy! Interviewer (03:10) You know, it all sounds wonderful and there's certainly so many memories that can be made while gardening through your great example. We're going to be shortly wrapping up this segment, Jackie, but give me one more example of how you find your divisions of wellness really promote. There's so many different characteristics that you guys put forward. Jackie Dawkins (03:26) Absolutely. So we have our gym. We have a group of very dedicated people who came in here who weren't very healthy. They were coming from the hospital and with their own drive and dedication and our support being there for them, showing them how to use those machines properly. They're out there every morning socializing. We're getting together, playing cards and oh, bingo! It's so crazy! I'm not a bingo lover, but the folks it's not about me, it's about what they want and their needs are. So it's really, you know, listening to them and giving them what they need. Interviewer (04:02) It all sounds wonderful, Jackie. And Lisa, before we go, let me ask you again the website where people can go to find more information on your facility. Lisa Martens (04:08) You can find us at Interviewer (04:10) Lisa, Jackie, we really appreciate your time on the show this morning. And again, that's been from Bergen Gardens here in East Winnipeg.

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