What was supposed to be a simple date between a couple from Queensway Long Term Care Home and Retirement Community instead became a magical Christmas moment that will never be forgotten.
Francine, who is in long-term care, and Harry, who is in retirement, met after coming to Queensway. A romance blossomed, but Harry has terminal lung cancer and his last wish was a date night with his girlfriend for coffee, to see the Christmas lights and enjoy some carols.
Thanks to Bridge to Dreams, a resident-centred program implemented at Southbridge Care Homes’ Queensway Home in Hensall, Harry and Francine had a date to remember.
On December 17, 2018, more than 300 people braved the cold in MacNaughton Park in Exeter to sing carols and wish Harry and Francine a Merry Christmas. Community partners sprang into action. Brad Oke’s Limousines, Tim Horton’s and the Exeter Lionnesses donated services to make the evening special for Francine and Harry.
“You see all the people here and it’s just overwhelming. What an amazing community we have in Exeter in that everyone would pull together and give Harry and Francine such a wonderful Christmas gift,” said Queensway Programs Manager and Dream Coordinator Margaret Sutherland.
The 300 carollers regaled the two lovebirds with songs such as Silent Night, We Wish You a Merry Christmas and Jingle Bells.
Harry and Francine were overcome with emotion at the support they received. Harry remarked in an interview with CTV London, “(I’ve) never had anything like this in my life and I want to thank everybody for coming.”
Bridge to Dreams is a resident-centered initiative developed by Southbridge Care Homes in partnership with the homes it operates. The program encourages seniors to rekindle their passions and encourages them to celebrate life to the fullest. This is the third time this year Queensway was able to bring a dream to life.
“The Bridge to Dreams program is a purposeful way for us to honour our residents in meaningful ways, and together with the direct support of staff, we were able to do just that,” remarked Southbridge Chief Executive Officer Ryan Bell.
Queensway Retirement Community is a 35-suite independent retirement living home with services and support as required. It is co-located with a 60 resident long-term care home. The Community is in the village of Hensall.
Southbridge Care Homes
Creating Caring Environments for seniors is a remarkable responsibility that Southbridge Care Homes takes seriously. Managing more than 30 long-term care homes, retirement and independent living communities across Ontario, we strive to ensure our residents feel connected, supported, loved and cared for.
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