WINCHESTER — Pat Watson and her Mom lived two hours apart and Pat knew she couldn’t always be there, no matter how much she wanted to be. So, she found the next best thing – a companion who provided regular weekly visits.
For almost four years, Pat’s Mom, Gloria Thompson, lived at Dundas Manor and had a visit from a friend named Jennifer Chen. They talked, baked, read and did crafts.
“I knew Mom had the best care at Dundas Manor whether Jennifer was there or not,” recalls Pat. “But three times a week, I’d receive an email from Jennifer with details about my Mom – how she felt, what she did – which I loved. It gave me peace of mind and greatly improved my Mom’s quality of life.”
Gloria passed away in May 2015, but thanks to Pat’s generosity, the program continues. It is known as Gloria’s Companion and local fundraising efforts have meant that other residents now benefit as well.
“The idea is to pay the companion for their time but to have little or no charge for the resident,” explains Pat. The fundraising centres around collecting jewellery throughout the year for a sale each April. ‘Previously loved’ jewellery can be dropped off at Dundas Manor, Double Beauty Esthetics & Hairstyling, Main Street Clothing in Winchester and B&H Your Community Grocer in Kemptville.
A Spring Bling Sale is set for April 1st from 10 to 2 at the Old Town Hall in Winchester. Full details can be found at www.facebook.com/gloriascompanion. There is also a crowdfunding page at https://www.youcaring.com/gloriascompanion-734959. The goal is to cover the cost of supporting two residents currently in the program — and adding two more.
“We are honoured to support the Gloria’s Companion program at Dundas Manor,” adds Jennifer Hill, Activity Programs and Services Director. “We want to enrich the lives of our residents by nourishing mind, body and soul. This program certainly helps to do that.”