(Florence (left), John (right) and nurse, Lisa (middle) enjoy the animals at the Petting Farm – animals provided by Debbie and Ross McCaig. Photo: Amanda Paterson, Granite Ridge)
At Granite Ridge Care Community in Stittsville, it’s a summer tradition to host a special event series with a unique theme. This year, it was a country fair, inspired by the fields and open lands that residents grew up around in the Ottawa Valley. “Many residents have fond memories of attending country fairs as children, but it can be difficult for them to get out to a fair now because of mobility challenges. Bringing the fair to them is all part of creating more inclusive leisure experiences,” says Kayla Sparling, Director of Resident Programs.
(Micheline enjoys a treat from the ice cream truck on a hot summer’s day. Photo: Amanda Paterson, Granite Ridge)
Residents, families and the team all shared their ideas for the fair, and “the most common themes were animals, food, games and laughter,” says Kayla. With this in mind, the team developed a week of events, including petting farm, ice cream truck, carnival, bingo and face painting. One resident, who has difficulty communicating at times, burst into song at the Petting Farm, singing “Oh, dear, what can the matter be… Johnny so long at the fair” while she watched the animals pass by.
“This week was a success because of our amazing recreation team, families who engaged in the events with their loved ones, volunteers who supported residents in getting ready and out to the events, and the nursing team,” says Kayla. “It makes me proud to work at a place where all of us come together to help residents live fully, every day.”
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