A thoughtful expression of love and support of our residents
Donors play a tremendous role in helping us fulfill our Mission by sponsoring our varied programs and services and by providing funds to enhance the physical comfort and peacefulness of our home.
Your donation will support our programs including:
- Spiritual Care
Our Spiritual Care Program is a core service at Columbus Residence. It distinguishes us as a faith-based organization committed to addressing the spiritual aspects of holistic care.In an effort to meet the growing demand for spiritual care visiting and services and to strengthen our commitment to provide spiritual, sacramental, palliative, and bereavement support we hope to maintain the Spiritual Care services seven days per week. »» Learn more
- Music Therapy
Music Therapy involves the thoughtful and informed use of music as a tool in addressing each individual’s physical, emotional, cognitive, social and spiritual needs. Music Therapy provides positive experiences for our residents that include: stimulating memory recall through musical associations, and facilitating relaxation that can promote sleep and decrease pain and anxiety. »» Learn more
- Recreation Therapy
Our Recreation Therapy program is designed to support strengths and abilities and provide opportunities for further growth. Recreation Therapists offer programming seven days a week. The schedule varies monthly.
These programs are not funded by the annual budget given to us by the Health Authority, therefore we rely on donations to continue these important programs.
About Our Residents
Robin enjoys a visit with her daughter, Heidi and grandson on the first Window Visit Day, May 25, 2020:
Louise sings Happy Birthday to her daughter Karen during a Virtual Visit.
Our very own Guinness World Record Holder
Roger worked in customer service for Canadian Airlines for over 40 years, and has traveled all over the world to 169 countries, all 10 Canadian provinces, all 50 American states—and from the North Pole to the South Pole. When asked what took him to all those countries, Roger jokes,”Airplanes, usually!” Roger told us recently, “I’m even in the Guinness Book of World Records—1979 edition—for flying around the world in 68 hours, 8 min and 28 sec.”. He was interviewed by Jack Webster on CJOR about this experience.
One of Roger’s most memorable trips was to Timbuktu in Mali, West Africa which he loves to share stories about as many people don’t realize it really exists! And, he was in Chile the night that Salvador Allende was overthrown by Augusto Pinochet—watching tanks drive up and down the main boulevard, he says, “It was the scariest moment of my life.”
From growing up in the Columbus Residence neighbourhood to skiing in Voss, Norway to watching major league baseball in Japan, Mexico and the Dominican Republic—Roger’s life has been a wonderful traveling adventure! He loves to have people name a country, and he’ll name the cities he’s visited in that country. Jaime Ascher, Columbus Residence Administrator, says, “I’ve never been able to stump him!”
Roger is still active, going on outings to Oakridge to have coffee with friends, bus trips to places like Stanley Park and Grouse Mountain, and one of his favourite activities—Canadians baseball games at Nat Bailey Stadium! Roger’s adventurous spirit continues to thrive through our Recreation Therapy Program because of the support of donors like you. This program enriches the daily lives of our residents through activities and events that are meaningful and enjoyable to them.
“I am writing in support of the Spiritual Care and Bereavement program as well as the Music Therapy programs that my Mother, Teresa attends whilst at Columbus House. We had waited for over 18 months to get my Mom into a Catholic-based facility as her religious connections are strong and her Spiritual Care is important: after her retirement from teaching in BC, she used to teach catechism for many years at Guardian Angels church and deliver communion to “shut-ins”. Being amongst others of her religion allows her to endure all that she has been through in her life and is a comfort to her to know that she is with like-minded folks and that others are praying with her.
The Music Therapy program is important in that the great variety of instruments played, the participation of a large number of residents, and the enthusiasm of the staff gives every resident a chance to shine. There are several retired teachers among the residents and they appreciate the time and effort to keep them in the “here and now”, and to age with grace, dignity, and fun.
In a recent article in the Lancet, a medical journal, it says that about 35% of dementia cases might be prevented if people do things including exercising and engaging in cognitively stimulating activities. I feel that the Musical Therapy program helps folks already suffering from dementia from slipping further away into a fog of forgetfulness and isolation. People who no longer speak out loud will sing familiar tunes with others and participate in the programs.
It is all about quality of life, knowing that my Mother is well taken care of allows me peace of mind and to deal with my own daily chores of being an active grandmother, a good mother, a good daughter, and a good person.”
November 17, 2019
Heidi, Robin’s daughter wrote a touching letter about her mother’s experience coming to Columbus Residence.
I am writing to share how the music program at Columbus Residence has impacted my mother.
She is a young 73. Her going into residential care was sudden and unexpected. She was tremendously uncomfortable and found settling into the situation a challenge. She went from living in a lovely retirement community with friends and neighbours in Chilliwack, to a place and people she didn’t know.
She went from being independent, to having strangers approach her to tell her when to change and when to eat. This was a shock for her.
I imagine that others might have this same experience.
She spent the majority of her time alone in her room.
I am the only family member present and able to care for my mom. I am also a single mother of a young teen, living here in Vancouver. I have been greatly overextended physically, financially and emotionally, in trying to provide care for my mother on my own. As she is young and very present, a large part of her care and needs involve keeping her engaged, and bringing meaning to her days. This has to some degree, put me and my son in an unhealthy position as I’m challenged to find enough time to look after my own home and child. The music program at Columbus takes some of the pressure off in this and enables me to do a better job caring for my mother and my son.
It was through Lyndia Scott the music therapist, the visiting musicians, and the music program offered at Columbus, as well as through Paloma Leon and kind people in the recreation department, that my mother found connection and comfort.
This has brought her so much joy and peace, and has given her a way to connect with others. It has brought us all together, families included.
When the home is able to bring in a special musician or program, I see residents, families and staff full of joy. Such an important and healthy contribution to lives. I believe that it wards off depression and decline of health. It most definitely does for my mother.
She is a social and creative person. This has provided her an outlet and a reason to leave her room. She has many years ahead and although her world has become incredibly small and somewhat limited, the music program has made it possible for the world to come to her.
There is a degree of sadness with the sometimes long good bye that comes with dementia. The music program is not every day (unfortunately), but on the days my mother does have it, there is so much joy, inclusion and interaction.
I also notice other residents that normally do not interact or communicate much, smiling and singing together. I see some that used to play the piano, sit and play again as the music brings back the memory.
There is so much more to this than just playing a song. It’s very much person led, and organic to some degree. Sometimes it’s the residents that are playing the music. It reaches everyone on a personal level.
This particular residence has a hard working recreation team and they try to provide programming that is meaningful to the residents. Still there are many empty hours to some days where people are just left. They are no longer able to walk safely outside in the world, but still have so much in them. To be alone and without family around, it is such a kindness to give them these moments of joy through music and interaction.
My mother comes from a family with 11 siblings. Her mother played the piano, and.her and her sisters sang and performed for many years. My mother’s mental and emotional state has improved greatly through the music program at Columbus, and is one of the reasons I advocated for her to come to this home.
I would ask that this music therapy and programming continued to be supported and increased, as there is not enough as it is.
I am writing not only for my mother, but for all the other residents that I see come out of their shell, smile and participate in the joy that the music brings.
I can not emphasis enough what a difference it makes, and how much more is needed. I would like to ask whoever is reading this message and deciding on how and if help will be offered, to come and visit us at Columbus, and to join us to see and experience the positive impact it makes.
I thank you for reading this, and for the support that has been offered to make this possible, and for your kind consideration to continue this support.
Wishing you all the happiest of holidays,
November 24, 2019
Thank you for your generous support of Columbus Residence—your donation makes a difference!
Columbus Residence is a registered charitable organization and donations are tax deductible. Every dollar of your donation is used for the direct benefit of the residents.