My name is Jim Kurz, and as the chairperson of the Deer Lodge Centre Foundation, I’d like to tell you about how support from people like you enables Deer Lodge Centre to provide exceptional care to people living with dementia.
Since retiring and becoming a volunteer with Deer Lodge Centre Foundation, I’ve had the privilege of meeting many of the dedicated staff who tirelessly care for patients, residents, and Veterans at Deer Lodge Centre.
One question that occurred to me before I retired was, “Am I leaving my work behind in good hands? Will my legacy of love continue?” Today, I’m writing to you because I would like to share a recent conversation that I had with Maureen, a nurse and kindred spirit who is soon retiring after 23 years of service at Deer Lodge Centre.
As a newly graduated nurse, Maureen saw a future in service to others – to care for the vulnerable and to heal our community, one person at a time. We reflected on her career and her future retirement, and she told me, “My top choice was to work at Deer Lodge Centre because it was THE centre of geriatric care,” aligning perfectly with her own passion as a nurse.
And Maureen reassures me that because of supporters like you and me, Deer Lodge Centre’s history of providing considerate, compassionate, and specialized care for our community elders with dementia will carry on.
Over the decades, Maureen saw profound changes in how her team could respond to the complex nature of caring for people with dementia.
“Care for residents with dementia is not something that a lot of people choose for themselves, but for me, it represented an opportunity that I valued both as a nurse and a member of our community,” says Maureen. “Practises in health care have evolved over the years, but I think the real strength of Deer Lodge Centre is applying knowledge gained through living alongside our residents.”
Through donor generosity, Deer Lodge Centre’s dementia treatments have greatly progressed. Maureen told me how her team uses empathy and patience, alongside the latest in medical research, to introduce new ideas and procedures that enhance care.
The units are now smaller, making residents feel more at home.
They now get to live with familiar ‘touchstone’ articles, like dolls, which calm and relax them.
Fall prevention and safety protocols have reduced the number of residents who become injured or break a hip.
Physical restraints have been replaced with encouraging mobility to promote physical health and emotional stability.
Staff from every department are trained in Gentle Persuasive Approach, which teaches caregivers how to respond and see the person first before the dementia.
Through donations to our Dementia Project, Deer Lodge Centre becomes a safe space for residents and staff alike, which has a direct effect on their quality of life. But as our population ages and more of our community relies on Deer Lodge Centre, we need your help to continue these cutting-edge advancements in dementia care. Your thoughtful gift provides education and equipment which will aid the next generation of staff in treating patients like their own family.
“The importance of expertise and commitment of Deer Lodge Centre staff, volunteers, and family will become more important in the coming years,” explains Maureen. “The number of people living with dementia will continue to grow because Manitobans are living longer. Dementia is a place where many of us may find ourselves one day.”
That’s right, dementia will be one of the most significant healthcare issues of our future.
And people with dementia count on your support to receive the latest in medical care that they need and deserve. They will feel your generosity through the compassionate, kind medical team attending to them, and know that the community still remembers and cares for them.
Maureen is proud of the culture of teamwork and mutual support at Deer Lodge Centre and believes this is one of the most profound leaps forward in dementia care. “An important part of our success,” she says, “is that families tell us they trust and respect the care that their loved ones receive here… because effective health care includes everyone – residents, their families, our care team, and our volunteers and supporters.”
We need your help, and your caring gift will make you a key team member. Together, we can all work collectively to ensure that our residents’ quality of life is respected, enhanced, and assured here at Deer Lodge Centre.
When you and I stand behind incredible nurses like Maureen and support their life-changing work with our donations, we know Deer Lodge Centre will be ready for Manitoba’s future needs.
As I chatted with Maureen, I couldn’t help but think about the importance of leaving a legacy that looks after our most vulnerable. Her patients are our family members, our friends and neighbours. I could see that her lifetime of selflessness and dutiful diligence has created a plan of action that is ready for others to carry on.
Maureen is leaving a lasting legacy because devoted donors like you were there every step of the way. When you support her work, and the work that comes from the next care team, Deer Lodge Centre will continue to be the foremost centre of geriatric care in Manitoba.
I thank you for your continued support. I can only hope in my retirement that I can replicate Maureen’s generosity through my volunteerism and donations to Deer Lodge Centre Foundation. Maureen thanks you for being a part of her journey, and for sharing your kindness so generously with her team.