Until There’s a Cure for Dementia, There’s Deer Lodge Centre

Until There’s a Cure for Dementia, There’s Deer Lodge Centre

Deer Lodge Centre is home to a newly refurbished, state-of-the-art dementia care unit.

The T7 Dementia Care Unit, which was reopened to residents at the beginning of October, has been overhauled to reflect the new cutting-edge dementia care strategies of today.

Refurbishments include opening the kitchen and dining area to provide better sightlines and flow, painting the space using colours to denote areas of the unit so that residents can better orient themselves to their surroundings, and lighting that is meant to be calming.

The addition of memory centres, areas of the unit designed to mimic the outside world, will be added to soothe and provide purpose for dementia patients in their care. These centres will include dolls in a nursery, offices with papers and typewriters, and clothing and home goods to attempt to stimulate memory and provide a calming environment.

This refurbishment could not have been made possible without a generous commitment and contribution from the Deer Lodge Centre Foundation.

“The Foundation has committed $550,000 to Deer Lodge Centre to help facilitate the refurbishment of the T7 Dementia Unit,” said Deer Lodge Centre Foundation Executive Director Nicole LaTourelle. This financial commitment, the largest in the Foundation’s history, marks a turning point in the Centre’s future.

“This was long known as simply a rehabilitation and long-term care facility for Veterans,” noted LaTourelle. “And while that is our history, Deer Lodge Centre has become far more, serving the community in new and exciting ways each year.”

Deer Lodge Centre currently houses five dementia care units in Towers Three and Seven, with ten additional temporary care beds in Tower Five. These beds house 103 residents (Veterans and members of the community) with varying dementia-related needs. With occurrences of dementia in Canada continuing to rise, there is little doubt that the units in Deer Lodge dedicated to dementia care will rise as well.

According to the Canadian Alzheimer’s Society, 597,000 people were living with dementia in 2020. That number is projected to rise to 955,900 people in Canada living with dementia in 2030.

Support is needed to cure dementia-causing diseases, but until that happens more and more support is going to be needed for those living with dementia. LaTourelle reminds the community that donors are needed to ensure that facilities are in good standing for when the baby boomers and generations beyond reach the need for care.

“Give now to make sure that help will be there when you need it,” she urges. “Deer Lodge Centre stands today as a legacy that our WWI and WWII Veterans left behind. Turning this building into a state-of-the-art dementia care facility that will serve another 100 years of Manitobans should be OUR legacy.”

Deer Lodge Centre Foundation would like to thank The Winnipeg Foundation, Kinsmen Club of Winnipeg, and Wellington West Foundation for their major gift donations to the project.

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