Streamway Villa making wishes come true

'Wish box' open to suggestions starting today

January 9, 2013

In May 2011, Streamway Villa granted resident Elmer Arsenault’s last wish to attend a Toronto Blue Jays game. This kind gesture inspired another resident, Barb LeBlanc, to suggest before a recent residents’ council meeting the home do more to ensure people’s last wishes come true.

Life enrichment co-ordinator Christina Verleysen’s response was ecstatic.

“I said, ‘Are you kidding? That’s an amazing idea,’ ” she recalls.

The idea was then pitched at the meeting and everyone attending agreed this is a step in the right direction.

So, starting today, the Cobourg long-term care home is opening invitations to residents, their families and staff members to write names and activity ideas on a piece of paper and submit it to the home’s new “wish box.”

Verleysen says the best possible result that could stem from this program would be overall enhanced quality of life for people.

“For many residents, this is their last stage of life, and if we don’t do it, who’s going to do it?”

Once a month, at every residents’ council meeting, a name will be pulled out of the box and the chosen resident will have their wish come true. Once names are entered into the box, they will remain there.

When December comes around, Verleysen says she hopes to be able to be able to make multiple residents’ wishes come true.

Verleysen notes that in the past, people outside the home have jumped on board to help make wishes come true. When Arsenault went to the Jays game in 2011, for example, Medigas provided tickets for the resident, his son and two staff members.

And the payoff for Arsenault couldn’t have been better.

“It was amazing,” Verleysen said at the time. “I've never seen him so happy.”

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