Losing autonomy as a result of a disease or the aging process is never fun or joyous. You often lose the ability to do the things that made you happy and become isolated. Of course, family is often there to help and there are services that help break the isolation through at-home or in-residence services. But how do you maintain an active social life while you have or are in the process of or have lost autonomy?
Director of reCreation+ Anne Archambault is trying to find an answer to that problem by opening her seniors’ day centre at St. John the Baptist Church in Pointe Claire this month.
The organization which has sought to give seniors the chance to experience leisure activities for a year and a half now by visiting seniors’ residences and individuals’ homes has held an open house at the church on Feb. 12. Archambault and her staff have been meeting with seniors and their families to evaluate needs ever since.
“There are growing needs in the seniors’ population. Mostly, people need people around. Whatever the age, remaining alone in your house is not interesting. My staff and I were feeling the need for a meeting space. All studies show that most of us are more healthy and happy when we are not isolated,” said Archambault.
The centre which runs a full day on Tuesdays (9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.) and half a day on Wednesdays (12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.) will open March 19. Archambault says it is possible that if things go well, the centre will be open on Fridays as well (12 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.). It offers activities such as light physical exercises, yoga, arts and crafts, book reviews, zoo therapy, reading the newspapers, music, dancing, sing-alongs: anything to help support joy, which is the organization’s mantra.
“Often when people lose autonomy are not able to continue the activities which made them happy and helped them. We are finding ways to get reacquainted new ways of doing things so that people remain active,” Archambault said.
At the reCreation+ day Centre people can socialize, learn from each other, practice some skills and have fun while in a safe and friendly environment. ReCreation+ charges $40 for a day spent at the centre including a meal. It is $20 for half a day (Wednesdays). St. John the Baptist Church is located at 233 Ste. Claire Ave. in Pointe Claire. The centre is open not only to seniors but to anyone who has lost autonomy.
There will be another open house at the centre on March 27 from 7 to 9 p.m. You can learn more about the new day centre by calling Anne Archambault at 514-265-2581 or by visiting www.recreationplus.ca.