Students in Georgian’s Therapeutic Recreation program and staff at Leacock Care Centre in Orillia have been busy granting wishes for seniors in the Second Wind Dreams experience.
One senior couple was recently treated to two days of holiday shopping, a night out at the movies and dinner with family – which they otherwise couldn’t afford. The two didn’t know that while visiting them each week during the fall semester, students had been playing detective to find out what their dreams were.
“Georgian, Second Wind and Leacock Care Centre have been collaborating for several years to help make wishes come true for residents in long-term care,” says Alison Wideman, co-ordinator of the Therapeutic Recreation program. “The students are bringing joy to seniors, helping to change the perceptions and experience of aging, and engaging in a meaningful experience they’ll remember for the rest of their lives.”
Over the years, students have helped facilitate dreams that were fairly easy to co-ordinate – like a ride in a limo to Toronto for a show, trips to Casino Rama (the casino is very supportive of this project) or ballroom dancing lessons. Other dreams have been a bit more complex and taken some creativity to pull off, like reuniting old friends, co-ordinating first dates, organizing a barn dance and airplane ride.
“For everyone involved – it’s a pretty emotional, moving experience,” says Alison. “I’m very proud of our students for the level of commitment they bring to this project and their efforts to enhance the quality of life for those in long-term care. Seniors often feel ignored by younger people and this is one small way Georgian is helping to close the generation gap.”