The bus, run by Cottage Worthington-Pavilion & The Residence in Mission (TRIM), is now fully functioning and ready to help residents-in-care move forward. The drive for the bus began a few years ago and as resident-in-care, Anne Jansen, who was fighting for the bus for many years described, “It’s a lot quieter than the old one, it’s beautiful to see Abbotsford again”
There was a demand for other medical equipment, but fortunately thanks to some particularly inspiring individuals we started to make progress on a much-needed bus for residents in care.
Foremost amongst those who have proved what can be done is without doubt the family members with loved ones who stayed at Cottage Worthington or TRIM. The Auxiliary at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital (ARH) and Mission Health Care Auxiliary Society jointly funded a large part of the project. Janet Hutchinson from the Auxiliary, ARH, described how “for too many years they had no access to such a thing and now the opportunities are finally here”.
There have been many well-known studies that have found older adults with better access to mobility are more physically active and less socially isolated than counterparts without transport access. This is an experience, Ken Case is familiar with as his wife Carol “likes going all over the city, it’s a beautiful bus, and I’m just excited it’s a Ford”
And now residents can happily move forward building close friendships with each other through visits to ice-cream parlours, parks, and drives to see cityscapes they were once familiar with. All proactive steps to increase social connectivity and combat social isolation, as Jocelyn Ratzlaff, social worker, at TRIM, describes, “the bus helps bring our residents out to see the community and normalizes their life. And makes community aware of those who live in long term care”.
John Varley, respiratory therapist, at Mission Memorial Hospital further describes the bus as a chance to remember the past and present: “It’s an awesome opportunity to experience new things, and create new stories, as well as reminisce about the past”.
Mobility is critical for older adults to maintain independence, and dignity, and engage in social and community life, and addressing mobility challenges is something we need to continue to work on to ensure we can create positive health outcomes in our long-term facilities.
Fraser Valley Health Care Foundation values well-being and are happy to know that they can improve the quality of life for those living within Fraser Health facilities in both Mission and Abbotsford