St. Andrews Residence – A Look Back

St. Andrew’s Residence is proud to be celebrating 50 years of service to our community! In recognition, we are sharing a recap of our history over this year’s editions of the CK Senior Magazine. These articles include excerpts from “A Look Back – St. Andrew’s Residence,” a story written by the very well-known editor and author Win Miller, who now calls St. Andrew’s Residence home.

Staying true to the vision of a better way 

After the construction of 16 additional suites as well as the addition of the McGeachy Auditorium, with an extensive waiting list holding strong, it was clear that there was still more to be done to help seniors access the services and social interaction that St. Andrew’s Residence had to offer. With the support of funding from what was then known as the Ministry of Health, Long Term Care Division, in 1988, the Senior’s Day Out program was launched. As an outreach program for seniors still living in their own homes in the community, the idea of the program is to bring seniors out of their home and into our home for the day, allowing participants to remain independent for as long as possible. Each day is filled with social programs, as well as a hot noon meal and access to hairdressing, foot care, and an assisted bath if desired. More than 30 years later, the Senior’s Day Out program continues to provide the same level of supportive services today.

The establishment of the St. Andrew’s Residence Foundation

Throughout the various phases of development, much of the financial support behind the vision of St. Andrew’s Residence has been as a result of private donations and bequests from those who believed in the dream of Neil McGeachy – that there just had to be a better way. In these developing years, these supporters included the congregation of St. Andrew’s United Church, the Ivey Foundation, St. Andrew’s Residence Ladies Auxiliary, and the Estates of W.A. and Margaret McGeachy, Edna M. Riseborough, Mary (Molly) Lorriman Wagner, Katheryn Clements, Gwen Charteris, Murray Smith, Winnifred Fair, Peter McGeachy, the Bradford Family, S.J. Smith, George Park, Mildred Stephens, Raymond Stanton, Helen Morley, and others.

The financial need of the Residence would always be present, and thus, in 1992 the St. Andrew’s Residence Foundation was established.  Its role was to secure funds to allow the Residence to continue to offer the services required by those who entrusted us with their care.  Over the years, the Foundation has provided funds for renovations, capital repairs and replacements, new programs, as well as subsidies for residents experiencing financial hardship.

Time to Grow Again!

In 1997, the Board of St. Andrew’s engaged Life Lease Associates of Canada and Jorden and Cook Architects to build a 32 unit Terrace located adjacent to the Residence with a connecting corridor.

The guiding vision for the Residence was to be able to provide a continuum of care to those who chose to become part of the St. Andrew’s family.  Officially opened on December 9, 1998, St. Andrew’s Terrace would allow for the transition to maintenance-free living with access to support services if required and when or if more care was needed, the Residence could become a new home with an easy transition.

An overhead, covered link to St. Andrew’s Residence provides a convenient and safe walkway all year round. Suite owners can enjoy all the amenities offered at the Residence such as planned activities, beautiful grounds, common areas, and reception services. In addition, services such as meals, laundry, housekeeping, and assistance with daily living can be provided on a fee for service basis.

A New Partnership

In 2007, under the development of Aging at Home strategies and in the mandate of integration of health services, Meals on Wheels Chatham and St. Andrew’s Residence voluntarily merged the program to help ensure the long term stability of this vital community service which had a long rich history of providing healthy meals and social interaction to Chatham-Kent residents.

For many, Meals on Wheels Chatham-Kent is the first service that families/neighbours or friends seek to help their loved ones stay in their own home and live independently. The program provides nutritious, inexpensive meals which in turn promote the independence and wellbeing of seniors, as well as support vulnerable members of our community.

Today, with the assistance of over 65 volunteers who each week give 1-3 hours of their time, the Meals on Wheels Program at St. Andrew’s Residence has expanded to also deliver meals outside of the city of Chatham – including areas such as Morpeth, Ridgetown, Thamesville, Kent Bridge, Blenheim, Merlin, North/South Buxton, Tilbury, Port Alma, and Pain Court.

To be continued…

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