By: Kristian Partington
There’s an image of long-term care most people tend to carry in their minds that Kaye Brown would like to change. One of the best ways to do that is to venture out into the community and share her insights and wisdom with as many people as possible, which is how she came to find herself at the LaSalle Night Market recently on a lovely summer’s eve.
There she sat upon the familiar green #ElderWisdom bench, greeting passersby and making new friends with just about anyone who chose to stop by. She mentions that her father was the mayor of Windsor, England, so perhaps her chatty nature flows from the genes of a seasoned politician.
Kaye may not seem like a “typical” long-term care resident; at 66 she much younger than most of her neighbours in The Village at St. Clair in Windsor, yet her health needs are such that she does require the support the Village provides. And yet, that doesn’t mean she isn’t active. She’s the chairman of the Village’s residents’ council, she participates in countless outings, she has ideas on how to continue to improve village life and she’s eager to share her knowledge with others.
“People don’t really know what long-term care is,” Kaye says. “They picture a lot of people laying around in their beds but it’s not like that. I’m very active and I have lots of ideas.”
She came to St. Clair not long after it opened five years ago, and she couldn’t be happier with the community and the friends she’s made in both team members and her neighbours.
Connecting with people at the LaSalle market offered another opportunity to make new friends and help dispel some of the misconceptions some people hold about aging and life in long-term care.
“I think #ElderWisdom is telling people about what long-term care really is and how nice it can be,” Kaye says. “That is the most important thing.”
Perhaps the most important thing is the fact that The Village is so much more than a community: it’s a family, Kaye says.
“I enjoy living here,” she says. “I enjoy the people and we have an A-1 staff here. We’re all family here and that’s the lovely part about St. Clair, and that’s an important way to look at it.”