Today’s meeting was chaired by President Brian Rivers
Guests:  Bob Martin is from the Stratford Rotary Club. Peter Bolland is our guest speaker.
Door Prize: Bill Helmuth donated the prize won by Brian Rivers.
20th Anniversary Dinner: This event will be on Tuesday May 5 at the ANAF club. It is open to the public in addition to past and present members. It will not be a fundraiser and the price has been set at $30pp. About 120 tickets will be available. The Black Angus will be catering. Randy Garfield a retired Disney executive and Stratford resident will be the guest speaker.
Tuesday May 5 Meeting: The morning meeting is replaced by the 20th Anniversary dinner.
20th Anniversary Ticket Sales. Posters are available for advertising this event. Over 90 tickets have been sold so far.
St Marys Rotary Club 90th Anniversary Celebration: Marc Oliver from the club announced this event for May 25 at the Stone Willow Inn where Tom Teahan, chief of staff to Kathleen Wynne, will be the guest speaker. Tom is originally from St Marys. Tickets are available for $50 pp.
News from the District Assembly: The Rotary logo has been simplified and changes in the themes of Rotary will be released soon.
Guest Speaker: Brian Rivers introduced Peter Bolland the chief administrator of Spruce Lodge. Peter gave us a brief outline of the history of Spruce Lodge and described its various levels of care.
The House of Refuge opened in 1897 near the hospital. In 1955 it was renamed Spruce Lodge after the spruce trees on the property. It was rebuilt in 1965 at its current location on West Gore. It was renovated in 1992. The first Woodland Towers attached to the lodge was opened in 1985 with additional towers built in 1990 and 2009. Hamlet estates located on the campus opened in 1992. Spruce Lodge is municipally owned as required by the province. Perth County, Stratford and St Marys share ownership. 2 councilors from each municipality serve on the board of directors.
Spruce Lodge provides a continuum of care through which residents can move to increasing levels of care as required.
Hamlet Estates is comprised of cottages linked together. Residents purchase a Life Lease ranging from $130 000 to $250 000. The cottages have their own kitchen facilities, a garage and outdoor area. Residents sell their Life Lease when they require more care than they can receive in Hamlet Estates. This could be into Woodland Towers.
Residents in the towers have some degree of independence. The units have full kitchens but residents can dine in the lodge for some meals. Some apartments are geared to income. Rents can range from $1000 to $1400 per month. For those whose rent is not geared to income the monthly rents start at $2500.
Spruce Lodge is a long term care facility whose residents are not able to live in the community due to health issues. Residents range in ages from 18 to over 100. The average age is 86/87. Residents live in one of 7 cottages home to about 16-21 people. Each cottage has its own kitchen. In this way residents live in a more home-like environment rather than in a large institution with cafeteria style dining.
Entry into the 128 bed facility is through the Community Care Access Centre (CCAC) which controls and maintains a waiting list for all nursing homes in Ontario. The average stay for a resident is about 3 years. 40% of the rooms provide basic care which is like semi-private with 2 beds in a room.  The remaining 60% of rooms provide private and modified semi-private. This semi-private has a wall partially dividing the room but residents share the bathroom.
Rates at Spruce Lodge range from basic accommodation for $1732/month, semi-private at $2066/month and private at $2438. These rates are the same across the province and set by the provincial government.
Challenges for long term care facilities include being over-regulated and understaffed. Over 400 rules take up considerable staff time in paper work. Often these rules were put in place due to problems at a small number of facilities which received great media attention. This charting of tasks takes away from the work of connecting to the residents and their needs.
A lack of Personal Support Workers (PSW) is a problem. PSW’s are mandated by the province but few people are entering this profession. It takes a special kind of person to relate to the elderly and provide for their needs. They are overworked and under paid. The lodge is hoping to train PSW’s in a program recognized by the province.
New programs at Spruce Lodge involve the increasing use of technology to serve residents. Music therapy through the use of iPods is proving helpful. A music therapy project involving the University of Waterloo is being tested. Electronic wrist bands help reduce the incidence of wandering. This has reduced the need for locked units. The lodge reduced the number of locked units from 3 to 2 and hopes to reduce it to one in the future. A labyrinth is under construction outside the facility where residents can enjoy some time. A sitting area and arbor is being installed this year.
Spruce Lodge relies upon help from many volunteers. Volunteers often have a family member in residence.
Peter was thanked by Sandy Iredale.