Edgewater Gardens residents get a new ride

Edgewater Gardens residents get a new ride

To The Haldimand Press

DUNNVILLE—The Dunnville Hospital & Healthcare Foundation (DHHF) committed to raising $100,000 to purchase a new recreational vehicle for Edgewater Gardens (EG), a promise they delivered on last week.

“This new vehicle has been modified to allow for residents with mobility aids to be safe and secure during transport on their off-location adventures,” says Penny Banks, Executive Director of DHHF. “It has been a long time in the works, and we are thrilled to be able to present this van to the staff and residents of EG.”

The 2022 Ford Transit 350 Van came at a cost of $89,064, of which $30,128 came from retrofitting charges completed by Move Mobility. There was a $1,750 Ford Rebate and Heaslip Ford in Hagersville reduced the cost a further $5,040. 

“On behalf of the DHHF board, I want to thank Rob Phillips of Heaslip Ford in Hagersville for taking the lead on this project for us,” says Banks. “From concept to completion, his dedication to seeing this through has been incredible…. Support like this from our community does not go unnoticed!”

Edgewater Gardens is a 64-bed long-term care home owned and operated by Haldimand War Memorial Hospital and partially funded by the Ministry of Long-Term Care. It has been carefully designed to provide comprehensive programs of care to meet the needs of the residents. The recreation program at Edgewater Gardens offers positive experiences to remain socially connected with their friends and family members.

“The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the imposed restrictions has disproportionately affected residents of long-term care homes,” says Greg Allen, Director of Care for Edgewater Gardens. “This new van will have a positive impact on the residents and will lead to an increased sense of independence, a happier more fulfilled life, and a more positive state of mental wellness.”

Sharon Moore, President and CEO of Haldimand War Memorial Hospital and Edgewater Gardens says, “Edgewater Gardens prioritized the purchase of a new recreational vehicle because the existing vehicle was starting to show its wear and tear and our residents deserve a reliable, enjoyable ride.”

The entire recreation program is cost free to the residents. Without this program, residents would have to rely on outside transportation methods that can range from $300 to $400 per outing. 

From the first wave of the pandemic in March 2020 until now, all trips outside of Edgewater Gardens have been cancelled. 

With the cancellation of day trips, the recreation staff pivoted to provide more in home activities, but Allen notes, “The residents are longing to resume day away programs.”

In 2019, the van was used for:

15 outings where the hospital booked the van for community outings;

14 outings where families booked the van to bring a loved one home or to an event in their family (like a wedding);

35 appointments where residents were taken via van and did not have to pay the high price of a patient transfer company; and

22 Edgewater Gardens outings for lunches/dinners out, picnics, the mum show in Hamilton, Christmas tours, shopping, etc.

“The long-term goal is to continue to offer this program and as Edgewater Gardens expands to a 128-bed home, the need will grow. This also means the vehicle use will double,” says Allen.

In addition to the residents and patients that benefit from this program, family members benefit. Being able to include their loved ones, particularly in family events, is priceless for all involved, especially for those who do not have a vehicle equipped to transport medical aids like wheelchairs.

“Improving the lives and health and wellbeing of our community members is the reason the DHHF operates. When the pandemic hit and residents of long term-care homes were disproportionately hit, our board decided we needed to help to make a difference,” says Sandie Heirwegh, Chair of DHHF.

DHHF is committed to promoting quality community health care by providing capital and facility enhancement funds for Haldimand War Memorial Hospital and Edgewater Gardens Long-Term Care Home.