Legion contributes $25,000 to enhancing care for seniors
By Laura Lennie, News Staff
Royal Canadian Legion, Branch 622 is doing its part to ensure seniors stay healthier, longer.
The legion recently donated $25,000 from its poppy fund to the Stay Well Program at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s King Campus.
The legion raised the funds through its 2013 poppy campaign with help from citizens in Stoney Creek and east Hamilton. The Stay Well Program deals primarily with elderly patients and focuses on physical and cognitive maintenance.
Poppy fund chair Millie Antinori said the legion was looking to donate the money to a cause within the community.
She learned about the Stay Well Program after visiting St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s King Campus.
“I brought the idea back to the membership and they were all for it because the program is geared mainly to seniors and I’m sure veterans in need and that’s what the poppy campaign is for,” Antinori said. “It’s a great program and there are so many seniors at the legion and others in the community that can benefit from that kind of assistance.”
The Stay Well Program was established in 1997 at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton’s King Campus to help patients maintain their physical and cognitive capabilities, so that they can complete day-to-day activities and live independently for as long as possible.
The program is designed to keep people active and maintain a healthy lifestyle through a physical maintenance program that focuses on structured, informed exercise and an activities-based program that works on cognitive development and brain stimulating activities.
The Stay Well Program sees more than 14,000 visits each year.
Program and specialty clinics manager Heather Radman called the legion’s donation “extremely generous.”
“It’s a really heartfelt and appropriate donation,” she said. “Many of our participants in the program live in Stoney Creek, are veterans or have spouses that are vets and this is coming from the poppy fund, so it certainly goes a long way to enhance their quality of life and well-being. Providing a safe environment for exercise helps prevent readmission to hospital, keeps people out of long-term care facilities and aids with depression.”
Radman said the $25,000 will be used to enhance the quality of the Stay Well Program and renovate its activity room.
“The program has become a real permanent fixture in a lot of people’s lives. A lot of these people are socially isolated in the community, this is the only outing they have,” she said. “Their peers have passed away, their spouses have passed away, it’s the same group of people who come every week, so it really has become a community in and of its own. It is such an exciting thing for us to be able to make the space more inviting for them as well.”