Women in Business: Pavilion Foundation offers care with compassion

Oak Bay News Women in Business honours the work of the Oak Bay Kiwanis Pavilion Foundation

The Kiwanis Pavilion

The Kiwanis Pavilion

Each year the Oak Bay Kiwanis Pavilion Foundation board whittles away at a wish list for those living, and receiving care, in the specialized residence.

“The foundation board was born out of a need to raise funds for the pavilion. It was born of a need because the health care system does not look after the pleasantries of institutional living. Our clients are complex care clients, which is clients with dementia.

“We tried to model the building as home-like as possible,” said Leslie Johnston, chair of the Kiwanis Pavilion Foundation board. “We’re making it a home-like atmosphere for them, from things as simple as putting the gardens together.”

The Kiwanis Pavilion is home to 122 residents with a mission to support a culture of care with compassion for residents with dementia.

The foundation aims to provide financial support for special projects, programs, and improvements to the pavilion. That can include basics such as furniture in a blend with medical equipment such as specialized beds with lifts.

“They’re very expensive,” Johnston said. “We just gave the pavilion $60,000 and that purchased something like 10 or 15 beds with lifts. So it doesn’t go a long way.

“We always have a wish list going on.”

Some things are ongoing, such as replacing the mattress, lift slings, comfort clothing, and comfortable seating in Rose Garden.The raised bed gardens too are slated for a redesign, creating an even more attractive place to gather in good weather. Funds come through purchase of a “garden brick.”

Larger sums are raised each new year through the popular Sunday Breakfast at the Willows Beach Tea Room from January through April, a “Shred It” fundraiser (March 14 at Willows Beach from 9 a.m. to noon) and other events. Last year an evening with “Double Diamond” at the Dave Dunnet theatre raised $6,000.

For 2017 wish list include mattresses, specially formed to reduce pressure ulcers, at $2,500 each; bladder scanner, used to assess urinary function, at $12,000 each; adjustable shower chairs at $10,000 each and two more bathing lifts at $12,000 each.

“It’s an expensive venture but absolutely worth it when you see the faces of our clients,” Johnston said. “The foundation is an imperative part of running the pavilion. It absolutely assists in running the building.”

Music Memory

• Kiwanis Pavilion makes the most of music with the Music Memory project. They discovered the U.S.-developed program and took it on with staff certified a few years ago. Trained staff develop a playlist specific to each resident, featuring his or her own style of music. If a resident can’t help make the playlist, they pick the minds of family who often provide the CDs and watch for telltale signs that a patient enjoys a particular song or genre.

Music Memory is a bid to provide quality of life, and a sedation or soothing without medication. About one-third of the residents have iPods, some donated, some from home or their previous housing.