Heather Vandenham

Seasons holds fall open house to welcome people through their doors

 

 

By Jolene Perron

After celebrating ten years of being open this year, Seasons Retirement Communities in Amherstburg was very excited to hold an open house for anyone who has come through their doors or called for information on their programs.

“For people who haven’t been in a retirement home in years, we want them to see everything that’s offered because they have changed so much,” explained leasing manager Heather Vandenham. “Activities are a huge thing we like to promote, and everything else that is included. It’s not just your meals and your room, we include care with our packages, we include lots of fun and outings and friendship. There are always groups here hanging out, so it’s always nice, it’s always decorated. It feels welcoming for people to come in.”

Jacquie Gibb, Tamasin Dineen and Heather Vandenham stood in the entryway at Season’s Retirement Communities, Amherstburg Sunday during an open house event, geared towards showcasing everything Seasons offers to its residents.

Vandenham said it’s very different than what people have in mind, and often times when families come through their doors they are amazing at how beautiful the homes are.

September 24 was a perfect time to bring all of the managers into the building for a meet and greet with potential residents, and to showcase all of the things they provide on a normal day-to-day basis, from appetizers and homemade desserts in the country kitchen, to pretzels, pop and snacks in some of the rooms upstairs where residents watched the football game.

The dining services manager Beau Veldhuis said they just wanted to showcase what they do on a regular basis and highlight the great spaces they have around the retirement home – and to have fun.

“We also like to keep everyone active, that’s so important to us when they come here to ensure there are lots of things for them to do whether it’s in a group or on their own,” explained Vandenham. “There are puzzle areas, areas where they can read, we have a beautiful library, pool table, there’s lots of choice here once they come.”

Seasons chips in with donation to Belle Vue

 

 

By RTT Staff

 

Seasons Amherstburg has done its part to try and restore the 200-year-old Belle Vue property.

The local retirement home presented the Belle Vue Conservancy a cheque for $811 last Friday afternoon. Linda Jackson, chair of the conservancy’s corporate outreach, said it is a national historic site that is two centuries old and that Seasons has helped out in the past.

Jackson pointed out that Robert and Debra Honor, also conservancy members, have presented information sessions at Seasons regarding the Belle Vue property. She added Seasons is a silver sponsor for the Sept. 24 “Puttin’ on the Ritz” gala being held for Belle Vue at Sprucewood Shores Estate Winery.

Staff and residents from Seasons present a cheque for $811 to the Belle Vue Conservancy and Amherstburg Community Foundation last Friday afternoon.

Staff and residents from Seasons present a cheque for $811 to the Belle Vue Conservancy and Amherstburg Community Foundation last Friday afternoon.

“We can’t thank you enough for all of your help,” Jackson told Seasons staff.

Rick Daly, manager of programming and development with the town of Amherstburg, represented the Amherstburg Community Foundation and thanked Seasons staff and residents for their generosity as well.

Heather Vandenham, leasing manager at Seasons Amherstburg, said the money was raised at the retirement community’s Canada Day festivities.

“There were raffles and donations made through that event,” said Vandenham.

Many Seasons residents remember Belle Vue from some of its former uses and they would like to see it used again.

“They grew up here,” she said. “They love this community as much as we do.”

Seasons also tries to keep history alive through its residents, Vandenham added, and that residents want to keep history alive in Amherstburg.

To make a donation, people can visit www.amherstburg.ca/donate.

Mayor, chiefs and others help promote Meals on Wheels

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A few local seniors got a little surprise when they received their daily meal from Meals on Wheels.

The program, offered locally by Amherstburg Community Service (ACS), was administered with the aid of Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, police chief Tim Berthiaume, assistant deputy chief Lee Tome and Capt. Ron Meloche from the Amherstburg Fire Department Wednesday morning. The initiative was also held in LaSalle where Mayor Ken Antaya assisted in delivering meals.

ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo said there were a number of reasons the local officials were called in again this year.

“It’s to bring awareness of senior nutrition and isolation,” said DiBartolomeo.

ACS' Meals on Wheels program received a boost March 23 thanks to people within the community and local town figures. From left: Heather Vandenham from Seasons Amherstburg, Chief Tim Berthiaume of Amherstburg police, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Amherstburg Fire Department assistant deputy chief Lee Tome, ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo and Capt. Ron Meloche of the Amherstburg Fire Department.

ACS’ Meals on Wheels program received a boost March 23 thanks to people within the community and local town figures. From left: Heather Vandenham from Seasons Amherstburg, Chief Tim Berthiaume of Amherstburg police, Mayor Aldo DiCarlo, Amherstburg Fire Department assistant deputy chief Lee Tome, ACS executive director Kathy DiBartolomeo and Capt. Ron Meloche of the Amherstburg Fire Department.

The event allows people to know that not only are senior citizens receiving nutritious meals but also raises awareness of the needs of seniors.

ACS served 20,000 meals last year though its Meals on Wheels program, she added, up from the 6,000 meals the agency served in 2008.

“They do everything from scratch,” said DiBartolomeo.

Not only do meals get delivered to Amherstburg residents straight from the kitchen at ACS’s office at 179 Victoria St. S., DiBartolomeo said meals are also delivered in LaSalle, Harrow and McGregor. Meals are driven into LaSalle five days per week while volunteers drive meals into Harrow three days per week.

Rosemary Smith receives her food from Meals on Wheels from Mayor Aldo DiCarlo March 23.

Rosemary Smith receives her food from Meals on Wheels from Mayor Aldo DiCarlo March 23.

DiCarlo said he was “flattered” to be asked to help out.

“It’s really an honour and privilege to be invited to participate in something like this,” said DiCarlo. “Being involved in the community is one of the best things you can do. The people who do this day after day should be recognized.”

Doing the simple things can make a difference, he added. The seniors being able to interact with someone can also make a positive impact.

“When you talk to them, it really makes their day,” said DiCarlo.

Knowing it takes “a tremendous amount of volunteers” to run the Meals on Wheels program, the mayor added that is one of Amherstburg’s best known features.

“Amherstburg is known for the volunteers we have,” he said.

Berthiaume said he “jumped at the chance” to get involved when he was asked. The police chief explained he has family connections with the Meals on Wheels program.

“My mother used to get Meals on Wheels when she lived at home and they did a fantastic job,” said Berthiaume. “When there is anything I can do to repay that, I’ll jump at the chance.”

Berthiaume also credited Meals on Wheels volunteers for making the local program what it is.

“The people who volunteer are wonderful people,” said Berthiaume. “It means a lot to the people (they help).”

Tome called it “a great partnership” and noted that, in the past, he has asked whether he can check the residents’ smoke alarms while he is there to make sure the seniors are safe.

Rosemary Smith was one of the seniors delivered to last Wednesday with the 90-year-old estimating it has been roughly one year since she started receiving meals.

Smith said “I certainly wouldn’t be eating as well” if she didn’t receive Meals on Wheels, adding she receives a meal five days per week.

“I find them very tasty,” she said, “and I enjoy them. I can get two meals out of one. It’s more than I can eat at one time, usually.”

For more information on Meals on Wheels or any of ACS’ programs, call 519-736-5471 or visit www.amherstburg-cs.com.

Seasons Amherstburg raises $500 in their chili cookoff

 

Seasons Amherstburg presents a $500 cheque to the Heart & Stroke Foundation last Friday. From left: Seasons chef Beau Veldhuis, Heart & Stroke Foundation area administrator Kristen Dube and Seasons leasing manager Ashley Gibb.

Seasons Amherstburg presents a $500 cheque to the Heart & Stroke Foundation last Friday. From left: Seasons chef Beau Veldhuis, Heart & Stroke Foundation area administrator Kristen Dube and Seasons leasing manager Ashley Gibb.

By Ron Giofu

 

Seasons Amherstburg donated $500 to the Heart & Stroke Foundation last week thanks to the chili-making abilities of its staff.

The cheque was presented to Kristen Dube, area administrator for the Windsor chapter of the Heart & Stroke Foundation, last Friday afternoon by Seasons leasing manager Ashley Gibb and chef Beau Veldhuis with the money being raised at a chili cookoff held at Seasons two days earlier.

Heather Vandenham, lifestyles services manager at Seasons, said there were six entrees into the chili cookoff this year, four being from the staff, one being from the member care floor and one from the kitchen. She said they try to do at least one fundraiser quarterly for either the Heart & Stroke Foundation or the Alzheimers Society of Windsor-Essex.

Vandenham added that candy-grams were also sold as a way to raise money with Seasons resident Margaret Squire also getting into the act, as she baked zucchini loaves in the retirement home’s first floor kitchen and donated the proceeds.

Squire reported that she raised $45. She added that she regularly uses the kitchen, constructed in space formerly occupied by the Amherstburg Family Health Team before the latter moved to a new building on the property, at least once or twice per week.

“It is the most beautiful kitchen,” the 95-year-old said.