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Elim Village resident and daughter smiling outside
August 1, 2019

Resident Story: Walking the Gardens

Every day, we witness so many situations and hear stories about our residents that validate our purpose for creating a campus of care. Together, we help one another to thrive regardless of the challenges we may be facing.

In sharing resident stories, we hope to demonstrate The Elim Difference. Follow our next posts to learn more about the story of Hank and Agnes Enns.

Long before they moved to Elim, Hank and Agnes frequently walked through the Village admiring the gardens. Hank thought the idea of a community designed to care for its residents through their retirement years was brilliant. He was comforted by the care options available at Elim, should either he or Agnes have health issues in the future.

Little did they know the impact this campus of care concept would have on their lives. After living at Elim for four years, Hank died unexpectedly. As Agnes and their children mourned the loss of Hank, the support from the community was overwhelming. From pastoral visits, to neighbours and staff checking in, Agnes was surrounded by people who cared for her.

Dyan, daughter of Agnes recalled, “The support from friends, family and the Elim community was overwhelming. Pastor Gordan came over immediately and listened, grieved and supported our family and especially our mother many times.  As we mourned the loss of our father, we knew that our mother was well taken care of. Our dear Auntie Kay and Auntie Susan, who also lived at Elim, would stop by daily to “check” up on our mom, as well as many other neighbours and relatives.”

After nine months at the Emerald, Agnes was diagnosed with dementia and now required full time care in the Harrison. Staff were encouraging and helped Agnes adjust to her new home. Dyan says, “Staff took the time to learn who our mom was and took great care in setting up a routine that offered her a sense of personal fulfillment.” Being able to care for others, even while she herself is being cared for, brings Agnes joy. She looks forward to engaging conversations while participating in favourite pastimes. Recognizing Agnes’s passion for gardening and baking, the Wellness team was inspired. With their help, Agnes teaches friends about different flowers and how to be the perfect hostess. She’s in her element; happy to share stories of her gardens and the days she and Hank welcomed family and guests to their home.

Together with Elim companions, Agnes continues to walk the Village daily. They stroll the same pathways she and Hank had once walked together and that encouraged their initial move to Elim years ago. Living at Elim for 10 years, Agnes has transitioned through each level of care. Each phase is met with new challenges and routines, but throughout each transition, Agnes has received care and support personalized to her needs, allowing her to live her life with joy and purpose.

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