I had to share this story when I saw it; it reminded me so much of the extended care centre where my daughter, Jade, was born 29 years ago. It was in the country outside of Edmonton (Mundare is known for its sausages). I went there because there was a midwife on staff, and because the local GP was terrific and promised to show up at all births. (There were only two a month.) And it has a birthing centre, so you could go in, in labour, and stay in one room for your entire stay.
Anyway, reading this story about this amazing nursing home for seniors brought back those memories because the seniors in Mundare were active and engaged; they loved having newborns around, and for a brandnew mother, it was great to have them there too.
This nursing home developed by a Harvard-trained doctor takes that a step further: the staff daycare was integrated so there are children around all the time. There are dogs and cats and even chickens to tend, and a garden for seniors to putter around in.
And you know what? By taking care of animals and plants, the number of prescriptions went down and there were seniors who gave up their wheelchairs altogether. Read about it here. And then let’s figure out how to do this. Because we are all ageing, and wouldn’t you rather get old in a facility that kept you active and engaged and challenged and part of a community that in one where you were warehoused?
There’s an economic side to this as well. Healthier patients means less medications, less nursing care … it makes perfect (dollars and) sense.