Honourary R Laetitia introduced Gail Ellis, new Executive Director of Applefest Lodge and former South African. Laetitia has known Gail for few years, volunteering with Community Care.
Gail and her family came to Brighton 20 years ago. Initial plan was to stay few months and move closer to Toronto, but they liked Brighton and stayed. People friendly, they feel at home.
She accepted role as the Executive Director at Applefest Lodge 5 weeks ago. She was involved with programs previously, also volunteer at Community Care.
One of her first contacts with Rotary 20 years ago was with Lori Thompson and the Brighton Day Care program. She thanks Rotary for the work and support we do.
She was 6 years with Community Care as the wellness coordinator. She got to know a lot of the seniors in Brighton and the local volunteers. She said Brighton is amazing for the volunteers. It is a great way to get to know community and make new friends.
Applefest Lodge has 24 staff, 60 rooms, some single and some doubles. Presently they have 65 residents, they can handle 75 so they have vacancies. She noted there are a couple new senior homes coming to Brighton and that is good. Residents have a variety of needs and interests. At Applefest they have several residents older than 100. Her goal at Applefest is to improve activities and entertainment, possibly look at partnerships with ENSS. Possibly computing classes and more outings.
They are always looking for volunteers, she will try and match voluteers to residents in terms of interests.
Working with seniors can be a hard business, especially as average age increases for residents. People stay in the homes longer, typically not coming to home until they are in 80's. At Applefest the residents have to be mobile. Staff help with medications and baths.
She is looking to support staff with training and wellness strategies.
At Applefest they recently had to pass various inspections and provide emergency procedures manuals.
She said the home is open to visitors. R Mark passed a brochure to R Murray.
They also have a couple rooms for short term (max two weeks) stay as respite rooms.
R Dan thanked Gail with a Hoselton Apple.