Orillia, ON - For residents and their family, moving to a long-term care community can mean answering plenty of questions about the resident's care needs and other personal matters. Questions about a resident's preferences and interests, however, also help team members to ensure that residents are well cared for and live as comfortably as possible.

Since 2009, as part of a wish granting program now known as the Better Late Than Never program, residents at Leacock Care Centre have also been asked a simple question that can lead to their wishes - big or small! - being fulfilled. What is the thing you most wish you could do? It may be a favourite meal at a restaurant or a private flight in a small aircraft or a visit to another city to attend a family wedding. It could be anything a resident wishes! While not every wish can be fulfilled, our team members do their best to make these wishes come true.

Jack moved to Leacock Care Centre in August 2021. When asked what he most wanted to do, he said it was to attend a Blue Jays ball game with his family and to enjoy hotdogs and popcorn! The home's team members started to think and plan with his family about how they could make this happen and sure enough, they were able to make his wish come true! At 91, with some visual impairment and requiring the assistance of a wheelchair, he and his daughter and a personal support worker from Leacock Care Centre were able to travel to Toronto in an accessible van to take in a Jays game against the Minnesota Twins, on June 10th!

While the Blue Jays lost that game, Jack felt like a big winner. He had the full experience of a professional baseball game, complete with hotdogs, popcorn, and soft drinks - even participating in the 7th inning stretch with thousands of others and tracking the progress of runs, fowl balls and strikes. His daughter, Jeannine, and Leacock Care Centre team member, Tracey, enjoyed the game also and ensured Jack was kept company and well cared for on his trip.

"It seems like a small thing to ask someone what they want to do once they move into a long-term care home," said Tracey, the personal support worker who attended to Jack on his trip to the baseball game. "That takes on a whole new dimension when our team starts to explore ways to make their wish come true. There are logistics, expenses and of course care and safety needs to be handled and coordinated. But we're proud to do it because it makes an extraordinary difference in the lives of our residents and they deserve it."

Leacock Care Centre actively seeks ways to enrich residents' lives to allow them to live life to the fullest as part of its commitment to person-centred approach to care.

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