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Rural community helps create smiles on the faces of staff and residents

rural community pic

At the age of 100, Eva Day, Braeside resident used an iPad for the first time to connect with her family.

By Denise VanWychen

The workers at the Musquodoboit Valley Memorial Hospital and Musquodoboit Valley Home for Special Care (fondly known as Braeside) in Middle Musquodoboit, Nova Scotia are feeling loved and supported by the community during this uncertain time.

With many people not being able to connect with their family and friends, and worried about when the virus will reach the small, rural community; there are many acts of kindness and support being offered by community members and local businesses.

Community members have left words of encouragement on the facility doors, waved thank you signs for staff as they changed shifts, dropped off coffee and donuts and carved heart shaped plaques to thank those who are still working at the hospital and long-term care facility.

The heart shaped plaque, which was crafted by a local resident, is made from a special piece of ebony wood that he had been saving for a special occasion. He felt thanking the hospital staff for all that they do, especially now was the perfect occasion to use it.

For many staff, these gestures are the highlights of their day making them smile and feel grateful.

“It is touching to know the community is thinking about us,” and “Just knowing we are being supported by the community makes it easier to come to work each day and face the unknown,” are comments that are commonly heard in the hallway.

Not only are the staff members feeling the community love, but also the residents of Braeside are receiving extra support.

Atlantic Gold has donated a barbeque to be used on site as the weather improves, provided treats for the residents and staff and has also purchased iPads so the residents can connect with their families while visitor restrictions are in place.

These contributions are making a big difference to the residents of the long-term care facility and the staff working there.

The staff say that the response by the residents to having access to the iPads has been very heartwarming.

Residents who are non-verbal are reaching out to touch their loved one’s face, there are tears of joy as residents talk to their grandchildren, and some residents have been taken on virtual tours of their former homes and farms.

After getting to chat with multiple friends and family, one of the residents said, “this is one of the nicest things anyone has ever done for me.”

Family members have commented on how relieved they are to see their loved one safe, happy and well cared for in these very strange days.

In a time when there seems to be little to smile about, these supports from the community and local businesses have made a world of difference.

Thank you from all the staff and residents of the Musquodoboit Valley Memorial Hospital and Braeside!