Southern Alberta seniors take nostalgic harvest tour

A tour down a back country road is more like a trip down memory lane for residents of the Willow Creek Continuing Care Centre in Claresholm, Alta.

“I was raised on a farm so it’s just my type of life,” said resident Lorraine Anderson.

The care home is located in the heart of Alberta’s farming country so it’s not really a surprise that a large number of residents, including Anderson, are retired farmers.

“I was born on the Starline Road, went to the Starline school and married and lived in the house over here,” said Anderson.

Looking for a way to get residents outside during the COVID-19 pandemic, recreation therapist Brittany Wilton thought a familiar sight would be good for the body and the mind. She started looking for families who would let them visit during harvest time.

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“They reminisce on the bus, when we get back to the auxiliary, they talk about it for days and talk about it with staff,” Wilton added.

The Lamb family comes from a long line of farmers, with some family members spending their final years in the same care facility.

Ron Lamb said he enjoys hosting the seniors.

“If this in anyway can help them get out a little bit and revitalize, then we are glad to help do it.”

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Wilton said it’s a positive outing for the residents, whether they were farmers, or lived in farming communities.

“Especially during COVID, when mental health levels are really low, this is something that takes them back to a better time in life where they can remember what it was like, those good memories, and it takes their mind off of day-to-day stressors they are going through.”

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