Maureen Banyard, a resident at Parkland at the Gardens, is a campaign champion. Maureen’s most recent cause is fundraising for the Mental Health Foundation of Nova Scotia. This campaign is centered around Music for Mental Health, a day-long event full of activities, presentations and music focused on promoting positive mental health at Parkland at the Gardens.

“Maureen has created a strong sense of community here, whether with other residents or team members. A deep feeling of family has been developed through her goals and raising money for our community,” says Jodi Bartlett, General Manager at Parkland at the Gardens. With a goal to raise $10,000, Maureen has been a strong advocate in her community to educate people about the importance of mental health and encourage their support.

Isolation and its associated stigma are realities that many seniors face. Maureen works hard to educate others about mental health and how they can make a difference. She encourages residents to be active and get involved in the many activities that Parkland offers to help promote socialization. Maureen is a strong believer in the power of community: “When we know someone isn’t doing well, we reach out and ask how they are doing and let them know that we’ve got their back.”

One of the main things that Maureen wants her fellow residents and other seniors to know is that mental health affects everyone regardless of age, and you don’t have to go through it alone. “We are all seniors and we understand how it feels. We’re all in this together.”

“As seniors, we sometimes lose loved ones and friends in a short period of time. It’s easy to dismiss feelings of sadness as depression when, in reality, it’s never ‘just’ depression. It really all comes back to mental health.” 

The community at Parkland at the Gardens has an important part to play in the mental health of team members and residents. Residents regularly visit each other, check in on one another and offer a hug or ear when needed. They are always there for each other. As Maureen says, “money can’t buy that, it’s pure gold”.

Parkland at the Gardens hopes to include a weekly mental health activity in the coming year to continue this important conversation. 

Connecting Across Generations

January 24, 2020

Parkland in the Valley resident Edna and a student

Every fall, residents of Parkland in the Valley enjoy lively Tuesday mornings with grade three and five students from Quispamsis Elementary School. Students and residents get to know each other by reading together, playing show and tell and engaging in one-on-one interviews.

To help everyone get acquainted, the first visit is a show and tell, an opportunity for students and residents to share their favourite toys, books, photos and other special belongings. The second visit consists of one-on-one interviews to explore the stories and interests already shared. Students and residents alike enjoy the opportunity to share stories, traditions, hobbies, talents and a few knock-knock jokes every once in a while!

Everyone agrees that one of the best things about these visits is the ice cream party. During the last visit of the season, students and residents come together to bond over a sweet treat.

Intergenerational programs have proven benefits for both seniors and children. They help youth develop of emotional intelligence and a sense of social responsibility while also promoting socialization, improving technological literacy and providing cognitive stimulation for seniors.

The sparkling smiles on residents’ faces is clear proof of just how much they enjoy chatting, sharing and connecting with visiting students.