Restorative Care Worth Every Ounce of Effort

Watching neighbours at St. Clair achieve goals, realize potential

By Kristian Partington

The first time Kaye Brown walked into the dining room in the Village at St. Clair’s Harrow neighbourhood under her own power, she was greeted with the wild cheers and applause of her neighbours and friends. She never imagined she’d be able to walk again and her success inspired tears in at least one team member, neighbourhood coordinator Danielle Loreto, who says she “cried like a baby watching her take those steps and seeing just how happy it made her.”  

Smiling resident standing with walker

Kaye is among the village neighbours who qualify for additional support under the restorative care program, which aims to help long-term care residents meet their maximum physical potential.

Under the guidance of RAI coordinators, residents like Kaye work alongside trained team members to increase strength, flexibility range-of motion, all in a well-documented manner that helps assess success. Danielle says since introducing the program, the village has seen several neighbours enhance their life quality.

“We had neighbours told they would never walk who are walking,” says Danielle, “three of which walk with no assistance from the team and went from total dependence to independence.”

She says Katie Wolters, the RAI coordinator who first set the program up alongside her counterpart, Tracey Dupuis, are to be commended for their hard work in documenting the program and discovering which neighbours would likely benefit.

“The true success of the program is because of the team and neighbours’ dedication towards it,” says Katie. “I just simply put the programs in place and monitor them with the other RAI coordinator’s assistance.”

That team effort is what led Kaye through the neighbourhood that day, her broad smile shining brightly as the reward for all the hard work. And it is a lot of work, Katie points out, but she says it’s worth every ounce of effort when they see successes like Kaye’s.

“It’s a big integrated process,” says Katie, who is currently off on maternity leave but was still able to see a video of Kaye taking those major steps.

“It’s so rewarding.”