Rob Dore & Shirley | Episode #64

Rob and Shirley in a conversation on the green bench in promotion of their #ElderWisdom podcast episode

Kathy Buckworth and Evelyn Brindle had the pleasure of chatting with two very special guests, Shirley, a resident at The Village of Glendale Crossing in London, and Rob Dore, chaplain and baking aficionado of the community.

Shirley shared her journey of moving into the village to avoid the risks of living alone in a townhouse. Known affectionately as ”the hugger,” Shirley has embraced her new community with open arms, literally, offering hugs and peppermints to fellow residents and staff. She actively participates in various activities, including euchre, bingo, and especially Rob’s cooking classes, which she attends without fail.

Rob, on the other hand, brings people together through spiritual programs as well as his love of baking/cooking. He hosts weekly cooking classes where residents can socialize, enjoy fresh treats, and learn about different cuisines from Rob’s travels. From Detroit-style pizza to English flapjacks, Rob’s classes are a hit, drawing in crowds eager to taste his creations and share in the camaraderie.

The conversation also touched on the importance of food in fostering community and how it can evoke memories of travel or childhood. Shirley and Rob both emphasized the significance of staying active and social to avoid the loneliness that can come with age.

Shirley’s advice to anyone considering a move to a Schlegel Village is simple: relax, talk to everyone, and you’ll make many friends. Her approach to life at the village is a testament to the power of community and the joy that can be found in the simple act of giving a hug.

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The Green Bench is a symbol of elder wisdom. Physically or virtually, the bench invites us all to sit alongside a senior, share a conversation, or give and offer advice.

It challenges the stigma seniors face; the ageism still so prevalent in society. It reminds us of the wealth of wisdom our elders offer and in doing so, helps restore them to a place of reverence.

”The greatest untapped resource in Canada, if not the world, is the collective wisdom of our elders.” -Ron Schlegel