If you can’t get out, wait there and we will come to you. Such was the case on the evening of August 29th as residents of Wetaskiwin Hospitals Long Term Care were treated to a Show and Shine vehicle show. Held right outside their back door in the parking lot complete with live music, family and friends.
This first inaugural Show and Shine was created and organized by Long Term Care’s Recreational Therapist Susan Stryker. “We wanted to do something to help boost residents morale. They can’t always get out so we had it right here. A lot of our 107 residents are handicapped or very sick”. On this day residents were lined up in their wheelchairs on the sidewalk, some with family and friends, others by themselves. The evening was perfect with the sun poking through the haze just enough to put a special light on the event. Country folk singer/guitarist Tim Harwell played as people mingled and looked at the small but nice lineup of classic and antique cars and trucks.
Wetaskiwin resident Gerald Elliot brought his beautiful “omaha orange 1956 GMC 9300, powered by a 255 flat head six” to the show. This ones been on the family farm since day one. Gerald’s father “bought it originally in 1955 in Kindersley Saskatchewan, the same year as I was born. When I was redoing this one there were 30 shades of Omaha orange to pick from, and I wanted to do it to the original color”. Gerald’s mother in law is a resident of Long Term Care. Resident Anne Berg 71 along with her visiting husband Henri, took in the action. Anne currently dealing with a few serious health issues, most recently kidney failure and dialysis, found reason to smile as she listened to music and reminisced. Henri “tries to take Anne out every day and is still running the farm”.
How did the first annual Show and Shine at Long Term Care start? According to Susan Stryker
“I asked family members what they thought about the idea and they liked it. Some had vehicles that they could bring down, others referred me to somebody else and it went on down the line”. Before you know it Susan had enough classic and antique vehicles to pull it off. Susan has been at Long Term Care for 2 ½ years, and has made her mark. Residents and their family members spoke highly of her as an energetic leader and real go getter. Susan’s “number one goal is to provide her residents with diverse activities”. The outgoing and personable Susan wants “to do this again next year as part of a fundraiser”. She is “hoping to raise money for a handi van”. Currently “residents have access to a rec room and spaces allotted for piano and bowling, and whatever comes around”.
This was a fun easygoing evening of family, friends, cars, trucks and music that put a smile on the faces of extended care patients and was well worth it. Congrats and good job to Susan Stryker and her volunteers for putting this on in support of Wetaskiwin Hospital’s Long term Care residents.