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Performance group helps brighten the day for care home residents

May 28, 2020   ·   0 Comments

Written By BRIAN LOCKHART

Residents and staff at the Shelburne Long Term Care residence in Shelburne got a reprieve from the boredom of isolation and quarantine at the facility when a group of performers arrived to give a show and provide some entertainment.

Smiles Are Essential, a Brampton based group of performers, have been travelling around the region and performing at retirement homes to help lift the spirits of residents who have been unable to meet with family members due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Singers and dancers performed on the street facing the building while residents watched from inside the rooms facing the roadway.

The performance was arranged by the family of a resident who recently passed away from the COVID-19 virus at the senior facility.

“A family who had a member pass away from COVID brought us here, so today we are also doing a tribute,” said Smiles Are Essential organizer Neil Griffin. “We usually stay local but they took it upon themselves to bring us here. We are a group of performers, singers, and dancers. We do it for free. Only now are we getting donations to sustain this and keep us going. We just joined forces with the Mississauga Arts Council so now we’re a registered charity through them. Today we’re doing a tribute, dancing, line dancing – it’s going to be a big show. We bring smiles to everyone. That’s what we do. The idea was boredom. We wanted to do something for them that’s better than just sitting around.”

Long Term Care resident, Clombe Meeking passed away as a result of the COVID-19 virus and her family wanted to do something as a tribute as well as put smiles on the faces of other residents at the facility.

“My grandmother was a resident here, and she passed away on April 21, so we asked Smiles Are Essential to come and perform for the residents here and do a tribute to those who have lost their lives. We raised $500 through donations.” explained Ms. Meeking’s granddaughter, Tanya Butt.

Ms. Meeking’s photo was on display during the performance.

“We couldn’t have a funeral so for some of our family members this is a way for us to say our goodbyes, until everything is over and the entire family can get together and we can do a celebration of life.”

The current situation is leaving many residents in senior’s homes and long term care facilities feeling isolated as they are separated from family members during a difficult time.

Smiles Are Essential hopes to bring some cheer to those residents and make the day a little more pleasant.



         

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