Meet Audrey and Ed LeClair
After 62 years of living lakeside in the small community of Azilda, Ontario, located just outside of Sudbury, Audrey and Ed chose to move to Bruyère Village. The decision was difficult, as they would be leaving behind the home in which they had raised their family and the deep roots and strong connections that they had built over the years. Ed, the town’s family physician, and Audrey, a pediatric nurse, had been pillars of their community, with a local community centre dedicated in their family name.
Ed’s health began to decline after being diagnosed with dementia in 2017 and Audrey began to feel that the responsibility of their large family home was too much to handle. It was a visit from a physician with the Alzheimer’s Society and encouragement from their daughter in Ottawa, who raved about the river views at Bruyère Village, that made the decision to move to Ottawa an easy one.
Since their arrival just one year ago, Audrey and Ed have settled into their apartment at the Village. Living independently, they say they feel comforted by the two visits the couple receives in a day, check-ins by Bruyère staff, adding they feel a sense of security in knowing that help is always just a call away.
A community like the one they left, their neighbours at Bruyère Village care and are concerned for their well-being. Friendly pop-in visits are frequent, especially if Audrey and Ed miss the daily coffee gathering or other social activity they typically attend.
Legally blind, Audrey has never let this slow her down and it has not changed since she and Ed moved to the Village. It is clear she has too much to do in a day — walks by the river, piano playing and trips via the bus to get their groceries!
Although it has only been twelve months since they moved to the Village, the couple says they are feeling like important members of the community and both benefit from the programs offered and like to give back. Recently, Audrey and another resident planted pink and red geraniums on a shared balcony of their floor. This simple yet appreciated beautification project shows just how much Audrey and Ed care about their new home.
We can also thank Audrey for her contribution to Bruyère’s bronze medal win in the Road Worlds for Seniors
, an international Motiview competition in which residents at the Village competed this year. It encourages older people and people with dementia in care settings all around the world to stay active by using exercise bikes equipped with video of familiar and new surroundings. Audrey is very proud of her medal and you will likely find her cycling in the 2019 competition on team Bruyère.
Motiview was introduced at Bruyère as a research project in both long-term care at Saint-Louis Residence and the Geriatric Day Hospital. The technology is now spreading to other areas at Bruyère including the Village.
It is fair to say that the unique environment and programs — which enable Audrey at 84 to stay active and remain living with Ed safely at 91 years of age — and the community of people they are growing to love are the essential ingredients contributing to their high quality of life at Bruyère Village.