Family and Friends – May 18

Family and Friends (Family Council) Connections

Thursday, May 18, 2017
1:30 pm – 2:30pm
Menno Home Chapel
Coffee, Tea, Refreshments are provided

Special Guest:
Kenneth Martin, Comfort Keepers

Comfort Keepers is widely recognized as a leading provider of quality in-home care to seniors and other clients who need help with the activities of daily living. Our goal is to enrich the lives of our clients as we enable them to maintain the highest possible level of independent living in their own home for as long as possible.

The special people who deliver our unique brand of in-home care, whom we call Comfort Keepers, are carefully selected, screened and trained to provide professional, compassionate care.

Family and Friends meetings occur every third Thursday of the month (excluding July and August) from 1:30-2:30pm. Coffee, tea and refreshments will be provided. Family, friends, representatives of Menno Home and Menno Hospital residents are invited to attend.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Dan Janzen, Social Worker
Precy De Armas, Social Worker

Annual Memorial Service – Friday, June 16th

Each year, we gather together to honour and remember the residents at Menno Place who have passed away in the year previous.

If your loved one passed away in the previous 12 months, you are invited to join us as we celebrate and honour their lives.

We’d love to have you participate by bringing along a favorite picture or memento to place on a memorial table, share a poem or Scripture verse, or simply share a memory with us. All of this is optional.

The Memorial Service takes place at Menno Hospital Chapel on Friday, June 16th at 2pm.

It is followed by the Butterfly Release at 3pm.  Butterflies are purchased and released to celebrate and remember. Click to purchase a butterfly.


Parking is free at the Peace Lutheran Church (Corner of Ware St. and Marshall Road). Park only on the west side of the parking lot. Shuttle bus service is available from 1pm – 4pm. There is no charge for parking at Menno Place for this event.


Please RSVP Pearl Nucich, Executive Assistant if you are attending.

Phone: 604.859.7631 x.232

Indicate how many will be attending as well as the name of your loved one.

Hair Stylist Changes at Menno Home

Amy Maurer, the hairstylist at Menno Home East 1 is taking a break to have a baby! We are grateful for the wonderful way that she has served our residents as our hairstylist. Amy is cheerful and brings a smile as she spends time and does hair! We wish Amy all the best as she welcomes her baby into the world!

We are happy to announce that Brianna Thompson will be doing hair at the Menno Home East 1 hair salon while Amy is taking this break.  Brianna loves to style hair, loves people and is a bright and cheerful addition to the team.  We look forward to her contribution.


Family and Friends – April 20th

Family and Friends (Family Council) Connections

Thursday, April 20, 2017
1:30 pm – 2:30pm
Menno Home Chapel
Coffee, Tea, Refreshments are provided

Special Guest:
Ruth Neufeld, Life Enrichment Coordinator

Ruth will be speaking about her new role as Life Enrichment coordinator at Menno Place. Come and be encouraged as to how this new role will impact the lives of residents and families.

Family and Friends meetings occur every third Thursday of the month (excluding July and August) from 1:30-2:30pm. Coffee, tea and refreshments will be provided. Family, friends, representatives of Menno Home and Menno Hospital residents are invited to attend.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

Dan Janzen, Social Worker
Precy De Armas, Social Worker

Medication Safety for your Loved One

How are medications determined for residents living at Menno Home and Menno Hospital?

At Menno Hospital, prescriptions and over the counter medications must be provided by Abbotsford Regional Hospital Pharmacy.

At Menno Home, prescriptions and over the counter medications must be provided by Rexall Pharmacy.

Menno Place respects the decision of both pharmacists and doctors not to administer medications that cannot be identified accurately by the Pharmacist. It is our responsibility to follow these professional standards of practice and Medication Administration policies and procedures. All medications are packaged in accordance with the requirements of the Residential Care Regulations and Pharmacy bylaws. Our greatest concern is the health and safety of our residents.

What kinds of medications need the approval of these physicians and pharmacists?

  • Creams, ointments, liquids, drops, patches and pills.
  • Over-the-counter non-prescription items such as Vicks Vapour Rub, cough syrup, laxatives, creams to treat pain (Voltaren, A5-35)
  • Homeopathic Remedies such as vitamins, herbs or creams

What do I do if I have a supply of medications for a resident that isn’t delivered through the above pharmacies?

You are asked to bring the current supply of medications to the nurse upon moving into Menno Home or Menno Hospital. Once living at Menno Home or Menno Hospital, ensure that the nurse has received all medications, over-the-counter items and other homeopathic remedies.

How are medications delivered to residents of Menno Home and Menno Hospital?

Our care homes have daily delivery from the above pharmacies. All the medications that are given at Menno Home and Menno Hospital are prescribed by your physician and administered by the nurses.

Where can I store medications for my loved one?

Medication must be stored in a locked medication room. Please bring medications to the nurse if you would like your loved one to receive a medication.

Generous people improve the quality of life for seniors

For more than 60 years, the Mennonite Benevolent Society has been the recipient of the kind gifts of individuals who generously support the care and quality of life for seniors in our community. In the 1980’s, the community of support raised the funds for our beautiful chapel at Menno Hospital. This chapel is able to seat 150 individuals in wheelchairs. A generous resident is sharing their cherished grand piano in the chapel so hundreds can enjoy wonderful music that lifts the spirit.

Living Waters Garden

One resident recently provided the seed money and vision for the Living Waters Gardens, a beautiful garden with 10 fountains that graces the east side of the Menno Place campus. In close proximity to the Menno Hospital, Primrose Gardens and Terrace East, this beautiful garden is a destination spot for walks, visits and quiet times together. Our master garden designer created the garden to be a perfect place for elderly seniors with no tripping hazards, wide sidewalks and beautiful seasonal plantings.

Benches by Donation

Inspired by this donation, many families have purchased benches to enjoy the gardens at Menno Place and to remember loved ones. Bench donations cover the cost of the bench and the personalized plaque. These benches give seniors a comfortable place to rest as they enjoy their time outdoors.

Bus Donation

Several years ago, a donation was made in honour and to remember a resident who lived at Menno Hospital. This donation provided the funding that made it possible for our campus to purchase a bus. For five years, this bus has been creating opportunities for our seniors to get out into the community to enjoy the sights and sounds of country living. Over time, the bus has had its mechanical challenges and we knew that its time was coming to an end.

Just as we were beginning to wonder about the future of our bus, a donation was made to cover the cost of a brand new bus! This will be the first time that Menno Place has a bus that is designed exactly for our needs. The bus is in production and will be arriving on the Menno Place campus in the next few weeks. We are grateful.

Putting Green

As our campus continues to provide senior-focused recreation opportunities, another resident approached us with seed money for another garden project. This time, our focus is on a poorly used lawn space between Primrose Gardens and Menno Hospital. Our desire with this space is to provide recreation opportunities that will be especially enjoyed by men and by visiting grandchildren and great-grandchildren. The resulting idea? A putting green. Surrounded by wisteria arbors for shade, the putting green will be a fun-filled destination for friendly competition and family times when the little ones visit. We will be breaking ground on this project on April 18th.

Java Music Therapy

We are also grateful for the donations that have given us two new recreation programs – Java Music and Ceramics. We have begun the Java Music Club, which is a unique therapeutic program for seniors living with dementia. Java Group Programs are the first standardized peer support interventions designed to address the critical rates of depression and loneliness across the senior living spectrum. For more information: Java Group Programs

Ceramic Therapy

Our ceramics program is made possible through donations. The recreation team began painting greenware and selling finished ceramics at Christmas time. This was a great success with many pieces sold at the Fireside Treasures Gift Shop. From there, we have launched into our ceramics program with the recent purchase of a kiln to use across the campus. There will be many projects and many positive benefits for those who enjoy the opportunities afforded them through this donation.

Sleeper Chairs

Donations from our Christmas project have provided two sleeper chairs in Menno Hospital with more to come. These sleeper chairs allow a family member to spend the nights with a loved one. They are generally used when a resident is at the end of life and family would like to be with them throughout their final days and hours. We are so grateful for these chairs as they provide an invitation to families to support their loved one throughout the final days and moments.

Donations Make the Difference

Menno Place is a non-profit, faith-based charitable organization that provides a community of care for elderly seniors. For more than 60 years, we have been providing the “extras” for seniors through the generous donations of our community. These extras include the spiritual care provided through our chaplains and the music therapist.

Learn more about donations or purchasing a bench – Click Here


Staff Team Recognized for Excellence

Menno Place initiated the Team Member Appreciation Tea in February 2013 and holds this event annually.  This year it was held on March 28, 2017 recognizing staff for their contributions in the past year.  At the event staff are recognized for their years of service, excellent attendance and three special awards are given in the categories of “Living our Values”, “Creative Innovation”, and “Everyday Champion”.

The leadership team nominates candidates for the “Living our Values” and “Creative Innovation” awards, and co-workers nominate candidates for the “Everyday Champion” award.

Everyday Champion (nominated by co-workers)

The Everyday Champion Award recognizes an employee of Menno Place for showing daily passion and commitment for quality care with the residents. The nominee is a true team player whose actions or attitudes have improved the workplace in a meaningful way by nurturing relationships, inspiring colleagues and residents and demonstrating a high level of integrity and compassion. The recipient of the Everyday Champion Award was nominated by a colleague for this award.

Ursula Batke – Reception, Menno Home   Winner of the EveryDay Champion Award

L to R: Gerd Bartel, MBS Board Chair, Ursula Batke, Karen Baillie, CEO

Ursula goes above and beyond  her job description in informing families with the information they need or a hug.  She has been known to come in outside her work hours to assist in emergencies.  She uses her talents to play piano at memorial services and at Christmas for singalongs.  She is helpful to all staff who enter her work area and is kind to the residents that come to her window.  She is a Menno hero.

Ursula is especially valued by the Recreation team as she is always going above and beyond to look out for us.  She greets our entertainers and organizes the money for our bus trips and special events.  Her compassion and respect for the residents is always eviden

We appreciate Ursula so much and we can’t thank her enough for all she does for us.

Ursula shows unusual compassion and care for residents, families, friends and staff.  Her sharp mind has caught things missed and keeps staff of many different departments organized when they may have forgotten important happenings in their day.  She connects and wishes us all a good day and is the smile up front that says all is well at Menno Home today.

Living Our Values Award

The recipient of the Living Our Values Award was nominated because they are outstanding in their capacity to live out the values of Menno Place – Stewardship, Excellence, Respect, Values-Driven, Innovation, Compassion and Encouragement.

Two winners were chosen as both had significant nominations.  Debbie Marshall  and Kim Powell are the winners.

Debbie Marshall – Health Care Aide, Menno Hospital

The Nominator wrote:    I am nominating Debbie Marshall for her excellent demonstration of the values we aspire to at Menno Place.  She is a compassionate and kind care giver who daily demonstrates respect to both her colleagues and the residents.  I have witnessed Debbie remain positive and keep the spirit of an open mind in the face of challenges.  Debbie is often used with the orientation of new hires and we get feedback from the new employees of the excellent orientation they feel they receive when partnered with her for orientation.  Debbie has also volunteered to be part of the infection control team to promote hand hygiene and encourages and practices best practice for the team.

L to R: Gerd Bartel, MBS Board Chair, Debbie Marshall, Karen L. Baillie, CEO

Kim Powell – Employee Benefits / HR Coordinator

The Nominator wrote:  Kim is an excellent candidate for the “Living Our Values” award as she demonstrates kindness, compassion, excellence, encouragement and stewardship in her work at Menno Place.  Kim is respectful and thoughtful in her work with staff who are going through difficult situations that affect their lives and their work.  Whether helping them maneouver through to get their benefits, completing paperwork for disability or meeting to prepare for retirement or extended leaves, Kim is compassionate and is a great help during these difficult times.  Kim exhibits a true “servant” heart and strives to listen and understand those she is serving – the staff at Menno Place – in order to make their load a little lighter.

L to R: Gerd Bartel, MBS Board Chair, Kim Powell, Karen Baillie, CEO

 Creative Innovation

The Creative Innovation Award recognizes an employee of Menno Place for an idea or solution that has been approved by a supervisor and implemented in order to significantly improve operations or the quality of service for residents at Menno Place.

Frank Rille – Maintenance, Menno Home

Frank created the design for the motorized laundry hauler. He used an electric wheelchair from our special equipment supply.  He used one  that was no longer rentable. The foot pad would be where the driver stands. The controller would be used to move forward, turn and slow down. There would be good ground clearance and the ability to support up to 200lbs of laundry which allowed for damp or wet laundry to be included in the load. Like a power wheelchair, this laundry hauler is able to cover a lot of territory with a battery that recharges and can drive for over 20kms between charging.

A completely efficient Power Laundry Hauler that is designed to move laundry in comfort and safety. It can move up to 200lbs of laundry without risk of injury to our team members. This has saved time and has made it possible to provide unlimited personal laundry services for our independent apartment tenants.

The Laundry Hauler is used three times per week to zip from one building to the next to collect soiled laundry and return clean laundry to tenants. It moves easily from outdoors to indoors allowing the laundry team to efficiently and safely collect personal laundry for transport to and from the laundry room. The Laundry Hauler travels four city blocks in each of its laundry rounds around the campus.


Concerts in Care

Concerts in Care take place the first Tuesday of every month.

From magical gypsy jazz to classical piano, Concerts in Care provide high-quality professional musical concerts to

We have enjoyed the magical gypsy jazz, waltz, old time swing music and ballads of Van Django. Performing for the residents of Menno Place, this acclaimed quartet brought us gypsy jazz, waltzes, old time music, swing music and ballads.

Up to 150 residents and their family members enjoy the Concert in Care each month. If you are a family member or friend of a resident, we encourage you to come out for the Concerts in Care on the first Tuesday of each month.

Concerts in Care

When? First Tuesday of each month

Where? Menno Hospital Chapel

Time? 10:30 – 11:30am

Van Django – Concerts in Care



Book Review: Rich in Years – Finding Peace and Purpose in a Long Life

Book Review by Barrie McMaster

Rich in Years; Finding Peace and Purpose in a Long Life

Johann Christoph Arnold
Plough Publishing: 2013

Some books on seniors issues get right down to the nubby bits of aging that many oldsters and adult youngsters do not want to face. But this is a book that attempts to encourage and inspire.  It provides practical advice and a brace of testimonies designed to cheer seniors as they contemplate the realities of being really quite old.  It doesn’t ‘tackle’ old age, but instead celebrates it.  The author quotes a former secretary, Ellen Keiderling: “Although I am eighty, and struggling with old age, I don’t want to go back to twenty-five.  These are the best years of my life.”

Arnold is an experienced pastor and he does not duck the issues. “We may fear losing our mind, our memory and our independence.  We also fear loneliness, pain and suffering. Many worry that they have not lived as they should.” But he says all of these fears can be overcome. “Growing old doesn’t have to be a prison of hopelessness and despair.” He says, think instead of your senior years as a time of opportunity.

He argues that the most helpful view of aging is to realize that a long life is a blessing from God, and that it comes with responsibilities to others, including the next generation. He says God himself supplies what we need, even if the needs are new to an aging person’s experience. “Growing older can be a gift, but only if we surrender ourselves to God’s plan.  Then we can stop complaining about things we can’t do anymore and realize that God is finding new ways to use us.”  Arnold sprinkles his arguments with encouraging scriptures.

In a nutshell, that is what the book is about.  On the one hand, it’s a simple book, but there are many paths to explore and many encouraging stories from friends and acquaintances to enrich the reader.  It draws on sentiment, but not sentimentality.

Arnold has his own stories.  He confesses that he didn’t want to think about old age, but obstacles began to appear, bit by bit. “First, I lost my voice. ..Then I had trouble with my heart. Both of my eyes needed surgery, and one eye is completely blind.” But he and his wife still go for walks, he can still read, and can still type to do his writing.  Then offers up one of my favorite quotes in the book: “My body is aging, but I am not!”

He speaks about the need for a sense of humour (like the bumper sticker “Old age is not for sissies!”)  He argues that everyone, no matter how old, can find a sense of fulfillment, and everyone should give thanks each day.  He writes about the need for community, the need to find purpose, the need to cherish and foster one’s faith, the need to be intentional in how we live.  “How we grow old is far more important than how old we grow.”

The author devotes a chapter to finding peace in the face of imminent death, adding that true peace requires effort.  He tells stories of how a neighborhood woman and a former small town police chief had to work hard to forgive. Arnold says, “We can choose to let sleeping dogs lie, or we can choose to confront them. The first choice is certainly easier, but I have found that those who take the harder path often end up better equipped to face their future. They’re not weighed down by the burdens of the past.” He cites Jesus’ admonition to forgive, saying it may be necessary to ‘forgive seventy times seven’.

He writes of Rachael, a cancer patient and resident of his neighborhood who called him her Chief Rabbi.  Facing death, she longed for forgiveness, ultimately asked to ‘pray a prayer of gratefulness’ and prayed not to die alone. God answered.  Her estranged brother came to see her, they forgave each other, “and after that, she was ready to let go of everything; she had found peace.”

Arnold also tells the story of a police chief named Charles who had grown up in an alcoholic household, and seemed unable to shake off a hatred of his mother. He finally visited his now-old mother in his boyhood home, and was able to forgive her. Arnold quotes Charles as saying, “It was as if the weight of a large knapsack I had been carrying for years fell from my shoulders.  At that instant, my mother changed from being the fire-breathing dragon I remembered…. to the frail, sick, elderly woman she was – the mother I never really had.”  Charles added, “It is never the wrong time to do the right thing.  Listen to the small voice of conscience and forgive, even if it’s the last thing you want to do.”

It’s not just forgiving that can be hard work. There is the business of confession, “another crucial tool to finding peace.  Of course,” Arnold adds, “we don’t need to wait until we’re old to do this.”  There is a story of a fellow elder in the author’s church who found himself facing death from an aggressive cancer. The man “made a sincere effort to clear up any misunderstandings he had,” and gained a peace about giving up further medical intervention.  He told Arnold, “My situation has forced me to reflect on what it means to turn to God and totally trust him.”

Arnold includes a chapter on survival after a spouse dies. He recalls many couples in his ministry time that had gone through tough times and hurts, good times and joys over their years together. “When you’ve experienced so much together, it’s no wonder that the surviving spouse is deeply affected, but in every instance,” he adds, “I noticed a remarkable ability to accept the circumstances.” He tells of a husband who prayed, as his wife died, “Thank you, God, thank you.  Thank you for sixty-one years together.  Thank you, thank you.” Arnold wonders how a person can take that view as his beloved is passing. Then he answers himself.  “Perhaps the key is not to stifle one’s pain, but to allow oneself to truly grieve.” Too often, he says, we try to return as quickly as possible to “normal” – not a useful idea.

For some, death will come relatively quickly; for others, it will be lengthy, painful, hard to bear and hard to watch and share in.  Arnold remembers a friend who loved his garden, his truck, his friends and his children and most of all his wife. She told Arnold she heard only one sad thing from her husband’s lips: “It takes so long to die.” But even then, she said it was not voiced as a complaint.

The author believes, “The peace and purpose we feel in our old age corresponds directly to how well we grieve.”

The book, while citing many scriptures and biblical sources, does not attempt explicitly to raise the question of peoples’ relationship to Jesus, as some evangelical Christians might wish. That issue however can hardly be escaped, given the rich biblical allusions, the nature of the topic and the stories in the book.

Arnold says he and Verena, his wife of forty-seven years, grew close to many like-minded people during their interviewing process for Rich in Years. They found that each of those people had “an incredible story that inspired us to keep going.”  And that is the strength of the book.  Encouragement and community among people who share a common outlook does wonders to build a bracing optimism that aging and death are also part of God’s plan.