Don’t miss the Concert in Care – The Lady Larks! – February 2

Kick up your heels with The Lady Larks and their sweet swingin’ vintage harmonies! From striking arrangements of Tin Pan Alley composers to covers of The Andrews Sisters, Manhattan Transfer and The Swingle Singers, this young quartet has been impressing their audiences since they came together in late 2010.

Tuesday, February 2 at 10:30am in the Menno Hospital Chapel

No Admission cost.


Joy will find a way… weekly quotes on bringing joy

Have you ever thought that Menno Place staff are a vessel through which others receive joy?

Giving joy-filled moments to our residents is one of the most satisfying aspects of working with people in need of support. We are a conduit through which joy flows. Each day, our staff make choices that create opportunities for joy. They open the door to smiles, delight, feeling valued and feeling loved.

Joy. It’s one of the greatest gifts we give to our residents – and its ours to give freely – in times of sorrow and times of delight. In 1974, Bruce Cockburn’s wrote a song – Joy Will Find A Way 

Do you think joy will find a way?

This past week, our chaplains spoke at numerous funerals (please pray for our chaplains and interns as they journey alongside residents and families at life’s end). They share how deeply grateful the families are for the loving, skilled caring received by their loved one here at Menno Place.

As one family moved through transition into dementia with their mother, they shared their hesitancy about moving her from one unit to another – and yet, their mother was grateful in her new unit even as she slipped further into dementia. They thanked the staff for the care.

Another spoke of the professionalism and dedication of the staff. Their father received excellent care. They were grateful.

Another was supported through their deep friendships in the apartments. The friends were grieving.

Joy. It’s been making a way here at Menno Place since 1953.

It’s making it’s way today – through our staff, through our resident… and through YOU.

What a gift you are, what a gift you bring!

To follow the weekly JOY JUMP quotes, “Like” our Facebook page – Click Here

Benches that Honour and Remember – Celebrating a Life

In 2015, we launched the Celebrate Life Bench Donation Program. Benches are placed throughout the Menno Place campus with bronze plaques honouring loved ones.

The Celebrate Life Bench Donation Program has been extremely successful as residents and family members have enthusiastically embraced the opportunity to honour a loved one in this way. The donation covers the cost of the bench and enables Menno Place to furnish our outdoor gardens with elder-safe furniture that will endure through the weather and over the years.

Would you like to dedicate a bench to someone you love? For details click here.

Family & Friends Support Network

Thursday, February 19th – 1:30 – 2:30 at the Menno Home Chapel – Click for Campus Map

Come and join a group of people who are supporting each other as they are involved and caring for a resident at the Home or Hospital.

Local and international examples of person centered care for dementia residents

Take a look at some stories that share the experience of person centered care.

1. Czorny Alzheimer Center, Surrey, BC

CBC Story: Person-Centered Care – Getting it Right for Dementia Patients

CBC: Click to Listen – 21 minutes

The Province: Unique Care Facility Looks More Like a Rural Retreat

Vancouver Sun: Tragedy Creates Alzheimer Centre

2. Hogeweyk, Weesp, The Netherlands

CNN’s World’s Untold Stories: Dementia Village

Hogeweyk Website

De Hogeweyk: Wikipedia

Person-Centered Care – What does it mean?

Person centered care is a philosophy of providing care for the elderly that puts the individual at the centre of their own care. In this philosophy the needs of those who care for the elder are considered as central to the care of each individual.

Person centered practice has five primary focuses in order to succeed:

1. Getting to know the resident as a person

This focuses on building a relationship between the caregivers and the resident. A person centered health professional knows and understands a resident beyond their diagnosis, medical needs and personal needs.

2. Sharing of power and responsibility

This focus is on respecting preferences. It includes treating residents and their caregivers as partners when setting goals, planning care and making decisions about care and treatments.

3. Accessibility and flexibility

Here, the focus is on meeting resident’s individual needs by being sensitive to values, preference and expressed needs. This focus gives the resident and their caregivers choice by giving them timely, complete and accurate information in a manner they can understand so they can make choices about their care.

4. Coordination and integration

This is about teamwork. It includes working together to minimize duplication. It involves working seamlessly behind the scenes to maximize the resident’s experiences and to provide them with a positive experience.

5. Environment

The physical, cultural and organizational environment allows staff to function in a person centered manner.

Grateful Community Volunteer Celebrates 100th Birthday

On January 6, 2015, Siegfried Bartel smiled with content surrounded by his family and friends who celebrated his 100th Birthday.

Born in a time when the US House of Representatives was denying women the vote, neon tubes were patented and the first coast-to-coast long distance call was made, Siegfried has lived through the incredible and rapid changes of the 20th and 21st centuries. World War 1 had just begun to rage across Europe when Siegfried’s mother prayed a prayer of blessing upon her unborn child.

Growing up in Prussia (Poland) in a Mennonite community, Siegfried enjoyed a privileged life earned by the hard labour of his farming family. As a young boy, he watched his father extend grace to a man whose drunken negligence caused a train accident that took the lives of his mother and oldest brother.

It was natural for a man of German descent to enlist in the German Army and Siegfried did so in 1937 before the second world war. When the war erupted in September of 1939, he found himself in an army that eventually brought horrors to others and convinced Siegfried that pacifism was the only sane response to killing and war.

During the war, Siegfried married Erna and started a family. Seven boys were born into his family as Siegfried went back to farming to earn a living. In 1951, he received refugee help through Mennonite Central Committee ( to re-establish his life in Canada becoming a dairy farmer in Agassiz, BC. Siegfried became an active participant in the community as well as serving in leadership with MCC from 1972 – 1987, grateful for how he had received refugee help in his time of need.

Siegfried’s birthday celebration was a vibrant afternoon party with friends and residents from Menno Home joining in the festivities. Five sons, six daughter-in-laws, one grandson and one great-granddaughter and the staff of Menno Place celebrated as well. Siegfried’s older brother, Hans, age 103 came over from Primrose Gardens Apartments with his wife to celebrate his brother’s life and enjoy a delicious piece of home-made cake and some German music. Ingrid Schultz, Chaplain, shared highlights of Siegfried’s life of faith and a prayer of blessing upon his life and the lives of those who love him.

Siegfried is the author of two books, Living with Conviction and Journey to Pacifism. In these books, he shares his life’s story and resulting convictions about pacifism and dedication to others in need. Happy 100th Birthday, Siegfried from your friends at Menno Place, Abbotsford Retirement Home.


Families & Friends – You’re Invited! Concert in Care – January 6th, 2015

Janelle Nadeau, Harp

You’re invited to join a resident or tenant at Menno Place for this Concert in Care!

Tuesday, January 6th, 2015 at 10:30am

Menno Hospital Chapel (enter through the main entrance of Menno Hospital – 32945 Marshall Road)

Harpist Janelle Nadeau’s performances showcase a range of musical genres from Celtic, Spanish, classical and popular songs.  She is a graduate of the University of British Columbia with a major in Harp Performance. She is a member of the ensemble Winter Harp, a guest performer in various orchestras, and enjoys a career of performing around the lower mainland.  Janelle was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Canada, Celebrity Cruises, has performed numerous solo tours and has won various awards. Her classical training, combined with her personal contemporary repertoire, provides a refreshing approach to the harp.  Janelle’s small town farming roots are reflected in her warm engagement with each audience as she introduces each selection.

Ballet Therapy for Seniors at Menno Place

What an incredible opportunity for our residents at Menno Place to participate in the ballet therapy program that was featured on the Intergenerational Dance Project. This project was from the Centre for Education and Research on Aging at the University of the Fraser Valley. Lee Kwidzinski, Mission-based dance instructor is leading the children and our residents in a weekly dance class.

Christmas at Menno Place

Christmas is a magical time at Menno Place with all the lights, decorations and Christmas spirit! Thank you to another set of elves who donated their time and talents to decorate and make everything so beautiful at the Fireside Cafe.