#ElderWisdom | Stories from the Green Bench
Ross C. Morton - Stories of a one-room schoolhouse, importance of sharing history, and reflections of time in the RCAF

Ross C. Morton - Stories of a one-room schoolhouse, importance of sharing history, and reflections of time in the RCAF

September 14, 2021

Episode #25 - Taking you back through the 20th century thanks to Ross C. Morton, 96yo who resides at The Village of Arbour Trails in Guelph and is accompanied by his daughter, Mavis Morton.  Stories of a one-room school house education, the importance of sharing ones history with family, community and today, on this podcast.

Ross has written 3 books and shares about his first book written in 1997: The Life And Times Of A One-Room School, a history of the Conway Public School, South Fredericksburgh Township, Ontario, 1875-1966 along with the his memories of his boyhood in the 1930's.

"All through my school years, I was never lower in my class than second.  I didn't bother telling them there was never more than 2 in my class all the way through school." - Ross C. Morton

Ross reads about his first day at the one room school in September of 1931.

Ross, at the age of 17, joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, shares about this time of his life and during the second world war.  He reflects on traveling to Ottawa for his assignment and walking into the Chateau Laurier. 

Book #1 - The Life And Times Of A One-Room School (1997)
Book #2 - Tales From The Townships (2014)
Book #3 - That Reminds Me (2017)
Visit rossmorton.ca to learn more.

Ross' Daughter, Mavis, joins to share her gratitude for the history being shared through these books.   She shares about a message Lloyd says in episode 19, "precious memories get lost in the dust of time if we are not careful." 

"It's so important for Ross to have captured how different his life is and has changed over the years." - Mavis Morton

Writing these books was a way to spark memories, spend time, and engage with his wife, who was living with Alzheimers.  A mutual benefit providing purpose and enjoying time together.

Interesting to think that Ross was only 10 years old when getting electricity and today is participating in this podcast to capture and share his stories.

Here's to the storytellers!

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BONUS | Jamie Schlegel - What is long-term care, an inside look at the Schlegel Villages organization, and the importance of community

BONUS | Jamie Schlegel - What is long-term care, an inside look at the Schlegel Villages organization, and the importance of community

September 7, 2021

Bonus Episode - Erin Davis & Lloyd Hetherington are joined by Jamie Schlegel, President & CEO, on the green bench for a conversation about the Schlegel Villages organization, the differences between public, for-profit, charitable, and municipal long-term care, and the importance of community building.

The Schlegel organization started back in the 1950s by Wilfred & Emma Schlegel, spending their lives in service to people.  Making communities more inclusive, healthier, and allow people to be contributors to their community.  

"The Schlegel Villages mission has two fundamental components; creating a caring community with life purpose for each person." -Jamie Schlegel

The heart of our mission is to build healthy dynamic communities where everyone feels a part of.

"Let's focus on the 10% that isn't going as well as it should and certainly get better at that, but let's also not forget about the 90% that is going well, that we should be acknowledging, building on, and getting even better as a result." -Jamie Schlegel

What is the difference between a long-term care home and a retirement home?

The for-profit vs not-for-profit conversation has been getting lots of attention lately.

  • Private/for-profit
  • Not-for-profit
  • Charitable
  • Municipalities

"Let's just focus on doing the absolute best job we can and that's the best way to influence the system."

"The distinctions between private, not-for-profit, charitable, and municipal operators is largely a red herring.  We are talking about distinctions that don't really matter in the end. What matters is the quality of care and the quality of life that is provided within each of these organizations." -Jamie Schlegel

"Our team members deserve the credit for making our Villages a success and for bringing our mission to life." -Jamie Schlegel

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Betty Anne Millar - A fairytale career in the shopping mall industry, dressing to raise your spirits, and planning for later stages of life

Betty Anne Millar - A fairytale career in the shopping mall industry, dressing to raise your spirits, and planning for later stages of life

August 31, 2021

Episode #24 - Hosts Erin Davis & Lloyd Hetherington are joined on the green bench by the sparkling Betty Anne Millar from Burlington, Ontario.  Fashionable in her only pair of jeans, they chat about her fairytale career in the Shopping Mall industry, dressing to raise your spirits, continuous contributions to her community, and planning for her future including getting her name on the list for a suite at The Village of Tansley Woods Retirement, for when she is ready.

Betty Anne Never owned a pair of jeans in her life, however, when shopping in Oakville and saw a fabulous pair of jeans with sequins and lace, and a sale, she decided to purchase them. She wore them when her husband was undergoing major surgery as she wanted to be perky and be dressed perky.

"There is so much to be said to be dressing to raise your spirits." - Erin Davis

"When you dress well, you feel good." - Betty Anne Millar

Betty Anne describes her work as a fairytale career and loved every second in the shopping mall industry. She began as the secretary at the Burlington Mall when it opened in 1968, moved into the role as assistant manager in 1973, was promoted to general manager in 1975, and then to regional manager. She continued to be a mentor to many, training marketing and management prospects.

"Get the job done. Plunge in, do it with enthusiasm and conviction." -Lloyd Hetherington

"If a woman is intelligent, if she is proficient in her job, if she communicates effectively, if she conducts herself professionally, and if she has the energy and the determination to do the job well that it would be recognized by her associates." - Betty Anne Millar

Betty Anne's 4D motto: Dedicated, Determination, Diplomacy & Discipline

Continuing to contribute to her community; Bible study course, involved in her church with readings, prayers, visiting the hospital, VP/President of PROBUS Canada, social sponsor of Beta Sigma Phi and so much more including her commitment to the Joseph Brant Hospital Foundation in raising funds, a member of the board, and community chairman.

A year of writing eulogies pushed Betty Anne to attend conferences about the afterlife, meeting the most brilliant minds in the world, listening to speakers including Dr. Edward Close. 

"I have been so incredibly blessed. I have attended 13 conferences dealing with the afterlife. I have met the most brilliant minds in the world." -Betty Anne Millar

Betty focusses on planning for her life - in 2013 when The Village of Tansley Woods Retirement opened, she was sure to put her name down for when she needed a place. "The best insurance policy she could have."

"It's just such a piece-of-mind to know, that if I needed a place to go, that I already have it organized to move to The Village of Tansley Woods." -Betty Anne Millar

If you were to sit on the #ElderWisdom bench with anyone, who would you choose to join for a conversation?

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Annie Whittle - connection to Harry Styles through a passion for knitting, keeping busy, and how to eat a pomegranate

Annie Whittle - connection to Harry Styles through a passion for knitting, keeping busy, and how to eat a pomegranate

August 17, 2021

Episode #23 - Joining Erin Davis & Lloyd Hetherington on the green bench is Annie Whittle from The Village of Wentworth Heights in Hamilton. Her story includes a surprising connection with Harry Styles through her passion for Knitting, never allowing boredom to seep in, how to eat a pomegranate along with stories from her childhood.

Erin & Lloyd get you hooked to this episode with some puns as they welcome Annie to the bench. Do you have any knitting puns to share?

Knitting has been found to contribute to the quality of life

Knitting since the age of 4, now at 95 making Harry Styles sweaters for her grandchildren.  Handknitting pieces for department stories, hats, baby sets, bonnets, etc.

Read the article about Annie knitting Harry Styles' sweater in The Hamiton Spectator

"Just keep busy, whatever you do. Enjoy life." -Annie Whittle

Annie moved to Canada in 1946 from England with her husband.  Met him while reboring an engine, full of grease and overalls; a bit of a mess. 

She has the gift of making people feel special.  Annie is an unofficial ambassador welcoming new residents into The Village of Wentworth Heights.  "Enjoy things, meet people, and participate." -Annie Whittle

"I haven't played canasta since the 40s. Now I love it and we play twice a week." -Annie Whittle

“The future lies before you, like a field of fallen snow; Be careful how you tread it, for every step will show.” - Doris A. Wright (shared with Annie and her siblings by her mother)

"I'd like a 36 hour day and 10 days a week." -Annie Whittle

Daily Mail Survey - What contributes to longevity?
1. Being stubborn
2. Keeping busy
3. Positive attitude

"Keep ahead of the grim reaper, keep moving, keep busy." -Annie Whittle

"The perfect metaphor for what we are doing with the green bench.  You don't want people to feel lonely, you don't want them to feel like strangers. So come and sit here." -Erin Davis

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Brendan Rossiter - Dublin to Canada, wisdom about work, kicking habits and being resourceful

Brendan Rossiter - Dublin to Canada, wisdom about work, kicking habits and being resourceful

August 3, 2021

Episode #22 - Brendan Rossiter chose Canada to move to 52 years ago. He joins us from The Village of Erin Meadows long-term care in Mississauga to share a lifetime of wisdom about work, kicking habits, and being resourceful.

Born in Ireland, Brendan is a natural storyteller, a perfect fit as Erin Davis & Lloyd Hetherington welcome him to the green bench.

"Born in a great country, now living in a great country." 

Brendan had his own business as a sewing machine mechanic.  He sold, rented, and fixed high-end sewing machines.  Often supplying the movie business including Goodwill Hunting. 

"I smoked 50 cigarettes a day." Realizing that smoking was the cause of his shortness of breath, he made the decision to quit and hasn't smoked for 43 years.  Do you remember how much a pack of cigarettes was in 1978?

Brendan was the youngest of 6 boys and has one younger sister. 

He talks about what he would change in his life if he was 21 today. Sharing about going into the trades and having apprenticeships.

"You have to use your head." -Brendan Rossiter
Saving a portion of your income is a great tool to support your future. "Take a look at your finances and control them, don't let them control you." -Lloyd Hetherington

A conversation about living at Erin Meadows and Lloyd at Riverside Glen.

"I like being treated like the president rather than the resident." -Lloyd Hetherington

"There is nothing that comes near this place, the food is excellent, the staff go out of their way." -Brendan Rossiter

"If you have spare time, you must remember that there is always something that you can find to do." -Brendan Rossiter

"The thing about Ireland, we laugh at ourselves and not get upset."

"There's 50% off the Irish that don't drink, the other 50% make up for it."

 

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Steve Smith - a fascinating career as Red Green, stories from beyond the show and goose control

Steve Smith - a fascinating career as Red Green, stories from beyond the show and goose control

July 20, 2021

Episode #21 - Steve Smith joins Erin Davis & Lloyd Hetherington to share his wisdom on the green bench, and today we're calling it the 'Red Green Bench'. He shares about his fascinating career as Red Green, stories from beyond the show, laughter, retirement, and a goose control project.

With 15 seasons aired on CBC & PBS and reruns continuing to play today, what are your thoughts about a Red Green Reunion show?  "There is a long list of things that will never happen, and it's near the top." -Steve Smith  

"If you don't have a Red Green in your family, it's probably you." -Steve Smith

Advice on aging - A story that has stuck in Steve's mind about Toby Keith and Clint Eastwood and this quote to live by; “I get up every morning and I go out. And I don't let the old man in.” -Clint Eastwood

Duct Tape. "Fixing it with duct tape is a glimpse of immortality." - Steve Smith

"Laughter is good medicine and we need all we can get of it." - Lloyd Hetherington

"When you are out of laughter, you are out of hope." -Steve Smith

Hear Steve's answer to this question: Would you rather be handy or humourous?

The experience of listening to stories and comedy on the radio was encouraged at a young age.  Have you heard about his Possom Lodge Podcast?  A scripted half-hour with all the characters you love.
Find it here: https://www.patreon.com/possumlodge 

Career Advice from Steve Smith;
1. It has to be mostly enjoyable
2. It has to be a worthy challenge
3. You have to have a reasonable expectation of success
4. It has to be good for people, not just you

Learn about his latest project: Canada Goose Control - A Goose Repellent Laser (https://www.gc1goosecontrol.com/)

 

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Beth Goodwin - Caring for a loved one living with dementia and being in the moment

Beth Goodwin - Caring for a loved one living with dementia and being in the moment

July 6, 2021

Episode #20 - Beth Goodwin opens her heart and perhaps your eyes as she discusses being a caregiver to a loved one living with dementia.  Beth's husband Ed lives at The Village at University Gates in Waterloo

Offering safety, security, & love; as a primary caregiver, it is a journey you go through with your spouse and it changes every day, you never know what the next day will bring.

Beth always involves Ed in the daily routines, as much as he wanted to be involved.  "You need to be with them in that moment, and enjoy that time." -Beth Goodwin

"When we see a label like dementia, that's not the end, it's just the beginning of a new chapter." -Lloyd Hetherington

Upon the move to long-term care, there was the realization and relief that she didn't have to be on as a caregiver 24/7, and appreciated knowing the care and kindness he is receiving at The Village.

"As you become burnt out, your care and service diminishes." -Lloyd Hetherington

Where to go for information:
- Your Family Doctor
- Alzheimer Society
- LHIN/Home and Community Care Support Sevices

"There are only four kinds of people in the world: those who have been caregivers, those who are currently caregivers, those who will be caregivers, and those who will need caregivers." -Rosalynn Carter

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Kathe Kleinau - Importance of storytelling and a collection of interviews among neighbours

Kathe Kleinau - Importance of storytelling and a collection of interviews among neighbours

June 22, 2021

Episode #19 - A conversation on the green bench with Kathe Kleinau about her recent collection of interviews among neighbours at The Village of Wentworth Heights in Hamilton.

The first book called, 'The Founder's Circle', sold out, includes 36 stories, 2 poems, photos, and artwork by a fellow resident, Ann Wingfield.  Book #2 is in the works and will be called, 'The Legacy Continues'.

"One day I got the idea of writing a book. These stories were so amazing and interesting that they needed to be preserved." - Kathe Keinau 

"Kathe, you have the skill of extracting from them, those gems of wisdom that were buried in their heart." -Lloyd Hetherington

Erin Davis asks, what makes a good interviewer?
Kathe's reply, "you have to be a good listener"

A life full of new beginnings - Kathe shares her story starting out in Germany during the war, then moving to Canada, Marriage, having children and sharing time with grandchildren, teaching at Humber College, different careers, retirement, and moving to Wentworth Heights.

"I learned to play the piano at 78 and wrote my first book at 85" - Kathe Kleinau

"We're never ever too old to take on new experiences and new opportunities." -Lloyd Hetherington

Question: If you could interview anyone, who would you like to sit with for a conversation on the green bench?

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Patricia & Dennis Bayley - A pursuit of passions, hobbies, poetry, traveling and laughter

Patricia & Dennis Bayley - A pursuit of passions, hobbies, poetry, traveling and laughter

June 8, 2021

Episode #18 - Patricia & Dennis Bayley live and laugh at The Village of Taunton Mills in Whitby while sharing about their passions of poetry, chemistry, and traveling.  Erin Davis & Lloyd Hetherington are joined on the green bench for some laughter and storytelling.  

What are you passionate about? What are your hobbies?

Lloyd's hobby is words: a good pun, a game of scrabble, writing ... words, words, words.  His passion is people.

In school, Patricia was not very good at English and Dennis was absolutely terrible at Chemistry - they both grew into those as interests to stick with them their whole life. "If someone says we can't do something, that is when we start doing it." -Dennis Bayley

Patricia's love for poetry began long ago right when she was able to print.  Dennis shares his passion for science/chemistry.

"It's all about connection, especially now more than ever." -Erin Davis

Dennis - a left-handed child was hit over the hand in school every time he used his left hand so he became right-handed.  After 80 years of using the right hand, Dennis shares about an experiment he did while in lockdown with Dr. Porac at Penn State University.  His experiment to draw using his left hand again.  Read the blog post here: https://sites.psu.edu/clarep/category/switching-handedness/

Patricia - Enjoys writing poetry with some rhyming, a theme, a beginning, and an end.  Listen to the poet, Patricia Bayley read her poems: 'Life Cycle', 'Hope'

Another poem was a feature on CTV National News with Lisa Laflamme - You can find this video posted in the Wisdom Bank at elderwisdom.ca

Hear how Dennis supports Patricia with her poetry writing. "It's not only the writing of the poem. It's holding onto your breath while you think, rhubarb, rhubarb, rhubarb, I'll go back and have another bat at it." - Patricia Bayley

Our guests pull out their passports and share some stories from their travels. Holland, Belgium, France, Switzerland, Austria, Italy, Antarctica, South America, Brazil.  Working in Thailand teaching in 1995 as part of a CESO Project (Canadian Executive Service Organization) as volunteers. 

Dennis spearheaded an exchange program with first-nations students as literacy chair for district 707 Rotary Clubs and also working with the Durham Regional School Board.  Now at The Village of Taunton Mills to involve all the seniors to provide school supplies and warm garments to send to the Schools in the First-Nations communities.

You get an airline ticket to anywhere in the world...where do you choose to go?
Patricia - England
Dennis - Italy

"I don't believe that vegetables should be put on this earth so I don't eat them." - Dennis Bayley

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Deborah Bakti - Author of Now What? Managing the Emotional Journey of Long Term Care for Families

Deborah Bakti - Author of Now What? Managing the Emotional Journey of Long Term Care for Families

May 25, 2021

Episode #17 - Erin Davis & Lloyd Hetherington welcome Deborah Bakti, author of Now What? Managing the Emotional Journey of Long Term Care for Families. Designed to be a valuable resource for the families of new residents, while also supporting seniors’ care providers who want to develop healthy, productive relationships with their families.

Erin: Do you ever read a book and go, wow, where were you when I needed this?

"It was so down to earth, so practical. I wish I had found it years ago ... I just love it! It's well written, the very definite points so easily picked out and mastered.  Every person considering long-term care should read." -Lloyd Hetherington about Now What? Managing the Emotional Journey of Long Term Care for Families 

Written as a resource for family members who needed to make a decision to move a loved one into long-term care.  The second audience is those who work in seniors care who want to have strong healthy relationships with the families of those they care for.

Now What? Managing the Emotional Journey of Long Term Care for Families - available at deborahbakti.com

Deborah shares her experiences working in senior living as well as her role as a family member with loved ones living in long-term care and retirement.

Learn about the Seven A’s families transition through – from awareness to appreciation.

"We don't have to like or love something in order to accept it." -Deborah Bakti

COMPLIMENTARY COPIES AVAILABLE! Contact one of our Retirement Villages' Director of Lifestyle Options to ask for a copy of Deborah's book. https://schlegelvillages.com/locations

Now What? covers some of the misconceptions families have of long-term care, to provide further insight and clarity. It’s designed to help both caregivers and families avoid frustration and disappointment.

Connect with Deborah on Social Media: LinkedIn | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

"Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." -Viktor Frankl

"There are no slow days in long-term care ... sometimes we just have to step back and take a breath." -Deborah Bakti

We appreciate the work, dedication, and care that senior living workers provide our elders every day.

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