A pilot project is currently being undertaken by a team at The Jewish General Hospital, Montreal, led by Dr. Paola Lavin (the GeriPARTy Research Group). It involves introducing a robot, Grace, to the residents at a home for seniors, La Résidence Pearl et Théo in Montreal.
During the Pandemic, loneliness was the greatest crisis faced by seniors. Amid staffing shortages, the robot can fill an important gap and serve as an assistant to the nurses and caregivers, not replace them.
Grace is an extremely attractive, lifelike robot who can be used to fill in lonely moments with the residents – usually about 30 minutes per session, to break the isolation. Residents can converse with Grace and she will reply on a variety of topics. Grace is accessible to all levels of age and memory loss.
Dr. Lavin and her team will be seeking feedback from the residents on their experiences with Grace. If anything comes to our attention I will post it here.
The Cummings Centre (https://cummingscentre.org) (5700 Westbury, Montreal, (514) – 342-1234) has announced its very comprehensive winter programme for those 50+, well and frail. The membership fee is $30 per year and classes are available in person or on-line.
Among the many courses offered are a Book Club, a virtual Book Club, French and English lessons, Wellness lectures, Personal Training on Zoom, Dance, Pilates, Music Therapy and Guided Meditation to name but a few.
There are many Performing Arts options and an auditorium to see plays and musicals.
There is also a group of courses aimed at people living with MS, Parkinson’s, Post Stroke, Cardio and Orthopaedic issues. These are really excellent courses offered by experienced and trained kinesiologists. There are support groups also for caregivers of people with the above conditions.
The Cummings Centre is certainly a wonderful resource for our community.