Residents and visitors, including representatives from David Thompson Health Trust, gathered in Rimbey earlier this month to celebrate the arrival of a new passenger bus to be used by residents of Rimbey Care Centre.
The 2014 Crestline Spirit of Mobility Bus has the capacity to carry 15 passengers, five of whom are sitting in wheelchairs. The $160,000 bus includes a wheelchair ramp which has the capacity of sitting on curbs or being lowered directly to the pavement.
Being present when the bus arrived and being able to observe the patients’ reaction was a wonderful experience, said Corrie Fortner, executive director of David Thompson Health Trust.
“It is great to be able to come out and celebrate with the community and see the difference the bus will make in long term care,” said Fortner. “It’s been great to visit with the people who are going to be using the bus and hear their excitement.”
Funding for the bus came through the generosity of individual, business and corporate donors. Volunteers spent countless hours communicating the need for a bus to the community through a post card mail out, newspaper articles and fundraising efforts.
The bus will be used for outings throughout the year to take long term care residents into the country or take them on day trips to neighbouring communities or to activities in town. Long-term care recreation employees with the appropriate licensing will operate the bus.
The new bus replaces the 1991 Ford Cutaway 15-passenger van.
Presently funding is needed for a therapy pool in the rehabilitation area of the Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre. The hospital has been without a pool for the past two years as the aging pool could no longer be used due to leakage. Hydrotherapy allows patients to strengthen muscles, while decreasing the stress on their joints. A new pool will cost $300,000.
Another $300,000 is needed to purchase 49 additional continuing care overhead lift systems. These make it possible to lift and transfer continuing care residents with minimal effort and maximum safety.
In the health trust’s annual report, Colleen Connolley, Site Manager of Rimbey Hospital and Care Centre commends David Thompson Health Trust. She said the DTHT provides the skills, knowledge, resources, and technology to help the donation committee successfully fundraise.
“Their support is phenomenal and the results are awesome,” she said.