We’ve seen drive-bys, wall murals and window visits to uplift and cheer our residents and staff during this very difficult time of the pandemic, when visitor restrictions have become the daily normal.
Staff at St. Martha’s Place, a long-term care facility within the Banff Springs Mineral Hospital, got a little more creative with their residents. They put on a show for them — a “wedding” to be more specific.
"The original, slightly hair-brained idea of having a ‘wedding’ between two staff members for the purpose of entertaining and involving the residents evolved into a touching and very meaningful ceremony of togetherness," says Glenn Matthews, an occupational therapist at the 25-bed facility.
He adds that the idea was to speak to the sacrifices that all have made during this time of uncertainty and highlight the compassionate and caring relationship between the residents and staff that is synonymous of a marriage.
With chaplain Nancy Cowtun officiating, the resident representative (“groom”) and staff representative (“bride”) walked down the aisle to a live guitar and piano version of the Bride’s March and exchanged vows to be “togetherness partners” in sickness and in health and in isolation and in companionship.
There was also a sand ceremony, which was well-received, with residents and staff each contributing coloured sand to a vase, creating a lovely pattern while Pachelbel’s Canon was played live in the background. The sand vase will be on display and is symbolic of the unique resident-staff covenant. The traditional tossing of confetti on the bride and groom was also a big hit with the residents.
After the ceremony was over, everyone celebrated with a singalong, tea and cake — a wonderful way to end the week, with lots of smiles and happy faces.