BC Pow Wow connects resident with her family and culture

Posted by Nakida Kett on Sep 12, 2022


At Sienna, we all know how important it is to get feedback from the residents we support so we can continue to support positive experiences and quality of life. We do this often, through surveys and other means…but the best thing we can do, is sit down with a resident face-to-face.

 When Jennifer Strachan, Community Relations Specialist & Regional Partner, met with Bernice, an Indigenous resident at Lakeview Lodge Community in West Kelowna, BC, she was saddened to learn that Bernice rarely leaved her room. As a younger resident who is very cognitive, Jennifer wanted to know what could be done to get her out and enjoying life a little more.

When she asked Bernice about her aspirations, her whole mood shifted almost immediately and she told Jennifer that she would love to attend the Kamloops Pow Wow with her family and friends. As she listened to Bernice explain, she could see the passion and emotion on her face. “I knew we had to make this happen,” said Jennifer.

Jennifer and the team at Lakeview Lodge had a lot to consider including transportation and continuity of care, forming a health and safety plan, ensuring regulations would be met, risk mitigation, and they would have to communicate all of this with Bernice and her family. 

Bernice photo 2

After going through all the considerations, they had a plan. Bernice would travel several hours from Lakeview Lodge to stay overnight at Ridgeview Lodge, another Sienna long-term care community only a few minutes away from Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc pow wow grounds. This would allow Bernice to travel safely to and from the event and have her care needs met throughout.

Everything went off without a hitch. Afterwards, Bernice shared, “This was the best experience I’ve had in a very long time.” She was able to see all of her children, grandchildren, and many childhood friends, all while gathering with the Indigenous community, singing, dancing, and celebrating their culture.

None of this could have happened if it weren’t for the exceptional compassion, teamwork and inclusivity of our team members at Lakeview Lodge, Ridgeview Lodge and at the regional level.  

“Something magical happens when we take a moment to connect with residents. In this case, it set off a chain of events that truly exemplifies our purpose of cultivating happiness in daily life. And this will be something I carry with me for the rest of my life,” said Jennifer.



Topics: Long Term Care, Sienna Senior Living, Cultivating Happiness, Life at Sienna, British Columbia, Lakeview Lodge