Cars in the Courtyard

Cars in the Courtyard

People will ask, "Why cars in the courtyard?"

For the past five years, CapitalCare Strathcona has had a classic car show in August. From the first event, the car show was a big success with residents, family and staff. We noticed boundaries in age and abilities were diminished by mingling, conversation and smiles around the classic cars. The program has grown each year with more cars at the event, but conversation about the cars starts months before and lasts long after each event.

We want to create those conversations and connections year round.

Having classic cars in the CapitalCare Strathcona courtyard allows for many opportunities for the residents. A resident could look out their room window, summer or winter, and reminisce with staff during care or during family visits about cars they had throughout their life. A family visiting and asking "why is there a car in the courtyard?" starts conversation and opens avenues for building relations and a sense of community between families. Think of wonderful family picnics around the cars. Volunteers can visit with residents and go for a walk around the classic cars, making connections over what they see and can talk about. This makes it easier for volunteers to get to know the residents.

Endless amounts of one to one conversations, and small and large leisure programs will happen! A mock movie drive-in night, men’s group, car club, engine repair and car care advice. The cars will connect generations through school mechanics programs with students learning alongside residents and families. Residents and staff can connect while reminiscing among the cars. Socials and gatherings will happen in the classic car courtyard. Music amidst the cars can initiate pride, ability and a sense of calm.  Residents with dementia will be able to sit behind the wheel and feel emotions of their first car or driving the family to a special event.

A classic car is in the eye of the beholder and many have a special place in their memories of their first car, the car that ‘lasted’ or the family car. It could be a true classic car or a classic for the person that brings back lifelong memories. A car in the courtyard will also help to continue to make new happy memories for those at CapitalCare Strathcona .

Heather Rozak, Recreation Therapist, CapitalCare Strathcona

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