Top StoriesHelp fund a more humane waiting room for senior at the Orleans Health Hub

Help fund a more humane waiting room for senior at the Orleans Health Hub

Help fund a more humane waiting room for senior at the Orleans Health Hub

Nature is brought inside the Orleans Health Hub

The Forget For A Moment Foundation is fundraising for the creation of a living wall measuring over 27 square meters (300 square feet). The wall will be a self-suficient vertical garden filled with hydroponic plants that will bring nature inside and create a more comfortable and humane waiting room in the Services for Seniors area of the Orleans Health Hub. The facility is scheduled to open on June 24, 2021.

The wall will be the first of its kind in Canada: a design representing a Monarch butterfly wing with coloured glass balls at the edges among a plethora of live greenery. This is the first Ontario project for the Foundation and will serve seniors, a group that has suffered tremendously during the current pandemic.

“Now more than ever, during this pandemic, we are all recognizing the importance of reconnecting with nature,” said Michel Gauthier, President of the Forget For A Moment Foundation's Board of Directors.

The Forget For A Moment Foundation is a non-profit organization based in Ottawa and Gatineau. Its mission is to integrate green spaces into hospitals, rehabilitation centres and long-term care facilities. The foundation’s first project was completed in 2017 with the installation of a living wall at the CHSLD Ernest-Brisson Long-Term Care Centre in Gatineau, Quebec.

“The mission of the foundation is to provide relief and joy and access to nature to improve the quality of life of whoever is using the facilities. Not just the patients, but also the workers and the families,” says Gauthier.

The objective is to raise $100,000 for the living wall. For the campaign, the green wall has been turned into a giant jigsaw puzzle. Donors have the opportunity to donate one or more pieces of the virtual puzzle, depending on the amount that they donate. They also offer a corporate donation program.

Jeannine Lafrenière, Founder and President Emeritus of the Foundation, started the foundation knowing first-hand about the stress and anxiety experienced by patients in health care establishments: “After spending countless hours in hospital waiting rooms after my cancer diagnosis in 2008, I became motivated to bring nature into health centres,” shared Lafrenière. “Having greenery in the waiting room would have helped me tremendously during a very difficult and stressful time.”

The story of Jeannine brought inspiration to the naming of the Forget For a Moment Foundation.

Numerous studies prove that nature has a positive impact on the physical and mental health of residents and patients, but also on the professional caregivers and health workers. Published studies have found that adding greenery to the sterile hospital environment has the following effects:

* Reduced stress and anxiety for both patients and staff;
* Faster recovery, leading to shorter hospital stays;
* Reduced pain, evidenced by lower intake of painkillers;
* Increased mobility and independence; and
* Higher quality of life for chronic and terminal patients.

The Orleans Health Hub will serve the residents of Ottawa East and will be a community-based healthcare centre that will bring together complementary services from several health and community service partner organizations in the east end of Ottawa. 

The campaign is more than halfway to their goal of raising $100,000. To learn more about the campaign or to contribute, visit https://www.forgetforamoment.org/projects/orleans-health-hub

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