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A Song Called “Patty’s Place”

“This place has been a God send to her and to me”

After 62 years of marriage, Al knows his wife, Joanne, like the back of his hand. He could tell you the songs she likes, where she keeps her kitchen utensils, and everything in between. Because of this, he quickly noticed when she started acting differently several years ago. Joanne was showing signs of dementia. They knew this would change their lives forever, but hope for a bright future was far from lost.

Al and Joanne soon learned about resources to help them cope, including Patty’s Place — Acclaim Health’s Dementia Care Centre in Oakville. It opened during the fall of 2021. Nearly every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning since, Al has driven Joanne to the facility. Here she can spend the day in a warm and supportive community, while Al gets a break from caregiving. On route, they often sing a song that Al made up called “Patty’s Place.” Their enthusiasm is palpable.

The first time that Joanne poked her head through the doorway, Al was nervous, because he didn’t know if she’d like the place. However, after the first or second visit, she didn’t want to leave. As a former schoolteacher and waitress, she’s always been a people person. She loves spending time with her new friends and the compassionate staff. She doesn’t shy away from any of the activities offered, but as a lifetime music aficionado, she is particularly thrilled with the music therapy program. It gives her a chance to sing and play instruments with others to her heart’s content.

Whenever it’s time to leave Patty’s Place for the night, she says goodnight to her companions. Joanne always looks forward to her next visit. “This place has been a God send to her and to me,” shared Al. “I don’t know how people would cope with this disease if they didn’t have something like it… I feel very lucky.”

Acclaim Health offers Adult Day Programs in Oakville, Burlington, and Mississauga. If you’d like to learn more about them, click here: /programs/dementia-care/adult-day-programs?

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