It’s safe to say that Gloria will never forget her 87th birthday. The resident at Amica Little Lake spent it leaning over the edge of Toronto’s CN Tower!
Months earlier, when a staff member asked if Gloria had any dreams or goals that she wished to achieve, the senior mentioned she’d like to do the EdgeWalk at the CN Tower on her next birthday. It wouldn’t be the senior’s first adventure: at age 65, she’d climbed Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain; at 80, she tried skydiving. “I want to experience as much as I can while I still have my health,” says Gloria, who’s on the treadmill at the residence’s fitness centre at 5 a.m. every day. “And to encourage others to do so as well.”
“I knew right away I had to make this happen,” says Karissa Boyce, Life Enrichment Coordinator at Amica Little Lake. Amica’s Dreaming to Doing program encourages residents to think about goals they would like to accomplish, with a little help from staff members. Other residents have been granted wishes such as attending their favourite team’s baseball game or visiting an amusement park with loved ones. Boyce presented Gloria’s dream to the Seniors Wish Foundation with whom Amica has a great partnership, and they jumped on board. Kempenfelt Bay School had been fundraising for seniors, so they pitched in to cover admission costs and a limo ride to the CN Tower to add to the experience.
The experience started with an orientation process at the CN Tower, where Gloria and her Amica chaperones, Karissa Boyce and Laura Wright, suited up together. Dressed in a special suit and safety harness, Gloria was a little hesitant when she first stepped out: After all, the platform walk takes place 116 stories above the ground! Soon, she was appreciating a view that stretched all the way to Niagara Falls and she drummed up enough courage to look down and lean over the edge. Before long, she was cracking jokes: “Maybe I’ll find a man up here!” she quipped. Here’s a video of Gloria's experience captured by CTV News Barrie.
Boyce said it was a tremendous feeling to see her resident feeling proud and accomplished and living her dreams at 87. “It’s important to me personally to help our residents achieve their dreams and to witness the joy that it brings them,” said the Amica Little Lake team member. “I hope this will set an example for other seniors to put aside fears that may be holding them back from trying something new and exciting.”
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