A year ago Ellen had never even heard of Spencer House Seniors’ Centre. Now, you’ll find her there three or four days a week. If you’re lucky, you’ll even catch one of her dinner theatre performances!
Spencer House is a social hub for seniors in Halifax’s in South End. Their mission is to provide programs and services to enable older adults to live independently, contribute to their community and maintain an active and healthy lifestyle.
Seventy-five-year-old Ellen is the type of person who always has something on the go. For many years, she chaired a social committee at the South End seniors’ residence where she lives. After experiencing some bullying in her complex, she was feeling isolated and without reason to get out of bed in the morning – a thought that is not uncommon for many seniors who live alone on a fixed income in Halifax.
“As the saying goes, when one door closes, another door opens. And this is the best thing that ever happened to me,” says Ellen about discovering the wide range of programs at Spencer House. When asked what keeps her coming back, she sums it up quite simply: “Everybody is friendly. Everybody gets along. Everything is positive. And I like being around that.”
In addition to bingo and the lunch program, Ellen participates in creative writing workshops and the theatre group. She admits that if someone told her she’d be acting and writing at the age of 75 she wouldn’t have believed them!
Staff at Spencer House have witnessed a significant change in Ellen over the past year. She is eating healthier, she is happier and her confidence has soared. And the Spencer House senior community has benefited from Ellen’s fellowship, participation and generosity. Ellen is always willing to drive others to programs or personal appointments and make sure that seniors who are at home receive a daily phone call – just to check in.
I don’t know how to describe it. I feel relaxed here. And wanting to try new things.