Tapestry Foundation for Health Care Launches Penny Drive to Fund Dementia Research and Other Seniors’ Services

Vancouver, BC — Staff, volunteers and residents at local residential care facilities are taking the expression, “a penny for your thoughts” one step further by collecting the recently discontinued currency on behalf of the Tapestry Foundation for Health Care to go toward dementia research and other programs and services for seniors.

The Tapestry Foundation for Health Care - which supports St. Vincent’s Hospital Langara, Brock Fahrni Pavilion and five other Providence Health Care facilities by raising funds for medical equipment, programs, services, education and research in the field of elder care - is asking the public to help support this effort by donating their pennies. Drop-off receptacles for penny donations will be available at St. Vincent’s Hospital Langara, Brock Fahrni Pavilion, Holy Family Hospital, Youville Residence, and the Tapestry Foundation office at Mount Saint Joseph Hospital.

“After the final Canadian penny was minted earlier this month, we decided what better way to raise money for dementia research than to focus on the penny which, back in the day, had a significant value for many of our older residents and is the source of some happy memories,” said Ann Adams, CEO of Tapestry Foundation for Health Care.

Residents at some of the residential care facilities wax nostalgic about what a penny used to buy:

“In the 1930s, we went to Dunbar Cinema for 10 cents. You got the feature movie and the serial. I remember Tarzan. We loved that. We could get three jawbreakers for a penny.”

“For four cents, I went with my parents on the streetcar downtown. My parents had to spend 10 or 11 cents but, as a kid, I only had to pay four pennies.”

“You could weigh yourself for just a penny or buy bubble gum. And for five movie coupons — you’d get one when you went to the movies — you’d get a penny to go to another movie.”

The Tapestry Foundation-supported residential care facilities are home to many patients affected by dementia. According to the Alzheimer’s Society of BC, the disease is on the rise. One in 11 Canadians over the age of 65 has Alzheimer’s disease or a related dementia. In just five years, as many as 50 per cent more Canadians and their families could be facing Alzheimer’s disease or another form of dementia. As it stands today, the number of Canadians living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia will more than double within a generation (25 years).

“An increasing prevalence rate of dementia goes hand-in-hand with an increasing aging population. At Tapestry Foundation, we are focused on what we can do to make the aging process easier for our residents and also for the public at large faced with these issues. What we learn through research and provide in services can make a significant difference in improving quality of life for those affected. We encourage everyone to get out their jars of coins and give them to this worthy cause,” added Adams.

Pennies can be dropped off at the following sites’ reception areas:

-St. Vincent’s Hospital Langara, 255 West 62nd Avenue
-Brock Fahrni Pavilion, 4650 Oak Street
-Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, Tapestry Foundation office, 3080 Prince Edward Street
-Holy Family Hospital, 7801 Argyle Street
-Youville Residence, 4950 Heather Street

Tapestry Foundation continues to support services and activities for dementia patients in care facilities such as:

• Renovation of a care unit in Youville Residence to create a calming environment for dementia patients - part of a study examining influences of environment and socialization;

• Pilot project exploring how the use of audio-visual technology - flat screen TVs displaying video images of the outside world - may stimulate and maintain the interest of highly cognitively impaired seniors;

• Symphony and chamber music performances at residential care facilities, giving residents a unique opportunity to hear live music - one they might not otherwise have.

This month and next, Tapestry Foundation is also hosting free, public presentations as part of its Dialogue on Aging Series. Successful Aging - Is 90 the New 80 will be led by Dr. Larry Dian and takes place Wednesday, May 30 from 1:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Floral Hall at VanDusen Botanical Garden, 5251 Oak Street (at West 37th Avenue). As Time Goes By is set for Wednesday, June 27 and will be led by physician Dr. Romayne Gallagher and barrister and solicitor Gerrit W. Clements. The panel discussion will explore what happens when, due to illness, one is no longer able to make decisions about one’s care, and how one can prepare now so that one’s wishes are carried out. These experts will share their stories of good and not-so-good planning. The presentation runs from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at Visitors Hall, VanDusen Botanical Garden.

To register for either presentation, call 604.877.8335 or visit www.tapestryfoundation.ca.

To find out how you can donate in other ways to the Tapestry Foundation for Health Care toward services and equipment to improve the quality of life for seniors, call 604.877.8335 or visit www.tapestryfoundation.ca.

About Tapestry Foundation for Health Care

Tapestry Foundation for Health Care is the amalgamation of three organizations with a long history of supporting compassionate health care in Vancouver - St. Vincent's, Holy Family and Mount Saint Joseph Hospital Foundations. It was established in 2007 as an umbrella fundraising organization to serve and support seven of 16 Providence Health Care facilities including Mount Saint Joseph Hospital, Holy Family Hospital, St. Vincent’s Hospital Langara, Honoria Conway at St. Vincent’s, Brock Fahrni Pavilion, Marion Hospice and Youville Residence. The Foundation supports these sites by raising funds for medical equipment, programs, services, education, and research in the field of elder care.

Through these sites, Tapestry Foundation raises funds for the diverse care needs of more than 700 seniors, and the ongoing needs for updated equipment and technology. Donations to Tapestry Foundation support purchases of medical equipment, quality of life programs and services, professional medical education, and geriatric research.


Michele Penz
Calico Communications for Tapestry Foundation for Health Care
Tel: 778.888.2249
Email: calicocomm@telus.net