Heaton Place Retirement Community residents Margaret Paskevich, Jean Roberts, Elfrieda Thillman and Dorothy Bowie love all of Heaton Place’s social activities, and some particularly enjoy the intimate setting of the Sharing Circle.

The healing power of storytelling and connection

Retirement community’s Sharing Circle offers purpose in ways other activities can’t

Modern life can be lonely. For seniors who’ve lost mobility or lost friends, the feeling of isolation is hard to overcome.

That’s why Heaton Place Retirement Community in Armstrong cares so much about building community. Many retirement homes offer a busy activity calendar and Heaton Place does too, but Resident Relations Coordinator Carrie O’Neill wanted to facilitate social connection in more intimate ways as well.

That’s how the weekly Sharing Circle came to be.

“If you have never sat amongst your elders and listened to their life stories, I encourage you to do so!” O’Neill says.

Sharing Circle allows residents to connect

Once a week over coffee and a cookie or two, the Sharing Circle comes together.

“The circle unfolds differently every time.”

Sometimes the group reads a short story and discusses how it may relate to their lives. At other gatherings the group pulls questions from a basket and takes turns elaborating on the answers. They’ve also enjoyed listening to friends tell their life stories.

“It is a special place to step out of the ordinary time of your day to connect and get to know your neighbours,” O’Neill explains.

“We get to learn something about each other, and isn’t that what it’s all about!” one Heaton Place resident says.

The Sharing Circle is so popular that Heaton Place has added a second gathering where participants listen to music, sing along, share memories of that song in their lives, and get up and dance!

Healing and gratitude goes both ways

O’Neill believes in the healing power of storytelling and connection.

“It’s all about the language of the heart and the space to share their journey.”

Seniors can lose their sense of purpose and feel as if they no longer play a vital role in life. But captive in their minds and memories is a treasure trove of priceless information only they can share. Sharing those stories and building community is healing for seniors. But they’re not the only ones.

At a time when youth learn values from celebrities and social networks, the Sharing Circle gives younger generations an opportunity to connect with the wisdom and life experience of their elders.

“It is truly a healing gift for all,” O’Neill says.

Never before has there been such an urgent need for parents and grandparents to share their life-defining moments, milestones and special memories.

Over the past couple of months, O’Neill has had the gift of journeying with Heaton Place residents in Armstrong.

“Holding space for our residents is so important. Over the past couple of months there have been tears shed, memories brought to the surface, lots of laughter, and healing within.”

Heaton Place has limited units left. Bring your loved-one in to enjoy lunch and a tour. Call 250-546-3353-ext 506.

 

The Heaton Place Retirement Community in Armstrong introduced a sharing Sharing Circle to build community and promote healing in a more intimate setting.

Just Posted

The Brown Derby’s Mysterioso was one of three entries in the 2020 Armstrong Professional Grilled Cheese Sandwich competition held Tuesday, Oct. 20. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)
Bakery gets judges’ attention in Armstrong pro grilled cheese sandwich event

Country Bakery’s German Kase Pretzel Grilled Cheese oozes past Brown Derby, Wild Oak Café

A power outage caused by a vehicle crash affected 2,178 BC Hydro customers in Enderby Wednesday night, Oct. 21, 2020. (BC Hydro image)
Vehicle crash in Enderby knocks out power for more than 2,000

BC Hydro crews are expected to arrive by 6:30 p.m.

Ahead of the provincial election on Oct. 24, Enderby residents put their questions to the Shuswap riding’s three candidates: Greg Kyllo for the BC Liberal Party, Sylvia Lindgren for the BC NDP and Owen Madden for the BC Green Party. The candidates recorded their answers in videos distributed by the Enderby and District Chamber of Commerce. (Salmon Arm Observer image)
B.C. VOTES 2020: Shuswap candidates answer Enderby’s top election questions

The candidates submitted video responses for an all-candidates forum ahead of the Oct. 24 election

Coldstream Meadows Retirement Community announced Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2020, The Lodge will close by February 2021. (Coldstream Meadows Retirement Community)
Coldstream retirement community to close Lodge

Staff to work with residents of the Lodge to find new accommodation

Judy Mallett, a Butcher Boys employee for 44 years, known for her fun-loving nature and fundraising abilities, died of cancer Oct. 4 at age 70. (Photo submitted)
Fun-loving Vernon grocery clerk fondly remembered

Judy Mallett, who worked for Butcher Boys for 46 years, died Oct. 4.

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry presents modelling of COVID-19 spread in B.C., March 25, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. sets another COVID-19 record with 203 new cases

up to 1,766 active cases in B.C., two more deaths

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

(Kelowna Capital News)
B.C. Labour Board orders Peachland cannabis company to reinstate laid-off employees

The B.C. Labour Relations Board determined the employees were laid off due to their plan to unionize

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
British Columbia man dies during ski trip near glacier west of Calgary

Kananaskis Public Safety and Alpine Helicopters responded around 2:30 p.m.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau arrives on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020, following a week-long break for the House of Commons. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
One crisis after another for Trudeau since last federal election one year ago

It has been a year of unprecedented calamity and crisis

Two pigs roam the Salmon Arm Walmart parking lot during a prior visit photographed by Danielle Burgi. (Danielle Burgi photo)
Pigs trot over for a visit at Salmon Arm shopping centre

Employees say this was the second drop-in from the temporarily free-range porkers

Penticton law courts. (Black Press file)
Osoyoos man in court for alleged shooting

The Oct. 11 shooting left a man with non-life threatening injuries

RCMP. (Phil McLachlan - Black Press Media)
Princeton man on motor scooter refuses to provide breath test to police

The scooter did not have a license plate and was not insured

Most Read