Lloydminster residents and businesses came together to show their love and care for seniors and members of the community who are in need of care at the hospital.
Lloydminster’s Gift to Health, a 12 hour radiothon organized by the Lloydminster Region Health Foundation, aimed to raise $200,000 to help connect seniors and people in the hospital with their loved ones and surpassed that goal by over $100,000.
Donations made during the event goes towards tablets and phones to help seniors and their families stay in touch, portable oxygen machines, lab equipment, defibrillators for the hospital and other care equipment such as blanket and towel warmers and ice machines used to aid with swelling.
Foundation CEO Malcolm Radke adds another upgrade they are looking into is a temporary visitor lounge for the care homes which will fall within the current public health guidelines.
“It sounds like some of those things can happen relatively soon as long as they work alongside public health. Potentially some family can be in the facility or on the edge of the facility with some glass [between them] so there’s some things that need to be worked through there.”
Radke mentions it’s been a tough year for seniors who have had to isolate during the pandemic.
“There’s a lot of isolated and lonely seniors who have been suffering a lot over the last nine months. Not only can they see their family, but they also can’t even recognize the care aids that work with them every day. They’re all decked out in PPE and no one is recognizable. It’s terrible and tragic and some of the dementia patients specifically, you can imagine the world of suffering and confusion they’re in.”
Radke says the day had an unbelievable energy to it with several positive messages coming in as they were able to reach their extended goal of $300,000 with two minutes left in the radiothon.
“At about 4 p.m. in the day we blew past $200,000 and realized quickly we were going to have to keep the ball rolling.”
“The community was there for its care homes and its hospital once again. We say it’s not surprising for this community, but it certainly was shocking to see the momentum, the calls every minute and email notification after email notification.”
With most of the foundation’s yearly events being cancelled, organizers instead put more focus on the Gift to Health this year. The show featured several athletes, Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean, Premier Scott Moe and local celebrities such as Let’s Walk the Talk’s Paul Laberge. Radke says while the big names drew some people in, it was the personal stories that really shined during the event.
“You heard from Sarah Scott who works in the care home. You heard from a nurse Nicole who came from the hospital who came out of nowhere and is on a campaign to buy a bunch of Christmas gifts for the hospital patients. Amazing stories like that. It seemed like every single guest was a recognizable face to someone in the community and they all had a personal story about the hospital.”
He adds the videos and stories are all online for those wanting to watch it during the holiday season. Last year, the event raised over $50,000 to purchase an electronic pill dispenser for the hospital.
NOTE: The event raised a total of $350,405 as more donations came in on the day after the radiothon.