Last Updated: Tuesday - 01/04/2011
April 30, 2001
Knights support Alzheimer patients
SPECIAL TO WCR
EDMONTON — Thanks to a group of dedicated Knights of Columbus, the residents at the Alzheimer Support Centre in Edmonton are a happy lot. Called McConnell Place North, this institution is Canada's first residential care centre for Alzheimer disease.
Begun in 1995 by the Capital Care Group, the centre provides assistance to family, friends and caregivers of people with Alzheimer disease and related dementias. Located at 9113-144 Ave., the centre has 36 residents.
Tracing the involvement of Knights from St. Christopher Council 4788 with this institution, John Swiderski, the community relations director, said, "We got involved from the time this centre began six years ago. We were assisting the Dickensfield Extended Care Centre for about two decades and when this centre was set up close by, we informed them we could help the residents there as well."
Volunteer Coordinator Roswitha Schmitt-Blouin spoke highly of the contribution made by the knights from St. Christopher Council of bringing happiness and joy to the residents.
She referred especially to the "three musketeers" namely John Swiderski, Peter Vest and Rudy Chowaniec who are frequent visitors to McConnell Place North, chatting with the residents, inquiring about needs and coming out with new ideas to improve the environment - and implementing those ideas as well.
Knights have improved the lot of the residents in several ways:
"I don't like to miss the monthly Mass. Our Knights are doing a wonderful job there," says 83-year-old Murphy who has been a knight for 51 years.
Summing up the contribution of the Knights to McConnell Place North, Schmitt-Blouin comments: "We cannot do without these dedicated Knights. The KCs are always at hand whenever we come across a problem.
"I must especially mention John Swiderski. He takes a leadership role in organizing so many activities here and sees that projects are made a reality. The contribution that these knights make is tremendous."
Swiderski says, " I enjoy coming here. I feel we can enhance and brighten up their lives." He also adds, "It is really a pleasure visiting the residents. All have become our friends."
On April 18, John Swiderski was honoured when he was chosen as the recipient of the 2001 Volunteer Leadership Award of the Capital Care Group.
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