CNS Supports Veterans Living in Long-Term Care

In its longstanding tradition of veterans supporting veterans, Commissionaires Nova Scotia (CNS) is proud to disburse $16,000 from its Veterans’ Fund to four hospitals in Nova Scotia. The Fund aims to make a difference in the lives of veterans living in long-term care. 

The donations went to:

Camp Hill, Halifax – Bladder Scanner  ($6,200)Bladder scanner

Camp Hill Veterans Services at Camp Hill Veterans Memorial Building has been providing care and services since 1987 to the 175 veterans who live there. They were seeking funds to purchase a new bladder scanner. While CNS could not cover the entire cost, its donation, along with other funds Camp Hill received, enabled a handheld portable ultrasound device with stand and accessories to be purchased. It is an important clinical tool in the prevention and management of urinary tract infections and incontinence, common clinical issues that can very negatively impact quality of life. A bladder scanner provides a non-invasive means of assessing urinary function and can help guide treatment decisions quickly and easily.

Veterans’ Unit – Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital, Lunenburg – Music Therapy ($1,600)  

The Veterans’ Unit at Fishermen’s Memorial Hospital is a 23-bed unit dedicated to veterans of WWII and the Korean War. Veterans often arrive with little access to their preferred music. Studies have shown that when individuals with dementia and brain injuries have access to their preferred music, it reduces the symptoms of dementia and responsive behaviours, particularly aggression, confusion and wandering. Music can be used as a tool to redirect these individuals and bring them back to a relaxed state. Providing assistive access to veterans with their preferred music helps them maintain emotional and psychological health, provide a sense of the familiar which will increase relaxation, and reduce anxiety and aggression. Many veterans at Fishermen’s Memorial experience loneliness, isolation, boredom, and reduction in communication and mobility. With funding from CNS, the Veterans’ Unit will be able to purchase four durable, clip-on MP3 players with noise-cancelling headphones, a pre-loaded iTunes card, as well as one Apple iPod Touch and Bluetooth wireless headphone set to assist residents who are not able to tolerate sound cables hanging from their earphones. The iPod Touch is also Wi-Fi capable and able to access the internet, making applications such as YouTube, iTunes, Amazon, and Spotify available via subscription. The iPod can also be paired with a Bluetooth speaker for open-air listening when wearing a headset is cumbersome.  

Veterans’ Unit – Harbourview Hospital, Sydney Mines – Snoezelen Room ($4,000) 

Harbourview Hospital is a long-term care and rehabilitation care facility in Cape Breton. The hospital is divided into two specific areas: continuing care and rehabilitation. Within the continuing care area is a unit specifically designated for war veterans. Many of these veterans suffer from dementia which affects their intellectual/cognitive and physical/functional abilities. This diagnosis results in confusion, frustration, isolation, sensory deprivation, and disorientation, all of which can lead to the inability to engage in meaningful activities, which can result in behavioural challenges. The Veteran’s Unit requested funding to set up a Snoezelen room for the veterans to provide an opportunity to increase enjoyment, sensory experience, and overall quality of life for the veterans who are experiencing deficits secondary to dementia and intellectual disabilities.
A Snoezelen Room is filled with multi-sensory stimulating equipment that provides a relaxed atmosphere, pleasant surroundings, soothing sounds, tactile experiences, massage and vibration, vibrasonic sensations, and gentle movement. This comfortable environment provides individuals with cognitive and behavioural challenges to interact and engage in meaningful activities. Meta-Analysis Research has shown that the sensory stimulation provided through a Snoezelen Room is most effective in meeting the day-to-day physical and cognitive needs of individuals suffering from the effects of dementia.   

Veterans’ Place – Yarmouth – Modified Outdoor Space ($4,200) 

Attached to the Yarmouth Hospital is Veterans’ Place, a 15-bed long-term care facility for veterans referred by Veterans Affairs Canada. The facility has a small outdoor space, where the ground is very uneven and there is no shelter from the sun. This makes it difficult for the veterans, particularly those with mobility issues, to be able to get outside, as a change from the setting inside, to enjoy the open air in the summer and even in the cooler months. Veterans’ Place requested funding to build a covered outdoor space with a deck, step platform, and modified wheelchair ramp to make a more safe, beautiful space for the veterans to enjoy. While CNS could not provide money to completely fund this project, it is hoped the contribution will assist in the construction of a secure and enjoyable outdoor area.