Salem Director of Resident Care Services Marilyn Nelson and Salem Foundation Chair Arlen Hildebrand with Salem CEO Sherry Janzen and Karin Oliveira, Resident Care Manager (Maple Unit) in the current bathing rooms

Bathing can be a frightening experience for someone with dementia.

At Salem Home in Winkler, staff provide 7,800 baths every year. In total more than 90 percent of residents have some form of dementia. However, they say aging facilities are creating more anxiety for residents than necessary.

“It just compounds a really bad situation,” Salem CEO Sherry Janzen says. “So if we can inviting, soothing and warm… at least the anxiety of having a bath is lessened.”

The makeover could give the staff a fighting chance to convince those residents who don’t want a bath, to have one.

“Residents deserve dignity in every aspect of their care,” Salem Foundation Board Chair Arlen Hildebrand says. “And their bathing room should be a warm, welcoming space.”

Thanks to on-going fundraising efforts the first updates to the aging bathing room are scheduled to be installed in April.

“It’s exciting to see the bathing room improvements become reality,” Hildebrand says. “But more importantly, the safety of residents and staff is being improved.”

Funds from the latest Faspa, Fellowship and Song fundraiser April 2 will go towards the project. Hildebrand notes they still need to raise $29,000 to upgrade all five bathing rooms.


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