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Brighten Albert’s Life This Christmas

Albert displays his crafts

There’s no place like home for the holidays, but for many this Christmas home is in the hospital.

Albert, a 91-year-old veteran of World War II, is one of the many people cared for by St. Joseph’s during the holiday season. For the past four years Albert has been a resident of the Veterans Care Program, becoming a master “tinkerer” and a member of the resident food council.

He grew up in Greenwich, a small borough in London, England in the 1920s and 30s. Albert has fond childhood memories of those times, including when he and his friends would salvage wood floating down the Thames to build scooters or rolling down “roly poly hill” for a laugh. One Christmas, Albert recalls finding a table of lead soldiers lined up and waiting for him.

At the young age of 18 Albert joined the military. He became a truck driver that carried supplies and personnel to various locations across Europe.

When he first arrived at Parkwood Institute he was quiet and reserved. Today, you’ll find Albert busy at work, enjoying the Veterans Arts program where he creates birdhouses, turntables or re-engineers folding stools. 

Albert continues to lead a life of purpose in the Veterans Care Program because of the quality of care he receives. He’s also full of ideas to continually improve the lives of other residents around him too. Albert’s latest idea is to get everyone a teddy bear – a soothing friend during times of anxiety or depression.

Season of Celebration, St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation’s annual fundraiser, helps raise funds for programs and services that help people like Albert flourish – from art, music, and recreational therapy to wheelchairs, blanket warmers and speciality mattress that provide care and comfort at Christmas time and all year long.

Touches like these make every day more enjoyable for patients and residents across St. Joseph’s – and help to make a hospital feel more like home especially during the holidays.

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