Marcella Friesen, a Healthcare Aide with the long-term care team, poses with one of the new lifts donated to the Cold Lake Healthcare Centre. SUBMITTED

Residents and staff in long-term care at Cold Lake Healthcare Centre are benefiting from the donation of two new mechanical lifts, made by the Grand Centre Lions Club and the Cold Lake Medical Development Fund Society.

“We thought this was a good use of our gaming funds,” says Bob Bruce, president of the Grand Centre Lions Club. The service club holds a gaming licence for bingos and casinos, and hosts other fundraising events. 

The lifts are valued at more than $10,000.

The lifts make patient transfers safer for residents and for staff. Prior to the donation, staff did their best with only one lift available. “Resident safety is our top priority,” said Taylor Hall, seniors health manager for Alberta Health Services (AHS) in Cold Lake. 

“Ensuring the lifts are used safely does take time, including proper cleaning and sanitizing after each use. We are grateful to now be able to serve residents more quickly with additional lifts,” Hall said.

There are several residents in the long-term care unit who require the use of mechanical lifts. Having more than one lift on the unit allows staff to transfer several residents at one time, resulting in shorter waits for residents. The long-term care unit now has three lifts.

Mechanical lifts are necessary not just for the safe transfer of residents, but to protect staff from injury. More lifts will allow staff to work more efficiently within the unit. “In Cold Lake long-term care we are extremely fortunate to have such exceptional staff,” Hall said.

The Grand Centre Lions Club says while their main focus is supporting the blind, they are also happy to support their local long-term care centre. 

The Cold Lake Medical Development Fund Society also contributed to the lifts. Donation plaques have been engraved and installed on the lifts to honour the donors.

Community support is vital to long-term care operations, Hall said. “Recently we were also able to purchase new slings for each resident requiring a mechanical lift. These lift slings are individually fit to each resident ensuring comfort and safety. 

“The new slings were made possible thanks to Hearts for Healthcare and a private donor,” she said.

“These donations help to provide extra comforts to our residents, which impacts not only their physical health but also their mental wellbeing.”