Grandma Dot’s Place re-dedicated as family refuge at Prairie Pioneers Lodge

Elisabeth Dowson
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Once cherished as a quiet room, then appropriated for needed storage, Grandma Dot’s Place at the Prairie Pioneers Lodge is once again a quiet gathering place for families and friends visiting their loved ones, thanks to donations from the Swift Current Lions Club, the Prairie Pioneers Lodge Auxiliary and individual families.

“Grandma Dot” Gatzke was a former Prairie Pioneers Lodge resident whose family contributed furnishings for the room. After she passed away, the room was commandeered for storage until Lion Mike Frankow suggested a room was needed for families wanting some privacy and solitude when visiting loved ones at the facility, which specializes in caring for those with dementia.

“My wife was in the Lodge here for three years. Whenever I visited my wife, I never had a place I could be alone with her. Anytime I’d be sitting out in the lobby, there was always people coming around and they always wanted to visit, which was good, but you never had a chance to be alone, and she needed that quiet.”

Michelle Aldag, Prairie Pioneers Lodge Facility Manager, worked closely with the PPL Auxiliary to make the project a reality but was unable to attend the dedication on Sept. 6.

“When Eunice [Morck] came to talk to the Lions in January, her idea was that we would contribute funding for the furnishing of the room along with other service organizations,” explained Jim Pratt, Lions Past President. “We discussed it a little bit and decided we would like to make it a total Lions project, so we committed enough funding to cover the cost of the furnishings with the exception of some of the donated stuff. Consequently we have the Lions logo on the plaque.”

On behalf of the residents and their families, Kathleen Sorenson, Activities Coordinator, extended thanks to the Swift Current Lions for their contribution to the room.

“Our families are really happy with it. They’ve got someplace to come and be a little bit quiet with their family members and not be disturbed by the other people in our building.

“They are able to just visit one-on-one. Sometimes they play cards, sometimes they bring in dinner and enjoy a meal together. There’s no place else in the building that they can be quiet and private unless it’s in their bedroom.”

Eleanore Forge, Prairie Pioneers Lodge Auxiliary, selected the artwork and hemmed the drapes. “It sure turned out to be a lovely room. We’re so happy with it.”

Organizations: Swift Current Lions Club, Prairie Pioneers Lodge

Geographic location: Swift Current

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