Residents, clients and patients experience Baycrest in different ways, benefiting not only from our programs and care but from our research and innovations. Sophie Krausz’s story is one example of how the sum of these Baycrest parts can come together to create an individual experience.
As Sophie Krausz sits knitting a baby blanket, it’s easy to mistake her for someone with time to spare. These days, Sophie squeezes knitting into a schedule that includes learning, fitness and friends. But it wasn’t always like this.
When her husband died, Sophie’s world fell apart. The death of a spouse is a profoundly life-changing experience for anyone. For Sophie, this personal loss was made worse by the sudden isolation she felt. Not being able to drive meant she was cut off from her friends and the things she loved to do. “I stayed home a year at home and it was a terrible time.”
Sophie realized she needed to make a change. As a self-described ‘people person,’ she knew she needed to be part of a community. After announcing to her three children that she was moving to a seniors’ residence, she sold the family home and began her journey forward.
Her first residence was not the home she was hoping for. “The only activity was colouring sheets,” she explains.
She needed to find the right place, so she set her sights on the Terraces at Baycrest. The 76-year-old describes the move to Baycrest in March 2012 as a personal turning point.
I’m a different person here than I was when I was all alone. This is my home now.
Within days of arriving at the Terraces, Sophie joined the choir and fell in love with it. She has been trying something new ever since - a ceramics course, drama groups, and lectures on classical music are just some activities that fill her agenda. Health is also on the schedule. In addition to taking regular walks with friends, Sophie sees an ophthalmologist and other specialists on campus, and has easy access to a family doctor in her building.
Being on campus puts Sophie in the midst of innovations geared to healthy aging. She participated in Baycrest’s Memory and Aging Program, which is now adding online resources with support from the Centre for Aging + Brain Health Innovation (CABHI). “I have no problem with my memory right now,” she says, “but the course gave me some strategies for how to remember things. These are a lot of people here who need a breakthrough to help them with their memories.”
An avid learner, Sophie also signed up for a nine-week mindfulness course led by social worker Shawn Fremeth. “My hope is that it would help individuals more effectively manage their stress and discover joy in everyday living,” explains Fremeth.
Sophie couldn’t agree more. “The meditation helps me, it tells me to breathe properly, it tells me to be in the present, not in the past, and it helps the whole body,” she says.
Beyond research and health, Sophie takes full advantage of the social connections at Baycrest. She’s president of the residents’ council, teaches a Yiddish language class, and writes a regular chronicle on experiences and events at Baycrest.
“I’m a different person here than I was when I was all alone. This is my home now.”
How you can help write Baycrest’s next chapter
Help Baycrest realize its vision of a world where every older adult enjoys a life of purpose, inspiration and fulfilment.
Our Next Chapter highlights the connections between our residents, patients, families and staff. These stories underscore the ways in which we are working together to fulfil a promise to realize our vision, and the important impact of committed supporters.