CHEK Upside: Saanich Peninsula Hospital long term care residents overjoyed to receive classic car donation

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The 1947 restored Chrysler sedan will be located in the hospital's memory garden, aiming to improve the quality of life for the many residents living with dementia and Alzehimer's disease.

At Saanich Peninsula Hospital, long-term care residents started their morning with a classic car show in the hospital parking lot.

That was the appetizer, but the main course was unveiled in the hospital’s memory garden.

Today marked the unveiling of a restoration project two years in the making — A 1947 Chrysler Sedan, donated to the Saanich Peninsula Hospital’s long-term care unit.

“An important piece of this garden is activities that re-stimulate memories,” said Karen Morgan, president and CEO of the Saanich Peninsula Hospital and Healthcare foundation. “Now what you see is a gorgeous car that people can sit in and remember times where people went on car trips.”

Many of the long-term care patients live with Alzheimer’s or dementia, so this shiny set of wheels also works as a valuable trip down memory lane, aiming to improve the patients’ quality of life.

“These were in our family and I remember going up to the cottage very specifically,” said long-term care resident Greg Brady, while sitting in the driver seat.

Enthusiasts from the Torque Masters Car Club volunteered countless hours on the project, turning a once rat-infested old jalopy, into a head-turning gem.

Long-time Torque Masters club member Peter Black played a key role in its transformation and says the project took on an extra personal meaning.

“My mother had Alzheimer’s towards the end of her life,” said Black. “So when I heard about this it was just a perfect fit, you know because I love cars and it’s just a great payback.”

“We live in an extraordinary community,” said Morgan. “We have a community where people go above and beyond.”

The vehicle will stay in the hospital’s garden, providing daily smiles and timeless memories.

Kevin CharachKevin Charach

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