Nearly $14,000 raised for "Abby"

The second annual Salem Ladies Auxiliary hosted barbecue was a big success, raising nearly $14,000. (RILEY FRIESEN/Winkler Times)

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The second annual Salem Ladies Auxiliary hosted barbecue was a big success, raising nearly $14,000. After serving 495 plates, $13,709.95 was raised.
Hilda Friesen, the President of the Salem Ladies Auxiliary, said the funds raised last year at the same event totalled $9,000.
“We had about 300 to 325 [plates] last year,” Friesen said.
Funds from this year’s barbecue will go toward the purchase of two Abby’s, a new ambient technology that is changing the lives of people with dementia in long term care.
A wall mounted display, an Abby is designed to engage residents through touchscreen activities, familiar tactile experiences such as turning a wheel and flipping a switch, and a mix of personalized images and media. Use of this technology has produced noticeable behaviour improvements such as reduced agitation, anxiety and aggression.
Friesen said getting that kind of response to their barbecue is about far more than just their project.
“It’s not just support for us and our project, but it shows that there’s support for the residents at Salem Home,” Friesen said.
She added the Abby allows residents to open up to family members and staff.
“It helps to engage them. It’s also a conversation piece,” Friesen said.
It features a screen in the middle that can show photos and videos along with a steering wheel and other dials and switches for turning on the radio and TV. These features, Friesen said, can be used to help engage the resident further.
Friesen noted the turnout was “very rewarding” and she was glad to see a long line of people supporting Salem Home.

The second annual Salem Ladies Auxiliary hosted barbecue was a big success, raising nearly $14,000. (RILEY FRIESEN/Winkler Times)

The second annual Salem Ladies Auxiliary hosted barbecue was a big success, raising nearly $14,000. (RILEY FRIESEN/Winkler Times)

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