It certainly wasn’t a blue Christmas for the residents of the Centre d’Hébergement d’Ormstown, as they were treated to an afternoon with a renowned Elvis Presley tribute artist, Sylvain Leduc, on December 15.
The idea to convert the CHSLD into a concert hall came from Audrey Dumouchel, a recreation technician who has been working for several years with the residents of the Ormstown residential and long-term care centre. Dumouchel previously worked as an orderly with residents with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia. She noted the music of Elvis Presley often had a therapeutic effect on the residents. “Elvis’s music triggers emotional memory for this generation. Everyone knows at least one song by ‘the King’,” she says, explaining the logic behind inviting Leduc, who lives in Salaberry-de-Valleyfield, to perform during the holiday season.
According to Catherine Brousseau, an external communications advisor with the Centre intégré de santé et de services sociaux de la Montérégie-Ouest (CISSSMO), both residents and staff were excited for days before the arrival of the tribute artist. Some family members even travelled to be present for the event. “As soon as the set was installed, we knew we were going to be transported to another universe,” says Brousseau.
During his performance, Leduc interacted with the residents, many of whom were seated in wheelchairs surrounding the makeshift stage. He even handed out autographed scarves to audience members. “It was truly magical,” says Dumouchel of the audience’s reaction to the performer.
“The event was a success,” says Brousseau, who confirms the CISSSMO will definitely be repeating the activity in the future.