PEI

P.E.I. nursing home surprises residents with mock Tim Hortons drive-thru

Christina Linton, activity director at the home, says residents cherish trips with their families to Tims for double-doubles or doughnuts and that's been missing the past couple months with COVID-19.

'They miss Tims, they miss their families so … putting the two together was a homerun'

Residents had the opportunity to make their order and even pick it up at a service window. (Dr. John M. Gillis Memorial Lodge)

The Dr. John M. Gillis Memorial Lodge nursing home in Belfast, P.E.I., surprised residents with a makeshift Tim Hortons drive-thru full of coffee, doughnuts and Timbits galore.

Christina Linton, activity director at the home, says residents cherish trips with their families to Tims for double-doubles or doughnuts and that's been missing the past couple months with COVID-19.

As a pick-me-up, staff at the home went out and bought the necessities, crafted uniforms, printed logos and laminated them, taped a path along the floor, created a service window and basically transformed the dining room to make an authentic-looking experience for residents.

"Just like a little taste of heaven to some. They miss Tims, they miss their families so … putting the two together was a homerun for us here," Linton said.

"The shock, the disbelief, their jaws dropping, the giggles, the smiles, I mean that's what our job is all about."

Doughnuts went quick, and Boston cream was the hot item for the day. (Dr. John M. Gillis Memorial Lodge)

'They were thrilled'

Keeping physical distancing rules in mind, residents went through the drive-thru, made their order and picked up items at the window.

It might not be the last time the lodge has a drive-thru event. (Dr. John M. Gillis Memorial Lodge)

The whole experience had many at the nursing home smiling and laughing throughout the day.

"Oh my gosh, one of the residents was so funny she came up and she's like 'this can't be real, is this really Tim Hortons?'" Linton said with a laugh.

"They were thrilled, just a little something cheery on a Saturday afternoon, you know, kind of brings a little normalcy back to their lives."

'The shock, the disbelief, their jaws dropping, the giggles, the smiles, I mean that's what our job is all about,' says Christina Linton. (Dr. John M. Gillis Memorial Lodge)

Linton said families of residents and many others have called and commented to express how thankful they are and how fun the idea was. 

The home's Facebook post has been a hit, too, with hundreds of shares.

It might not be the last time the lodge does this type of event — but next time around, Linton said, they may need to buy more Boston cream doughnuts.

Lou Taylor, the vice-president of operations for Tim Hortons on P.E.I., said the company was inspired when they saw the home "think outside the box" and do this for residents.

Taylor said Tim Hortons is prepared to give the nursing home free food and beverages to keep the event going.

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