Langley's Bob and Nimi Sangha led a special tour of Northern India recently

Travel tour benefits Langley seniors in care

Local pharmacy owners organized tours to northern India.

A specialty mattress and three commodes will be added to the seniors ward at Langley Memorial Hospital, thanks to the kindness of a few Langley entrepreneurs.

Bob and Nimi Sangha, owners of the Surlang Medicine Centre Pharmacy, partnered with Bestway Tours & Safaris to host a tour of Northern India during Diwali (Festival of Lights) in November.

The Sanghas wanted to add a charity component to the tour, and decided for every guest who booked a spot, a $500 donation would be made to Langley Memorial Hospital Foundation.

The tour generated $10,500 for the cause, and once family and friends heard what Sanghas were doing, they stepped in with $3,500.

In total, $14,000 has been donated to the hospital – specifically for the equipment for 4South, a unit providing specialty care for 48 frail and elderly patients at a time.

The tour was in honour of Bob’s mother, Charan K. Sangha, who had an extended stay on 4South in 2014 and 2015, and is enjoying life with her family today. In fact, she is preparing to celebrate her 92nd birthday in January.

“We were very grateful for the care that my mom received while at LMH, and we just wanted to do something to help the hospital that has cared so well for our family,” Bob said.

He speaks fluent Punjabi and understands the customs and culture of Northern India. Participants described it as the trip of a lifetime.

The specialty mattress, which uses high performance medical fabric to control the rate of airflow over the patient’s skin, removing excess moisture and maintaining a constant skin temperature, and the VernaChair commodes, which are designed for safe and comfortable patient toileting, will be welcome additions to a unit that is struggling to replace outdated but much-needed equipment, explained Scott Farrell, manager of clinical operations at LMH.

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“Our focus is on the comfort and safety of our patients, many of which have complex care needs and require special treatment,” he said.

“This new equipment will help us to reduce patient hospital stays and deliver the best care to this vulnerable patient population.”

Many of the patients are in the hospital from several days to several weeks, and are at risk for developing bed sores from prolonged pressure on their skin – elderly patients often don’t have the strength or mobility to get out of bed easily, Farrell elaborated.

“The pulsation therapy offered by this mattress mimics the body’s natural movements to encourage blood flow, which then minimizes bed sores,” he said.

“The commodes are a great addition for our unit as the new sturdy modern ergonomic design ensures increased patient comfort during toileting. The new stainless steel frame withstands modern cleaning techniques and gives us the ability to use during patient showering.”

Mahmood Poonja, chief explorer of Bestway Tours & Safaris was “proud” to partner with Sangha and the hospital.

“Since its founding, Bestway has fostered a better understanding of our world through travel and the spirit of giving. Over the years, we have supported several charitable causes in many of the countries where we operate our tours, as well as projects in our own Lower Mainland.”

The tour visited several UNESCO World Heritage sites, including the cities of Amritsar, Udaipur, Ranakpur, Pushkar, Jaipur, Agra, and Delhi. A video capturing the sights and sounds of the “amazing trip” can be found on the foundation’s website at www.lmhfoundation.com.

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