Fortunately for me, my geriatric rotation in my Canadian nurses training of 2 years at TGH School of Nursing was mercifully short compared with my post The Hell That Is Geriatrics The Memorial Hospital. Well, at least it seemed shorter and much less traumatic than my sink or swim days training as a State Registered Nurse in Woolwich. Our rotations were closely interspersed with classes, ward instructors, group work. I actually do not remember anything of my patients in the Riverdale Hospital,
which was a relatively new geriatric hospital in Toronto. This is perhaps sad, but what I do remember about Riverdale is that one side of the hospital building looked onto the exercise yard of Toronto’s ancient Don Jail,
which I believe at the time was more of a holding centre for prisoners. At a certain time each morning, the male prisoners (I think it was just men) would be taking their outside break in the exercise yard. This of course created much interest for a gaggle of student nurses, some of whom would wait at the window on those mornings, and be rewarded by a bunch of men looking up and waving. That’s what I remember about my geriatric rotation in Toronto. Perhaps after The Memorial experience, I blocked out the Riverdale experience…………. who knows??!
An interesting postscript to these 2 institutions is that Bridgepoint Rehab (physical not drug) took over the Riverdale Hospital in 2009. The Don Jail was closed in 197xx? Now the Bridgepoint has been in the process of building a brand new rehab centre around the curves of the Riverdale, the shell of which will be demolished when the new Bridgepoint building is completed. Most interesting to me is that Bridgepoint people also own the empty Don Jail, will be restoring and renovating it also into executive offices for the Bridgies.. and perhaps some more B Hospital ammenities..