Growing up, Lawrence Hart Jr. shared a passion for pool with his father, Lawrence Hart Sr., who now suffers from dementia and is an Actionmarguerite resident. Playing pool is still an important part of their lives.
When their father started showing signs of dementia, Lawrence and his sister Laura decided to place him in a personal care home.
“We had a pool table and, when I was little, our family would play together,” recalls Lawrence Hart Jr. “There was also a table at Riverwood Square, the first long-term facility where my father stayed. Each time I visited him, we would play a few games. When Dad plays pool, he is engaged and focused on the game. It’s a way for us to interact and have fun together.”
When Lawrence Hart Sr.’s health continued to decline, his children moved him to Actionmarguerite, which provided more care. But there was no pool table at the facility.
“I spoke with the Actionmarguerite management to see whether they would accept a pool table donation. We really appreciated everyone’s flexibility.”
More than just a way to spend some quality father-son time, the pool table also helped Lawrence Hart Sr. adjust to his new environment. Therapeutically, his son sees a difference.
“When I come to see him and can play with him, I am the happiest man on earth. I reconnect with the man he once was. He is attentive and present. It brings back childhood memories and it’s a way for us to share and talk. I see that it does him a lot of good.”
The intention of Lawrence Hart Jr.’s gift is not just to help his father. “The residents and their families can also use it. It makes us happy to know that others can enjoy it, too.”