Phil Taylor, a cook at Corner Brook Long Term Care Home received a special surprise from his co-workers this past December. Phil had recently lost Buddy, his 17 year old dog and asked his co-workers if they knew of any dogs available for adoption. One of Phil’s co-workers suggested that they should surprise him with a new dog. Everyone thought it was a great idea and the entire kitchen staff began working together to formulate their plan.
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Making Memories – Not your average committee!!
Throughout the course of an employee’s work life with Western Health….you may be assigned to many different work committees, whether by volunteering or being “voluntold” as they say. Recently some Long Term Care staff from a variety of professions were “encouraged” to join this new committee, later to be called “Making Memories.” The staff members represented all different disciplines and covered each site Long Term Care site within our region. As the newly assigned staff members started exploring the concept of Making Memories and it was evident that this committee would be like no other. The Making Memories project seeks to improve the lives of residents living in Western Health’s Long Term Care homes by granting them a special wish. Each resident, family member, employee or volunteer can request a wish for a resident. The beauty of this project is that it can be customized to the unique needs or desires of each resident. Initial feedback from front line staff, managers, external stakeholders, leadership and others was nothing but positive, energetic and emotional… all the same feelings that our committee was starting to feel. We knew this work would be special.
Since the committee started we have seen much success on so many levels; there has been over 34 wishes approved and granted and we have maintained membership with little efforts in recruitment – it is an easy sell! Whenever we meet to review new wish requests there is always raw emotion that comes across and it is exciting to see how well the process unfolds – everyone wants to make each wish a success. Staff at all Western Health Long Term Care facilities have excelled at bringing the wishes to life and spreading the positive message creating wonderful memories for our residents.
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Rina Decker was out for a run with her husband on a Saturday afternoon as part of her half marathon training schedule, when she was flagged down by people yelling for help at the scene of an accident. A snowmobile had gone over an embankment into the frigid water 25 feet below and a young man, barefoot and disoriented, had somehow made his way up to the road in Steady Brook, but was in obvious distress.
As luck should have it, Rina is an emergency room nurse.
Without hesitation, Rina stopped on a dime, in the middle of a long distance run, and seamlessly transitioned into ER Nurse mode. She took control of the situation and put everyone at the scene at ease with her expert care and her compassion for the patient. Rina’s medical training and professionalism were evident that day, and her kindness has left a lasting impression.
I recently attended a meeting where we talked about the moments in life that have an impact on us (Lollipop moments). We talked about moments we experience that we may not have given much thought to but have a great impact on others. After attending this meeting and feeling inspired I began to reflect on some moments which make feel me proud of not only what I do but I see the pride my coworkers take in their work. Sometimes it’s easy to focus on the less positive but we have to make an effort to find the beauty and notice all these wonderful people in our lives.
I have been a Recreation Therapy Worker at Bonne Bay Health Centre for 7 years. Each day I see my coworkers going above and beyond, creating moments that are positively impacting others. They act like they are doing nothing out of the ordinary and for many it isn’t out of the ordinary, it’s just who they are.
Living in a long term care home may be challenging for some of our residents. For Robert, one of the biggest challenges is loneliness. Unfortunately, Robert has limited family nearby to visit him. His only niece lives out of province and visits were limited to summer vacations. Robert and I discussed the idea of creating an email account so it was easier to send and also receive updated pictures and news from his family.
Continue reading Resident Pen Pals