COMFORT IN COMMUNITY
What does it mean to adapt? Is it just altering our thoughts, our views, our methods to accommodate the current circumstances temporarily? Or does it mean accepting the process of complete and total re-invention? Does it require honesty, risk, vulnerability, strength? YES. It incites us to gracefully let go of what has become habitual, routine, standards of survival and open our minds and hearts to a road of possibility and transformation. As we watch little chicks daring to leave the nest and stretch their wings and butterflies emerge from chrysalis transformed, it is also our moment of metamorphosis.
The pandemic has brought to light the considerable challenges and extremes within the long-term care sector and our importance to the Canadian health care system. Long-term care is no longer an after-thought, but it must be a priority, part of healthcare delivery as a whole. Hundreds of thousands of Canadians live in care facilities across the country – meaning hundreds of thousands of families and caregivers rely on us for support.
St. Joseph’s Health System continues to be a beacon of hope for families throughout communities in Ontario. Continuing the path of excellence and innovation set before us by our founders, we lead with our hearts. The Villa team prides itself on caring with compassion. We have never shied away from doing what is right for those we serve. After 141 years, we know what it means to adapt. We embrace it, we thrive in it.
We are excited to see the positive impact that being adaptable has had on residents and families. Programs like virtual visiting, online entertainment, and companion card-writing are keeping families connected and will last long after pandemic restrictions have lifted.
Last week we were grateful to be joined by The Honourable Merilee Fullerton, Minister of Long-term Care, for our General Staff Meeting via Zoom. Minister Fullerton spent over thirty minutes with our team and thanked Villa staff for their impressive teamwork and dedication that has helped to keep residents safe throughout the pandemic. She applauded the Villa’s compassionate approach to care and our commendable track record during the pandemic.
We continue to practice strict safety and infection control protocols to keep residents and staff safe. We will begin another round of surveillance testing for all staff over the coming weeks and residents continue to be closely monitored and tested for Covid-19 in accordance with the recommendations of the Ministry and public health officials.
Let Them Eat Cake
We have been overwhelmed by the generosity of our community week after week. We send a huge thank you to Gallagher Insurance for your special delivery of cupcake kindness to feed our Villa Staff. These months of long hours and hard work on the front lines are worth it! Thank you for recognizing all we do to ensure Villa residents and their families are safe, comforted, and connected.
It’s The Little Things
When residents move to the Villa, we are honoured to welcome them and their families as our own. We recently had a note from a family member who wrote to express her gratitude and appreciation.
“You are ALL amazing! We are so thankful that we chose SJV. On the first day of admission, we met Elizabeth, who up to this time is so kind to us and caring for mom. Elaine “Dr. Ford”, as mom would call her, John, Madison, Kim, Loretta, Fiona, Kristen, Pam, kitchen staff, Heather, Cindy and for sure other nurses that we haven’t met in nights and afternoon staff are lovely and passionate in what they do. All of you have big hearts for the people. Thank God for that.
We want to express our gratitude and make it known to the community and the government leaders that St Joseph’s Villa is a friendly, safe, loving family-oriented home for our loved ones.
Cora, my sister, and my family arranged with Katie to see mom on the balcony today. It’s so nice to see mom and all of us are so happy, even in this difficult time. SJV staff was very accommodating to make this happen.
I want to extend our appreciation to Katie for putting up this time, taking our pictures too, and arranging Skype with the rest of our family (from Iran, Vancouver, and the US).
Nilda took the time to deliver mom’s body wash and shampoo to her, even though her shift was over. Paulette takes mom on her phone for video chat. It is overwhelming they put in extra time in spite of their busy schedules.
Also, giving a Shout Out to Maggie and Isoline for keeping mom very sharp, funny, and to Gemma for dropping by after her shift to say hello to mom. Gemma calls her “Lola” grandmother in our language.
It’s not about doing their job, but their passion to make a family happy. Their genuine love and compassion are greatly appreciated.
As we stood outside waving to mom, it started to pour. A nurse who had joined us to wave to mom while she was on her break, brought us garbage bags to use as ponchos so we wouldn’t get wet. Imagine the love and concern of the nurse. We were so touched. Little things make a big difference in people’s lives.
Our family is sincerely thankful you treat us a part of your family. Praying that God continues to protect everyone and the Villa family,”
The Power of Prayer
Our long-time community partners at St. Mary Secondary School continue to find new ways to support the Villa in the difficult time. While we miss having the Yellowbirds and other co-op students and volunteers on-site, thank you for inspiring us with your positive energy and your prayers. Principal Brian Daly shared the Prayer of St. Joseph with students last week and dedicated it to our Villa staff and residents.
Glenn, our poet-in-residence has a poem meant for you. He’s touched that you are enjoying his poems and wanted to express how you’ve changed his life during the pandemic in his poem – Win-Win!
Win-Win is also the theme of our new free virtual event. Later in June, we are hosting our first ever webinar on charitable giving. As many of our Villa Foundation fundraising events have been cancelled or postponed, we’ve invited Mumin Basic, CFP ®, RRC of Basic Financial Services to be our guest speaker. Mumin will share with you about how supporting your favourite charity, like St. Joseph’s Villa or Margaret’s Place Hospice, can help the community and put cash back in your wallet. Join us from the comfort of your deck or your couch and learn about how you can make a lasting difference for families today and in the future.
Save Your Spot Today!
JUNE 19 @ 10AM
JUNE 25 @ 7PM
Please note there are audio & video options available. We can maintain your privacy if you prefer not to share your identity!
RSVP by June 17, 2020
To Register, please contact Sarena – S_Paton@sjv.on.ca
Frames & Foundations – Margaret’s Place Hospice Moving Forward
Throughout the pandemic, construction on Margaret’s Place Hospice has continued. Thanks to the ability of the Ira McDonald Construction crew to adapt and take precautionary measures, they were able to proceed with very few interruptions. In the past weeks, the foundation has been poured for our future centre of excellence in end-of-life care. Framing is underway and thankfully the project is currently advancing according to schedule and on budget. We expect doors to open in the spring of 2021 to serve patients and families. Soon families in this area will have the support they need and we’ll welcome them into Villa family, so they don’t have to face an end-of-life journey alone.
Comin’ in on a Wing and a Prayer
As we continue to re-invent ourselves with the changes that lie before us, we will lead with our hearts. We will put ourselves in the shoes of family members and caregivers, innovators, and leaders. Metamorphosis will give us new wings and we’re grateful you’re here to join us through this journey onto the other side.
NOW more than ever, your support matters.
For updates on how the Villa is addressing the Covid-19 pandemic or to find out how you can help, please visit our website. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter for all our good news stories.
Be safe, be well, be healthy,
John Woods, President – St Joseph’s Villa & Don Davidson, President & CEO – St. Joseph’s Villa Foundation