Co-op students say interacting with residents has been their favourite part of their placement

Placements are also opening students’ eyes to career opportunities in the long-term care sector

LINDSAY, Ont. – Two students from St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School who have been doing their co-op placements at Frost Manor say working with the Lindsay long-term care home’s residents has been their favourite aspect of their placement.

Hunter Grozelle and Jayme Rines will be doing their placements at Frost Manor until the end of the school year. Hunter, who is in Grade 11, has been working in the maintenance department with maintenance and environmental services manager Rick Riel. Jayme, who is in Grade 12, began her placement shadowing personal support workers (PSWs), and she recently switched to helping with administrative duties.

Most of what Hunter is doing centres on helping Rick fix things around the home, but he also helps with the gardening work.

“What I enjoy most is the people I get to work with; they’re always open-hearted and there to help you if you need it,” he says. “Being around the residents and talking with them has been great, and it makes them happy, which is nice to see.”

Rick notes that Hunter also got to work with resident Grant Thurston on an outdoor project, which both enjoyed.

“When we were cleaning up in the therapy garden, one of the residents came out and the two of them cleaned the therapy program,” Rick says. “Grant is really thrilled by the interaction between the two of them. He is raving about what a great young man Hunter is.”

Jayme says working with PSWs and helping with administrative duties has given her a broad view of what it’s like working in a long-term care home. Like Hunter, she says working with the residents is her favourite part of her placement.

“My favourite part of being here is seeing the residents, and the PSWs and all the staff are always very nice, and they’re always considerate,” she says.

Rick says having the students do their placements at Frost Manor is not only valuable work experience, it also shows that there is a plethora of jobs available in the long-term care sector; jobs they may not have known existed.

“The most exciting thing about this is that it exposes the young people to the many opportunities that are available in long-term care,” Rick says.

“A lot of people don’t think of life enrichment or maintenance or nutritional care. Many students might go and take a recreation and leisure course or a culinary course, never thinking that they could get a job as a cook or a chef or a life enrichment worker.”

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