Dedicated Forest Hill PSW is an Everyday Hero to residents, families and staff

Forest Hill PSW (right) is seen here receiving her Everyday Hero Award from administrator Susan Bell.

Forest Hill PSW (right) is seen here receiving her Everyday Hero Award from administrator Susan Bell.

‘My philosophy is if the residents have a good day, then I have a good day,’ says Kelly Shaver

Last year, a resident moved into Forest Hill who had not had a shower in a month. When staff members tried to bathe the resident, the resident exhibited responsive behaviours. Then personal support worker (PSW) Kelly Shaver stepped in and tried some approaches she knew. She bathed the resident without incident.

Shaver then shared her approaches with staff members and sat down with her colleagues and created an individualized care plan for the resident.

It’s this type of dedication to residents and staff members that makes Shaver worthy of Forest Hill’s Everyday Hero Award, says John Donzil, the Ottawa-area long-term care home’s director of care.

“Even though this resident did not live on Kelly’s unit, Kelly was asked to work with this resident and she agreed to do this and took this on as a challenge,” Donzil says.

“I have had the privilege of being Kelly’s supervisor for 13 years and I can vouch to her determination, hard work and effectiveness. I have rarely come across a staff member who is so attentive to the residents. She never hesitates to take on any new challenges or difficult tasks, such as working with residents with behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.”

The Everyday Hero Award was recently presented to Shaver at the home.

The Everyday Hero is given out annually by each of OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes to recognize staff members who demonstrate extraordinary dedication to residents and co-workers. Donzil says these are all qualities Shaver possesses and exhibits on a daily basis at Forest Hill.

“I have observed Kelly’s interactions with family members, co-workers and visitors: they greet her warmly and respect her kindness,” he says. “She always manages to serve their needs while completing her own responsibilities. Kelly clearly derives enjoyment from her duties, and her enthusiasm has contributed to a fun working environment for all staff on our fifth floor.”

Shaver says her constant interaction with residents is the most satisfying part of her job – especially if she can make them laugh.

“My philosophy is if the residents have a good day, then I have a good day,” she says.

Everyday Hero and Inspired Leader award recipients were announced at OMNI’s managers’ forum in Kingston in May. Since then, homes have been hosting their own award ceremonies to honour award recipients.

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