Village Green LEA explains why he made the right career move into LTC

Village Green life enrichment aide Jonathan Turcotte, pictured at far right, has been working at the Greater Napanee long-term care home since January.

Jonathan Turcotte spent 12 years working in construction before he started working at Village Green in January. He says he has not looked back on his decision

Jonathan Turcotte has made an interesting career change. Having spent more than 12 years as a construction worker, Jonathan enrolled in a diploma program at Trillium College in Kingston at age 30, and, in January, became a life enrichment aide (LEA) at Village Green.

He says he has not looked back at his decision.

“I decided to go back to school because I wanted to get a little more education, and I always kind of wanted to get into a field that was more of counselling or working directly with people,” Jonathan tells The OMNIway. “The thing that I was so surprised about working in a long-term care home is that I didn’t expect to like it nearly as much as I do.”

In his eight months working at the Greater Napanee long-term care home, there’s one major thing Jonathan says he’s learned: “There is too much stigma attached” to the long-term care sector, he says. Jonathan says long-term care is a great field for a career, and being able to enrich residents’ quality of life is all in one’s approach.

“People don’t understand what goes into our job,” he says. “In activities, my job is to bring life enrichment to the residents’ lives. When you’re in this environment, positive energy is pretty much everything. I’m very extroverted and I get along very well with the residents, so I always want to impart on them that there are a lot of opportunities they can take here to enjoy life.”

Jonathan says it takes a certain type of person to thrive in a career in long-term care. People need to be patient and, most importantly, bring a positive attitude to their job every day.

“Also, don’t be scared of it,” he adds. “When you’re working in long-term care, it’s much like any other (part of) the health-care sector; people are no different than anyone else you meet.”

Asked what his favourite aspect of his job has been, Jonathan doesn’t skip a beat in his reply: it has been getting to know the residents and learn about their lives.

“No matter how many things you have seen in your life, coming into a long-term care home you get the opportunity to hear about (people’s lives) in a way that you would never get any other way,” he says. “Sure, people use YouTube and other (social media) to tell stories, but that doesn’t compare to the stories of the people who have actually seen in.”

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