Wildwood Care Centre celebrates 22 years at current location

Wildwood Care Centre

Wildwood Care Centre

But this long-term care home’s story goes back much further, and its history is all about family

ST. MARYS, Ont. – Wildwood Care Centre had its 22nd anniversary at its current location last week, tying the weeklong celebrations in with its staff appreciation week.

Every year Wildwood Care Centre hosts its anniversary/staff appreciation week with prize draws, including a bubble-gum draw where staff members guess at how many pieces of bubble gum are in a vat. Winners of the bubble-gum draw get a day off with pay. Gift cards are also handed out to employees during the week.

“Each of the days we have had a food event as well, so we were here bright and early this morning (Sept. 21) doing breakfast for the staff, we’ve also had barbecues and a pizza party and a chicken dinner as well through the course of the week,” explains administrator Scott Walsh.

Located in St. Marys, Ont., and managed by OMNI Health Care, Wildwood Care Centre has an interesting history. The home’s foundation goes back to the 1970s, when Scott’s grandmother started what would become Wildwood Care Centre by caring for seniors at her home. This, of course, was before licences were required to own a long-term care home.

When the province started licencing long-term care homes, Scott’s grandmother built a 36-bed home near the Wildwood Conservation Area, which is where the name came from.

In the 1980s, Scott’s parents took over the home’s management. In 1994, the current home was built in town and Scott’s parents ran Wildwood Care Centre until 1999, when Scott took over as administrator.

“I became the third generation of Walshes in the business,” Scott says.

Scott says one of Wildwood Care Centre’s key strengths is in its foundation as a family business.

“I think being a family business for as long as it was, we bring that aspect of family into the home,” he says. “Every one of the employees here is family, we all consider ourselves a family and the residents we take care of are family as well. … Family is the key.”

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