Woodland Villa embarks on culture-change initiatives to enhance quality

A mural at Woodland Villa is bringing love to everyone.

A mural at Woodland Villa is bringing love to everyone.

If staff members are happy, residents will be happy

The Woodland Villa team is working at changing the culture at the Cornwall-area long-term care home to ensure all-around high morale; and the new changes centre on a single idea: happy staff members result in happy residents.

Several little changes are making a big difference that enhance quality resident experiences, says environmental services manager Linda Gadbois.

In late 2015, Gadbois painted a tree trunk with branches in one of the home’s hallways. The “leaves” are made up of paper cut out into various shapes that residents and staff can write messages on and then tack to the “branches”.

At Thanksgiving residents and staff members wrote notes reflective of the things they are thankful for.

At Christmas, different shapes of balls were cut out and residents and staff members wrote Christmas wishes on the balls.

In January, people could pin their new year’s resolutions to the tree. The days leading up to Valentine’s Day on Feb. 14 have seen hearts with messages of love written on them.

“At the end of each month, we take the old messages off and start something new up for the next month,” Gadbois explains, adding that “reflections” will be March’s theme.

But the tree is not the only way the Woodland Villa team is trying to put smiles on faces.

The home will also soon be hosting a “jersey day” where residents and staff members wear the uniforms of their favourite sports teams.

“We just want to do things that makes people smile – when we’re dressing up and having fun, the residents are having fun,” Gadbois says.

“We are trying to do a culture change, and we’re looking at doing things to boost morale – if we’re happy, the residents are happy.”

To help beat the winter blues the home hosted a summer theme day.

“We played a Beach Boys song and we got residents to dance and everyone was happy,” Gadbois says. “Things like this are not time-consuming. They are short and sweet but it brings smiles to people’s faces, both staff members and residents.”

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