Almonte Country Haven stirs up old memories for resident nurses

Pictured above is the display the Almonte Country Haven team has created to recognize nurses – past and present – during National Nursing Week.

Home creates display honouring resident nurses during Nursing Week

An Almonte Country Haven resident was elated this week when she was presented with a photograph of her from when she graduated nursing school 76 years ago.

The photo was found online by RAI co-ordinator Sarah White while searching for a photograph of the resident, who graduated from Renfrew Victoria Hospital in 1941.

Sarah was gathering photographs and information to put in a display at the front entrance of the Lanark County long-term care home in honour of National Nursing Week.

Originally, the display featured photographs of administrator Carolyn Della Foresta’s mother and grandmother, who were also nurses. The display included Carolyn’s mother’s graduation hat and cape from Toronto General Hospital.

But then the team got together and decided to build upon this. Sarah’s idea was to highlight each of the seven retired nurses living at the home, so she started calling family members and asking for photographs and information.

Sarah says she was surprised to find the photo of the one resident online. She then printed off the photo and showed it to the resident.

“Her face was priceless,” Sarah tells The OMNIway. “I was fighting back tears. … That was the highlight of this project for me – finding that picture and seeing that look on her face. I went home that night and said to my partner, ‘This literally is what makes me love my job.’ ”

Carolyn adds: “(The resident’s) hands flew to her cheeks on either side and she kept saying, ‘Oh my, oh my,’ ” she says. “When we pointed to the photo of the resident and said, ‘Do you know who that is?’ she responded, ‘That’s me.’ It was so beautiful.”

Near the home’s front entrance is an area staff has been using to build displays centred on rotating themes. With this being National Nursing Week, they have built a display focused on nurses and the nursing profession.

National Nursing Week 2017 is May 8-14. The week, which is promoted by the Canadian Nurses Association, is set aside to acknowledge nurses for their work. Long-term care homes, retirement homes and health-care organizations dedicate the week every year to acknowledge nursing teams.

The Twitter hashtag for this year’s Nursing Week is #YESThisIsNursing.

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