Almonte’s Everyday Hero: ‘That Scottish lady with the sense of humour’

Two Anastasia’s: Anastasia (Anna) Chapman sitting with Almonte Country Haven resident Anastasia Coulas.

Two Anastasia’s: Anastasia (Anna) Chapman sitting with Almonte Country Haven resident Anastasia Coulas.

Anna Chapman quick to shine the spotlight on others

Anastasia (known as Anna) Chapman has long been known as “that Scottish lady with the sense of humour.” Now she’s got a new title, “Everyday Hero.”

But Chapman, a life enrichment aide, doesn’t see what she does as any kind of heroism – or, if it is, then everyone who works at Almonte Country Haven is a hero, she says. “Lots of others go and do stuff that nobody knows about and they don’t brag about it.”

In fact, when the camera comes out, most of the team quietly disappears, just like Snuffaluffagus in the Sesame Street show, administrator Carolyn Della Foresta likes to lament.

Chapman was helping out with a birthday party at the long-term care home recently when she heard the announcement: She’d been chosen by her peers to receive the 2016 OMNI Health Care Everyday Hero award.

“They did that just so I’d get all red-faced and embarrassed,” she says.

A 30-year veteran of the home, Chapman describes her approach to her work and especially the residents of the home this way: “I really like to come in and just make somebody just that little bit happier, put a smile on their face, make them laugh.”

Chapman spent 20 years as a health-care aide before, she decided to make the leap and apply for a position with the life enrichment team.

“I didn’t want to leave the home because I love it here, but I was ready for a change,” she says.

Feeling unsure about whether she’d be able to handle her new role, she took on the life enrichment position “on trial” to start.

“I just utterly enjoyed it, so I stayed with it.”

The Everyday Hero award 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.

In their nomination form, Anna’s peers highlighted how “she really knows the residents’ likes and dislikes, their history, families and what works for them on a daily basis.

“Anna’s kind and caring ways are noticed by families and others in the community from far and wide,” her peers went on to note.

Though others clearly believe she stands out at the home, Chapman is quick to turn the attention from herself.

“In all of the years I’ve worked here, I’ve always had great mentors. The people I’ve worked with, they’re all really really good. And I really feel that everybody here is an everyday hero. I’m just amazed they picked me.”

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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