Cooking at Streamway Villa is a chance to enrich lives every day, says team member

‘Putting a smile on residents’ faces – there is nothing more rewarding than that,’ says Litsa Christodoulou

Each day when Litsa Christodoulou walks into Streamway Villa to start her shift in the kitchen, she knows she’s making a difference in the lives of everyone she cooks for at the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home.

Being served high-quality meals is one of the most important aspects of life in a long-term care home for residents, and Litsa does everything she can to deliver the quality meals residents want.

It can be something as simple as plating meals colourfully or by making a happy face out of bacon and eggs, she says.

“I know it might sound a little bit kooky, but they love it; they will think that is the greatest thing,” Litsa tells The OMNIway.

Litsa has been doing “kooky” things like this for residents for seven years, and she says there’s no other job she can imagine doing.

“The thing I love about working in long-term care is the residents,” she says. “Putting a smile on residents’ faces – there is nothing more rewarding than that.”

It’s fitting that Litsa would gravitate to a career cooking for long-term-care home residents.

When she was a high-school student in Toronto, Litsa participated in an adopt-a-grandparent program through a Scarborough long-term care home. This experience had a positive impact on her and introduced her to the long-term care sector.

Additionally, Litsa’s parents owned restaurants, and Litsa grew up helping in the kitchen and working in restaurants, so Streamway Villa has been a perfect fit for a career, she says.

Litsa says the best part about her job is the residents she serves.

“At the end of the day, if I can make the residents happy, then I have fulfilled my duty,” she says.

So, what’s the difference between working in a long-term-care home kitchen and a restaurant kitchen?

“Foodwise, it’s all the same; whether I’m working in a restaurant or a long-term care home, I am giving 110 per cent every day, no matter what,” she says.

“The difference is the people. Sometimes in restaurants, the customers make you feel like they’re doing you a favour by coming in; but here (at Streamway Villa), the residents are always thanking you and telling you that your food is delicious. It’s constant, and I think that that’s the difference and makes it more rewarding.

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