Dietary aide brings cruise-ship-style hospitality to Willows Estate

Roseann Evans brings the skills she learned on the high seas to the home’s residents

Before starting a position as a dietary aide at Willows Estate a year ago, Roseann Evans worked as a supervisor on a cruise ship, and she has taken the skills she learned on the high seas to the Aurora, Ont. long-term care home to enhance residents’ dining experience.

Like many long-term care homes, the Willows serves residents with diverse dietary needs. Some residents require pureed meals, while others have food allergies. Some residents also require meals that are halal, meaning the food adheres to Islamic law.

During her 17 years working on cruise ships, Roseann served many guests who also had special dietary needs as well. As a supervisor, it was her job to relay information about special diets between guests and the chefs to ensure guests’ needs were met.

Whether working in a long-term care home or on a cruise ship, the job is “hands-on,” Roseann says.

“You have to know your guests, know their preference, read their body language, but (in long-term care) you also have to be very patient,” she says.

“(On a cruise ship) you want your guests to be satisfied, and here you want the residents to be satisfied.”

Making the shift from working on cruise ships to working in a long-term care home has come with rewards, Roseann says, noting working at the Willows has given her the opportunity to ensure residents receive high-quality meal service.

And there’s also that personal touch that comes with working in a long-term care home.

“It’s a rewarding job, especially when you see the smiles on the residents’ faces and they call you by your name, that’s the thing for me,” Roseann says.

Jeffrey Peters, the nutritional care manager at Willows Estate, praises Roseann for the service she brings residents, noting she is always putting the residents first.

“Roseann always goes above and beyond to make sure the residents are always getting what they want,” he says.
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PHOTO CAPTION: Dietary aide Roseann Evans is pictured here during a recent shift at Willows Estate.