DOC Laurie Gibson retires after serving Burnbrae Gardens residents for 11 years

‘It’s a new chapter in my life; I’m closing one but opening another’

Burnbrae Gardens director of care Laurie Gibson (centre) is pictured here holding her Elisabeth Hinton Memorial Award alongside OMNI director of western operations Aimee Merkley (left) and administrator April Faux (right) during an Oct. 25, 2019 ceremony at the Campbellford long-term care home.

Asked how she was feeling about retiring from Burnbrae Gardens after working at the Campbellford long-term care home for 11 years, Laurie Gibson said “it’s bittersweet.”

“It’s a new chapter in my life; I’m closing one but opening another,” Laurie, who has served as Burnbrae Gardens’ director of care (DOC) for the past three years, told The OMNIway on Nov. 10.

“It’s hard to say goodbye to a lot of people you have worked with for 11 years. I’m sure we will see each other from time to time, but it’s not the same as seeing each other every day, so that’s a change for sure.”

On her final day on the job, Laurie’s colleagues hosted a potluck lunch for her, and she received lots of cards and well-wishes from everyone. Head office sent her a bouquet of flowers and a gift. Laurie said she was thankful and touched by the kindness she received.

“I’m just over the moon; it has been so special today.”

It’s this type of kindness Laurie said she will miss about Burnbrae Gardens. A small home like 43-bed Burnbrae Gardens, she said, is a fertile environment for friendships to blossom.

“There are many friendships one makes when you’re working in a small home in a small community, and that’s a really important aspect of your life – it’s not just a job, it’s part of your life,” she said.

Laurie began her career at Burnbrae Gardens in 2009 as the night charge RN. In 2019, Laurie was presented with OMNI Health Care’s Elisabeth Hinton Memorial Award, which is given out annually to a nurse working in an OMNI long-term care home who demonstrates excellence in nursing and exhibits kindness and caring in everything he or she does.

Asked about her retirement plans, Laurie said the first thing she will be doing is working on completing some home renovations. She is also looking forward to lots of travelling once the COVID-19 restrictions relax as well as spending time reading.

While she is looking forward to her retirement, Laurie also said she will miss working at Burnbrae Gardens.

“I will miss the residents because they are here for a long time, and you get to know them and their families, and that’s a lovely connection,” she said.

“I will also miss the staff because they’re so supportive and wonderful, and it’s nice to come to work every day and be greeted so kindly and warmly.”

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