Garden Terrace LEC returns to post after 14 years

‘People were genuinely really happy to see me and have me back. It almost feels like I never left,’ says Shannon Boisvenue

When Shannon Boisvenue came to Garden Terrace July 13 to start her first day on the job as the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home’s life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC), it was a new beginning – and a fond reminder of the past.

Shannon had been the Garden Terrace LEC from 2003 to 2008, and, after more than 10 years, she’s happy to be back.

“Obviously, there are lots of new faces, so I’m trying to meet as many people as I can, but my office is still in the same place and there’s still a great team of people,” she tells The OMNIway.

“It’s definitely great to be back.”

Shannon began her career with OMNI Health Care as a life enrichment aide at Garden Terrace’s sister home, Forest Hill, 20 years ago when it opened, eventually becoming assistant LEC.

When Garden Terrace opened in 2003, Shannon began her first stint as the home’s LEC. She worked as Garden Terrace’s LEC until 2008, when she briefly moved to the office before leaving in summer 2009 to dedicate the next 10 years to raising her four children.

By 2019, Shannon was ready to restart her long-term care career. She had always enjoyed working for OMNI, so when the resident services co-ordinator position opened at Almonte Country Haven that autumn, she applied for and was awarded the job.

Shannon says she “loved” her position at Country Haven, but her “true calling,” she notes, has always been creating programming for seniors.

“I went to school for recreation and that’s what I feel most passionate about, so I’m really glad to have the opportunity to come back here,” she says.

“I’m looking forward to doing what I feel most passionate about, and that’s providing recreation programs for older adults and offering meaningful programs to them.”

While there are some things that have changed since Shannon last worked at Garden Terrace in 2009 – for example, she points out the home now has two rabbits – there are still familiar faces and the friendly camaraderie she remembers is firmly intact.

“One thing that I find quite nice is that a lot of the staff who were here at the time recognize me, and I was really touched by how appreciative they were to have me back and how the welcoming I got was really nice,” she says.

“People were genuinely really happy to see me and have me back. It almost feels like I never left.”

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