Joan Leclaire’s dedication to her fellow residents earns her a Lifetime Achievement Award

Forest Hill resident Joan Leclaire is seen here with the Lifetime Achievement Award she recently received from the home.

Forest Hill resident Joan Leclaire is seen here with the Lifetime Achievement Award she recently received from the home.

Forest Hill resident is a vocal advocate for others

Since Joan Leclaire moved into Forest Hill in January 2015 she has been active in the Kanata long-term care home’s residents’ council and a vocal advocate for quality improvement to the long-term care sector.

For her dedication to her fellow residents, Leclaire is the recipient of Forest Hill’s 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award.

Not long after Leclaire moved into Forest Hill she was unanimously elected as residents’ council president. Since then, she has used her position to offer suggestions to the home to enhance quality of life for residents.

For instance, Leclaire played a large part in the remodelling of the tub room in her unit earlier this year. She told administrator Susan Bell that the tub room, with its clutter and outdated furnishings, gave the home a “facility impression.”

With her suggestions and input, the room was transformed into a bathing area that promotes relaxation and has elevated residents’ bathing experience, says Craig Forrest, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator, in his letter nominating Leclaire for the award.

Leclaire chose paint colours. She suggested new photographs for the tub room’s walls. The sink and cabinets were changed. A new clock was brought in. Three silver plant pots were placed on the window sill with succulent plants and cacti added. A wicker blind hung from a black iron curtain rod and white sheer linen curtains flanking the window were the final touch.

During the Ontario Long Term Care Association’s Better Seniors’ Care letter-writing campaign, Leclaire penned a “very strongly written letter” explaining the need for increased funding for more front-line staff in the province’s long-term care homes, Forrest notes.

Leclaire is also the resident member of Forest Hill’s quality team, a position she takes seriously. She attends all meetings and is always asking questions and making suggestions to benefit her fellow residents.

Leclaire also works hard to improve her own quality of life, Forrest says. She participates in the home’s nursing rehabilitation program and physiotherapy.

“Joan has set a goal to, in the future, rehabilitate to the point that she can once again live independently in the community,” Forrest says.

“To help reach this goal she is relentless in her rehabilitation exercises and physio. I know that her persistence and unmatched work ethic will allow her to someday reach this goal.”

Leclaire says she was honoured to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award and thankful to Forrest for his nomination.

“To Craig, I want to give you a big thank you for this nomination and for sending it up to head office for consideration,” she says. “Time and time again, I say thank you to my lucky stars for selecting this particular home, Forest Hill, and for the wonderful caring staff that they have here from the administrator, the managers, the RPNs, the PSWs, kitchen staff and the maintenance staff. Every one of these caring individuals provides each individual resident with the quality of life, respect and dignity they want and deserve.”

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