More educational opportunities, improved resident quality of life among positive changes Village Green team member has seen in 38 years

Village Green housekeeping department team member Mary Estabrooks (right) poses with her mom during the Selby, Ont. long-term care home’s 40th-anniversary celebration in September.

Housekeeping staff member Mary Estabrooks reflects on her career at Village Green during the home’s 40th-anniversary celebration

SELBY, Ont. – Mary Estabrooks says if someone asked her 38 years ago if she would still be working at Village Green in 2018, her answer would have been no. But here we are in 2018, and Mary is still working in the housekeeping department at the Selby, Ont. long-term care home.

In an interview with The OMNIway during Village Green’s 40th-anniversary celebration on Sept. 21, Mary says the residents she works with and the work culture she experiences every day are among the factors that have kept her at Village Green for so many years.

She says she has seen a lot of positive changes at Village Green and in long-term care since she started working at the home in May 1980. The first thing that comes to mind for her is the plethora of educational opportunities that are available to staff members today. Mary says the education she and other team members have received has improved the quality of care at the home.

“With all the different courses that we have taken, we have learned how to deal with dementia better,” she says.

For instance, Mary says today the long-term care home’s staff members are experts at working with people living with cognitive impairment. Education, she adds, has helped team members better approach people living with dementia, helped them work better with residents and allowed staff members to do a better job than ever of improving quality of life for people.

And, of course, Mary has many fond memories of working at Village Green for 38 years. She says that sometimes it’s the smallest things that have left the greatest impression on her. For example, she notes how she and one resident never shake hands – they always fist bump.

“And he just gets a riot out of that,” Mary chuckles.

Other times, Mary says what has given her the most pleasure at Village Green is how she can simply spend time with residents to make them feel better.

“Some of them will come up and give me a hug if they are having a bad day, or I will give them a hug if I am having a bad day,” she says, pausing to take a moment to reflect. “It’s going to be hard leaving here when I do retire.”

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