Veteran PSW receives Everyday Hero accolade

Almonte Country Haven

Joanne Neill ‘loved and respected by all’

With more than two and a half decades of caring for residents of Almonte Country Haven, Joanne Neill is being recognized for her devotion and compassion.

The personal support worker (PSW) has been nominated for the Lanark County long-term care home’s Everyday Hero Award.

“I had the pleasure of working alongside Joanne for 10 years when she first came to Almonte Country Haven, and I can personally attest to her amazing care, her individualized approach to each resident and her genuine love for those she serves,” says Almonte Country Haven administrator Carolyn Della Foresta, who nominated Joanne for the award.

“Joanne is loved and respected by all.”

Residents, family members and staff alike have similar feelings about the PSW, which include appreciation and admiration.

“I regularly watch residents respond to her in a positive manner. Even through their dementia, they know that she respects them and is a good person,” Carolyn says.

“I also regularly receive compliments from family members who have also witnessed her care and compassion for their loved ones.”

Joanne is “an incredible team member” who also focuses on the wellness of her co-workers.  She regularly spearheads events and treats for her co-workers to help celebrate them or to lift them up in their time of need.

The PSW has taken on an additional task at the home, which truly demonstrates her “deep-rooted character” of kindness and concern for others, the administrator notes.

Joanne has organized a donation clothing program for residents in need.  Quite often, when residents pass away, their loved ones will ask if they can donate their clothing to the home.

“We hate to say no to our families but truthfully, we don’t have the storage space and there isn’t always a need for this clothing. Joanne stepped in and started to manage all donations. “

She saw the need for residents to wear better clothing and she was already regularly buying items, with her own money, at the local thrift shop.

A large closet in the staff room now contains various pieces of clothing. Joanne accepts and sorts the donations, determining what the residents will be able to use and organizes them accordingly.

She has even arranged with another PSW who is a skilled seamstress to adapt several items according to resident need. When another PSW notices a need they know to go to Joanne as she knows exactly what she has tucked away in the closet that will help the resident, Carolyn notes.

“Joanne’s love for our residents shines through as she ensures that they all have appropriate and lovely clothing to wear.

“Joanne is a gem in our home and we are very blessed to have her.”

The Everyday Hero award annually recognizes OMNI Health Care employees who demonstrate OMNI’s Mission, Vision and Values in the workplace, while demonstrating kindness and caring in everything they do.

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