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Carefor: The Next Generation

Carefor: The Next Generation

At both Carefor Pembroke Mackay Residential Complex and Civic Residential Complex, residents admit that a heightened sense of social isolation these past few months has not been easy, but a few new friendly faces have made a world of difference.

For summer students like Hannah Rehel, a 19-year-old Carleton University student, and Bryan Fleury, a 16-year-old Jeanne –Lajoie high school student, working at Carefor meant positively impacting lives during a time of great need. From left to right; Hanna Rehel, Emily Benkhe, Bryan Fleury

“Sitting at home during these challenging times was not an option for me,” Hannah said.

Some of our summer students were brought in from the Canada Summer Jobs Program, which helped staff with the assistance they needed to run day-to-day activities to ensure safety and engagement, during lockdown. Hanna spent her time helping with various tasks, from administration to recreation at the Civic Residential Complex.

For Hannah, working in a retirement residence affected her in ways she would have never imagined. “[It] warmed my heart,” she said. “Every morning I was greeted with big smiles and every activity I attended the residents accepted me with open arms. I came into their home and they treated me as if I was family.”

This experience opened her eyes to see the true value of her work, both at the residence and in the community: “I had many one-on-one visits with residents. These visits allowed me to be an ear for some when their families could not visit during these challenging times.”

“I loved it all. The atmosphere, the people, the activities, I felt very appreciated going to work so much that it didn’t feel like a job, it felt like a second home.” Hannah said.

After completing volunteer hours last year, Bryan returned to Mackay Residential Complex as a maintenance summer staff: “I knew right away this would be a great place to work.” For Bryan, parting from staff and residents wasn’t easy this year, which led him to apply for a casual position in the kitchen while he attends school.

Although our summer students are back in school, they have left knowing they created a special bond with residents while understanding the great importance and value of keeping our seniors safe and connected. Thank you to all our summer students for their bravery and compassion this year. They will be missed, but we can’t wait to welcome them back with open arms.

Home care and support services have been around for more than a century in Canada, but keeping people safe and healthy at home is more important now, than ever. As health care in Ontario is changing, Carefor is at the forefront of ensuring our clients’ needs are not only met now, but also in the future. Inspiring a new generation of health care workers means shaping a healthier and brighter future for our seniors.