I was born and raised in Montana, lived in Northern Idaho for about 10 years, and North Dakota later. I am the mother of 5 children, step-mom to 2, grandmother to 23 grandchildren. I worked as the Administrative Assistant for the Mini Mart Corporation for 10 years until offices were moved to Wyoming. I trained as a CNA in Bismarck ND in 1996 and began working in a large LTC home there until I married my husband and moved to Canada in December 1999. Weyburn is in SE Saskatchewan and has a population of approximately 10,000 people. There are 2 Government operated LTC homes here and 4 Personal Care Homes (PCH). Some of the PCH only take residents with minimal care needs (Level 1 and 2) others take up to 3 and 4. The home I managed would take anything from Assisted |Living to Palliative.In 2008 I went to work for a Personal Care Home (LTC facility privately owned) as the Activities Director, in 2010 I was trained to medications and began doing Lead Medication shift as well activities. In 2012 I took over as Administrator and held that position until I retired July 31, 2020. My policy was that ALL residents were to be treated with respect and dignity and treated as if they were family. The residents became my family. I never let staff work short even if it meant that I had to work myself, and several times I worked 36 hours straight to cover other shifts as well as my own. As administrator I also worked the floor doing resident care/medication/ bandage changing/ rounds with doctors and if necessary gave baths, made beds, did laundry, cleaned rooms and cooked meals. I was very hands on.When I decided to reach out to do the Letters from |Me to |You. I sent out a mass message to those I felt would help or get involved. One was the Mayor of Weyburn. He responded within minutes and then called me telling me that “he and the Police Chief would commit to donating 3 dozen cards and 3 dozen roses each to the project. I was very excited to hear this. I became a member of the National Network of Career Nursing Assistants in 1998, and continued to get the education I needed to upgrade my skills and abilities: OHS Level I & II, Accounting and Administrative Assistant Fundamentals, Food Safety, Certificate in Gerontology, Medication Administration, Personal Care Homes Orientation Workshop, Comprehensive Wound Care Assessment, Personal Care Worker Course, Certificate in Healthy Aging, Workplace Assessment Violence Education, WHIMIS, Home Oxygen Therapy Program so that I was certified to do Oxygen testing ( through the Saskatchewan Lung Association), Mental Health First Aid, First Aid/CPR . I enjoy quilting, reading, running, walking, hiking in the mountains, zip lining, canoeing and singing in the church choir.
Thanks to Arlene Seidler Wheeler, Letters from me to you is also happening in Canada!