Our Members at Work: Maplewood Long-Term Care Home
The Maplewood Long-Term Care Home in Brighton is a 49-bed care facility owned by Omni Health Care. From the outside it looks like any other nursing home you might find in a small town. But, inside, is what makes this place special.
More than 60 Members of UFCW Local 175 work at Maplewood.
Brighton is a small town and a lot of the residents at Maplewood are people from the community. In fact, many of them grew up there and lived or worked in the area over their lives. There are always lots of family members and friends of both the employees and the residents coming through the home too.
At Maplewood there are:
- Registered Nurses (RNs),
- Registered Practical Nurses (RPNs),
- Personal Support Workers/Health Care Aides,
- Laundry and Housekeeping,
- Activities; and,
- Maintenance as well.
And while the Union Members who work at Maplewood might have different jobs under the collective agreement, they work together as a team to make it a better place for the residents and their families.
Working in health care takes both a physical and mental toll on a worker’s well-being.
It is emotionally stressful to do the work they do and provide the level of care their patients deserve.
The Members at Maplewood promote positivity and support. By doing so, they help reduce stress and improve the lives of their co-workers and residents.
Maplewood employees can choose to contribute a small amount of their pay to become members of the HOPE fund at work. The Members then use the money collected in that fund to support co-workers during times of need: Whether it’s because someone is off sick, on leave to care for a family member, or a bouquet of flowers in times of grief.
The employees at Maplewood always look out for each other. In fact, the employees go above and beyond on a regular basis to support each other. It’s not unusual to see co-workers raising money for each other when someone is off sick with a serious illness or injury.
And, these health care workers also put a lot of their own personal time into making the residents’ lives and their community better too!
This includes boosting morale, improving a resident’s mental well-being, or helping residents participate in life events they might not otherwise get to attend.
Here are just a few examples of how these Members act as true advocates for the well-being of their residents and the community:
- Many members will come in on their days off to take the residents out to celebrate their birthdays.
Employees often help throw baby showers at the home to celebrate a new grandchild for a resident who otherwise could not have attended.
- Others bring in their children or dogs to visit the seniors at the home, many of whom look forward to these special days.
- Amanda Nerpin painted a window with a frame as a decorative piece and raised $520 through donations to support a co-worker who was off ill.
- Nikki Lafee, Shelley Kendall and Jackie Jeffery have made and donated crafts or helped the residents to make crafts for the Annual Tea and Bazaar. These crafts can take months to make. The proceeds from this Bazaar go toward the Residents’ Fund. The residents use this money to take trips or purchase extra things they’d like to have in the Home.
Tina King often makes yummy treats at home and brings them in just to brighten the day for her co-workers.
- At Easter, Jackie Fleming fills a large jar with jelly beans and chocolate eggs. Her co-workers get to guess at how many are inside and whoever has the closest guess, wins the jar of treats. Jackie says she does this to improve morale and have something positive to discuss during the day.
- Jane Melvin, who works in Housekeeping, assisted the Activities staff with a boat cruise for the residents.
- Brianne Campbell helped take residents to the sterling film festival to see Beauty and the Beast.
- Annette Turner, pictured here at right, is a PSW at Maplewood. Annette was off work for 13 months with Guillain-Barré Syndrome. While she was off, she had many visits from her co-workers and management that helped get her through. She received a donation from the Hope Fund as well.
- Tiffany Fox speaks to the residents at each dining table to see what kind of music they like. Tiffany then makes CDs of that music so that every day, the music changes and residents can hear what they like while they dine.
Speaking of dining, the Members working in the kitchen at Maplewood take time and care into preparing delicious meals that are just like home cooking. The kitchen staff take pride in providing a variety of high-quality meals to the residents every day.
When a resident is in palliative care, it’s not unusual to see staff taking their own personal time to take turns sitting with the resident to make sure they aren’t alone in their time of need.
In their community, these health care workers continue to give back in many ways. Roxanne Wills volunteers after her full-time job to do lice checks at the local school, as it is difficult for the school to get volunteers for this.
Karen Vaughan, who is the Recorder for Local 175, takes time to educate and train people outside of her workplace in health and safety.
The home also has:
- A Residents’ Council, which suggests ways to improve comfort and enjoyment in the Home.
- An annual Tea and Bazaar to raise money for the Residents’ Council Fund.
- A Christmas party every year where family and residents are invited to celebrate together.
- An annual summer BBQ.
“Our Union Members at Maplewood continue to impress me with their selfless acts and support for each other,” said Union Rep Dean McLaren. “When someone is down, they band together to lift them up. They go out of their way every day to show their residents that they are cared for.”
“Their acts of kindness and support shape and provide a real home for these seniors and raise what it means to help others to a whole new level.”
“I work with Members at a number of long-term care homes and I know there are many dedicated employees just like these throughout the industry,” added Dean. “This type of work is more than just a job to all of our health care workers.”
The Steward and Health and Safety team at Maplewood Nursing Home is comprised of (as of Sept 2018):
- Tracy Morewood, Chief Steward & JHSC Certified Member
- Karen Vaughan, Steward, JHSC Certified Member, and UFCW Local 175 Recorder
- Nicole Lafee, Steward
- Jane Melvin, JHSC Member