A helpful hand and fond memories

Kaliopi behind the mask

Health information coder turned therapeutic recreation assistant Kaliopi takes her hat off to those who work at Mount Hope Centre for Long Term Care. Redeployed for two months, she assisted with social connections, personal touches and dining for the residents at Mount Hope. She admits her time there was wonderful but also challenging. “I experienced many happy moments and many sad moments.” Thankfully, donations through the St. Joseph’s Health Care Foundation provided iPads to make virtual visits possible for residents who could not have visitors. “Witnessing the smiles and laughter during the virtual visits was very rewarding.”

Part of Kaliopi’s time was through personal interactions. “When I was redeployed I thought, will I be able to help out with my years of administrative experience? But I took the time to talk to the residents, listen to their favourite music and stories, or took them for a walk to the outdoor garden in the courtyard. I really enjoyed spending time with each and every one of them.”

Kaliopi speaks fluent Greek and was able to use this to help with the residents on the two floors she worked on. “I was really excited to assist the physiotherapist with exercises with one of the Greek residents. I looked forward to it because I enjoyed seeing the progress the resident would make. It made me happy!”

At Mount Hope, she had the opportunity to appreciate how well everyone worked as a team to help each other and the residents on a daily basis. “The nursing staff, personal support workers, physiotherapists, dietary aides, therapeutic recreational aides, Chaplain and other redeployed staff each had their own tasks to complete but they also worked together very well.”

Kaliopi was impressed with the adaptation of the staff to ensure residents were still engaged and active. “I was glad to hear that the residents were able to watch and listen to religious services, and that therapeutic recreation staff used devices and equipment to provide programs to the resident’s such as bingo, musical entertainment, travel logs and mind aerobics.”

One of her most memorable moments was during a musical entertainment program.” Every resident was singing, laughing, and having such a great time. It was very heartwarming and touching to see how much fun they were having, even when physically distanced.”

In her personal life Kaliopi was dealing with a lot of change. “I was balancing everything. Children at home, the stress of my husband being laid off, and realizing I had to put school on hold because I couldn’t manage it all.” Yet through that adversity she was able to persevere because of the   inspiration sparked by the new people she met at Mount Hope. “Although, it was difficult to adjust to a very physical role and I was emotionally fatigued by the end of my day, it was a rewarding experience. I am most glad to have had the opportunity to witness how much people care about each other and how well all of the staff worked together. I made many personal memories with the staff and residents at Mount Hope that I will always remember fondly!”

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