Located in Kingston, Ont., Providence Manor is an established, well-respected long-term care home that provides a welcome environment for elders. It lives by its Mission, which is rooted in the philosophy of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul: to enhance quality of life by meeting the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of each person.
“We are focused on the care and service for our residents,” says Shelagh Nowlan, Providence Manor site administrator. “Our integrated team of professionals includes everyone from clinical care to spiritual health, and maintenance to dietary and nutritional staff. Across the Home, we treat residents with respect, dignity and compassion.”
Providence Manor is home to more than 240 residents. The Manor is part of the larger Providence Care organization, which also operates two hospitals in Kingston and numerous community programs. The Providence Manor site is itself an historic location for the community.
“Our building is the original site of where the Sisters came in 1861 and began their work in this region serving people in need,” Nowlan, who is also Vice President, Long-Term Care at Providence Care, told The Canadian Business Journal. “Today we continue their legacy. It is important to us that we engage our residents and their families in daily activities and choices, and that we help make the transition into long-term care as smooth as possible.
“We are seeing a change in the people who are moving into long-term care. They are much frailer and have more complicated care needs than they did even just five years ago.”
Nowlan notes that Providence Manor has recently launched programming geared toward residents with dementia. Providence Manor’s Montessori and sensory rooms offer meaningful engagement that stimulates the minds of residents living with advanced dementia, rejuvenating memories of the past.
“We see a need for expertise in dementia care and other specialized areas such as falls prevention,” says Nowlan. “Providence Manor is working with other health providers, and can provide this leadership and be a resource to long-term care homes in our region.”
Medical residents and students from Queen’s University Department of Family Medicine receive frontline experience at Providence Manor, thanks to a unique partnership between the Home and the university. Students benefit from being a part of the daily life and delivering medical coverage at the Manor, while residents at the Home have access to high quality medical coverage.
“It is a challenge to find doctors to work in nursing homes,” says Dr. David Barber, Medical Director at Providence Manor and Assistant Professor with the Queen’s Department of Family Medicine. “This partnership has made our students more comfortable in a long-term care setting, and when they graduate they are more likely to consider working with the elderly. This is very rewarding work.”
Commitment to Care
Ann St. Denis has volunteered at Providence Manor for 14 years. St. Denis’ mother is a resident of Providence Manor which originally led her to join and later, to take on the role as chair of the Family Council at Providence Manor. Family Council actively participates in decision-making and organizing activities, while the Residents’ Council is the voice of those who live at Providence Manor.
“I have seen such advancement with our Council. It has set up subcommittees for different activities, like the Activity Advisory Committee where residents can share their ideas on which activities they would like to have. They have formed a Food Advisory Committee, led by our dietary manager, where residents discuss their likes and dislikes,” St. Denis described. “It is not an easy transition to leave your loved ones in the care of someone else, but our families are quite content and know that their loved ones are looked after at Providence Manor.
“I am so proud of this place. It is a unique Home. I can’t say enough about Providence Manor and the staff. It made me want to spend more time here, not only with my mom but also to be part of a caring, loving, and respectful team.”
Ties to the community are a key part of resident life at Providence Manor. For example, on Remembrance Day, veterans living at the Home were paired with those currently serving at Canadian Forces Base (CFB) Kingston. The annual November 11th ceremony at the Manor is a well-attended special event for residents and military members, reflecting the strong connection between generations. A special “Veterans’ Club Room” was established in 2005, and is a favourite place at Providence Manor for many residents.
Bill Taylor, a current resident and active member of Providence Manor’s Residents’ Council, summarized it best: “The care here is outstanding, making families happy that their loved ones are here. There is top-of-the-line medical services, nursing, and the Home is always neat, clean, and tidy. Providence Manor provides peace of mind for families with loved ones here.”