“Bringing a quality of living is what brightens my day” says Parent

Cecelia has been in the Health Care Industry for 20 years. 14 years as a Resident Care Attendant, and 6 years as a Recreation Coordinator with The YMCA of Northern British Columbia Service Provider for Simon Fraser Lodge. She began working in the senior care sector because she found seniors to be very unique in their own way.

“There are a lot of lonely older adults out there and some do not have anyone. If I could make a difference in anyone’s life there is purpose to that alone, even if that means hearing their story,” she explained. “Bringing a quality of living is what brightens my day.”

The rewarding aspects of her work include bringing a quality of living in any way she can and is very aware of the team effort that exists to offer such a high level of care.

“I have an amazing team I work with to help make this happen. Just to put a smile on someone’s face when I come to work. For some is trust. Knowing they can come to me with anything and knowing I will ensure their needs are being met,” Cecelia says. “This is my purpose of coming to work each and every day, to make one person smile is a purpose, which is truly not a hard thing to do. Seniors only want the simplest things in life that is all they need and all that they want to maintain their own happiness.”Cecelia

Maintaining a flexible perspective allows Cecelia to manage the special needs of each client she works with. Most have some form of Dementia, some have behavioral issues and some just need companionship and time. She deals with people that have physical barriers and learns to adapt what is needed for every person to make life simplified for them. Making her focus to provide personalized care.

“I think my work is important because being happy is one of the most important parts of a person’s health. Happiness alone can keep ailments away and helps us deal with stress and everyday life much better,” she explains. “A lot of times pain can be controlled with sensory rather than medications, this is something we like to do first. In a Complex Care facility it is very easy to become depressed and lonely, this is something we need to prevent. No matter how life may get at times it is important to feel happy and to feel sense of being wanted and belonging.”

Cecelia also recognizes that not everyone is social, but there is still a need to feel wanted in some way. Each person needs to be recognized for their strengths not their weakness. She encourages the people under her care to keep their independence.

Over the years her job has changed in many ways. In our growing world where things are changing all the time, technology plays a huge part in the growth of the health care field. She has seen a variety of ages being employed and being educated in the field, while the need for placement in complex care has changed dramatically as well.

“When I first started in health care a person could have one ailment for them to placed, now a person needs many while the time spent on seniors has lessened,” Cecelia says. 

Her experience I the senior care sector has definitely left Cecelia with some excellent advice for those entering the field.

“Always keep in mind when coming to this job we work in their home they do not live in our work place.”

I have an amazing team I work with to help make this happen. Just to put a smile on someone’s face when I come to work

Her career objectives are to finish her Therapeutic Recreation in Gerontology to support the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada as a facilitator and to gain as much knowledge as possible to help advocate for seniors.  

On her off time she enjoys spending time with her family. An 18-year-old daughter who is graduating in June and is looking into the healthcare field herself and a 13 year old son that keeps her busy and on the run with his activities.

Her rules to live by are simple.

“I live life to the fullest and everyday like it’s your last. Live with compassion; be thankful for everything you have big or small.”

– Written by freelance writer Angie Holubowich for the Seniors Care HR Planning Committee. Funding for this project was provided by the Canada-British Columbia Labour Market Development Agreement