May this message, written by the family of Gian Maestri to the staff of Menno Home, be an encouragement to you as you begin the new year. This is what makes our work in long term care so precious! You are making a difference in the most vulnerable time of people’s lives. This beautiful note inspires us all to work with an even greater sense of purpose.
To the staff of Menno Home,
This past year has been one of acceptance for our family. The reality of our dad’s condition has always been there, but never has it been more real for us than at this present moment.
This journey has been one of a thousand tears, a thousand questions and a thousand goodbyes. We’ve met some extraordinary people and seemingly in the same breath, had to say goodbye to them. The privilege of walking the last steps of their journey was all ours. Their legacies will live on in our memories.
Who knows how much time we have left with our dad. No doubt the final goodbye will be the hardest one yet. But knowing that he is in the hands of the most loving and devoted care staff makes this process just a little bit easier. Because the reality is that you not only care for the residents, but you also take care of us – the family members.
Your smiles, warm hugs and love have meant the difference between falling on our knees in despair, and rising up in hope of a better day. You carry us, even on the days when I’m sure it’s a struggle to keep yourselves standing. But you do it any.
We are so blessed to know each of you. Your selfless love makes this place home to us. To whatever the future holds for us, we look forward to walking it hand-in-hand with you.
With sincere love & gratitude,
Alex, Leah, Cris & Family
WHMIS Education due – December 31, 2019
If you haven’t completed it it, please be reminded that your 2019 WHMIS education is due December 31, 2019 for all team members.
Go to your Surge Learning site; Course Library; Health and Safety – Occupational H&S; Menno Place WHMIS 2015
Merry & Bright: Five Healthy Holiday Tips : Excerpt from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health & Safety (CCOHS) Newsletter
Along with the joys, hustle, and bustle of the holidays can come an increased risk to your health and safety. Here are some tips to help you and your loved ones stay safe and sound as you enjoy the festivities of the holiday season.
If you will be going to parties or gatherings where alcohol will be served, it’s important to plan ahead and drink responsibly to stay safe and avoid injury to yourself and others. Before heading out, decide who among you will be the designated, non-drinking driver. Don’t drive if you have been drinking and don’t let anyone else drink and drive. Take a taxi, public transportation, or walk where possible.
Limit how much alcohol you drink. A good tip is to alternate alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks and space your alcoholic drinks at least an hour apart. And remember to have something to eat when drinking alcohol.
2. Maintain your healthy habits
How well you take care of yourself will have a big impact on how you manage emotionally. Aim to get plenty of sleep, take time for yourself and enjoy regular physical activity. If you need help with holiday gatherings, for meal preparation or clean up, reach out to family and friends. With balance and moderation, you can enjoy the holidays in a healthy way.
3. Be fire safe
Fire hazards are plentiful during the holidays: the dry evergreen tree, candles and electric lights you use to decorate or set the holiday mood, or the cozy fire blazing in the fireplace.
Candles and fireplaces
Never leave cooking food or burning candles, fires, or cigarettes unattended. Put candles in non-tipping candle holders and keep them well away from anything that could catch fire, such as curtains or the Christmas tree, and out of reach of children and pets. This advice also applies to space heaters. Always use a secure screen in front of your wood burning fireplace to contain embers and sparks. Install a smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector in your home and test them monthly. Keep a working fire extinguisher handy.
Use lights and extension cords that are in good condition (no frayed wires, gaps in the insulation, broken or cracked sockets/plugs, excessive kinking or wear). Turn off decorative lights when you leave work and, at home, turn them off when you are asleep or away. Don’t overload electrical outlets.
Prevent the evergreen tree from drying out and becoming a hazard. Keep the stand filled with water. Turn off the tree lights when you go to bed or leave the house to prevent the lights from shorting out and starting a fire. When setting up a tree at home or at work, place it away from fireplaces, radiators or portable heaters, and be careful not to block doorways.
Over the holidays you may find yourself behind the wheel, covering more ground than usual. Bitter cold, snow, slippery roads, and unpredictable weather conditions are just a few elements of a Canadian winter that can make driving conditions risky. If you really must drive when weather conditions are nasty, prepare yourself for any emergency that you may run into. Keep a winter driving emergency kit in your vehicle that contains the following:
- Shovel, battery booster cables, and sand or traction mats
- Snow brush, extra anti-freezing windshield wiper fluid
- Road flares, reflective vest, flashlight
- Blanket, warm clothing, gloves, and warm footwear
- Matches or lighter, and emergency candles (use only with an opened window to prevent carbon monoxide build-up)
- Snack bars or other emergency food and water
- Insulated bottle of hot beverage
- First aid kit
- A fully charged cell phone
Shovelling snow can be hard work and whether you shovel at work or at home, there are steps you can take to protect yourself from the hazards of the task: cold exposure; fatigue; muscle strains; back injury and even a heart attack.
- Make sure you are physically able to do the job. Shovelling snow involves strenuous effort.
- Warm up with stretching and flexing exercises to loosen up your muscles before you begin shovelling.
- Use a lightweight shovel (about 1.5 kg or a little over 3 lbs), with a blade that isn’t too large, and a handle that is long enough so that you don’t have to stoop to shovel.
- Push the snow rather than lift it. If you must throw it, take only as much snow as you can easily lift and turn your feet to the direction you’re throwing – don’t twist at the waist. Do not throw snow over your shoulder or to the side.
- Take frequent rest breaks and drink some warm non-alcoholic fluids.
We wish you a safe, healthy and happy holiday season.
In 2020, Menno Place is starting a podcast – well… several podcasts. It’s an ambitious project called “The Aging Matters Podcast Family”. One of the podcasts that will be published online is called, “A Bit Further Along”. This podcast is focused on the seniors-focused articles that I’ve been writing for The Light Magazine – a Christian newspaper that syndicates my articles for seniors in BC and Alberta. I’ve been playing around a bit with new recording equipment and thought I’d share with you a taste of this first recording. I hope you enjoy it – and it gets you in the Christmas spirit!
Director, Community Enrichment
Christmas Traditions – Click here to listen
Host: Sharon Simpson, A Bit Further Along
Please go to Reception to get your 2020 Calendars for your office – ask if you can take one home for your own home. These beautiful calendars have sayings and Bible verses that speak to the heart. In addition, there are resources listed on each page – you can find the links to those resources here: www.MennoPlace.ca/2020Calendar
Take a look at this video message from SafeCare BC, which shares many of the initiatives and resources that were created over the last year to enhance the health and safety of continuing care workers.
In BC, the collective efforts are showing positive results – injury rates in long-term care, home care, and community health support are the lowest they’ve been in six years.