District of Kenora District Homes
Welbi Heroes highlights the unsung heroes of senior living communities, recreation professionals, and shares their stories, lessons learned, and insights into their success.
This month, our Welbi Hero is Leanne Hus, Recreation Lead at Princess Court, a long-term care community in Dryden, Ontario. Leanne was nominated for Welbi’s Hero of the Month by a colleague who appreciated how hard she was working to help the team get set up with Welbi. Leanne has been holding both one-on-one and group teaching sessions to ensure that her team members are getting the most out of the platform!
In this interview, Leanne shares how she and her team work to engage every resident at Princess Court with the help of Welbi.
Leanne’s career in recreation began right after she graduated college. She got her start working as a coordinator for children’s programs for the City of Dryden. Leanne’s favourite work placement in college had been at a nursing community, and she often thought about returning to long-term care over the years. After spending over twenty years working in other fields, Leanne decided to return to recreation as the Recreation Lead at Princess Court.
One of Leanne’s favourite parts about working with older adults is the challenge of ingeniously adapting programs to cater to each resident’s diverse needs. To meet the needs of older adults, she and her team are continually looking for ways to provide a person-centered approach for each resident. This allows her and her team to not only be creative, but it empowers her residents to accomplish their goals as well!
“When you’re doing programs, you have to be able to modify those programs to account for all sorts of different needs and personalities,” Leanne says. “Whether they’re mobile, or in a wheelchair, or have dementia or Alzheimer’s, you have to take all these factors into consideration. You have to think outside the box to figure out the best way for someone to be successful at a game, because you want them to feel accomplished and think, ‘I can still do these things.’”
As recreation professionals, one of the top priorities for Leanne and her team is to ensure that each resident is receiving the level of engagement they need. To do so, they meet together frequently to brainstorm new activities and share strategies they have discovered for engaging with specific residents.
When the team notices that a resident is not attending activities, Leanne says that they often reach out to family members to learn what their loved one previously enjoyed doing. They also touch base with the resident to ask what they can do for them. The team uses Welbi to keep track of which residents are most in need of engagement, so they know who to visit and invite to activities.
Leanne says that whether residents attend programs or not, it’s important to document their other activities so the team can share with the families. For example, a resident may prefer not to attend activities but still enjoy receiving one-on-one visits from staff.
“We’re accountable to those family members to make sure that their loved one is being taken care of and doesn’t feel alone,” Leanne says. “When we keep track of a resident’s engagement properly, I can go to the families and show that to them.”
At Welbi, we’re inspired every day by recreation professionals like Leanne who go above and beyond to engage their residents. Thank you all for the remarkable work that you do! Recreation professionals play an incredibly important role in senior living communities keeping older adults safe, healthy, and living life to the fullest. Your hard work deserves to be acknowledged and celebrated.
If you’d like to read more stories from exceptional professionals like Leanne, sign up for the Welbi recreation newsletter — a monthly digest for senior living professionals with inspiring stories, activity ideas, and tips and tricks delivered straight to your email inbox.
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