Points West Living | Peace River
As an LPN and the General Manager of Points West Living in Peace River, Maegan Smith understands the importance of providing excellent continuing care, but she doesn’t stop there.
Smith and her team focus on the entire spectrum of senior living. They adhere to their core values of individuality, dignity, knowledge and hospitality. And, above all, they recognize every resident is worthy of honour and respect.
“At Points West Living, we emphasize moving beyond the healthcare model to support the whole person. Together, with our residents and care partners, we grow contentment, empowerment and engagement within our facility,” said Smith.
As a member of the Connecting Care family of managed communities across Western Canada, Points West Living consists of a two-storey community with vistas, which includes the completely rebuilt Sutherland Nursing Home and a new addition that opened in September of 2013.
Points West Living, and several other senior communities, are managed by Connecting Care, which received a three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). This is the highest level of accreditation given and it was awarded during the pandemic, a time when providing care was more difficult.
The community provides accommodation, meals, housekeeping, linen and recreational services for Independent Supportive Living (ISL) as well as Designated Supportive Living Level 4 (DSL4).
“DSL4 involves higher-level personal care supports and healthcare services for scheduled and unscheduled care needs. Everyone has their own plan of care,” said Smith.
Following the Eden Alternative Model of Care, Points West Living promotes maximum independence for residents. They value choice and dignity, but they encourage everyone to continue being active, healthy contributing members within their community.
“Our community is managed with a hospitality perspective, which focuses on wellness rather than illness. We refer to our bedrooms as suites, and to create a more comfortable atmosphere, our employees aren’t required to wear scrubs,” said Smith.
Smith explains the Eden Alternative Model of Care may be a different approach, but it supports pet-friendly communities that feel like home, and it creates an atmosphere residents can flourish in.
“After completing the Eden training, I wanted to see some changes in our community. I took a vote, and the majority of our residents were in favour of getting a community cat. We now have West, who provides companionship to many of our residents,” said Smith.
Providing roles for residents has also become an integral part within Points West Living as many residents are encouraged to help one another.
Whether it’s escorting each other to and from their cottages, helping each other during meal times or simply offering a helping hand during events, having these duties has given residents something to look forward to, according to Smith.
“Meaningless activity corrodes the human spirit. Meaning is unique to each of us and is essential to health and well being, which is why these roles are so important,” said Smith.
Many independent residents have been given the opportunity to form committees and spearhead activities. This approach falls in line with Points West Living’s fourth principle, which is: “We thrive when we have purpose and the opportunity to give as well as receive. This is the antidote to helplessness.”
“We formed a garden committee this year, and with the help of the Peace River Rotaract, we decided to overhaul our gardens and bring our outdoor space back to life,” said Smith. “One resident, Rita, helped in every way possible by preparing gardening beds, planting and also helping me coordinate all the volunteers. It was a huge success.”
Smith is excited to explain how the team at Points West Living work together with a wholesome approach, one where they value open and honest communication. Each team member is respected and appreciated for the knowledge and skills they bring forward, and further enhancement of those skills are always available.
“We emphasize education for our care partners on a regular basis. Learning and knowledge are a continuing process, and we enjoy providing hands-on opportunities in the community as well as online education,” said Smith.
In partnership with its communities, Connecting Care was also a recipient of Canada’s Healthy Workplace Month Great Employer Award in 2020 and 2021.
“It was amazing we were able to achieve this distinction during a pandemic. This award recognizes workplaces where employees feel they are valued, engaged and can thrive. And, ultimately, that’s what we strive for,” said Smith.
When applying to the community, Points West Living offers an initial call with potential families to find out the level of care needed.
“We enjoy taking families, as well as residents, on a tour of the community, and we often stop to introduce care partners,” said Smith. “We also encourage anyone to ask any questions they may have. The tour is a great time to listen and receive important information about our residents.”
When guiding families through this sometimes-vulnerable process, the staff at Points West Living believe actively listening to families and residents is crucial.
“I set aside uninterrupted time for them, so we can go over all documents, feelings and emotions. We want to ensure families and residents feel comfortable with us and show them we are here for any of their needs,” said Smith.
When it comes to this line of work, Smith can’t help but appreciate every aspect of it.
“Personally, I truly enjoy this work. I want to make sure the residents and families feel heard, and at the end of my day, I can feel good I was able to help residents with their different needs,” said Smith.
When it comes to future goals for Points West Living, Smith wants to continue to evolve and find new ways to celebrate the lives of residents. In addition, Smith has a few suggestions for potential residents to ease the process.
“Ask questions. Don’t be afraid to want answers. We have professionally trained care partners here to support anyone,” said Smith. “Book a tour to see our community, who we are, what we have to offer and enjoy lunch on us!”
pointswestliving.com | 780-624-0700
Photography by Melissa E. Earle