A story of hope, ingenuity, support and genuine care for an LTC resident


We are grateful for this wonderful story shared by RNAO member Samantha MacNeill, RN, BScN, SANE. She writes a few days ago:

I am a nurse advisor redeployed to provide clinical support and guidance to Peel Region’s five Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities. Over the course of my few months working with the LTC teams I have heard stories of hope, ingenuity, support and genuine care for their residents.

None of these stories compare to the experience that was shared this morning. The administrator from Sheridan Villa, Marianne Klein, shared an experience of one of their beloved residents who was a retired RCMP officer and sadly passed away last night. Marianne, who is also an RN, shared that the resident was struggling yesterday and they knew that he was close to the end of his life. Mary Connell, our Dementia Care Advisor and also an RN, asked our volunteers to knit some red hearts so that one could be given to the resident and one to the resident’s son.

Due to the infection prevention and control measures that have to be observed for COVID-19, the resident would not be able to receive the honour guard and proper funeral that he deserved. Mary went to extraordinary efforts to arrange for a send-off for the resident to ensure his departure from his home was dignified and respectful. She contacted Peel Police, Mississauga Fire and Emergency Services and Peel Regional Paramedic Services and requested them to drive by the home, with lights and sirens on, as a form of an honour guard. She also had a Canadian flag delivered to the home, to drape the resident with.

In the middle of the night, last night, there were some issues with getting the resident ready for the funeral home. A call came into Marianne, who got out of bed, contacted her colleague Sara Kaur, RN and they both went into the Home to prepare the resident for the funeral home. Upon arrival at the Home, Marianne also contacted the Medical Director of the Home who is also the resident’s family doctor. He attended the Home in the middle of the night to support Marianne and Sara. The resident left the Home, through the front doors, with the red heart on the left side of his chest and draped with a Canadian flag.

The team’s main priority is to strive to provide the best possible care to all residents. They wanted to ensure the utmost respect and dignity for their resident.

This team deserves to be acknowledged for their dedication to their residents. We are hearing about so many experiences of lack of regard for LTC residents and staff that I felt compelled to share this amazing story of respect, teamwork and dedication. This is one memory that I will forever hold close to me as a true testament of the human spirit amidst a terrible crisis.

Thank you for your consideration of this request to recognize my colleagues by sharing this experience. I also have a video of the EMS parade, and staff holding a picture of the retired RCMP officer in his uniform if you would like me to share.

RNAO response: Thanks Samantha so very much for the beautiful and meaningful account of human caring of a resident at Sheridan Villa. Thanks hugely and please send my gratitude to Marianne Klein, Mary Connell, Sara Kaur, the Medical Director, EMS parade, retired RCMP Officer, and all others involved. Warmest regards and thanks again and again for sharing with us this superb and highest expression of outstanding care! Doris