The link between donors and quality of care

Every day, Perley Health staff witness the impacts of donors’ generosity.

“Thanks to donors, we can access the equipment and other supports that make it possible to deliver exceptional care,” says Freddy Vasquez, Special Approach Personal Support Worker.

Each year the Foundation releases its annual Priority Needs List. Front-line staff identify items that will provide care, comfort, and improve quality of life for residents and are not covered by government funding. Donors can choose to direct their gift to a particular item on the List or ask the Foundation to decide.

“For those of us who care directly for residents, it’s an important list,” says Freddy.

According to Special Approach PSW Kelly Donaghue, one small item on the list — the humble blanket warmer — perfectly illustrates the impact that donations have on care.

“When a resident is having a hard time — perhaps they’re in pain or missing loved ones — wrapping them in a warm blanket makes all of the difference in the world,” says Kelly. “The warmth of the blanket helps remind them whatever’s bothering them will soon pass. They just seem to melt and relax. In those moments, I appreciate the support of donors with all my heart and soul.”

Perley Health staff Kelly Donaghue, Samantha Hallgren and Freddy Vasquez pose next to the Priority Needs List

Perley Health staff Kelly Donaghue, Samantha Hallgren and Freddy Vasquez pose next to the Priority Needs List

Along with equipment, the Priority Needs List also includes the professional development fund, which supports individual members of staff who wish to complete specialized training and certification programs. Psychogeriatric Resource Nurse Samantha Hallgren credits the fund with helping her ongoing professional development. In recent years, she’s completed the training and testing needed to become a Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse, and to earn certification in Gerontological Nursing.

“Ongoing professional development is essential to our ability to deliver exceptional care,” Samantha says. “Part of what sets Perley Health apart is the staff’s commitment to continuous improvements in care. As the saying goes, ‘perfection is unattainable, but the pursuit of perfection leads to excellence.’”

Thanks to the professional development fund, frontline caregivers at Perley Health complete Gentle Persuasive Approach (GPA) training. During the full-day GPA course, staff improve their understanding of dementia and learn how to interact more safely and respectfully with residents. Freddy and Kelly are both GPA trainers.

“GPA is particularly important in caring for people living with dementia or those who may have physical or verbal responsive behaviours.” says Freddy. “These techniques often help to calm them down and enable them to receive the care that improves their quality of life.”

“Every item on the list — from specialized mattresses to bursaries for staff training — has a direct and significant impact on quality of care,” says Kelly Donaghue.