From Childhood to Adulthood: My Life in Long Term Care

My passion for residents in long term care started many years ago while watching my greatest inspiration provide quality care for our aging population.

This is my story…

I grew up in a small community outside of Bowmanville, Ontario. Both my parents worked full-time—my father as a calm and understanding high school teacher, and my mother as a caring Administrator in LTC. 

The love my mother had for the people in her care was comparable to the love she had for her family. Her values and passion for caring were closely mirrored between our loving home and her long term care home. As you get to know me you will see that, like my mother, I also shared her deep passion for LTC.

It was important for my mother to find a way for my family to be involved with the residents. This enriched the lives of all of us involved, as my brother and I were able to create deep emotional bonds with the residents in a number of ways: the seniors taught us how to read and write, my friends and I enjoyed performing dance routines and participating in sing-alongs, and our family attended holiday celebrations, including Christmas, New Year’s Eve, and residents’ birthdays. They were our extended family whom we learned from, shared stories with, laughed with, and sometimes even cried with. 

As my brother and I got older, we took on roles within the long term care home; I worked as a Receptionist after school, and both of us worked as Dietary Aides on evenings and weekends.  Our main focus was, and always had been, the residents.

I followed in my mother’s footsteps and took the Registered Practical Nurse program at Durham College. I knew exactly where I wanted to work after graduation – long term care! I started out my career caring for children at Bloorview MacMillan Children’s Centre. Although I loved working with kids, my passion was really with seniors, so I returned to a LTC home outside of Kitchener. 

Throughout my career, I have had the opportunity to work as a Resident Family Service Coordinator, Staff Educator, Co-Director of Care, and as an Administrator. It was through these roles that I experienced many of the challenges that working within the long term care sector brings, however, the biggest—or the most consistent—challenge has been staffing.

Recently, my husband and I discussed turning my passion for long term care and my husband’s experience as an entrepreneur into a potential business opportunity. We recognized that there was a need for staffing services and felt it was a perfect opportunity for us to get involved with Plan A. It was scary for me at first, but I quickly realized that this was a great fit for myself and my family! I am able to share my passion on a grander scale especially since the mission and vision of Plan A truly aligns with my goals as a caregiver. I have been able to build a team of staff who truly believe in what we are trying to accomplish in the long term care sector—offering residents the highest levels of compassionate care.  

By utilizing Plan A’s in-depth policies and procedures, and hiring practices, we are able to pay careful attention to detail and only bring the best health care professionals on board.  Nothing is overlooked because every thought and consideration is built on empathy, commitment, and compassion for our seniors.  I am so proud to be involved with an organization that truly cares for our grandparents, parents, friends, and family—all residents within the LTC sector. I look forward to continuing to help improve the lives of all of those involved in LTC by bringing a professional and compassionate staff pool to our partnered homes.

I can’t wait to see where this journey takes us, so stay tuned…

~ Jill Wismer, Owner/Operator, Plan A Brampton & Plan A Hamilton 

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