Aging in place is more than a buzz-word: 90 per cent of adults over age 65 say they want to retain their independence by staying in their home of choice as they age. Just what that home arrangement looks like, however, is very individualized – it could be their long-time single-family residence, a downsized condo or an inlaw suite with family, for example.
Independence doesn’t mean doing everything themselves, however!
With those various living arrangements comes numerous services an older adult might want or need – from companionship and meal preparation to transportation to doctor appointments.
“The services we provide are as unique as our clients,” reflects Nicole Donaldson, owner of Open Hearts Companion Services.
A licensed practical nurse, dementia care specialist and seniors’ advocate, Donaldson has more than 40 years experience working with seniors, but it’s her passion that truly shines through her relationships with both clients and staff.
“I have always had a passion for seniors – I met my great-grandmother when she was 103 and I was 13, and I never looked back!”
No surprise, she also founded West Shore Seniors’ Services, a group of professionals working together to create a more senior-friendly West Shore.
Join the team
As Open Hearts’ business has grown throughout Greater Victoria, Donaldson matches staff and clients not only for their interests, personalities, skills and needs, but also their locations – helping keep commutes and traffic troubles to a minimum, she notes.
So to fill a growing need in the West Shore, Donaldson is hosting a career fair, from 1 to 3 p.m. Sept. 28 at 120-2871 Jacklin Rd. Donaldson encourages those interested to bring their resume and any questions.
Who she’s looking for
“We’re looking for mature people with recent relevant experience supporting seniors,” Donaldson says, noting that experience can be quite varied, just like the work they undertake, which can range from simple companionship or dog walking to respite care and palliative care services.
Why work with Open Heart?
With more requests for live-in care, plus various services requested throughout the day and evening, Donaldson can offer her staff flexible hours, in positions ranging from part-time to full time, day and evening shifts. She is also pleased to provide a competitive wage and ongoing support for her staff.
“We really emphasize communication – I’m always available for them if things come up or they just need to debrief,” Donaldson notes. “I greatly value both my staff and our clients, and I work to ensure that comes through in all aspects of Open Hearts Companion Services.”