A big home with a cozy feel
While passing a Groupe Maurice retirement home under construction, Geneviève Saulnier had an awakening. She had been wanting to expand her professional horizons and was literally inspired by this magnificent ultra-modern building. Her application was accepted, and since then she has been executive director of the ORA retirement home. She describes the atmosphere there.
Geneviève Saulnier, how would you describe life at ORA retirement home?
You have to understand that, first and foremost, it’s the residents who create the atmosphere, put life into the place, chat in the hallways, participate in activities. My team and I simply provide them with the opportunities, and it’s up to them to take part or not. For example, there are lots of music lovers here, so musical performances are always well-attended. Group physical activities are also popular – not to mention our billiard players who get together every day for a game! It makes for a very lively atmosphere.
What characterizes the home’s environment and distinguishes it from the others?
Firstly, it’s a wonderful brand-new building. Living here is a bit like staying in a luxury hotel, but with a cozy atmosphere. There’s lots of space, great light, and you can see magnificent sunsets. The proximity of highway 40 is also very handy, both for families and residents.
Another definite advantage: the presence of stores right within the building. They include a pharmacy and a grocery store, which make residents’ daily life so much easier. No need to take the car to go shopping!
What can you tell us about the relationship between residents and employees?
It’s based on politeness and a respect for individuals. Employees participate a lot in activities, dinners, birthdays, etc., and they have a lot of fun interacting with residents. The residents make us feel that they’re happy, which is extremely gratifying. I’ve already received greeting cards that moved me to the point of tears!
What qualities are shared by your team members?
Whatever their work and their role, employees need to demonstrate kindness. Residents have to be able to feel that kindness in all their interactions. It creates a good dynamic. There’s a real synergy and a solid bond among the team.
What challenges do you face as executive director?
ORA is a very new home. It was less than a year old when the pandemic broke out. My challenge now is to take up where we left off so that residents discover what real retirement home life is like. Besides, we’re not short of projects: our recreation director is very creative and she has more ideas than there are dates on the calendar!
Thank you, Geneviève, for this great interview. We look forward to seeing all your plans fulfilled at ORA!