by Ethan Paquet
PEI Seniors Homes owns and manages private long-term and community care facilities including Garden Home and Whisperwood Villa in Charlottetown and Lady Slipper Villa in O’Leary. There are more than 350 staff members at the three locations.
“We take care of people of all age groups and conditions,” says Manuela Hager, HR Manager. “It’s our mission to provide comfort beyond care.”
About the staff
Staff work in the following areas:
- Dietary and Recreation
- Laundry and Housekeeping
“A lot of our staff are international, and the majority of them worked as nurses and doctors before coming to Canada. Unfortunately, their foreign credentials are not recognized here, so they start working with us as an RCW instead of what they are trained to do.”
While they faced severe staffing shortages last year, this year has been more successful, she says. “We are now almost fully staffed within all our departments. Many of our RCWs recently got their RN licenses and chose to stay with us.”
One new program has also helped fill the demand for workers.
“Our Community Care Assistant program is equivalent to a Geriatric Worker (GA) credential. It’s an at-home-based learning experience where participants study the same book used by RCW programs. After completing learning modules and testing, they do two weeks of practical training to gain knowledge and experience and can then apply to work with us.”
Hours and benefits
There are three shifts per day: 7 am to 3 pm, 3 pm to 11 pm, and overnight (11 pm to 7 am).
RCWs, LPNs, and RNs are offered medical benefits through Blue Cross, RSPs through Canada Life, and more.
“We offer loyalty days, which is a paid day off, to staff who have been with us for over a year. If a staff member needed surgery or time off for an emergency or important event such as a wedding or a funeral, a portion of the staff fund would be made available to them. When a staff member retires, there is also a ‘years of service’ cheque that comes from the staff fund.”
Partnerships that work
Manuela says partnering with organizations and post-secondary institutions has helped bring in new staff and has provided great work experiences.
In May 2023, they partnered with Holland College’s LINC Health Care Worker program, which provides a career pathway for newcomers with healthcare education and experience in their home countries to find employment in PEI’s healthcare industry.
“Students from this program worked a six-week clinical with us. When that ended, two were interested in staying with us full-time, so they will be joining us as GAs.
“We have also been in partnership with the PEI Literacy Alliance and have provided work opportunities for participants in their Essential Employability Skills Health Sector program.”
“We always have student nursing positions available,” Manuela says. “Depending on what year they are in, students work as an RCW or LPN. We currently have some nursing students finishing up their first year who are working with us as RCWs.”
How to apply
Job listings can be found online on Indeed, WorkPEI, and the Whisperwood Villa Facebook page. Manuela also welcomes candidates to reach out directly with a resumé and to discuss whether they may be the right fit. “I always look for confidence, a passion for their work, and a passion to take care of others.”
Her advice to those looking to stand out is to know about the job they are applying for and to be themselves.
“Sometimes when I reach out to a candidate, they don’t even remember what position they applied for, so it is important to know that and to be comfortable in that role.”
FOR MORE INFORMATION
about PEI Seniors Homes, contact Manuela Hager, HR Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the Holland College LINC Health Care Worker program, click here.
For more information about the PEI Literacy Alliance’s Employability Essential Skills – Health Sector program, click here.