Nursing care praised at Helen Henderson Care Centre

Tucked away in the heart of Amherstview is a nursing home quietly earning accolades for its quality of care.

Fashionably dressed in the fall of 2016, Shelley smiles when she talks about the care her mother, Thelma, receives at Helen Henderson Care Centre.

“I have been so impressed from the day I moved her here,” says the 59-year-old Kingston woman from the memory care unit where her mother has lived for five years. “Everyone is so caring and cheerful.”

Devoted to her mother, who is the same age as the Queen of England (90), Shelley talks eloquently about the home.

Shelley stands behind her mother Thelma who is sitting on a chair, both of them smiling.Calling staff respectful, caring and observant, she notes, “I think the nursing team is top-rate. I’m in awe of the level of care she’s getting, not only from the nursing team, but also from the amazing personal support workers, activities team and many other staff members. I’m also impressed by the quality of the food, much of it cooked in-house in contrast to the industrial fare that some homes provide.”

Diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2009, Thelma moved to the home after she was misdiagnosed in London, Ontario and sent to a psychiatric hospital.

“It was really, really hard,” Shelley says about that period of time that included the death of her father, Thelma’s loving husband of 63 years. “(But) it was one of those things that worked out well. The silver lining is, she got to come here.”

The middle of three children, Shelley and her family are strong supporters of the home that is working quietly to provide the best nursing care in the world.

“The people genuinely care,” she says sincerely. “It’s not a put-on.”

Assistant Administrator Angela Gibson appreciates the family’s remarks.

“We have always taken great pride in the quality of care at Helen Henderson and it’s heartwarming to hear families express their appreciation,” she says from the home aglow in fall colours.

“Shelley and her family have always shown our home and staff support which tells us we’re doing a good job. We feel blessed to have this family in our circle of care.”

Pointing out pictures in a family album, Shelley is proud of her mother’s accomplishments. The only one of 14 children in her family to complete a post-secondary education, Thelma worked as a nurse while raising three children, including a stint in Ottawa as the head nurse at a nursing home. Her family has grown to include two granddaughters and one great grandson.

Looking fondly at her mother, whom she resembles, Shelley says lovingly, “We used to borrow each other’s clothes.”

Turning back to the album, Shelley points out her favourite picture of her father gazing adoringly at her mother. She chuckles at the images. “We make each other laugh a lot,” she says happily.

Aware of her mother’s enjoyment of music therapy, church and activities, Shelley is more than satisfied with the level of health care her mother receives at the home.

“I have a nice feeling of you being well looked after,” she tells her mother lovingly. “There’s always someone paying attention.”

In photo: Shelley and her mother Thelma.