A story of caring and community behind new names

The union of Leisureworld Senior Care Corp. and Specialty Care Inc. marked a major milestone this spring, with new names for the diversified seniors living organization and its communities.

"This has happened because of the work the organization has done to study who we were and who we are becoming," says Joanne Dykeman, executive vice-president of long-term care operations.

As of May 1, Leisureworld and Specialty Care became known as Sienna Senior Living, and each of its long-term care and retirement residence unveiled a new name of their choosing.

This came on the heels of a new creed, developed through a collaborative process last year, that strives to unite the organization under a shared foundational belief that every day deserves to be lived to the fullest and team members are passionate about helping older adults live more fully at every point on the pathway of senior living.

Accompanied by a new mission, vision and values, the creed states in part that “the fullness of life comes from the warmth of human connection.” The creed tells the story of the organization, and inspires its new name.

“The warmth of human connection is really what knits us together,” Dykeman says. “Sienna is a warm earth-tone colour and it comes out of the idea that (care) is based on the warmth of human connection – the human relationships we serve, we care for; we look after each other.”

Renaming each residence honours the community where it is located and crystallizes a commitment to strong and responsive ties to the local area.

“The names foster what really transforms health care, which is local relationships and personal networks,” Dykeman says.

“The creed speaks about the uniqueness of each local community and . . . while we’re part of a family and we have this great network around us, just like families do, we’re all unique individuals and we’re trying to honour that,” she says.

“(The new names of the residences) are built on the local essence, the local spirit or the local history. Some (homes) may not fully change their name; they may build on what they’ve locally been known for, for a long time.”

Leisureworld Caregiving Centre Norfinch, for instance, has stayed close to its name of the past 12 years and is now Norfinch Care Community. Administrator Jane Pristach notes the name stays true to the long-term care home’s location on Norfinch Drive and its strong roots in the community, with 65 per cent of residents coming from the area’s Italian population.

Leisureworld Brampton Woods, meanwhile, has become Hawthorn Woods Care Community. This reflects the natural setting in which the long-term care home is situated and the tradition of naming all areas of the home for living plants.

The grassroots consultation that contributed to the selection of the new name was important, administrator Adam Kertesz says.

“We want people to feel proud of where they are, and to give us our own identity helps with that,” he says. “It helps us create our own identity and culture within the home.”

Kertesz says engaging staff members, residents and families about a new name builds cohesiveness and connection.

“We want people to feel this is their home so they have a part in what it’s going to be called.”

Both residences held community-engaging celebrations to launch their new names; multi-faceted, all-ages activities took place, with many community partners and stakeholders invited.

“Community is so important to us because we do serve the community and we are part of the community,” Pristach says.

“We want to make sure the message comes across that we serve the community, we want to be involved and work with the community, and we really try to provide the best care that seniors deserve,” she says.

Dykeman says the rebranding and development of a new creed, mission, vision and values is timely – they represent change and a new beginning for the organization as the health-care sector undergoes transformation.

“There’s a very big commitment behind the creed for people to bring it to life,” she says. “The quality and innovation agendas are going to continue to rise and there’s a great voice coming forward here to really help people understand who long-term care is, what they’re doing and the incredible passion that is behind the work that’s done every day.”