With the help of its dedicated volunteers, True Davidson Acres long-term care facility recently celebrated 40 years of service in the East York community.
“The home wouldn’t be, without the volunteers who are so dedicated,” said Betty Tustin, the president of the volunteer association at True Davidson Acres.
Tustin has been a volunteer at the nursing home for 25 years and her husband was a resident there for six years.
“That’s where it all began for me.”
Residents, staff and volunteers all gathered in the Great Hall of the facility on Friday, Sept. 20, to celebrate the occasion.
Volunteers as well as staff were recognized by the City of Toronto for all their hard work and dedication and were presented with three certificates honoring their 40 years of care to its residents presented to them by Beaches-East York MPP Michael Prue, Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly and Beaches-East York MP Matthew Kellway.
“I can’t say enough good things about the volunteers,” said Reg Paul, the general manager of long-term care homes and service for the city.
“We have may staff who retire and then come back and volunteer.”
Food service worker Lurline Barracks has been at True Davidson Acres for 39 years. It was the first job she got when she immigrated to Canada from Jamaica and she has seen a lot of changes over the years. Aside from the major renovations to the building, she’s seen more integration of different ethnic backgrounds and races being accepted into the facility, Barracks said, and men and women residents are no longer separated with their own designated floors.
Barracks plans to retire in about a year, but admits that when the time comes for her to be in a nursing home she would choose True Davidson Acres for one reason.
“When you look at it, these residents are well cared for,” said Barracks. “They get good care, very good care.”
True Davidson Acres first opened in 1973 and currently has 187 residents and offers a range of services from spiritual and religious care to rehabilitation to nursing and complementary music and art therapy. In the first week of October the facility will be launching its new free convalescent care program.
According to Paul, 11 of the 187 beds will be dedicated to the new convalescent care program.
“It’s really targeted for individuals who have just gone into hospital for surgery or as a result of a stroke and need more time to convalesce before heading back home,” said Paul.
“So rather than leave them in a hospital where there is such a need for hospital beds, we make beds available.
Patients in the program will be located in the west end of the building on the second floor and will have their own cafeteria, dining room and small gym. They can stay between 30 and 90 days in the program, which already has all of the necessary equipment and has three rooms ready according to the facility’s administrator, Carlos Herrera.
“We’re expecting our first resident in the first or second week in October,” said Herrera.