Certified Professional Consultant on Aging & Certified Positive Approach to Care Consultant
As President of Harmony Caregiving, Sherry is a Certified Professional Consultant on Aging, and understands the importance of treating all people, regardless of age or ability with the outmost level of respect. Sherry’s vision is to help educate families on what dementia is and what the initial signs and symptoms look like so that families can get the help they need, before it is too late. There is no cure for dementia, however helping families better recognize the signs and understand what might be expected when a loved one is living with a Dementia diagnosis is one way to ease the stress both on the diagnosed and the primary caregiver and closest family members . She strongly believes we need to help end the stigma associated with Dementia by educating the general public. As a Positive Approach to Care Consultant with Teepa Snow as her Instructor, Sherry understands that Dementia is a progressive deterioration of cognitive function that affects daily activities. She feels strongly that because Dementia is a progressive illness with no known cure, everyone needs to work closely together with whatever “abilities” the person living with dementia has left, in order to help these people living with dementia to truly experience their best quality of life possible.
Harmony Caregiving staff are committed to helping people enjoy a life full of great moments with total respect and dignity regardless of their age, circumstances or care needs. Sherry advocates that every person should have the option of being cared for in the comfort of their own home for as long as they are safe to do so and that can be done with the help of Harmony Caregiving from cooking meals to alleviate potential fire hazards to complete 24 hour nursing care. The team at Harmony is cognizant of the many changes that happen as seniors age and/or dementia progresses. Sherry believes that documenting the changes well can help to ensure proper placement into a seniors supportive living community and/or long term care facility that best suits the senior’s needs based on day to day assessment and reporting. Our experience has been that sending a person to a place that doesn’t meet their level of care needs, will inevitably eventually result in a second or third move that is unnecessary and often extremely stressful on an aging loved one and their family members.
As a compassionate and proactive thinking Consultant, Sherry enjoys meeting with the families and connecting them to care providers who will make a positive impact on their life and helping them to navigate the system. Sherry has completed her training as a PAC or Positive Approach to Care Consultant with Trainer Teepa Snow as she believes wholeheartedly in the importance of taking a “Positive Approach to Care”.
Sherry believes in the Body, Mind & Spirit connection and enjoys exploring and integrating various modalities for living a healthier life with dementia, which include, but are not limited to encouraging healthy eating, proper personal hygiene care, positive reinforcement, living in their moment, reminiscence or legacy work, music care, expressive arts and encouraging mindfulness practices such as breathing exercises, enjoying fresh air, sunshine and nature to help provide quality moments.
Sherry has a special place in her heart for seniors and is extremely proud of the Harmony Caregiving Family of Certified Caregivers. The Harmony family of Caregivers is recruited based on their level of emotional intelligence, compassionate approach to caring for others and vision for person centred care that honours the person wherever they are at on their journey. Sherry leads by inspiration and feels honoured to have such a strong management team in place guiding the way to making the change that is much needed for memory care. This is an important topic requiring serious action. Sherry fears that if something is not done now as the population ages, to help ensure we change the way we care for our aging Albertans, we will experience crisis mode with so many people estimated to be diagnosed with dementia in the coming years, and there not being enough supports in place to sustain a population of dementia diagnosed people which is estimated to nearly double by 2030 and truly understand how this will affect peoples lives on a personal level, but also how this will affect a system that is not ready to support the multitude of people who will need specific memory care or dementia care.
Darla Conlin ~ Chief Operating Officer
Darla has dedicated many years of her life as a registered social worker specializing in senior care in Edmonton Alberta. In 2018, Darla had reached a milestone of 40 years supporting families and their loved ones through the various health challenges and life transitions.
Throughout her career, Darla has worked with Catholic Social Services managing a home for persons living with chronic illnesses. She also managed a palliative care home, where her understanding of the grieving process allowed her the ability and empathy to assist clients who are living with dementia through to end of life care. While working with the Good Samaritan Society, Darla supervised 11 group homes and 2 seniors apartment complexes. Darla’s forty years experience within the home health care sector had directly contributed to her ability to help orchestrate the beginnings of Harmony Caregiving.
Darla’s role as Chief Operating Officer for Harmony Caregiving is a very important role, in that she helps coordinate the day to day operations of the business. Darla ensures our staff are recruited based on their vision for family and person centred care.
Darla works closely with our Nursing Care Manager to ensure our client, our client’s family members, and our staff are managing well together, as they all move through the various stages of each transition. Darla ensures the overall quality of care is maintained through consistent client satisfaction calls, as well as in-person visits or quality assurance calls to ensure the clients are satisfied with the care received, and that the primary caregivers are managing their role as family caregiver in a healthy and sustainable way.
Darla has a deep-rooted love for working with people who have varying levels of abilities. For 12 years Darla lived with chronic illness, gaining first hand experience in receiving home care and living in an assisted living facility; this period in her life has given her a unique understanding and ability to empathize with our clients. Darla is particularly good at helping to facilitate the conversations that must be had in order to help a family member deal with the guilt associated with the decision making process, as well as the grief that is felt by seniors as they move from their homes to assisted living facilities.. Darla is at home in her role as Chief Operating Officer as it allows her to work closely with everyone involved in helping to support a loved one through all of their life transitions.
Andrea MacDonald, LPN, Nursing Care Manager, Positive Approach to Care Trainer & Educator
As the “Positive Approach to Care” Trainer, Nursing Care Manager and Dementia Home Care Aide Educator of Harmony Caregiving, Andrea works closely with our staff and the people living with a dementia diagnosis, as well as their primary caregivers and other family members. Helping to prevent caregiver burnout by alleviating some of the overwhelming tasks that quite often are unexpectedly assigned to family members is part of the role that Andrea takes quite seriously. In her 18 years experience as a Licensed Practical Nurse, Andrea has learned and holds strong value in the importance of living a balanced life. She strives for balance in her own life, and does her best to help inspire others to do the same.
Andrea provides the highest level of respect to all people, especially those living with dementia, as she sees they often don’t receive the respect they deserve. She attributes this commitment and mindset to her experience working with the Victoria Order of Nurses is where she discovered her love and commitment to supporting individuals in their homes. Andrea believes “one’s own home is safe, it is a place where children were raised, beautiful memories made and it is a place of great familiarity”. Andrea believes strongly that most people do better in their own home environment, providing they have the right support in place.
As an Educator of the Alberta Health Services Curriculum, Andrea is committed to providing Harmony Caregiving’s Health Care Aides with continuous knowledge and individualized client training to ensure the Caregiver’s competency and confidence. This additional training further ensures our clients thrive in their own home, or supportive living community. Andrea is confident that each of our Health Care Aides have the skills needed to provide superior quality care. Our Caregivers have a high level of empathy and compassion and emotional intelligence.
Andrea’s focus, empathy and competency in the role of Nursing Care Manager, has helped establish Harmony Caregiving’s Home Suite Home transition program as an approved service provider to bring clients home with the Invoicing Model and Self Managed care programs funded by Alberta Health services. Andrea works in unison with clients, family members, case managers and transition coordinators to create a care plan that ensures a safe transition home and a healthier and happier client. Andrea believes strongly that the best care comes from community organizations working collectively. Andrea considers It a privilege and honour to help support families and loved ones on their journey from hospital to home.
Matching caregivers with the unique needs of our clients is a priority when developing a plan of care. Conflict resolution through open and constant communication with our families is one of Andreas greatest strengths. She believes it is important to support both the client and their family members through their life changing journey called dementia.
Andrea was also a member of the Halifax Conservatory of Music where she found her love of singing and uses this to help bring Harmony into the hearts and homes of our clients.
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