When Bonny Riedel wrapped up a two-decade career owning a catering company with her husband, she had a wish list of how she would like to spend her time. In the end, personal reasons led her to start a new career as a Personal Support Worker (PSW) in long-term care.
In recent years, Bonny had helped her father care for her mother who had dementia at home until the very end when she needed to be hospitalized. Her father later received palliative care and passed away at a
Both these experiences and her mom’s career as a geriatric nurse, inspired Bonny to train and work as a PSW at The Grove Nursing Home.
“I’ve really enjoyed the opportunity to interact with residents, including those who have dementia,” explained Bonny. “When it happened with my mom, my dad and I tried to keep her at home as long as possible and we were a little overwhelmed. Neither of us really knew much about it.”
Honouring mother’s legacy
Bonny trained through Willis College and joined The Grove team officially in December 2019.
“When I’m able to help brighten a resident with dementia’s day or I just meet them where they are, I feel like I’m able to complete something I felt was missing when I cared for my mom,” explained Bonny.
It is also important to Bonny that she is available for the family members to provide assurances that their loved ones are being well taken care of.
“If I bring some measure of comfort to a resident or their loved one, something that eases their situation in that moment, then I feel I am honouring my mother’s legacy as a geriatric nurse, giving what I wanted most to be able to provide to my mom in her dementia, and mirroring the inspiring care of the hospice staff as they cared for my dad,” reflected Bonny. “That is what I strive for in my job.”
The right time to be a PSW
When Bonny was in high school, she considered working in healthcare, but life took her in a different direction.
“I’m really glad being north of 50 that I have the chance to work in healthcare – it’s always something I felt I wanted to do,” reflected Bonny. “Even before the pandemic there was a big need for PSWs and certainly even more so now.”
Bonny, who started at The Grove only a few months before COVID-19 hit, has valued the home’s strong leadership and caring team.
“The team at The Grove is one big family who wants to be there for the residents.”
Connecting with her community
When Bonny moved to Arnprior in 2007, she and her husband spent almost every day working out of their catering kitchen in Almonte or Ottawa, and rarely had time to engage in their local community.
“I really wanted to become part of this community and to know this community better,” said Bonny. “I feel working at the Grove has been a really good way to know the needs of the community and to get to know other people.”
Bonny is a 10-minute walk from home to the Grove and when not working, she enjoys gardening and going for long walks through the Grove and by the marina.