Many apprehensions surround you, and many thoughts muddle your head. However, in the journey of your life—one day the first inning will come to an end. One day, eventually, you will soon be entering your “Second Inning” sooner than you thought.
In the end, you must accept it with grace and maturity and make the best of your situation. “Growing Old” does not imply that your life is finished; as a golden ager, you have all your time at your disposal, so take advantage of it.
The second innings is part of life, and a person with self-respect wants to spend it with dignity and independence. Many people make their plans for the second innings.
According to several reports, the population of senior citizens is rising, and people are opting to modernize independent living.
A place where a senior citizen lives with the characteristics mentioned above is not an arduous task with Symphony Senior Living.
Currently, under the coherent leadership of Christine Turner, Vice President of Operations, Symphony Senior Living excels with a vision to provide the highest quality living community place where senior people can find a home with exceptional care.
Additionally, Symphony communities have given out the service that provides convenience and comfort to make everyday life easier.
In an interview with Insights Care, Christine shares the journey of Symphony Senior Living, highlighting its values and her opinions on the future of the company with respect to its mission to become a trusted senior care service provider.
Christine, please brief our audience about Symphony Senior Living, its mission, and the key aspects of its stronghold within the senior care services niche.
At Symphony Senior Living, we have been striving to serve seniors and their loved ones since 2008. Symphony is a Canadian company founded by Lisa Brush out of a desire to help people in her career.
Since then, Symphony has grown exponentially and operates four beautiful communities in the Ottawa area. Our service levels range from independent living assisted living to memory care, but our core values remain the same- we are compassionate, dedicated, and genuine.
Tell us more about the services that give you a distinct edge to stand out from the competition?
All four of our Symphony communities focus on our service and care. We strongly believe that our residents should never have to move out of a Symphony- we are their forever home.
This is why we are one of the only retirement homes in the Ottawa area to offer higher levels of care and even palliative support in a warm and welcoming community. At Symphony, we believe in deinstitutionalizing senior living. We want to create an environment that feels like home and is home.
What is your opinion on the effects of the current pandemic on the healthcare sector, and what challenges did Symphony Senior Living face during the initial phase of the pandemic?
The pandemic has been a big challenge to take on in the retirement home industry. Initially, many communities in the area were hit hard with outbreaks that resulted in deaths across the country. In March 2020, Symphony’s CEO, Lisa Brush, acted quickly when news of an impending pandemic hit Ottawa.
Lisa mandated that staff only work at Symphony going forward and quickly implemented health and safety measures and visiting policies. Symphony stayed completely COVID-free in all communities for two years!
Unfortunately, the most recent wave of Omicron swept through three out of four of our homes. However, we were lucky that we didn’t have any deaths or serious illnesses as all our staff and almost all our residents were fully vaccinated and boosted by that point.
Overall, rapidly changing policies coming from regulatory bodies also presented many challenges for our teams. Adapting to this new and constantly evolving world post-pandemic will be a challenge that Symphony is ready to face head-on.
With continuous technological development in the healthcare space, what is your prediction about the future of the senior care services market?
Our population in Canada is rapidly ageing, with the baby boomer generation breaching their 70s and 80s. My prediction is that we are going to see more tech-savvy seniors who will want to engage with technology in their golden years.
We believe that in the next few years, we will have to include more tech services in our social programs, even on the assisted living and maybe memory care side of things.
In the world of instantaneous communication, many seniors are learning how to use social platforms to connect with their children and grandchildren. That skill set will most definitely present itself in the seniors of the future!
As an established leader, what would be your advice to the budding entrepreneurs and enthusiasts aspiring to venture into the senior care services niche?
One piece of advice would be to make sure that you’re in this industry because you’re truly passionate about caring for seniors.
At times this industry can be challenging and hard to navigate, but you must maintain a clear vision- always keeping in mind that we are here to serve our residents! In the past, when times have been tough, we try to bring my focus back to the seniors we’re doing this for. By leading teams this way, we can be more successful together!
How do you envision scaling Symphony Senior Living’s operations and offerings in 2022?
Symphony is always looking to grow our business and improve our operations for our residents and family members! In 2022, we want to continue to provide the highest quality of care and focus on maintaining consistency throughout our communities.
The rapidly evolving situation often left us confused and frustrated during the pandemic. Going forward into what is hopefully a more COVID-free 2022, we want to focus on our Symphony service standards and ensuring that all our residents live a full and happy life with us- always!
Christine Turner, Vice President of Operations, started her career freshly graduated as an RPN doing palliative home care. After transitioning to retirement, she started working as a nurse and, after a few years, was promoted to Director of Care.
Christine worked as a Director of Care in a few different places in the Ottawa area and quickly advanced to Executive Director within only a few years. She has now spent the last 25 years in the retirement industry- devoting her life to seniors. Christine was promoted this year to our VP of Operations in Canada.
She oversees all operations in our four communities in Ottawa and ensures we are operating all our properties up to Symphony standard! She is so excited to start her new role and really start driving occupancy and quality in all our properties.