Clinical care is only one part of how children and families are taken care of at Canuck Place. Sometimes, it is simply the little things done with love that means the most to families. Each day, Barbro Ekelund and the housekeepers put love in all their activities that are a part of Canuck Place’s full complement of care.
As a housekeeper, Barbro’s work requires what she describes as “purifying the personal areas of the house,” and making sure that rooms and bathrooms are always clean and inviting for everyone who comes in. “With calm, friendly, compassion we work very hard to give children, their families – and staff – this beneficial environment.”
When we visited Barbro on the clinical floor cleaning, we saw her carefully and thoroughly cleaning a specialized bed used for young children at Canuck Place. “I think families do feel this essence of care and comfort even through their grief and suffering,” said Barbro. “They are on one of life’s most difficult journeys and while they’re held by this hospice, they don’t need to worry about some basic living necessities.”
For Barbro and the rest of the housekeeping staff, infection control is a key part of what they do. “With many different folks coming in and out of the hospice daily, this is extremely important for everyone, especially the very sick kids in our hospice, who have a greatly lowered immune response,” said Barbaro. “It helps to protect their quality of life.”
Barbro has been a part of the Canuck Place team for almost 15 years. She enjoys how her work keeps her physically active, and gives opportunities to communicate and collaborate with others, and the ability to learn at every level. Her role puts her into contact with many families coming through the house, dealing with a variety of circumstances. She’s experienced many emotions, and as developed a new level of awareness. Every day, she finds reasons to “smile, laugh, and find joy!”