Ontario Long Term Care Association Article!

Ontario Long Term Care Association Article!


Melissa Nichols with Simon Kendal

Melissa Nichols with             Simon Kendall

Melissa Nichols was 28 and working as Vermont Square’s quality co-ordinator in October 2011 when she received news that would change her life.

Diagnosed with a brain tumour, Nichols says the 10 years she spent up to that point working with long-term care residents had given her a unique perspective on life. Following surgery, Nichols went through a recovery process that she says paralleled what many long-term care residents experience. She even had to learn to walk again.

Nichols, who has worked in long-term care since she was a high-school student, is preparing to publish a book chronicling her experiences as a caregiver who has been on both ends of the health-care spectrum.

“The book is about how I have worked in long-term care, my journey to recovery and just how ironic it was that I was so familiar with health care and then (acquired an illness),” Nichols tells the Morning Report.

“I experienced things that I’ve seen patients experience for years.”

Nichols adds that while her experiences provided her with a new perspective, her diagnosis never changed her outlook on why she chose a career in long-term care.

“I’ve always had a passion for working with and working for seniors,” she says.

The book’s title, Day By Day, comes from a 1984 song of the same name by Canadian rock band Doug and the Slugs. The title is perfect for her memoire, she says. It describes Nichols’ approach to her recovery — taking things one day at a time — and it’s also one of her mother’s favourite songs.

The book’s title even has endorsement of one of the band’s members, keyboardist Simon Kendall, who helped her get the permission needed to reprint the song’s lyrics. In fact, Kendall even agreed to write the foreword to Nichols’ book, which is slated to be on sale through herwebsite in March.

On Feb. 8, Nichols and her mother flew to Calgary to attend a Doug and the Slugs concert. Before the group performed Day By Day, the members dedicated the song to Nichols. After the show, she and her mother were invited to meet the group.

Nichols has received lots of support from friends and family during her recovery and also from the company that manages Vermont Square, Responsive Health Management.

You can learn more about Nichols by visiting her website or Facebook page.“(They have been) incredibly supportive up to this day,” she says. “Specifically, the senior management and administrator have been a big part in my recovery. They are like family to me. Never did I expect such friendship and support from people I worked with. It truly is a great company to work with and for.”


Writer: Deron Hamel
Original Article: http://www.oltca.com/ltc-caregivers-upcoming-book-chronicles-parallels-between-her-work-and-illness

Photo caption: Melissa Nichols poses with Doug and the Slugs keyboardist Simon Kendall after the band’s Feb. 8 performance in Calgary.

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