Submitted by Emilie Hackett – Resident/Family Communications Coordinator with Massawippi Retirement Communities
The COVID-19 pandemic changed lives all over the world, but particularly so for seniors in long-term care facilities in Quebec. After a call for help by Quebec Prime Minister François Legault, many stepped up to the plate to provide a helping hand to seniors across the province. Grace Village benefited from the help of one such individual, Russell Sangster, who became a caregiver to support residents during these difficult times.
Sangster was already accustomed to the Grace Village community, having visited and volunteered at the residence as a RCMP officer in previous years, even standing in as Santa Claus at one of the residence’s Christmas parties. “I’ve worked in the area for 18 years as a RCMP officer and retired in 2015,” says Sangster, “but I came out of retirement to assist local detachments with resource issues as a border officer in Stanstead.” When the COVID-19 pandemic hit last March, the need for reservists at the border decreased, and Sangster turned to the caregiver course offered by the Quebec government in response to the pandemic.