What makes someone a hero is their ability to change the lives of those around them for the better, using their own special altruistic qualities.
Wynne Dobbs, care manager at Broadmead Care since 2018, uses her hero powers of humour, caring, and joy to brighten the lives of the long-term residents and the staff who care for them.
Broadmead Care offers long-term care for 227 residents of all stages, including brain injuries, full end-stage dementia and palliative care. Dobbs acts like the glue between her co-workers, the residents and their families, who may be facing some of the most profound moments of their lives.
“It may take the form of sitting with a resident who is reaching the end of life and holding their hand and just chatting. We strive to let them know that they are deeply cared for and not alone,” Dobbs said. “Sometimes it is just listening to one of the staff who is stressed, weary and just needs to know that someone is caring and listening.”
Staff say Dobbs is known for her colourful personality, bright fashion, and costumes on holidays (including Mrs. Claus at Christmas).
“She takes every effort to spread joy to all,” one colleague said. “Every special event such as Halloween, Canada Day, she goes all out to dress up, right down to the earrings.”
“Staff love her and so do residents and families. She’s kind and calm and she supports staff during anything,” said Melanie Hennig, vice president of care and community services. “She’s been a mentor to me for a long time.”
Prior to working at Broadmead Care, Dobbs had an impressive career in health care that included being director of care at Trillium Care Communities and senior medical coordinator for Artic Exploration Services. But she fell in love with working with the elderly when a care patient at a nursing home gave her a hug.
“My heart melted,” she said. “I thought, ‘Ah, a whole new chapter.’”
Thirteen years later, she still finds it fulfilling. She makes sure that every day she gives somebody “at least one really good laugh.”
“I’m 75 and I still absolutely love coming to work,” Dobbs said. “Bringing happiness, that’s just so important.”
READ MORE: 2023 Local Hero Awards