Jeena Parmar 

The staff at St. Michael’s Hospital have taken on the Change Day movement with inspiring enthusiasm. In honour of National Seniors Day today, we spoke to Jeena Parmar, an OT/PT assistant in Cardiology who’s worked at St. Michael’s Hospital for 11 years. Her pledge for change will give elderly patients the ability to take ownership of their own health-care goals.

“We’re all aging; I reflect on that all the time. What’s life going to be like for me when I’m older?

I remember an elderly patient who never wanted to get out of bed for rehab, even though mobilization was important to his recovery. We took the time to get to know him, his preferences and his routines, and discovered he loved drinking coffee. Not just any coffee: Tim Hortons coffee! So every day, we walked together to get his coffee, and that walk became part of his rehab.

For Change Day Ontario this year, I pledge to have more conversations with my colleagues about elder care. How can we make sure our elderly patients feel ownership over their own health-care goals, and ownership over how they achieve those goals? We make so many assumptions about the elderly. Instead of assuming we know what would work best, let’s ask patients what really matters to them, and make that part of their daily treatment plan.

Every chance I get to spend time with an elderly patient gives me more motivation to improve their quality of life. My hope is that through having more conversations within our team, we can raise awareness and work together to give our elderly patients the best possible experience in hospital.”

Follow St. Michael’s on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram for more inspirational pledges and actions during Change Day Ontario.