Something good comes out of every crisis
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Knee-deep in the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020, the world paused after more than six-months of battling this deadly new disease to see the heroes who were standing fast to protect the vulnerable.

Standing tall was Paula Roy-Leybourne who came out of retirement to work the front line.

A friendly brunette with a warm laugh, Paula was named Employee of the Month for October by Helen Henderson Care Centre, a retirement lodge and long-term care home where she has worked as a Personal Support Worker for approximately 20 years.

“I appreciate that,” says the friendly woman about the recognition.

Paula retired from the home in early June, three months after the pandemic started. She left retirement and returned to the home to provide direct health care and enforce rigorous infection control protocols to prevent the spread of the disease.

“I love the residents. I love to talk to them and learn their life stories,” she explains about her motive to resume her spot in the front-line manned by health care professionals. “When I could pick-up shifts, I did.”

Paula says she particularly likes working in the home’s secure unit where she could provide guidance to residents.

“You just have to be there for them and understand if they strike-out, it might be because they are in pain. You have to be conscientious and loving.”

Speaking on behalf of the home, Director of Care Sue Reynolds notes, “Paula is a long-time employee who continues to share her time and talent with the residents of our home, even after retirement.  We are grateful for her continued support.”

“I appreciate the work of my co-workers and the nurses who go the extra mile,” Paula says kindly.

“I think management does a great job overall,” she continues about the people who run the home. “They did a fabulous job managing COVID-19.”


Reflecting on her workplace, Paula says she has enjoyed the internal activities such as Nursing Week held every spring.

Away from work, Paula is the proud mother of an adult son and five grandchildren.

“I love being a grandmother,” the 66-year-old says with a smile.

Before the pandemic, Paula spent her free time enjoying aqua fit and travelling south at least once a year. With the current travel and health restrictions, she has taken-up Nordic pole walking and socially distanced camping. She loves to read and tend her flower gardens.

Asked to describe herself, Paula admits she can be high-strung and has a good sense of humour.

Questions for Paula

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

“I’d like to be able to mind-read and know what is in a person's heart.”

If you weren’t at your current job, what would you be doing?

“Probably cleaning houses.”

If you could rule the world, what would you do on day one?

“I’d eliminate poverty and help all of the children in the world. I’d feed them.”

Helen Henderson Care Centre is grateful for the good work of Paula Roy-Leybourne. To learn more about living or working in our home, please call 613-384-4585.

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