New program creates bond between orderlies and residents in long-term care, winning praise

Donald Berman Jewish Eldercare resident Goldie Klein with her Primary PAB Ann Leacock
Donald Berman Jewish Eldercare resident Goldie Klein with her Primary PAB Ann Leacock

A new program that connects orderlies with residents in long-term care centres throughout CIUSSS West-Central Montreal is eliciting rave reviews from both residents and staff.

The concept behind the Primary PAB program, introduced less than a year ago, is simple: Each resident is assigned an orderly – known as a “primary PAB” — at admission. The PAB then works one-on-one to help guide the resident in daily life within long-term care.

As part of the admissions process, the primary PAB (from the French term, Préposé aux bénéficiaires) speaks to the resident and their family to gather their life story and help them get settled and feel at home. The information is then shared with the resident’s nurse and added to their care plan.

Ann Leacock, an orderly at Donald Berman Jewish Eldercare Centre, says being a primary PAB enables her to have more in-depth, ongoing relationships with the seven residents in her care.

“It gives me more time to really listen and get to know each resident; I really get to know their preferences and life history,” she says. “They get to know me better as well – I let them know when I’m going on vacation so they know what to expect.”

Henri Bradet Nursing Manager Geraldine Morand says she’s heard from residents who have come to feel as though their primary PAB is their private caregiver. “Residents feel safe, and that they’re really understood,” Ms. Morand says.

Describing the Primary PAB program as a win-win situation for both residents and staff, Ms. Morand says: “Staff members really understand the importance of working one-on-one with the resident, following up with them and reporting any changes or concerns as needed.”

Rosalie Dion, Associate Director of the Support Program for the Autonomy of Seniors (better known as SAPA), says the program helps provide a framework for the role of the PAB. The PAB’s are doing what they’ve always been doing,” Ms. Dion explains. “The Primary PAB program helps emphasize and recognize the importance the PAB plays in the daily life of the resident.”