What’s New

Job Fairs – Seeking PCWs

Job Fairs at R.K. Macdonald Nursing Home on November 7th and 10th, 2018.

Seeking PCWs who are wanting to work to become certified CCAs.

R.K. Macdonald Nursing Home - Job Fair

We are looking for people who:

Have an interest in being a caregiver Do not have a CCA certification but have been working in the role of Personal Care Worker; Personal Support Worker or Home Support Worker. Are a graduate from a related Health and Human Services Programs such as: Social and Community Support; Social Services; Community Residential Worker; Human Services Worker; and are interested in obtaining their certification as a Continuing Care Assistant.

Apply now online or join us at our Job Fairs on November 7th from 6:30-8:00 pm or on November 10th from 10 a.m. to noon at 64 Pleasant Street, Antigonish, NS.

Pelly Sisters Combined for 125 years of Service

We would like to thank The Casket for covering the story on the Pelly Sisters. The trio has worked, combined, almost 125 years at the Antigonish facility. “We were only babies when we came,” Vicky said, with a laugh.

RK MacDonald Nursing Home - Pelley Sisters By The Casket

It is a family affair for the Pelly sisters, when it comes to working at the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home in Antigonish. – Corey LeBlanc The Casket

She is the newcomer, when it comes to service time, having 37 years under her belt, while Eva has 44. Kandy retired last year after 43 years working in the R.K. kitchen.

“It is nice when the residents know your name,” Eva said, when asked about favourite parts of her job.

“There is a different challenge every day,” Vicky said.

She added there have been “a lot of changes,” since she started working there.

“I was scared to death,” Eva, with a laugh, said of her first day on the job, noting she had never worked with seniors.

To read all of this story from The Casket, click here.

60th Anniversary at RK MacDonald

We would like to thank The Casket for covering our 60th Anniversary Celebration held on Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018.

RK Macdonald - Corey LeBlanc Photo of Michelle & Lynn

Resident Lynn Mersereau visits with Michelle Thompson, R. K. MacDonald Nursing Home CEO, Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 3) during an open house celebrating the 60th anniversary of the facility. Corey LeBlanc The Casket

“Let the trumpet sound – rejoice and be glad – for the spirit of celebration resounds, once again, in this special place, as we proclaim the 60th anniversary of the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home.”

“That’s how Sister Brendalee Boisvert, Sisters of Saint Martha congregation leader, began her remarks during an open house celebration at the Antigonish residence Wednesday afternoon (Oct. 3).”

To read all of this story from The Casket, click here.

Voice For Care Magazine – Fall 2018

In a recent issue of Voice For Care Magazine, there was a lovely article done on the Storytelling Program:

“Most Wednesdays since earlyspring, you will find a dedicated group of Residents and support people gathered in the Rhubarb Patch, engaged in a lively afternoon of story writing, laughter and comradery. The storytelling program is a collaboration with R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home and Arts Health Antigonish (AHA!). “The RK MacDonald Nursing Home: Art & Darlene

You can read the full magazine click here.

Buddy Bench at RK

We are very pleased to reproduce the below excerpt of an article by Sam Macdonald of The Casket published on August 14th.

‘A little sanctuary’: Antigonish Community Comes Together to Create Buddy Bench at RK MacDonald Nursing Home

Kim Cameron-MacDonald (upper left), Francis Grenier, Emma MacDonald, Mary Grace, Mary Partridge, Diane Delorey (bottom left), Donna MacLean, Mary Margaret Grace and Sadie Boyd – all enjoying the fine weather with the Buddy Bench – the newest addition to the garden area of the RK MacDonald Nursing Home. – Sam Macdonald

A new, colourful addition adorns the garden area of the RK MacDonald nursing home.

The bench is hard to miss. The bright yellow bench is decorated in the rainbow-coloured handprints of several generations of people and is the product of a partnership between members of Antigonight: Art After Dark Festival, staff and residents of RK MacDonald and youth from the local Montessori School.

“It took a lot of priming and painting to get that beautiful yellow that is there now,” Emma MacDonald, festival director for Antigonight, said, describing how the handprints belong to several generations of Antigonishers.

“We also wanted to use a lot of bright, primary colours for the handprints. We wanted to incorporate an inter-generational piece to this community art project.”

You can read the rest of  the article on The Casket’s website here.

Transforming Attitudes

In a recent post on Safety Matters, the blog for the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia, talked about the simple yet surprising math behind the daily routines of staff at the RK MacDonald.

240 staff, 136 residents, several cats, quite a few birds, and a visiting dog program come together to make up the rich and vibrant community of R. K. MacDonald Nursing Home, fondly known as the RK.

So what’s the biggest safety challenge in this large home that recognizes and appreciates the uniqueness of every person who lives and works there? Essentially, it’s a math challenge!

1. How many residents are in your facility?
2. How many residents in your facility use a mechanical lift (ceiling/hoyer)?
3. Multiply the answer from question #2 by 4 (assumes 4 lifts per day).
4. Multiply the answer from question #3 by 7 (days per week).
5. Multiply the answer from question #4 by 52 (weeks per year).

The answer from question #5 is how many estimated lifts are happening with your staff every year.

At a recent Keeping PACE symposium, Terry MacIntyre, the RK’s Director of Clinical Services, challenged the audience to try the math at their respective homes, because what the math told the RK was that over 150,000 lifts are happening annually.


You can read the entire article on Safety First, the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia’s website.

A Commitment to Safety

The RK MacDonald Nursing Home was recognized for a commitment to safety by the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia CEO Stuart MacLean this past May.

Picture courtesy of the Workers' Compensation Board of Nova Scotia

Picture courtesy of the Workers’ Compensation Board of Nova Scotia

In one year, RK MacDonald Nursing Home was able to combat high costs and commit to safety. WCB Nova Scotia recognized the Antigonish facility for its achievement  on May 30. WCB Nova Scotia CEO Stuart MacLean congratulated the organization for their achievements in engaging staff and creating a culture of safety.

“RK MacDonald is putting safety first for everyone,” said MacLean, “residents, employees and visitors alike.”

MacLean also recognized the work of tireless safety champions like Terry MacIntyre, whose career as a physiotherapist solidified the importance of safety for him.

“I’ve seen too many workplace injuries that have had significant physical and emotional consequences and a lot of these could have been prevented,” said MacIntyre.

When RK MacDonald began working with WCB in 2014, they had high claims and high costs.  Though claims for 2014-2015 remained at a steady number, they were able to reduce their costs by more than $250,000.  So far in 2016,  they have only one registered claim and no time-loss claims.


You can read the entire article at Safety Matters, the blog on workplace safety over at www.worksafeforlife.ca


Accreditation Helps The RK Establish Clear Path Forward

Accreditation provides a solid foundation to build new quality improvement initiatives upon, long-term care CEO says. Accreditation provides a solid foundation to build new quality improvement initiatives upon, long-term care CEO says.

Michelle Thompson, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the RK MacDonald Nursing Home in Antigonish, N.S., says that Accreditation Canada (AC)’s long-term care standards are helping to shape initiatives the organization will be putting into place in the near future.

“I wouldn’t put any new initiatives in place without first consulting the standards,” Thompson says. “A new program should be based on the standards, so that it can be measured and we can ensure that it’s improving quality services and safe care.”

Thompson notes that the RK MacDonald Nursing Home underwent AC’s Primer accreditation survey from Dec. 4-6, 2017.

“It’s knowing that we’re aligned with best practices and that we have a guideline to go back to whenever we are implementing a new program,” she says.

Thompson adds that oftentimes, long-term care facilities work to adapt acute care resources to their specific sector.

“But once you go through Accreditation Canada’s program, you have access to long-term care standards,” she says. “You’re able to access resources that are pertinent to your sector.”

Thompson said AC’s Primer program was a positive experience as surveyors highlighted not only areas where the nursing home could improve, but also areas where it is excelling. She noted that surveyors highlighted efforts the nursing home was making in Person-Centred Care.

From Accreditation Canada, Accreditation Helps RK MacDonald Home Establish Clear Path Forward, published on Jan 04, 2018. The full article can be found on Accreditation Canada’s website here.

GPA Leadership Excellence In Person-Centered Care

AGE congratulates the R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home for their winning of the 2016/2017 GPA Leadership Excellence In Person-Centered Care award.
2016 | 2017 Award Recipients
From the Advanced Gerontological Education press release:

R. K. talks about sustaining GPA and how implementation is impacting care:

“We have two on-staff GPA Certified Coaches … we commit to training all staff and implementing GPA practice, principles and techniques into our Resident Plan of Care and our organizational policies … [GPA will be] embedded into the fabric of the home.”

“From February to June we provided GPA to 72 staff members and 14 CCA students … training will continue until all staff — from all disciplines — have completed training … staff who have had the opportunity to attend GPA Basics really benefited from the interdisciplinary design of the program.”

“R.K.’s approach to sustainability and practice change will include GPA coaching one-on-one … developing GPA mentors … providing consistent feedback to staff on their approach to care.”
“We will definitely be including a GPA-Recharged (GPA-R) refresher when staff require.”

Uniqueness of spirit and character drive life plans for residents at R. K. MacDonald

East coast warmth shines through! “The R.K. MacDonald Nursing Home in Antigonish, Nova Scotia, fondly known as‘The RK’, is home to 136 residents as well as several cats and birds. Our 240 full-time, part-time and casual staff and our visiting dog program complete our family. The RK is a rich and vibrant community that recognizes and appreciates the uniqueness of every person who lives and works here.”

AGE Press Release

Strategic Planning Update

The Rk MacDonald is proud to release the annual update to our Strategic Plan for 2017/2018. These directions were created through a community process and capture the voices of residents, families, staff, Board members, volunteers and other community partners. We were excited to embark on this consultation process and the end result is a reflection of both our past and our collective vision for the future.