Auburn volunteer Lajoie recognized with national award

by | Aug 28, 2015

Courtesy photo

Courtesy photo

AUBURN, Mass. (Aug. 27, 2015) – Life Care Centers of America recognized the outstanding volunteer contributions of Pauline Lajoie with its Carl W. Campbell Wind Beneath My Wings Award on Monday, Aug. 24.

The award, commemorated by a crystal sculpture of an eagle in flight, was given during the company’s annual management meeting in Cleveland, Tennessee.

“This is the highest award that we give to anyone in the company,” said Beecher Hunter, Life Care president. “We truly value the contributions of Pauline and other volunteers who share her selfless spirit.”

Lajoie has been a volunteer at Life Care Center of Auburn for one year and has already made a big impact.

She is the lead volunteer for the facility’s Virtual Dementia Training® program for new associates. She coordinates the simulation experience so associates not only learn how to care for patients with dementia but understand better what it’s like to experience the condition themselves. That involves using adaptive devices, including two sets of gloves, special goggles and a headset that creates sound confusion, as well as putting objects in the participants’ shoes.

The participants then go to a different room and are given five tasks to perform.

“You think you’re doing really well in the room, but you’re really not even completing one task,” Lajoie said.

“It gives me satisfaction that I can help the employees understand dementia just a little bit better,” Lajoie added, “so they can serve the residents better.”

Pamela Reidy, spiritual care services director at the facility, shared, “I might be the certified trainer for the program, but she makes it go. She is the first to show, last to leave, and she always provides the guidance and support the other volunteers need.”

Lajoie has even bought items for the program and declined to be reimbursed for them, and has volunteered for several other facility events.

The Carl W. Campbell Wind Beneath My Wings Award is presented annually to a volunteer chosen from among Life Care’s more than 200 facilities nationwide. Criteria include serving as an inspirational example of extraordinary dedication, providing leadership in the field of nursing home volunteerism and initiating new approaches to fundraising that provide additional benefits to residents.

Carl W. Campbell is an entrepreneur from Washington who provided financial support for the construction of Life Care’s first nursing facility in Cleveland, Tennessee. Campbell has continued to lend his resources and heart to the growth of the company and the achievement of its mission.