“Words cannot express the gratitude I feel for all the work you've done for me," writes one former GF Strong (GFS) Rehab Centre client. “You have been key in my road to recovery, and for that I will be eternally grateful."
The heartfelt sentiment expressed in this one quote echoes across numerous GFS client and family notes Sarah Sinanan has collected since last year.
October is Occupational Therapy (OT) month and to mark the occasion last year the OT practice coordinator embarked on what she thought would be a short-term recognition project.
“I found a file containing personal, handwritten notes from GF Strong clients," she explains. “Each note honoured the hard work and investments our OTs and rehab assistants (RAs) make in their clients."
And so began a labour of love.
Caption: Rachel Abel, OT, holding a favourite note of appreciation from a GF Strong family.
Inspired by her discovery, Sarah began meeting with GFS clients and family members, asking them to share their experiences over the following months. The response was positive and heartwarming, she says.
“Clients clearly feel they weren't alone in their journey and that their OTs and RAs deeply cared, going above and beyond and getting to know them as people, not just patients. They also view their OTs and RAs as central to care planning and that their interactions were meaningful and goal-driven, helping them regain independence and confidence."
Sharing the notes she collected with the team has been a deeply moving experience for all — bringing smiles to faces and tears to some eyes. “The feedback is exceptionally meaningful because of the team's deep-seated determination to make a difference in clients' lives," says Sarah. “The process has also opened the door for deeper dialogue with clients, families and staff."
“It's been an incredible experience," she adds. “Now I have to figure out how to top it!"
Caption: Natalia Chambers (left) and Shelley LondonHauka, both RAs at GF Strong.