Arrowsmith Lodge and Cokely Manor recently celebrated our workers with a week of special activities and treats for the Staff Appreciation Event. Care Manager Karen Fredlund said that “the last 28 months have been particularly challenging for our workforce, and for all healthcare workers in the long-term care sector”… “there has been no sense of normalcy during the pandemic, routine events such as staff celebrations, staff meetings, education, even break times and time off have all had to be altered with various restrictions in place.” The COVID-19 pandemic which was declared in March of 2020 has been extraordinarily difficult for those living, and working, in long term care settings. Ms. Fredlund also explained that “many workers were fearful of the unknown: catching the virus, bringing it home to their families, bringing the virus into this facility and infecting one of the elders we care for, or even one of their co-workers.” She went on to say, “so many of our staff members made personal sacrifices even after restrictions were loosened; missing out on gatherings, travel, and dining out, and continually wearing a mask in public places because of the on-going responsibility many healthcare workers have for the health and safety of the vulnerable people we care for.”

The weeklong celebration was long over-due and was a very necessary gesture to thank the dedicated workers at Arrowsmith Lodge & Cokely Manor for their commitment, compassion, sacrifice, dedication, and willingness to see the pandemic through. Executive Director Mike Aikins said “COVID-19 remains a going concern, and that is what makes it difficult for staff members – the unknown; no one knows when it will be over, when we can stop the daily use of personal protective equipment, when we can regain a full sense of community in our workplace with regular, meaningful activities for our elders and personally connecting with their families.” The entertaining week of celebrations had many highlights, including: the Hospitality Manager Stewart McTavish dusting off his Chef coat to prepare a delicious Greek-themed BBQ; a Tai Chi demonstration, Chair massages; Belly Dancing performance, Croquet tournament and Tarot Card readings; Ice Cream Sundaes; with prizes and more prizes.

Many of the families, vendors, and partners of Arrowsmith Lodge & Cokely Manor recognized the value of this event and contributed with donations for prizes. Of course, none of this would have been possible without the extraordinary organizational skills, vision and creativity of Administrative Assistant Barbara Ehrenberg who coordinated all the details for the event. This event builds on the positive culture and exemplary reputation that Arrowsmith & Cokely have earned over the last 50+ years. Mr. Aikins went on to say, “healthcare is experiencing recruitment and retention challenges like never before. A positive workplace culture is incredibly important to attract employees and to keep them from leaving. Our on-going recruitment, while challenging, has benefitted from this reputation as we remain one of the preeminent employers in the Oceanside region”.

The Management and Board of Directors are incredibly proud and grateful to the frontline workers at Arrowsmith Lodge and Cokely Manor during this difficult time, and welcome new applicants to apply to join our Team, on our Website or, by email: