A Nurses Story
Thind (Simi) Harsimran Kaur set her sights on caring for seniors in her early teens while growing up in India.
She used to closely watch the nurse who came to her family’s home to look after her ailing grandfather and wish she could provide him the medical care he needed to feel better.
“I felt very helpless because I was not able to do anything to help him,” she says. “That ingrained itself deep in me and I decided I had to go for nursing. That was a turning point in my young life. That’s why I chose nursing.”
It’s also what eventually led her to move to Canada to continue her nursing studies with a focus on caring for seniors.
Ten years after she made the difficult decision to set off overseas and leave her family — Simi, 32, now cares for residents as a Registered Practical Nurse (RPN) at Bolton Mills, an Esprit Lifestyle Community in Bolton, Ont.
The position allows her to provide seniors with the same kind of care and attention she wished she could have provided her own grandfather when she was young.
“I find working with seniors the most satisfying and most rewarding part of nursing,” she says. “They are so grateful for even the little things you are able to do for them. I feel so blessed. I get so many blessings for doing those little things.”
Resident Nicola Cortese, appreciates Simi’s warm personality and how hard she works to keep him and his neighbours comfortable and happy.
“She’s very nice. She makes me laugh. She gives me my medication every day,” he says. “She’s very good hearted and very kind.”
Like Simi, Nicola, 89, moved to Canada for an opportunity at a new way of life when he was young. A native of Calabria, Italy, he landed in Halifax on December 24, 1951 and made a career for himself working on the railroad. He eventually retired in the Greater Toronto Area and moved to Bolton Mills two years ago.
Nicola says Simi and other team members at the home have gone out of their way to help residents overcome challenges created by the pandemic over the past year.
“This is my home. Simi comes into my home every day and makes me feel safe and secure. She takes care of me. If I need anything, I know I can go to her,” he says. “It’s a family here. I respect everybody here and they respect me.”
Before she came to Canada, Simi was a Registered Nurse and worked as a clinical nursing instructor, teaching courses to RPNs. She met a number of Canadian clinicians in India who led workshops and seminars and became interested in working in Canada. She made the move in 2011 and was licensed as an RPN in 2014.
After five years working in long-term care in Saskatchewan, Simi relocated to Ontario and began work in the retirement home sector. She started at Bolton Mills in November 2019, a couple of months before the pandemic began.
Simi says a positive attitude has helped her make the most of the difficult circumstances.
“I just make sure to give a little bit more time to my residents — talking to them, just to uplift their mood and to make their day a little bright,” she says. “This is like my other home now. I love the residents and I love the staff. It’s so good here. I feel so blessed working here.”