BONUS | Resident Voices in Long-Term Care with OARC’s Melissa McVie & Devora Greenspon
Play • 33 min

Bonus Episode - Erin Davis and Doug Robinson are joined in this special episode with the Ontario Association of Residents' Councils, Melissa McVie, Director of Education and Communications, and Devora Greenspon, LTC Resident and REAL Group Co-Chair.

Barry Hickling was our guest in Episode #5 speaking about ageism, living in long-term care, and his role with the OARC. We encourage you to revisit this conversation.

Devora was encouraged by the staff at her Long-Term Care home to participate in the Residents' Council.  Feeling of chaos in the meeting and not being shy, stepped in.  Before she knew it she was the president of their residents' council.

"There was absolute chaos during the meeting.  I'm not shy so I just took over.  Next thing I knew I was president of the Residents' Council." - Devora Greenspon

Devora’s Residents’ Council has adopted a Shared Leadership team model with residents from different parts of her home comprising a team that leads the work of Council based on individual strengths. She uses this inclusive team model in place of the traditional Executive model with a President, Secretary etc.

"Residents' Council is a great place for residents to express their hopes, their goals, their concerns with no fear of retribution." - Devora Greenspon

Residents' Councils are mandated to exist in every long-term care home.  A vehicle through which residents can speak about the good, the bad, the ugly, and collaborate with the leadership in their home.

"Residents' Councils welcome an open dialogue with the leadership team in their long-term care home." - Melissa McVie

"Council is a place for residents to meet one another and develop relationships.  So important when you live in long-term care." - Devora Greenspon

Learn more about OARC and access their newsletter, Season’s Magazine: 

"Everyone has a story, we cannot paint all residents with the same brush.  Take a little extra time to get to know one's story." - Melissa McVie

Doug learns how to say 'good morning' in different languages to be able to greet each resident.

"I did not go into long-term care to die, but to live.  To have a fruitful, happy, quality of life." - Devora Greenspon

What are your hopes for the future of long-term care?

Devora - To make quality of life better and better for each resident.

Erin Davis hears in our conversation, 'I'm still me, I will be heard, I want to be part of my community, and I want to help plan for the future.'

What is REAL “Resident Expert Advisors and Leaders”?
Is comprised of members who are resident leaders living in LTC homes across Ontario. It is an advisory group; REAL members bring their own lived experiences and perspectives as residents helping to inform and guide OARC’s work


*An OARC legacy program is in the works to award a long-term care home in Ontario a green #ElderWisdom bench each year in memory of Sharron Cooke.


Subscribe, rate, and review our podcast on any network and share your thoughts on social media using the #ElderWisdom tag to help others find us.


The Green Bench is a symbol of elder wisdom. Physically or virtually, the bench invites us all to sit alongside a senior, share a conversation, or give and offer advice.

It challenges the stigma seniors face; the ageism still so prevalent in society. It reminds us of the wealth of wisdom our elders offer and in doing so, helps restore them to a place of reverence.

"The greatest untapped resource in Canada, if not the world, is the collective wisdom of our elders." -Ron Schlegel

This podcast is brought to you by Schlegel Villages, retirement & long-term care homes in Ontario, Canada.

#ElderWisdom | Stories from the Green Bench is produced by Memory Tree Productions
Learn more about our host, Erin Davis, at
Learn more about #ElderWisdom at

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