Dana Cole-Clark and her husband Bob Clark were at a cross-road in their personal and professional lives when they asked themselves, “Are we doing what we love to do?” and “Are we living where we want to be living?” Soon afterwards, following 15 years in the banking and finance industry, they relocated from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia to the Annapolis Valley, the place of Dana`s childhood. What came next was a journey of personal growth, healthy living, family ties, community involvement, re-education and successful small business development.Upon their arrival, Bob put his financial acumen and entrepreneurial skills to good use as an owner/operator of a small Valley business. Dana devoted her time to raising their two children and enrolled in a Holistic Nutrition Course at the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition. After receiving her certification as a Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant, her passion for healthy living spilled over into all aspects of her life, including her interactions with people of all ages and stages of health in the local community.
A natural-born communicator, Dana was mostly drawn to the elderly. Her interest in their well-being was genuine and before long she had a small group of seniors that she checked in on regularly with kind-hearted concern. Dana’s interest in the senior population was further fuelled by a three-year volunteer position on the Kingston/Greenwood Community Health Board. It was here that she learned about important issues like Falls Prevention, Senior Abuse, Dementia and Palliative Care. What was truly eye-opening for Dana though was learning about the gap in services faced by Annapolis Valley seniors requiring in-home support. Recognizing the increasing need for a service that would provide people access to the tender, loving care they required to live independently at home, Dana made it her personal mission to do something about it!
In 2005 Dana’s passion for quality service led to the development of Annapolis Valley At Home Senior Care. The small home-based business served the needs of an increasing number of seniors and others requiring care. In response to this increasing demand Dana, in 2006, moved the business out of her home into a two-story building located on Bridge Street in Kingston. As one of the busiest roads in the area it was the perfect spot to increase the visibility of the service and allow easy access for both clients and CAREgivers. In just a few short years it became a thriving homecare agency with a suite of administrative offices and more than 50 Caregiver`s who, like Dana herself, have a special way of nurturing and supporting senior citizens.
Since it’s inception in 2005 the company has thrived, its success a direct result of the passion for quality service from the heart by both Dana and her staff. In 2013 the company had grown to the point where Dana and Bob felt it necessary to increase the administrative staff so a decision was made to employ a Human Resources/Office Manager. This individual would report to Dana, who as the Managing Director, would advise on client care issues and provide leadership to the company. To fill this new role Dana hired an individual who like Dana had a passion for providing quality care. With the financial reins of the company in the hands of Bob, and the day to day matters of the office being attended to Dana was free to focus on working with her team in further developing the service to meet the needs of the communities that it served. The next several years would make it evident that it was not just seniors that required home care services. A need for service for people of all ages was needed and again Dana stepped forward to the challenge.
In 2014 the position of Client Services/Nursing Supervisor was created to complete all client intake, develop care plans, and to provide direction and guidance to our CAREgivers. The shortage of nurses provided a number of challenges in filling this position and while there were some growing pains the position has become an integral part of the company.
Never one to back away from a challenge Dana took another leap of faith when she decided to create the position of Business Development Manager. The growth in the number of staff required that Human Resources/Office Manager position be dedicated to Human Resource issues. Promotion of the business and communications would be handled by this new position leaving the Human Resources/Office Manager free to focus on the well-being of staff and assist the Client Services/Nursing Supervisor to ensure the needs of the clients are met.
A vision of quality care for clients and a positive and rewarding work experience for CAREgivers has always been at the forefront of Dana’s mind. Services including Alzheimer & Dementia Care, support for persons with disabilities, and home support services have been supported by ongoing training of both management and CAREgivers.
In June of 2014 this vision was reinforced by the receipt of a Primer Accreditation Award from Accreditation Canada. Accreditation shows the community and other health care organizations that Annapolis Valley Home Care Ltd meets quality standards and is committed to providing the best quality care. The reason for the accreditation, was, in part, due to the diverse needs of the clients and their families. Accountability to our clients, their families, and the community is an important component in quality service. The only privately owned Accredited home care service in the province Annapolis Valley Home Care is dedicated to providing the highest quality service and training available.
2016 has hailed remarkable changes in the company. Given the diversity of the clients being served discussions started in 2015 about the possibility of changing the name of the company to something that would better reflect our client base. The company’s new name was chosen and the change over to Annapolis Valley Home Care Ltd began. Along with the new name came a new office location that would allow an increase in the number of training programs provided to our CAREgivers and a renewed excitement in the future of home care services and the importance of them in our communities.
Today, Annapolis Valley Home Care Ltd has made a positive difference in the lives of hundreds of residents in homes and neighbourhoods from Windsor to Digby … and all because Dana and her family had the courage to change direction and follow their hearts.
“At the end of the day…
You will not remember the one with the most beautiful face but you will remember…
the one with the most beautiful heart and soul. Use your heart to get to others”.