Owner / Operator
Heather Monaghan, owner/operator of Helping Hands Care Group
Heather Monaghan obtained her Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Regina in 1993. She taught in rural Saskatchewan for several years, before leaving teaching for a time and pursuing her Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) diploma at what was then Saskatchewan Institute of Science and Technology. She graduated from the LPN program at the top of her class, evidence of her passion for providing care for others. Since receiving her education degree, Heather became Accredited in English Language Arts Secondary Education in 2015 and holds a part time high school teaching position with Prairie Valley School Division. She has also completed additional competency courses for her LPN and regularly attends nursing in-services.
Heather purchased Helping Hands Personal Care Home located at 226 Hansen Drive in Regina, SK from her parents in 2001 after learning the business from the ground up. She worked as a caregiver, home-maker, and night shift staff while completing her LPN, then she managed the 222 Litzenberger Crescent location of Helping Hands for several years, before finally purchasing the Hansen Drive location of Helping Hands when Marlynn and Harvey Swallow decided to retire.
Since she purchased the business in 2001, Heather has steadily increased and improved the features available at Helping Hands. During the time she has owned Helping Hands, Heather has:
- completed further renovations to the home to create 10 completely private rooms (previously there were 8 private and 1 shared rooms), and added many special touches that truly make Helping Hands an enjoyable, comfortable place to be for residents, their families, and the staff
- standardized job descriptions and shift responsibilities for all of the 5 different shifts that are run at Helping Hands Personal Care Home and implemented processes to increase continuity of resident care
- added to the staffing component a full time house manager, who ensures continuity of care and keeps the home running in fine-tuned fashion
- enhanced the activities provided at the home by adding to the team a dedicated activities coordinator who plans entertaining, meaningful activities and outings on a daily basis
- taken the meals offered at Helping Hands from great to excellent by hiring a Red Seal Chef to create nutritious, consistently mouth-watering meals and desserts (did we mention our Chef specialized in pastries during her culinary education? Yum!)
- begun employing several Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses on contract basis to work with clients who have specific medical needs and also to provide bi-weekly nursing monitoring of residents’ health, and regular medication reviews.
- expanded the business to provide Helping Hands’ clients with many more options with regard to care and assistance, including providing staff who will visit to assist in clients’ own homes, in long term care facilities, in hospital, or in hospice. This is known as Helping Hands Bridging Program, which has a dedicated Bridging Coordinator who is available 24/7 to answer calls for service and put services in place immediately as needed.
- created an accessible Day Program at Helping Hands that enables clients to visit the home for part of the day to participate in activities, enjoy meals, and to get assistance with bathing in our accessible jet tub
- completed (along with several other key staff) training certifying Helping Hands as a “Music and Memory Facility.” Music and Memory is a personalized dementia-friendly strategy for improving the quality of life of seniors which utilizes music as a tool to reach those with memory challenges
Life-Long Learning and Community Service
During her years as owner/operator of Helping Hands (2001 to present), Heather has been active serving the community of Regina and increasing her knowledge in the fields of business education, nursing education, senior care, and staff development. She is an ardent believer in life-long learning, and “walks the talk”, attending several seminars and in-services every year. She has also served other personal care homes and communities in Saskatchewan in several ways:
- Heather was contracted by the Ministry of Health to write the curriculum for the online medications training course that is now offered through and required by the Ministry. This course is mandated for all staff in Saskatchewan Personal Care Homes.
- Heather is an instructor of the St. John’s Ambulance Personal Care Worker Course, and she teaches the course at least once each month, providing basic caregiver training to personal care home staff that is a requirement of the Ministry of Health.
- Heather is a member of the Alzheimer Society of Saskatchewan, and serves as a volunteer and a guest speaker for the Society in their Care At Home education series, which is broadcast throughout the province on the TeleHealth network.
- Heather has serviced on the Board of Directors of the Regina & District Personal Care Homes Association many times since 1996, and was elected President of the organization in 2017. It has since been renamed the Association of Personal Care Home Operators of Saskatchewan, and has adjusted its focus to be more provincial in nature, rather than only serving the Regina area. This organization assists personal care home operators with mentoring, staff training, Ministry of Health regulation compliance, and marketing
- Heather serves on the Board of Directors of the Saskatchewan Association for Safe Workplaces in Health (SASWH). Saskatchewan Association for Safe Workplaces in Health (SASWH) is a non-profit association, established March 12, 2010, which is funded by healthcare employers through a portion of their Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) premiums. SASWH is governed by a Board of Directors representing health services workers, employers and unions with a vision to make workplace health and safety: a priority for all. The SASWH has been immeasurably helpful in bringing affordable safety training to hundreds of Personal Care Homes and their employees. Personal Care Home operators in Saskatchewan are extremely pleased with the newly-available training, which is making our homes a much safer space for residents and staff.
- Heather has served as a guest speaker for several years, and has brought scores of topics to various groups of seniors and caregivers. Some of her presentations include: “Care for the Caregiver,” “Navigating Our Health Region with Seniors,” and “Advance Care Planning.”
She is available to present to community groups upon request, on topics of interest to seniors, and caregivers.
Through her extensive education, community involvement, and experience operating Helping Hands, Heather has become an expert in the fields of senior care, dementia care, palliative care, and personal care homes. She brings that knowledge to all of the operations levels of Helping Hands, which benefits the residents as recipients of the highest quality care, and benefit the staff in the expansion of their knowledge and abilities, and in support for their professional development.