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Categories : Notes from our CEO

December 14, 2021

Reflecting on 2021, I feel tremendous gratitude to many people who made my life and the lives of those I care about better, who helped to keep me balanced, to overcome challenges and to remember what is important.

At Chartwell, Making People’s Lives Better is what’s most important. That is why all 16,000 of us come to work every day – to deliver personalized, memorable experiences, exceptional services, and quality care to our residents, to make them feel at home and to provide peace of mind to their loved ones. Numerous stories and expressions of gratitude for our staff that I regularly receive from our residents and their families are the evidence of that. For example, resident Jim expressed his thanks in his beautifully handwritten letter which begins: “In this day and age when it seems so many around us are critical, always negative and so fast to complain, I thought I should put pen to paper and compliment those who truly deserve it.” A group letter from 28 members of a resident’s family thanked every department, from personal care workers, nursing, food service, recreation, housekeeping, to maintenance and management: “To all of you, thank you for the care you show the residents: physical, emotional and mental and the efforts to maintain a healthy environment for them. We know it takes a lot of people and we appreciate every one of you and your efforts.”

Chartwell Chatsworth put together a beautiful display featuring photos and stories of veteran residents

And then there are the stories that touch us in the most profound ways. Stories where peoples’ lives were transformed thanks to our staff. Yes, transformation is possible no matter your age. Just imagine seeing the world in colour for the first time in your life like Carl because a caring Lifestyle & Program Manager persuaded a local optometrist to donate two pairs of colour-correcting glasses.


Chartwell Chatsworth put together a beautiful display featuring photos and stories of veteran residents

Or imagine becoming a pen pal and a friend of many seniors living far away, when you are a toddler, like Edison, whose adorable weekly adventures cheered up residents throughout lockdowns.

Our results in 2021 continued to be impacted by the pandemic and related restrictions in our residences and broader communities. I believe we are now on the path toward recovery. I hope that the steps we have taken to maintain enhanced infection prevention and control protocols in our homes, the high vaccination rates among our residents and staff and our commitment to residents’ safety, will help us to remain on this path despite new variants of concern. I am confident that with the dedication, ingenuity, and drive of our people, we will be able to share The Chartwell Experience with more seniors across the country for many years to come.

To Chartwell employees in our residences and offices – thank you for everything you are doing to truly make a positive difference in people’s lives and, by extension, making this world a better place.

To our residents and their families – thank you for choosing Chartwell as your home. We feel honoured and privileged to serve you.

Whatever holiday you celebrate this season – Christmas, New Year, Hannukah, Kwanzaa or another, I hope you get to spend it with those you love in peace, health, and happiness.

The Chartwell Experience

Chartwell Chatsworth put together a beautiful display featuring photos and stories of veteran residents

When a senseless theft left Veterans’ graves at Ottawa’s National Military Ceremony without traditional holiday wreaths, Chartwell employees Geraldine, Jocelyn, Binda and Jean Luc, among many others, volunteered throughout the weekend to help replace them. Volunteers produced and decorated 3,000 wreaths with fir tree boughs, ribbon and red berries to ensure Veterans would be honoured appropriately. To our Chartwell volunteers, we are so proud of your eagerness to help out and give back to your community. Thank you for how wonderfully you model the Chartwell mission of Making People’s Lives Better. To read more about this moving story, please click here.

A worthy read:

Since I started sharing my book recommendations, I began keeping track of my reads. In the spirit of reflection, below is my 2021 reading list. Highlighted in the list are my “Top 10”.

Creativity Inc. by Amy Wallace and Edwin Catmull

Beach Music by by Pat Conroy

Humanocracyby Gary Hamel, Michele Zanini

Quantum Marketing by Raja Rajamannar

American Dirt by by Jeanine Cummins

White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo

Tim Cook: The Genius Who Took Apple to the Next Level by Leander Kahney

From the Ground Up by Howard Schultz

The Infinite Game by Simon Sinek

Maybe You Should Talk to Someone by Lori Gottlieb

The Mosquito: A Human History of Our Deadliest Predator by Timothy C. Winegard

Cracking the Quebec Code by Jean-Marc Léger, Pierre Duhamel and Jacques Nantel

Caste: The Origins of our Discontent by Isabel Wilkerson

Doom: The Politics of Catastrophe by Niall Ferguson

A Man and His Mountain by Edward Humes

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Team Human by Douglas Rushkoff

Human Compatible: Artificial Intelligence and the Problem of Control by Stuart Russel

Building a Story Brand - Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen by Donald Miller

Refugee by Alan Gratz

Humankind: A Hopeful History by Rutger Bergman

The Catalyst: How to Change Anyone's Mind by Jonah Berger

The Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking

Lying by Sam Harris

Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence by Max Tegmark

Man's Search for Meaning by Victor E Frankl

The Happiest Man on Earth: The Beautiful Life of an Auschwitz Survivor by Eddie Jaku

Seven Fallen Feathers - Racism, Death and hard Truths in a Northern City by Tanya Talaga

Five Little Indians by Michelle Good

Numbers Don't Lie: 71 Stories to Help Us Understand the Modern World by Vaclav Smil

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

Indians on Vacation by Thomas King

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner

Intimacies by Katie Kitamura

The Promise by Damon Galgut, narrated by Peter Noble

Vlad Volodarski
Chief Executive Officer