Senior’s Home Manager: An Essential Profession| LaSalle College Montréal
AEC in Managing Senior-Citizen Homes

Senior’s Home Manager: An Essential Profession

AEC en Gestion d'une résidence pour personnes âgées
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April 8, 2021

In recent years, the reputation of some seniors’ facilities has suffered because of management shortcomings. The pandemic has done nothing to improve this image, and it has underscored the urgent need for qualified personnel to be at the reins. This need is all the more pressing with the looming specter of an ever-increasing elderly population: Over the next 20 years, the number of people aged 65 and over will double, which will result in the proliferation of private seniors’ residences (PSRs).

To improve the supervision of infrastructure for seniors, as envisioned by the government, the role of PSR manager would seem to be essential, as would that of orderly. However, this is a profession that has to be learned, insists Ingrid Beauvais, Director of the LaSalle College International School of Hotel Management & Tourism: “You can’t improvise management of a residence. This isn’t a hotel.” She continues: “You have to know how to interact with an elderly person, understand his or her needs, and develop listening skills and empathy... You spend a lot of time with the residents. This a management profession that affects the safety and well-being of a high-risk clientele.” 

A program that is second to none

Drawing on skills that intersect the fields of healthcare and hospitality, our Managing Senior-Citizen Homes program is one-of-a-kind in Quebec. This one-year, multidisciplinary, college-level educational program covers all aspects of a residence: administration, food services, marketing, human resources, health and safety, care, maintenance, recreation, supply, and more. The courses can now be taken online in real time, in the evening, or in person at the Montreal campus. “For example, people from Rimouski can attend classes from home and complete work placements in their region with a remote supervisor,” Ingrid Beauvais explains.

As part of their studies, participants complete two on-site work placements: the first to gain an understanding of the daily lives of the elderly, and the second to put what they have learned into practice. “Students develop both managerial and entrepreneurship skills. They’re given the tools they need to become general managers for a residence or department, or even to undertake their own projects,” says Ingrid Beauvais

A profession gaining popularity

Although it was initiated more than 10 years ago, this professional training is continually updated to reflect the latest developments and knowledge. In response to the pandemic, the content was adjusted to reflect new health measures, supply needs, studies on the adverse effects of isolation, and so on.  

“Continued attention to the safety of services and the well-being of residents and employees must be the focus of operations. This is people serving people,” says Marie-Pier Janelle, Human Resources Advisor at Horizon Gestion de résidences, a company that manages seniors’ homes in the Montreal and Ottawa regions. “A qualified workforce in this domain is becoming key to meeting the needs of clients.” 

The program seeks to train dedicated, disciplined and resilient managers who are able to roll up their sleeves and lead teams, as Ingrid Beauvais stresses: “These rare finds, intent on caring for our seniors and giving back to society, are in high demand.” Marie-Pier Janelle agrees wholeheartedly: “LaSalle College’s curriculum enables students to gain a good understanding of PSRs. Through work placements, they get to know the environment and cement their desire to make this a career. The training widens the pool of potential candidates, boosts retention rates, and improves manager performance.” 

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