BARRY’S BAY – Around 600 people have worked at the Valley Manor since it first opened its doors 39 years ago on 88 Mintha Street in Barry’s Bay.
Today, there are around 135 staff employed at the manor, with five employees remaining on staff since 1978.
Two of those employees are Laundry and Housekeeping Lead Hand Sylvia Rumleskie and Activities Director Mary Blank.
Rumleskie first started her journey with the manor after her sister Debbie applied for a job. The two were inseparable, and Rumleskie had no intention of leaving Barry’s Bay. Rumleskie started first in housekeeping and eventually took her healthcare aide course.
The manor was different in those days, as the majority of residents were mobile. Healthcare workers would take the residents outside and many of them would share their stories from yesteryear. Today, with the rising popularity of people staying at home for longer, the majority of the 90 residents use a wheelchair or an assisted device.
Raising a family and juggling shift work was taxing, so Rumleskie moved back into housekeeping and has been there ever since.
“I’m telling you, through all those years, I enjoyed working at Valley Manor so much. If we wouldn’t have had a Valley Manor, I don’t know what I would have been doing,” she said.
When she was a young girl, Rumleskie’s uncle was living in a home in Renfrew. She distinctively remembers the smell of the home and vowed that she wouldn’t let the Valley Manor have the same impression on visitors.