ESTEVAN - Eunice Massett isn’t the only administrator that Hill View Manor has had since the personal care home in Estevan opened, but she’s been in the role for so long that you would think she was.
Massett started working at Hill View in 2002, before it opened, and she became the administrator in 2003.
Her last day of work was Oct. 17, and she believes that it was God’s timing for her to leave now.
“I used to get up in the morning and be excited about going to work, because I love my residents. They’re just a wealth of knowledge. There’s so many stories that they can tell you about their lives,” Massett told the Mercury.
There’s a resident and a housekeeper who were at the manor when Massett joined the staff.
Since it’s not a government facility, Massett could operate the manor as she thought was right, and make changes that she knew would be positive for the residents, rather than going through a hierarchy.
“If a resident wanted something, I could just go ahead and get it for them, if it was feasible. I enjoyed that so much. I enjoyed my staff. I’m really going to miss them. They were fun and it was fun to teach them … I always believe that God cared for the residents through the hands of my staff,” said Massett.
Massett, who turns 71 next month, said she didn’t plan on retiring at this time. But then she found a nurse, Stacey Westerhaug, who could take the role and provide the level of care and attention Massett wanted.
“She’s a very lovely person and she’s a smart nurse and I trust her to take care of my residents. That was a big concern. I did have applicants in the past, a few of them, but I didn’t even consider them.”
Massett was diagnosed with COVID-19, and was very sick, but she is now recovering. She took the necessary precautions to avoid the virus, but caught COVID from one of the residents.
“I’m very weak. My kids put on a come and go tea for me on Saturday (Oct. 30), and they had a surprise booking for me. And so they couldn’t very well cancel it. It was wonderful, but I could hardly make it home.”
A COVID outbreak has been declared at Hill View, and she continues to worry about the residents.
Even though she’s not well and unable to do things associated with retirement just yet, she has enjoyed being at home, and realizes now is the time to move on.
“I miss my residents and the staff a lot, but I don’t miss all the responsibility. It’s a very heavy load just gone off of my shoulders, so that part tells me that I did the right thing.”
Her goal was to create a home that brought together God, the residents and the staff, and she wanted to meet and love residents, and run the place in resident-focused manner.
Once she gets better, Massett looks forward to sitting in her sun room and reading, tending to her yard work, joining a seniors’ social group, attending a Bible study, and spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren.
“I want to get in my car and I want to go see my mom. She’s 95. She lives in Moose Jaw. I can just jump in my car and go and see her, and stay for a week if I want, and not have to worry about work.”
Massett would like to write her mother’s life story so her family can read about the woman’s experiences.