Co-Op Corner: Claremont Retirement Home

Mikayla Baker '25 reflects on her time at the Claremont:

This year I am lucky enough to volunteer at The Claremont, a retirement home conveniently located across the street from Greenwood. This is a retirement home that focuses on giving its residents the best possible experience of living. I get to interact with the residents and join them in all of their activities planned while I’m there. I have built relationships with the residents and get to hear about their life experiences and stories. The residents also really enjoy arts and crafts, so I also assist them when it’s needed. The activity I do most often during my time there is help the residents with their electronics. Whether it's their iPads or email inboxes, there is always something I can do to help, and they are always so grateful. I am excited to get to know more residents and get more of them to join in the daily activities and make them excited to leave their rooms. 

I enjoy going to co-op because I feel like I am making a difference in the residents’ time there. The relationships I have built and the things I have learned are something I won’t ever forget. I am so grateful that I have the privilege to be involved in this special course at Greenwood. When I first started going to my co-op, I was a little nervous because it was so different from my regular school routine, but once I started to form bonds and felt like I was making a difference, I am so happy and excited every week to go to my placement. I have not only learned so many life lessons from the residents there, but I have learned that I would like to pursue helping people when I grow up. I enjoy making a difference in these people's lives so much that I want to keep doing it in the future. 

Ben Jones '25 shares what he’s learned from Claremont Retirement Home’s activities director:

This year, I have the pleasure of working at Claremont Retirement Home through Greenwood’s co-op student program. Through my experiences at Claremont, I’ve learned many valuable lessons about working at a retirement home. I’ve given tours of the residence, helped run activities for the residents, and had countless enlightening and educational conversations with the residents. One of the biggest highlights of my time at Claremont include running the exercise program for the residents where I walk them through stretching and breathing exercises. Another highlight is the coffee/snack time after activities, where I help make snacks and coffee for the residents as well as entertaining them with music and card tricks. 

The biggest takeaway from my time here is witnessing the way that my supervisor, Andrei, does his job. He is the activities director at Claremont and through watching him I have learned so much about being a supervisor and managing a team. Andrei is incredibly organized and always seems to be on top of everything happening at the residence. He has shown me a few of the strategies that he uses on a daily basis in order to stay organized. He uses a series of spreadsheets, documents and calendars to plan and manage the several events and activities that take place at Claremont. By watching him, I’ve been able to take strategies that I’ll be able to apply to many aspects of my life once I enter the workforce. 

Overall, this course has been a great experience. I’ve been able to learn a lot about myself and my own interests as well as what it's like being a part of the workforce. I would highly recommend this course to anyone going into Grade 11.

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