Stephanie Sollows has been with Abbeyfield House for almost a decade. (Contributed)

Stephanie Sollows has been with Abbeyfield House for almost a decade. (Contributed)

Stephanie Sollows – backbone of Abbeyfield

Sollows has been working at the home for almost a decade

For almost a decade, Stephanie Sollows has been a staple at Abbeyfield House.

You don’t have to look very far or very long to hear people singing her praises, or to see why she’s become such a respected member of the community for her efforts at the assisted living home.

Living at the home, Sollows helps prepare meals for her residents, keeps the building clean, and helps socialize with the residents.

Her motto? Healthy, happy and whole.

She does all that she does for the love of her residents.

“The residents are what keep me coming back, how awesome they are and their families and friends,” she said.

“You see it as soon as you walk in, how friendly and welcoming they are. They’ve all got great stories and we’ve really pulled together as a family through the past year.”

When she first came to the position nine years ago, she said it wasn’t like that.

She had to work at Abbeyfield to change the culture and make sure the house came together like one big family.

“When I first came here, I asked the board, ‘Do you want a residence, or do you want an institution?’” she recalled.

“Because at an institution, you do your job, you’re good, you’re nice, but then you just go home. A residence, it’s a family, the house becomes a home.”

Sollows first came to the position from Clearwater, on the recommendation of her daughter, who had come to Golden before her.

Sollows thought that she would only stay for a few years, which quickly grew into seven years.

Before she knew it, she had been in the position and in Golden for almost a decade, with no plans to leave in the near future.

“Golden is amazing, because they rally together and it helps the residents rally together,” said Sollows.

“It’s been a great experience living here.”

While she’s enjoyed her time in Golden, she plans on returning to her home in Clearwater one day.

She says it’s a huge honour to hear people appreciate her for her work, glad she’s been able to positively impact people.

“It just goes to show what a great job we all do over there, it’s hard to do and to stick with it, but I really appreciate it,” she said.

“It’s a great place for people and how everyone in Golden pitches in for them, it’s amazing.”

Abbeyfield House just had their Abbeyfield recognition week last week from June 7-15. The home offers affordable independent living for seniors in the community, with Sollows saying it’s important to provide seniors their independence while making sure they are “healthy, happy and whole.”