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Introducing the long-serving GM of
Athens Creek Lodge in Penticton

July 6th, 2018

Donna McBeth has been a member of the employee care partner team at Athens Creek Lodge in Penticton for 18 years. Her first position was in the dining room, then security, then housekeeping, kitchen, office admin, and finally, nine years ago, she accepted the position of General Manager.

"I love to... stir up trouble"

Donna says when the need arises she still does any of those previous jobs. “Being with people makes me happy, so when I’ve sat too long at the computer,” she adds with a laugh, “I love to go to the dining room and stir up trouble.”

Average age is 92, could be 75

Athens Creek Lodge, now a Points West Living community, is currently an ‘independent supportive living’ community. The building does not accommodate wheelchairs or motorized chairs, and residents can still choose to cook for themselves in their suites and receive any care they need from the outside community. “The average age of our residents is 92,” says Donna. “They might be in their nineties, but it feels like they’re in their seventies.”

About Donna

Donna is originally from the tiny community of Elphinstone Manitoba, and at the age of six, moved west with her family to Kelowna BC. She married her husband Gord 42 years ago, and they have one adult son, and four adult children from Gord’s previous marriage. Before settling in their current Penticton home, she and Gord moved house 26 times.

Donna says she loves to read and go on long peaceful walks in her spare time, but she hasn’t had much of that lately. In addition to her work, for the past fourteen years she has been caring for Gord, who developed Parkinson’s disease, and has had several bouts of cancer and a hip replacement. In May of this year, Gord went into care, and Donna still brings him home for a few hours when she can.

Taking care

Her personal goal at the moment is to ‘get healthy’. She says with Gord in care, she doesn’t have to worry as much, so she can start to take care of herself. She’s considering taking a kickboxing class, but relaxing in the bath with a glass of wine and a book looks pretty attractive too.

Learning Eden

Donna says she is enjoying learning more about the Eden philosophy of care - in particular the new vocabulary - and sharing that learning with Athens Creek care partners. She is also looking forward to connecting with her new Points West Living colleagues as opportunities arise.

Photo: Donna McBeth (left) with Mikos, the son of a former resident, and resident Dan Rozell. Donna says, “Even though Mikos’s mother recently passed away, he loves our residents and wanted to come in and have coffee with them.”

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