She's the Rock of the Maples; a title of endearment she's earned in more than 37 years of helping residents live better lives and inspiring staff to be their best. As Guest Attendant for most of her career at Caressant Care, Cathy has seen it all and has done it all including doing the odd plumbing job.

"When you are the only one on the floor and a toilet needs to be unclogged you have to deal with it," she says with a chuckle. And that's the way she rolls - with a smile and a can-do attitude that makes her loved by all who are touched by her.

Born in Toronto but raised in Warburg, a small town near Stratford, Cathy started working while she was still in high school.

"I was actually the first student to work on the floor of what is now the old Canadian Tire store in Stratford," Cathy recalls.

After graduation, she worked full time there for a while until an opportunity came up for a reception position at a local dental office. However, she quickly discovered desk work wasn't in her DNA. So when a nurses aide position became available at The Maples Nursing Home in Tavistock, she applied and got the job. And that began her health care career and she hasn't looked back since.

She spent the first few years working in the nursing home. But with young children at home, she found it a struggle to juggle her hours and home time. Then a full-time nights position as Guest Attendant in the retirement home came up and she made the move and has stayed there ever since.

"I love my residents. I have met a lot of wonderful people over the years and have been privileged to hear their stories. I honestly think many residents tell staff more than their own families. Maybe someday I'll write a book," she quips.

Cathy is also known for her candid weather reports. She tells it like it is - good and bad. "If it's cold outside I let folks know so they can dress accordingly. I don't sugar coat anything."

Asked what's next for Cathy, she shrugs and says "I'm not ready to retire just yet. I am having fun with my residents and co-workers."

Cathy has more to give. And you would expect nothing less from The Rock of The Maples.

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