Around 1985, Royal (Joe) Tourangeau had the innovative idea of ​​starting his first retirement residence in Ottawa, ON.

At that time, the concept of a luxury retirement home was a relatively unknown concept and represented a huge business risk – with many critics saying assisted living was directed only at wealthy customers.

According to research conducted by Keren Brown Wilson, PhD in the Historical Evolution of Assisted Living in the United States, 1979 to the Present, the early models of assisted living emerged in reaction to nursing facilities and a vision of a different way of bringing physical environments, care, and service capacity together to offer a more desirable product to older people – many of whom were in or destined for nursing facilities.

36 years later it can be said Tourangeau’s vision has become reality, with his daughter Marcelle Belec they were able to achieve a successful business.

“[My grandfather] was a visionary,” said Michelle Varin, Owner and Executive Director at Jardin Royal Garden. “Most people would tell him he was crazy. It was never gonna work but today there are [retirement] homes everywhere.”

Finding a Nurse Call System

In 2011, Marcelle’s daughters, Michelle Varin and Mylaine Belec followed Tourangeau’s legacy by teaming up to create Jardin Royal Garden.

“One day we said, ‘What are we doing?’ [we were] spreading out our expertise when we could all work together and avoid the frustrations of working with head office that’s telling you things you might not agree with,” explained Varin. “So we approached my grandfather and built Royal Garden 10 years ago.”

While building Royal Garden, they were approached by several nurse call companies trying to sell their product.

“The nurse call system has evolved tremendously since 30 years ago,” she said. “Obviously, we found Zodiac’s approach to the nurse call system very interesting.”

Zodiac Light Waves Inc. offers a state-of-the-art wireless nurse call system that allows for communication between staff and residents to ensure they are cared for more efficiently and attentively.

“Zodiac was just starting back then, so Hesam [Vice President and Co-founder at Zodiac Light Waves Inc.] had to figure out a way to explain his dream to us without really having the backbone to support it or references and things like that,” she stated. “So we just had to hop on his vision and hope for the best. I think we benefited financially from being the first because he was trying everything out with us.”

10 Years with Zodiac’s Wireless Nurse Call System

Varin and her family have been using the Zodiac Light Waves system for 10 years – making them Zodiac’s longest customer.

“Because we’re family-owned and run a business we are very stingy financially,” she said. “So we’re very aware of every invoice that comes through, we\’re always asking questions, and sometimes I feel like they [Zodiac] could get frustrated with us always nitpicking every detail on an invoice but they are always courteous, always very receptive to our comments, and they take the time to explain everything to us.”

In February 2021, Varin explained an inspector had realized that the elevator’s emergency line wasn’t working.

“We sent in a ticket right away to Zodiac, saying, ‘We have a line in the elevator that wasn’t working’ and the same day we had someone come in and organize a new line because it would have taken a longer time to try to troubleshoot the line that was defective,” she explained. “So they put in a new line right away, knowing how important it is for seniors to have elevators for the call system.”

In terms of usability, Varin explained that her care staff has had no issues picking up the system – even those who came from other retirement homes.

“It’s an easy system to work with and it\’s just been getting better and better,” she said.

Despite being with Zodiac for 10 years, Varin said that she has very rarely had problems with the wireless nurse call system.

“The Zodiac team is always trying to be in front of new technologies and to offer us new services. They care about their customers, and they do what they say that they\’ll do instead of just saying that they’ll do something,” said Varin. “There’s that peace of mind in knowing that their system is reliable.”

For more information on the Zodiac wireless nurse call system click here.

To learn how you can implement the Zodiac system into your facility call us at 1-888-745-0107.

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