Susan MacLeod & Diane Wooden

Biography | Biographie

Susan MacLeod is an artist writing and drawing about long term care in Halifax. Her humorous book, Dying for Attention: A Graphic Memoir of Nursing Home Care, was released in October 2021 by Conundrum Press and follows her nine-year journey shepherding her mother through a callous system while nagging an indifferent sibling. The book was given an “Outstanding in its Genre” review by the American Library Association publication, Booklist. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from NSCAD University and a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Nonfiction, University of King’s College, and a BA from Mount Allison. Follow her work on Instagram, Humans of Saint Vincent’s, or visit her website,

Biography | Biographie

Throughout her extensive career working with leaders and their people in all aspects of human resource management, Diane has operated from her core belief that strong, trusting relationships are the key to everyone’s personal and professional success. And she’s confirmed over and over again that communication is the key to establishing and maintaining those strong, trusting relationships, especially the difficult conversations! She holds a Bachelor of Science from Mount Saint Vincent University and a Master of Public Administration from Dalhousie University. Diane’s website is:

Booth Summary | Sommaire de kiosque

How might simple visuals improve communications between families and staff in nursing homes?

I am interested in improving communications between family members and staff involved with long-term care. At my booth, I will highlight the panels from my book that deal with misunderstandings due to poor communications and offer a survey that conference-goers can fill out regarding communications in nursing homes and the issues shown in the panels.

A recurring motif in my book is a panel asking, “Who teachers care workers to talk like that?” I am interested in talking to people at the conference about how/if teaching and then using simple standard cartoon figures might help improve communications with and between nursing home staff and family members.

Such cartoon icons might be simple emoji faces on cartoon stick figures indicating a person in a certain context – position in a bed or wheelchair, for example. There is a Canada Council of the Arts Strategic Innovation Seed Grant that this work might be eligible for.