Community connection saves Easter dinner for LTC residents


Frost Manor LEC commends Lindsay legion for organizing Easter dinner for 75 residents

Frost Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Vi O’Leary is extending her thanks to the Lindsay branch of the Royal Canadian Legion for its help ensuring about 75 residents from several long-term care communities had a meaningful Easter supper. Read more

OMNI culinary talent will be showcased at LTC convention


Neil MacDonald and Chris Weber hosting session on cooking with exotic ingredients

Neil MacDonald and Chris Weber are no strangers when working together in a kitchen. Read more

Frost Manor reporting increased rate of improved behaviours

Staff interventions credited for success

Frost Manor is significantly above the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s benchmark for its rate of improved behaviours, according to the latest data. Read more

Resident sewing group presents dignity quilt to Frost Manor

Project to make quilt engaged a large group of people

A group of residents along with life enrichment aide Eunice Howe recently presented a dignity quilt they made to Frost Manor. Read more

Frost Manor makes lemonade from lemons

Barbecue provided for residents whose camping trip was cancelled at the last minute

When an annual camping trip was cancelled for Frost Manor residents, the Lindsay long-term care home’s life enrichment team pulled together to make the best of a disappointing situation.

Frost Manor residents and staff members have gone to Eaglewood Resort in Pefferlaw, Ont. every September for the past 10 years for a three-day camping trip. Eight residents and staff members were ready to go on this year’s outing Sept. 10-12, however, at the last moment the outing was called off due to a warning about E. Coli contamination in Lake Simcoe.

Residents had been excited about the trip, and life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Vi O’Leary and others were saddened to have to break the unfortunate news to them. Still, the team wanted to do something to make up for it, so they organized a barbecue for the eight people — complete with steaks and beer.

News of the cancellation was especially tough on four residents who went to Eaglewood Resort last year and had a great time, O’Leary says.

“All the residents who were going were really looking forward to the trip,” the LEC says. “The first night that we were (at the camp) we would have had happy hour and then a barbecue, so we did those things here.”

The nutritional care department also provided a helping hand by preparing the steaks, potatoes and caesar salad for everyone, O’Leary adds.

“It was the best we could do — we had to do something,” she says. “But we will go (to Eaglewood Resort) again. We will see what another year brings.”

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)

Check out this unique version of roast chicken

Best Dressed Winner

Meal earns cook Kathy Pratt ‘best dressed plate’ at Frost Manor

Thursday, July 10, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When it comes to serving meals for long-term care home residents, presentation is almost as important as taste, so kitchen staff must pay keen attention to culinary preparations to ensure meals are appetizing to both the palate and the eye.

Frost Manor cook Kathy Pratt has these areas covered in a dish she created that won top honours for a “best dressed plate” contest at the Lindsay long-term care home. Frost Manor hosted the contest as part of OMNI Health Care’s ongoing Quality Matters initiative.

Pratt’s creation consists of roasted chicken slices lightly covered with a honey-garlic sauce accompanied by roasted potatoes and Brussels sprouts.

Neil MacDonald, Frost Manor’s nutritional care manager, is applauding the ingenuity that Pratt put into her roast chicken.

“There’s great creativity with Kathy’s dish,” he says. “She really took a nice approach to the plate, with the protein (the chicken) fanned out in the middle with the potatoes and the vegetables staggered around the dish, which really emphasized the balance of the plate with a nice focal point of the chicken in the middle with the sauce. There was some nice colour balance.”

MacDonald says Pratt’s chicken dish is indicative of the new wave of food served today in long-term care homes. While kitchen staff must follow the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care’s nutritional guidelines, OMNI encourages creative, from-scratch cooking in its 18 homes.

“Lately, the focus has been on plating and garnishing, and making the food more presentable,” he says.

On a recent episode of Top Chef Canada, a judge disparagingly remarked that two contestants from the cooking reality show had created dishes that resembled “nursing-home food.”

In response, Chris Weber, OMNI’s operations manager of nutrition and food services, wants to show the world just what “nursing-home food” really is and how chefs and cooks working in the long-term care sector can produce top-quality dishes as good as anyone.

Using the hashtag #NursingHomeFood on social-media networks Twitter and Facebook, Weber and The OMNIway are collaborating in the coming weeks to showcase some of the top-notch food being prepared at OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)
If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)

Frost Manor the recipient of a random act of kindness

Volunteer group stops by home to spruce up garden area

The area surrounding Frost Manor’s garden is looking better than ever, thanks to a local volunteer group’s hard work on June 7.

LOL: Love on Lindsay is a community beautification initiative in Lindsay that involves volunteers taking time to perform painting, gardening and landscaping chores around town. Read more

Frost Manor’s new aquarium seeing ‘highly positive responses’

Family member donates fish tank to home

When the daughter of a Frost Manor resident saw colourful fish swimming in an aquarium at Victoria Manor, another Lindsay long-term care home, she was inspired.

At the time, Michele Bouchier was looking for a home for her mother, Marilyn. After Marilyn moved into Frost Manor last September, Bouchier became active in the home’s family council. It was at a family council meeting attended by two representatives from Victoria Manor’s council who attested to residents’ “highly positive responses” to the fish tank at that home, that she was convinced Frost Manor should get an aquarium.

So Bouchier put the idea into action and donated a fish tank to the home recently. She is even paying the monthly fee for Kawartha Aquariums in Peterborough to visit the home to maintain the tank.

Life enrichment co-ordinator Vi O’Leary says residents are already enjoying looking at the five baby cichlids in the tank and there are more to come.

“The response from residents is very noticeable already; people who normally don’t participate in activities are sitting there looking at the tank,” she says. “This is a big bonus for us, all the way around.”

Bouchier says this is the response she saw from Victoria Manor residents. She also learned that Frost Manor had contemplated getting an aquarium in the past, but was never able to because of the cost associated with buying and maintaining a fish tank. Bouchier didn’t want to see cost become an issue, so she offered to buy and donate the aquarium.

In fact, Bouchier is so convinced of the recreational value of the 74-gallon tank she’s even setting up her will so there will always be money sent to the home to maintain it.

“(Frost Manor) was worried it would be too much money, but I (wanted to) because it would be something that everyone at the home could use,” Bouchier says.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)

Interim manager nourished by long-term care experience

Leading Frost Manor’s strong dietary care team is ‘awesome,’ Neil MacDonald says

Frost Manor’s interim nutritional care manager says he might very well consider staying on permanently in long-term care because he’s enjoying the experience so much.

“I really enjoy people and I really enjoy being able to do something and immediately see the results, the positive effect. And that comes through with the residents,” says Neil MacDonald, who joined the Lindsay long-term care home in mid-February.

Residents are the best diners, he says. “Every service the dining room is full, they’re always going to be there, and they like to give you feedback. And I want to know if they didn’t like something so I can do it better the next time. It’s a really nice thing to be able to do the small things and impact someone’s life in a positive way.

“That’s something I’ve really learned from this long-term care experience,” MacDonald says.

He brings to Frost Manor past cooking experience at Peterborough’s Riverview Manor, another OMNI Health Care home, and in restaurants. He remembers working in a restaurant kitchen many years ago with two OMNI managers, including nutrition and food services operation manager Chris Weber, and marvels at how they’re all with the same organization again.

“When this opportunity came up, I was very excited,” MacDonald says, adding it’s “awesome” to be leading the team in Frost Manor’s kitchen.

“It’s a great experience, with great learning as far as a career is concerned, and it’s wonderful being able to impact people’s lives by making small adjustments.”

As a Type I diabetic, MacDonald understands the important link between nutrition and health. In long-term care, many dietary requirements have to be met to maintain residents’ health.

“I feel so many issues, especially being in this role in a long-term care home, can be solved through proper nutrition and good food. And residents, as I’ve seen, like their food more when it’s enjoyable, which is very important,” MacDonald says.

He appreciates the opportunity to cook, and to cook from scratch, which he was surprised to learn happens more than one might think. “OMNI is going in a positive direction in the food and nutrition sectors, just by cooking from scratch and getting back to the basics,” MacDonald says.

He is also grateful for the support of his team, whom he says demonstrates strong camaraderie and a willingness to try new things. For instance, they tried one of MacDonald’s dessert recipes for last month’s volunteer appreciation

“What was cool about that was, they did it and it was restaurant quality,” he says, adding it was a memorable team-building and learning experience.

“They’ve been very accepting of me and my style and everything. It’s cool for both of us.”

If you have a story to share or feedback on this article, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 25, or e-mail lisa(at)

Frost Manor expresses gratitude to volunteers with food

Volunteers enjoy a special luncheon at Frost Manor held in their honour.

Volunteers enjoy a special luncheon at Frost Manor held in their honour.

Luncheon is ‘excellent display of teamwork,’ interim manager says

Tuesday, April 29, 2014 — Lisa Bailey

Neil MacDonald counts the recent volunteer luncheon as one of the highlights so far of his time as Frost Manor’s interim nutritional care manager.

“It is quite a special event as it is our chance to thank these wonderful people for all that they do for our home and residents,” says MacDonald, who just joined the Lindsay long-term care home in February.

“Volunteers are such an important part of our team here at Frost Manor, and it is difficult to express the amount of appreciation we have for them and the care and support they provide to our residents,” he says.

It was exhilarating to be able to express gratitude through food while showcasing his team’s skills, MacDonald says. They prepared a gourmet meal from scratch that included a dessert made from a recipe MacDonald brought from his restaurant background. The result was restaurant quality, he says, and part of what made the whole experience unique and memorable.

“Every day there’s always a highlight (working with the dietary staff) but this was a really cool event for us to showcase our skill and what we can do in the kitchen, and to give back to the volunteers because they’re such an awesome part of the team,” MacDonald says.

Approximately 40 volunteers attended the April 10 luncheon, which Frost Manor holds once a year in their honour.

MacDonald, who has also worked at another OMNI long-term care home, has seen the difference that volunteers make in residents’ lives and for staff members. They’re a great help, for example, at special dining events such as luncheons and teas, and the connections they make with residents yield social, emotional and other benefits.

“It’s incredible, because I notice when I go and talk with a resident even for just five minutes in a day, how important it is to the resident and how much it makes them happy,” MacDonald says. “So when a volunteer comes in and spends, say, an hour a week, that impacts a number of residents so much . . . And (volunteers) do such a variety of things like arts and crafts or just sitting and reading with them or singing songs . . . and it really has a positive impact because residents have that interaction, which is very needed.”

MacDonald volunteered at a summer basketball camp while in high school and found it to be a worthwhile learning experience while sharing his love of the sport. “How nice it is to pass a little bit of passion on to someone, and the same thing is shown here and the residents really appreciate the volunteers.”

In addition to a heart-felt expression of appreciation, Frost Manor’s volunteer luncheon was “an excellent display of teamwork,” MacDonald says, noting organizational, communication and other skills were vital to planning and executing the celebration.

The luncheon had the full support of the management team, who also acted as servers. MacDonald also cites life enrichment co-ordinator Vi O’Leary for bringing the whole event together and her and her team’s efforts in organizing the dining room.

The dietary team played a pivotal role in the luncheon’s success, says MacDonald, who appreciates all the support they’ve given him in the short time he’s been interim manager.

“Special thanks to my dietary department staff for helping me to prepare and present this gourmet meal and have a great time while doing it,” MacDonald says. “I could not have done it without them.”

If you have a story to share or feedback on this article please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 25, or e-mail lisa(at)