Pleasant Meadow applauds province’s investment in LTC nurse practitioners

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Home knows first-hand of benefits to LTC homes and hospitals

Thursday, March 6, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Pleasant Meadow Manor nursing administrative services manager Susan Towns is applauding the Ontario government’s recent announcement to invest in 75 nurse practitioners during the next three years who will tend to the needs of long-term care home residents.

Towns says the province’s decision will be beneficial to long-term care residents because more nurse practitioners means fewer home-to-hospital transfers, which can have a negative impact on those living in long-term care homes.

“I think it’s absolutely wonderful that they’re going to increase the number of nurse practitioners available to (long-term care homes),” Towns tells the OMNIway. “(Nurse practitioners) have been an absolute asset to our home.”

Nurse practitioners visit long-term care homes to provide on-site care for medical issues that front-line staff members are unable to treat. They can also prescribe some medications. For example, nurse practitioners can order antibiotics for infections. This, says Towns, is beneficial on two levels.

Firstly, residents needing additional treatment can remain at their long-term care homes, rather than having to deal with the stress of a hospital transfer. When a resident goes to hospital from a long-term care home it can create a lot of anxiety and worsen a person’s quality of life, especially if they end up waiting a long time to be seen, she says.

Secondly, because residents are able to remain at the home, there’s less emergency-room congestion, an issue facing the acute-care system.

Since 2010, a nurse practitioner has been regularly visiting Pleasant Meadow Manor as part of its involvement with the Central East Local Health Integration Network’s (LHIN’s) Nurse Practitioners Supporting Teams Averting Transfers (NPSTAT) program. Since then, Towns says many of the Norwood long-term care home’s residents have been able to avoid hospital transfers.

As part of the funding, long-term care homes that successfully apply for nurse practitioner funding but are unable to recruit one will be able to access the province’s new Grow Your Own Nurse Practitioner in Long-Term Care program. Once launched in 2015-16, this initiative will support homes in providing registered nurses with the education and training to become nurse practitioners.

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CYFS says Willows fire-safety team setting example for other LTC homes to follow

Willows Estate's fire-safety team (pictured above) impressed Central York Fire Services during a recent evacuation drill.

Willows Estate’s fire-safety team (pictured above) impressed Central York Fire Services during a recent evacuation drill.

Fire department wants to use video and Evacusleds in demonstrations

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 — Deron Hamel

AURORA, Ont. – Central York Fire Services (CYFS) personnel is so impressed with the Willows Estate fire-safety team’s recent evacuation drill they want to use a video of the exercise to demonstrate how long-term care homes should react in an emergency.

Willows Estate’s fire-safety team conducted its first-ever evacuation of the second floor during a fire drill at the Aurora long-term care home Feb. 28. The OMNIway filmed the exercise, which took 26 minutes for staff members to evacuate 42 volunteer residents and staff members from rooms.

The evacuation included safely moving people from the second floor down a stairwell.

“I’d like to showcase these people (Willows Estate’s fire-safety team) as an example of how to do this correctly,” CYFS fire prevention officer Ryan Schell tells the OMNIway. “(They) evacuated the second floor of a long-term care facility in 26 minutes — that’s unheard-of. The zone was evacuated in 10 minutes (which) well exceeds provincial standards.”

The evacuation was also unique because it was the first time Evacusleds were used in a fire-safety drill at the home. Evacusleds are devices with tiny wheels that fit under bed mattresses. In an emergency, staff members can rush into the rooms of residents who have Evacusleds, lift residents to the floor without getting them out of bed, and pull them across the floor to safety in short order.

The Evacusleds also played a major factor in the fire-safety team’s success, says Schell.

Willows Estate is the first long-term care home in the Newmarket-Aurora region that CYFS has seen use Evacusleds, says Schell. Willows Estate recently bought 12 of the devices.

In addition to using the video for training purposes, CYFS personnel also wants to show others the value Evacusleds bring to fire-safety teams. In fact, the fire department has borrowed one of the Evacusleds from Willows Estate for a month to use in demonstrations.

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Willows Estate ‘leading the way’ in LTC fire safety: CYFS captain

RN Christine Quizon is seen here preparing to evacuate a staff volunteer during Willows Estate's Feb. 28 fire drill.

RN Christine Quizon is seen here preparing to evacuate a staff volunteer during Willows Estate’s Feb. 28 fire drill.

Team’s top-notch preparedness evacuates second floor in 26 minutes during drill

Monday, March 3, 2014 — Deron Hamel

AURORA, Ont. – Central York Fire Services (CYFS) fire prevention officer Capt. Ryan Schell says the success of Willows Estate’s Feb. 28 evacuation drill shows the home is “leading the way” in fire safety in the region’s long-term care homes.

Schell is referring to the fact the Aurora long-term care home’s fire safety team was able to evacuate 42 staff and resident volunteers from rooms on the second floor and down a flight of stairs in only 26 minutes.

“That’s unheard of,” Schell tells the OMNIway, moments after the drill was complete. “Not only did they do it in a timely manner, I think they’re leading the way. . . . When it comes to evacuating people, these guys are at the top of their game.”

Rooms were evacuated in about 90 seconds each. The fire zone was evacuated in 10 minutes. Schell says these times “well exceed” provincial fire safety standards.

Prior to the evacuation drill, the home’s fire safety team spent two weeks preparing for it. Schell commends team members for their effort.

“The fire safety team here at the Willows went above and beyond,” he says.

This is the first time the Willows team has performed a “vertical evacuation” down a stairwell. It’s also the first time the Willows used Evacusleds during a fire safety drill.

Evacusleds are devices with tiny wheels that fit under bed mattresses. In an emergency, staff members can rush into the rooms of residents who have Evacusleds, lift residents to the floor without getting them out of bed, and pull them across the floor to safety in short order.

The home recently bought 12 of these state-of-the-art emergency devices.

CYFS personnel are so impressed with how quickly people were evacuated they’ve borrowed one of the Evacusleds from Willows Estate for a month to use in demonstrations.

Most fires happen between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. With this in mind, Willows Estate simulated a night shift, with six staff members on hand to perform the drill. Night charge nurse and fire safety team member Lesley Noordhuis says she and other participants were anxious ahead of the drill, but when the time came, everyone jumped into their roles seamlessly.

“As long as everyone works together as a team, it will go smoothly — and what we did today just proves that,” she says

Stay tuned to the OMNIway for Part 2 of this story: CYFS Using Willows Example for Training

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)axiomnews.ca.

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Tanya the Turkey a source of inspiration at West Lake

Tanya the Turkey is seen here outside West Lake Terrace.

Tanya the Turkey is seen here outside West Lake Terrace.

Wild bird’s presence is calming resident agitation

Friday, February 28, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Sometimes inspiration for resident-centred care comes from an unexpected source, as the West Lake Terrace team has recently discovered.

When a wild turkey began showing up at the Prince Edward County long-term care home — ironically around Thanksgiving in October — staff members noticed the positive impact the bird was having on residents, especially those with cognitive impairment.

Nicknamed Tanya the Turkey, the bird has since taken to hanging around the home’s front door, often peeking into the windows.

Registered nurse Tracy Dowdall says one resident who has cognitive impairment and is often affected by agitation will become calm when he sees the turkey.

It can be challenging to divert this resident’s attention, Dowdall notes, but Tanya the Turkey has done an excellent job at making the resident happy.

“When she comes to a window, we will bring this resident in his wheelchair so he can see her, and he calms right down,” Dowdall tells the OMNIway. “Ordinarily, this resident’s attention wanders very quickly, but when Tanya the Turkey is in sight his attention stays.”

In fact, the resident will often look for the bird, sitting by the dining room windows waiting for her to appear.

And this isn’t the only resident who has taken a shine to the turkey, Dowdall says. Since this has been a harsh winter, residents have stayed indoors more than usual, so many people who usually enjoy going outside have looked to Tanya the Turkey to provide stimulation, she says.

“It’s really neat to look outside and see the breast feathers of a wild turkey pressed up against a window,” Dowdall says.

Tanya the Turkey is also proving to be a source of motivation for residents involved in the home’s physiotherapy program. Dowdall notes how when Tanya is hanging around, the physiotherapy assistants promise residents they will get to visit her when they’ve completed their exercises.

Staff members have been feeding the bird to ensure she keeps returning. Dowdall has also been in contact with a local bird expert for advice on the best feed the team can leave for Tanya.

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

How a handful of Cheerios made a difference on Valentine’s Day

Maplewood resident George Mularchuck’s Valentine’s Day tradition of presenting his wife, Jackie, with a heart made from Cheerios has continued since he moved into the Brighton home.

Maplewood resident George Mularchuck’s Valentine’s Day tradition of presenting his wife, Jackie, with a heart made from Cheerios has continued since he moved into the Brighton home.


‘I will remember this for the rest of my life,’ says resident

Thursday, February 27, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When Jackie Mularchuck was at Maplewood visiting her husband George on Valentine’s Day she got a huge surprise when she was presented with a heart-shaped handful of Cheerios on a table.

It had been a long-standing tradition for George to arrange Cheerios into a heart every Feb. 14, but this had not happened since George moved into the Brighton long-term care home a little more than a year ago.

The surprise came about when personal support worker (PSW) Roxanne Wills asked Jackie what sorts of things George would do for her on Valentine’s Day. Jackie told her about the Cheerios tradition. Jackie always helps staff members during her visits. While she was folding napkins, George and Roxanne snuck into the kitchen to get Cheerios and arrange them into a heart shape.

Jackie says she was “thrilled” that Wills had taken time to help George with the Valentine’s Day gesture, and she admits she was overcome with emotion when she discovered what the pair was up to.

The moment, she says, will leave a lasting impression on her, as receiving heart-shaped Cheerios is something Jackie looks forward to every Valentine’s Day.

“I broke down and George broke down and Roxanne broke down,” Jackie laughs. “I have a lot of friends and family on Facebook, so the next day I told everyone about what this special PSW had done for my husband and I. I will remember this for the rest of my life.”

While Jackie was touched that a staff member went the extra mile for her and George on Valentine’s Day, she says the gesture is part and parcel with what she has come to expect from the Maplewood team.

Since George moved into the home, Jackie says she’s been happy with the care he receives and his quality of life.

“The staff here at Maplewood are exceptional,” she says. “I don’t ever worry about George while he’s here.”

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Local media highlights Woodland pet-therapy program

The Cornwall Standard Freeholder story about Woodland Villa volunteer Bridget Le Touze and her St. John Ambulance therapy dog, Finnigan.

The Cornwall Standard Freeholder story about Woodland Villa volunteer Bridget Le Touze and her St. John Ambulance therapy dog, Finnigan.


LEC commends newspaper for coverage of important initiative

Tuesday, February 25, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Woodland Villa life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Lisa Doran is applauding a local newspaper for recent articles highlighting the Long Sault home’s pet-therapy program.

The Cornwall Standard Freeholder recently published feature stories about how volunteer Bridget Le Touze and her St. John Ambulance therapy dog, Finnigan, visit the home’s residents every two weeks.

Le Touze and Finnigan recently received the Cornwall District Kennel Club trophy for completing the most volunteer hours in the region. The duo also was awarded the St. Joseph’s Continuing Healthcare Centre trophy, which recognizes the team that best represents the St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program.

The newspaper wanted to publish a story with a photograph of Le Touze and Finnigan volunteering, and wanted to conduct the interview while the pair was volunteering. Le Touze suggested Woodland Villa, so reporter Lois Ann Baker stopped by during the home’s pet-therapy program one day.

“I really enjoyed the story,” Doran says.

“She said we’re a friendly home and that they enjoy coming here. It was an honour for us, too, (because) we really enjoy having them come here.”

Doran says the pet-therapy program brings a lot of value to residents. When Le Touze and Finnigan are at Woodland Villa, they circle the home, visiting rooms that are marked with a paw print. This sign means residents have requested a visit.

Doran says the atmosphere is always upbeat when Le Touze and Finnigan visit. In fact, many of the home’s 111 residents look forward to the program.

To qualify as a therapy dog, Finnigan went through a lengthy training program. Finnigan has a gentle nature and responds well to residents, Doran says. “The residents are happy when they see an animal come in, and Finnigan is a very friendly dog.”

The St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program’s website explains the positive impact animals can have on people with cognitive impairment.

“Through petting, affection, and regular visitation of a dog, patients/residents find peace in the gentle contact with the dog and in its quiet presence,” the site says. “(People) talk more to others, participate in activities, eat and sleep better, smile more. As a result their quality of life is improved.”

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)axiomnews.ca.

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Alzheimer Society develops new info on person-centred care

MaryShulzImageQuote

PC P.E.A.R.L.S. can be added to programs like Supportive Measures

Monday, February 24, 2014 — Deron Hamel

The Alzheimer Society of Canada has released new information to assist long-term care homes in providing person-centred care. Mary Schulz, education director at the Alzheimer Society of Canada, says the seven PC P.E.A.R.L.S can be introduced to homes in conjunction with already effective tools, including OMNI Health Care’s Supportive Measures program.

PC P.E.A.R.L.S. is an acronym for the seven key elements a recent study by the society found common in six Canadian long-term care homes it researched: person/family engagement, care, processes, environment, activity and recreation, leadership and staffing.

The Alzheimer Society website describes the core principles of PC P.E.A.R.L.S.  and provides strategies long-term care homes can use to ensure each component is fully utilized.

The Alzheimer Society estimates 747,000 Canadians — many of whom live in long-term care homes — have Alzheimer’s disease or dementia and the number is expected to climb to 1.4 million by 2031.

In an interview with the OMNIway, Schulz applauds OMNI’s Supportive Measures program as an example of what long-term care providers should be doing to promote person-centred care. Supportive Measures provides personalized interventions for residents affected by Alzheimer’s disease or dementia that helps alleviate anxiety, agitation and frustration.

Schulz also says that while OMNI and other long-term care providers have long been working to promote person-centred care, there are always new things to learn. Learning new ways to provide person-centred care, she adds, is a “journey” for caregivers.

“I think the first message is ‘good for you,’ ” she says of the Supportive Measures program. “This is obviously not just the flavour of the month; this is the philosophy that we all need to embrace if we’re going to make living in long-term care more meaningful but also to make the work more meaningful and satisfying for staff.

“Don’t stop now; there’s more (long-term care providers) can do and we’re here to help with the very specific strategies,” Schulz says.

Based on the results coming from the long-term care homes using PC P.E.A.R.L.S. principles, even residents in the later stages of dementia are able to be “reached,” Schulz says.

Staff members and families can use elements of PC P.E.A.R.L.S. to better engage residents in a personalized way. The result is that families and staff members can communicate — even nonverbally — to residents with dementia. The trickle-down effect is that families learn new ways to connect with their loved ones.

“Staff feels much more satisfied with their work because they’re not providing care on an assembly line,” Shulz adds. “They’re given the flexibility to say, ‘I think (the resident) needs something different today and I’m going to have the freedom to experiment.’ ”

Click here to read more about the seven PC P.E.A.R.L.S.

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)axiomnews.ca.

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Country Terrace fundraising, encouraging healthy lifestyles

 Home hosts event in honour of Heart Month

February is Heart Month, and the team at Country Terrace dedicated Feb. 12 to promoting healthy eating while raising money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Read more

Frost Manor Valentine’s luncheon a hallmark of home’s culture

Residents and their spouses are seen here enjoying a Valentine's Day lunch at Frost Manor.

Residents and their spouses are seen here enjoying a Valentine’s Day lunch at Frost Manor.

‘Knowing how much the residents enjoy the luncheon makes it all worthwhile’

Wednesday, February 19, 2014 — Deron Hamel

The Frost Manor team once again gave a 100 per cent effort into making this year’s annual Valentine’s Day luncheon a success, and this was evident by the smiles on the faces of six happy couples who attended the event, says life enrichment co-ordinator Vi O’Leary.

As with past years, the Feb. 14 event saw dietary staff members create a special luncheon of lasagna, caesar salad and non-alcoholic wine, while life enrichment staff pitched in decorating the Lindsay long-term care home in red to mark the spirit of the occasion. Each of the six ladies received a red rose, courtesy of the home.

The Frost Manor team always goes the extra mile for resident couples on Valentine’s Day because it’s an occasion that means a lot to the men and women, O’Leary says. One of the couples attending this year’s luncheon lives at the home, while the other five couples have one spouse each living at Frost Manor and the other living at home.

What makes Valentine’s Day so special at Frost Manor is the fact that some of the couples don’t get a chance to spend much time together, says O’Leary. By hosting the event, staff members are promoting quality of life for residents and their spouses, she says.

“The next day I was talking to one of the residents, and she thanked us for having the luncheon and she thanked us for giving each of the ladies a rose,” O’Leary says, adding the spouses living outside the home also comment on how the luncheon is important to them.

“Knowing how much the residents enjoy the luncheon makes it all worthwhile.”

On Feb. 13, Frost Manor hosted a Valentine’s party, to make sure all residents were included in festivities that go along with the occasion.

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)axiomnews.ca.

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Staff raise funds for animals through sweets

riverview

Riverview Manor supports local Humane Society with cupcake sale

Wednesday, February 12, 2014 — Jennifer Neutel

Two Riverview Manor staff members are leading a fundraising effort starting today to support the Peterborough Humane Society.

Dana Huggins, environmental service worker, and personal support worker Laura Knox, are organizing a cupcake sale that starts today (Feb. 12) at the Peterborough long-term care home. Staff, family members and residents (non-diabetic) can pay a minimum of one dollar for a cupcake, with funds going towards the humane society.

The cupcakes will be on sale daily until Feb. 23.

Staff and family members are also invited to bring in wet or dry pet food, as well as towels or comforters for bedding, throughout the month.

“We are just trying to raise money for a good cause because we have a lot of animal lovers here,” says Huggins.

Life enrichment co-ordinator Sonia Murney notes she found out during morning report that staff members in the home’s environmental department collected money for the humane society at Christmas instead of giving each other gifts.

“I thought that is just wonderful,” adds Murney, who says she will “absolutely” be purchasing a cupcake.

Murney says it is always good for the home to be involved with the community, and pet therapy is a big program at the home.

“The residents love the animals, so I think that goes hand in hand with (this fundraiser),” she adds.

The Peterborough Humane Society is promoting National Cupcake Day on Feb. 24. Huggins found out about the national day when she dropped off the Christmas donation, which prompted the idea for the home’s bake sale.

Huggins, Knox and a few other staff members are making the cupcakes for the sale.

According to its website, the Peterborough Humane Society “advocates for the welfare of animals by improving their lives, alleviating suffering, rescuing, providing shelter, healing, facilitating adoption and reducing pet overpopulation.”

The registered charitable organization was established in 1941.

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