Car show delivers smiles to residents once again

Riverview Manor resident Doris Shiniman is seen here with one of the many classic cars at the home July 22 during its annual car show.

Riverview Manor resident Doris Shiniman is seen here with one of the many classic cars at the home July 22 during its annual car show.

Annual tradition has become so popular with residents, car club now calls home to book dates

Thursday, July 24, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Riverview Manor residents were once again treated to a car show that has become an important part of the Peterborough long-term care home’s culture.

In fact, the relationship between Riverview Manor and the enthusiasts who form the seniors’ car club has become so strong over the years the club now calls the home to book dates to visit — not the other way around.

Each summer car club members take their wheels to Peterborough-area long-term care homes and invite residents and staff members to have a look. The car show always brings back lots of memories for residents who often reminisce for days afterwards about the experience, says life enrichment co-ordinator Sherry Baldwin.

The July 22 event, which included a barbecue, saw an array of classic cars on display in the home’s parking lot. Baldwin says about 50 of the home’s 124 residents came outside to have a look at the cars, which included hot rods dating back more than 80 years.

“We also had a deejay this year, which was great, so there was lots of music and it was a lot of fun,” Baldwin says.  “The cars were absolutely gorgeous and the residents loved it.”

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.

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

Natural beauties flourish with helping hands at Streamway Villa

Enjoying the flower gardens at Streamway Villa are (from left) administrator Kylie Szczebonski and residents Marnie Burke and Fred Hawes.

Enjoying the flower gardens at Streamway Villa are (from left) administrator Kylie Szczebonski and residents Marnie Burke and Fred Hawes.


Hope and purpose synonymous with nature

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 — Lisa Bailey

Volunteers are creating a pretty view from the patio at Streamway Villa. All around are well tended beds of colourful flowers and hanging baskets of red, robust geraniums and other natural beauties suspended from the patio canopy.

The helping hands of volunteers, including two teenagers and three adults with family or friend connections to Streamway Villa, are looking after the flower beds. And it’s very much appreciated by the home and its life enrichment team.

The volunteers are deepening the residents’ enjoyment of the outdoors in summertime, which contributes to their quality of life.

“The gardens are looking fabulous,” life enrichment aide Nancy Williams says.

“We like to keep our gardens looking so nice, and the patio and gardens is one of the attractions of our home,” she says.

From the patio, which is just off Streamway Villa’s dining room, the flower beds rim the perimeter of the yard and abut the building.

The volunteers carried out the planting and spread black mulch which accentuates the colour of the many blooms.

Residents are definitely noticing the volunteers’ handiwork during walks and from the patio, Williams says. The patio is a popular spot, visited by residents after every meal and into the evening. Campfires and other activities are held in the patio and yard area too.

It’s a place not only to connect with nature but also to the community as passersby are visible and sounds like church bells are audible.

Residents at Streamway Villa are also engaged in a gardening program at the home, tending to a raised vegetable garden that is right outside the dining room window – a great vantage point to see the growing foods.

Williams says gardening and connecting with nature is part of daily living for many people, and that continues for residents at Streamway Villa.

“It gives hope and purpose and (a sense of) belonging because they’re helping to maintain (living) things,” Williams says.

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)axiomnews.com.

Butterfly program engaging residents with cognitive impairment

LEA says families are ‘just blown away’ by results

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Forest Hill life enrichment aide (LEA) Shannon Lynch has brought a unique idea to the Kanata long-term care home that’s proving effective at engaging residents with cognitive impairment.

Lynch got the idea to bring larvae to a special area outside the home and engage residents in the process watching the cocoons hatch into butterflies from a newspaper article assistant director of care Nicole Fulford had shown her.

Plus, it has proved to be an excellent opportunity to bring residents outdoors to enjoy the summer weather while watching the chrysalis process inside a large mesh tent where the butterfly houses are stored.

Lynch says the residents have enjoyed many aspects of the program since it began in early June, from painting the butterfly houses to watching the vibrant colours of the butterflies’ wings to simply sitting outside in the warm weather.

Residents can sit inside the large tent and watch the butterflies come in and out of their house and fly around. Sometimes residents and life enrichment staff sit in the tent reading or talking and simply enjoying the ambiance.

The LEA says family members are overwhelmed with the program’s success. What has made it successful, she adds, is the fact that the program allows for residents to reminisce and socialize in an atmosphere that provides a lot of sensory stimulation.

“The family members are just blown away by this,” she says. “When you show them the photographs of their loved ones smiling and laughing, they love it.”

The program has also served as an opportunity to make new connections. Rita Gurova, a staff member who works in the kitchen, speaks Russian as her first language. One of the residents involved with the program also speaks Russian, so Gurova takes time to visit with this resident when the program is running.

Nineteen butterflies were hatched this year, and life enrichment co-ordinator Craig Forrest says he hopes to increase that number to 50 next year and open the program to more residents.

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.com.

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

Vi Larose reflects on past year at Almonte Country Haven

Almonte Country Haven resident Vi Larose is seen here spending time with niece Sharon Pottle.

Almonte Country Haven resident Vi Larose is seen here spending time with niece Sharon Pottle.

Entertainment, food and social life are among home’s strengths, says 90-Plus Club member

Monday, July 21, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Meet Vi Larose, a member of Almonte Country Haven’s 90-Plus Club.

Vi, who will turn 100 on Nov. 5, has been a resident at the Lanark County long-term care home about a year. She and her niece, Sharon Pottle, say they are happy with all aspects of life at Almonte Country Haven from the food, to the entertainment to the kind, caring staff who always have time for residents.

A lifelong resident of Almonte, Ont., Vi says her favourite aspect of life at the OMNI Health Care home has been the people she lives with as well as the staff.

“The people are all so friendly,” she says.

Sharon adds that Vi’s had a much more active social life since moving into Almonte Country Haven. When entertainers come in, Vi is “always sitting up in the front row,” she says.

“And Vi really loves the staff,” Sharon says.

Vi and Sharon also compliment Almonte Country Haven’s kitchen staff for the food served. Vi says the meals are enjoyable and she likes the fact that there’s always choice provided at mealtimes. There’s always snacks provided throughout the day, too, she adds.

Asked what she wants to do for her milestone birthday, Vi’s answer is straightforward: “Be happy.”

Almonte Country Haven launched the 90-Plus Club in June. The club is designed to honour residents who are nonagenarians and centenarians — people in their 90s and 100s.

The 90-Plus Club has 26 residents, with some nearing the 100-year mark. The purpose of the club is to “recognize, demonstrate our respect and acknowledge those residents who have reached 90 years or more,” explains administrator Marilyn Colton.

As part of the 90-Plus Club, members have the opportunity to choose activities and contribute to the home’s newsletter, Small Home, Big Hearts, and, if they choose, be profiled in the bimonthly OMNIway print piece.

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.com.

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

Willows resident Mary Evanoff celebrates 100th birthday

Mary Evenoff (centre) is seen here with her family during her 100th birthday celebration at Willows Estate July 10.

Mary Evanoff (centre) is seen here with her family during her 100th birthday celebration at Willows Estate July 10.


Family organizes celebration at the home

Friday, July 18, 2014 — Deron Hamel

It’s not every day that Willows Estate has a resident who turns 100, so when the occasion does happen the Aurora long-term care home goes all out to ensure centenarians are celebrated in style.

On July 10, several of Mary Evanoff’s family members and close friends came to the Willows to celebrate her special occasion. Making the event even more special, her granddaughters honoured Mary’s love of cooking by preparing some of the recipes Mary used to often make, including perogies.

“The granddaughters made the food and they brought it in and the family had a lovely lunch together,” says life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Teddy Mazzuca. “Mary was thrilled. She had a ton of family here, and it was a nice day for her.”

Staff members helped out with odds and ends, but for the most part it was Mary’s family who organized the party and made it come alive.

That said, the Willows team passed the hat around and collected donations to buy Mary a floral bouquet.

Mazzuca says Mary is only the second resident she has seen celebrate a 100th birthday at the Willows.

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

#NursingHomeFood campaign showing the new wave of LTC cooking

FineFood3

An array of savoury and sweet recipes demonstrating the quality of food created in OMNI kitchens

Thursday, July 17, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Since launching its #NursingHomeFood campaign in early June, The OMNIway has brought to light several stories highlighting the top-notch food created in the kitchens of OMNI Health Care-owned long-term care homes.

Recently, Frost Manor hosted a plating contest in the Lindsay long-term care home’s kitchen as part of OMNI Health Care’s ongoing Quality Matters initiative. Cook Kathy Pratt won top honours for “best dressed plate” with her unique take on roast chicken.

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

“There’s great creativity with Kathy’s dish,” says nutritional care manager Neil MacDonald. “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.”

Most people don’t think of Salisbury steak as a fancy meal, but Garden Terrace head cook Isioma Okolie has developed his own unique take on a ground-beef patty.

His idea behind the dish is simple: present residents with the type of food they enjoy and present it in a way that maximizes appearance. Most long-term care home residents, Okolie notes, have a different palate than younger generations, so simple meat-and-potato-type meals are the preference.

His version of Salisbury steak is a serving of quality ground beef topped with a few roasted potatoes and steamed cauliflower resting in au jus.

Okolie says he’s surprised at the fanfare his version for Salisbury steak the Kanata home’s residents, many of whom normally aren’t fans of ground beef.

The dish’s presentation has made the difference, he says.

“You eat with your eyes first,” he says.

But it’s not just savoury dishes that are making a splash with residents of OMNI homes. Take Streamway Villa nutritional care manager Garth Derry’s “exaggerated lemon meringue pie,” which has become a favourite on the Cobourg home’s menu.

What makes this pie “exaggerated” is its massive size and mountainous meringue topping.

Derry, who has also worked in high-end restaurants, says his lemon meringue pie is one example seen of the top-quality food served in long-term care homes today. It’s food like this that’s part of the change in long-term care homes over the years, he adds.

On a recent episode of TV’s 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 long-term care sector can produce top-quality dishes as good as anyone.

Keep reading The OMNIway to stay up to date on this series. You can also use the Twitter hashtag #NursingHomeFood.

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

LEA organizes luncheon that brings her back to her roots

When Country Terrace life enrichment aide (LEA) Alysha Verhoeven began to notice an increase of Dutch residents at the Komoka long-term care home, she got an idea for a program that would tap into her own Dutch roots.

When Country Terrace life enrichment aide (LEA) Alysha Verhoeven began to notice an increase of Dutch residents at the Komoka long-term care home, she got an idea for a program that would tap into her own Dutch roots.


Country Terrace’s growing Dutch population sparks an idea for Alysha Verhoeven

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When Country Terrace life enrichment aide (LEA) Alysha Verhoeven began to notice an increase of Dutch residents at the Komoka long-term care home, she got an idea for a program that would tap into her own Dutch roots.

Alysha thought of her grandmother, or “oma,” Margaret Verhoeven, who is an excellent cook. What better way to make Dutch residents feel even more at home than to have her oma prepare a Dutch luncheon for them?

So, Alysha called her grandmother, who has volunteered in other long-term care homes, and asked if she’d be willing to cook some of her favourite Dutch recipes for them. Margaret was happy to help out and recently prepared a Dutch spread of food that included a traditional meatball soup and a cake, while Alysha prepared an array of sandwiches and tea.

Adding to the spirit of the event, Alysha decorated the dining room with red, white and blue ribbons to emulate the colours of the Netherlands’ flag. She also brought in a clog, a traditional wooden shoe that was used as a centrepiece, as well as miniature porcelain gin bottles shaped like houses that are distributed by Dutch airliner KLM.

Of course, no event celebrating culture would be complete without music, so the luncheon was followed by a Dutch singalong that brought out residents’ musical side.

“One woman, who speaks mainly Dutch, was singing the entire time and I’ve never heard her sing like that before,” Alysha says, adding that several residents who aren’t Dutch also joined in.

Alysha says she wants to celebrate a different culture each month on a go-forward basis.

“We have a lot of people here who are of different ethnicities, so it would be nice to celebrate everyone,” she says.

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.

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

Two Woodland award recipients are all about resident focus

Woodland

Linda Gadbois and Keryn Crawford honoured for their long-standing commitment

Tuesday, July 15, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When nursing administrative services manager Kim Lama talks about Linda Gadbois and Keryn Crawford, she speaks of two long-standing Woodland Villa team members who give their all for the residents they serve.

And it’s because of their dedication to residents at the Long Sault long-term care home that Gadbois and Crawford were recognized with Woodland Villa’s Inspired Leader and Everyday Hero awards, respectively.

Lama says Gadbois, the home’s environmental services manager, is an “amazing leader.”

“Linda has been here since pretty much the doors opened and she’s amazing,” says Lama, who was one of the team members that nominated Gadbois and Crawford for the awards. “Linda is good to her staff, she’s hands-on and she more than willing to help others.”

The Inspired Leader award acknowledges employees who consistently motivate, inspire and enable others to provide the kind of care that benefits residents in every aspect of their lives.

Crawford, a staff member in the environmental services department, has worked at Woodland Villa since November 1985.

Lama says what makes Crawford stand out as an Everyday Hero is her cheery personality.

“She’s always got a personality on her face and the residents just love her,” Lama says. “She’s got a good rapport with residents. The residents love her and the staff members all love her and if you need something she’s always there.”

The Everyday Hero program is running at OMNI Health Care’s long-term homes. The initiative began nine years ago to recognize employees’ hard work and dedication to residents.

Staff members and managers from OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes were honoured with Inspired Leader and Everyday Hero awards at the organization’s annual managers’ forum in May.

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.

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

Birru Firew an employee ‘you’d love to clone’

The Garden Terrace management team gathers for a photo prior to an awards ceremony at Fern Resort in Orillia.

The Garden Terrace management team gathers for a photo prior to an awards ceremony at Fern Resort in Orillia.

‘Genuine’ PSW Garden Terrace’s Everyday Hero

Monday, July 14, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

ORILLIA, Ont. – Through his “authentic” and “genuine” ways, Birru Firew brings a sense of peace to the residents of Garden Terrace.

The personal support worker’s (PSW) gifts were on display recently when Firew was named Garden Terrace’s Everyday Hero.

OMNI Health Care managers heard about the contributions of the full-time, fifth-floor PSW during the May 7 second annual Awards and Recognition Night at Fern Resort.

“He’s the kind of PSW you’d love to clone,” said Annik Donzil, Garden Terrace director of care. “He daily demonstrates a kindheartedness that just can’t be put on — it’s truly who he is.”

Firew’s gestures are not grandiose, glamorous or of high profile. “They are authentic and genuine,” Donzil said.

“Even though the majority of our residents may suffer from dementia, they can still be perceptive and understand things. I believe that our residents see in Birru what each of us would so desperately long for if we were in their shoes. I believe they see comfort and for that he won the award.”

The 160-bed Kanata long-term care home also recognized another employee, clinical care co-ordinator and RAI co-ordinator Vanessa Labrecque, by honouring her with the Inspired Leader award. Click here to read her story .

OMNI acknowledged several staff members from its 18 long-term care homes during the awards ceremony.

Following the presentations, managers were entertained by singing impressionist Matt Gauthier and tried their hand at crown and anchor, blackjack, poker and roulette for a chance to win prizes.

The gala evening featured a Viva Las Vegas theme and staff members embraced the opportunity to dress in creative and colourful costumes reflecting all-things Vegas.

Read more about OMNI’s inspired leaders and everyday heroes in upcoming stories.

If you have feedback on this article or a story idea to share, please e-mail natalie(at)axiomnews.com or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051.

CCC’s work ethic ‘second to none’

Garden Terrace's Vanessa Labrecque accepts the Kanata home's Inspired Leader award.

Garden Terrace’s Vanessa Labrecque accepts the Kanata home’s Inspired Leader award.


Garden Terrace recognizes Vanessa Labrecque as its Inspired Leader

Friday, July 11, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

ORILLIA, Ont. – While bedside nursing was her calling, Vanessa Labrecque’s work ethic and leadership traits propelled her career in a slightly different direction.

OMNI Health Care managers heard about the contributions of Garden Terrace’s clinical care co-ordinator and RAI co-ordinator during the May 7 second annual Awards and Recognition Night at Fern Resort.

The 160-bed Kanata long-term care named Labrecque as its Inspired Leader.

“Vanessa is a true leader who motivates, inspires, challenges and equips those around her,” said Garden Terrace administrator Carolyn Della Foresta.

“She isn’t afraid to get her hands right into the dirt and work alongside others because in doing so she’s very aware that she demonstrates that everyone’s role is important – that everyone’s contribution is vital to the effective operation of our home.”

Labrecque is a “tremendous” support to those around her, she’s eager and she’s willing. The CCC and RAI co-ordinator is constantly improving her knowledge base and bringing her wisdom back to the home to share with others, Della Foresta noted.

“Vanessa is that leader who not only has the intelligence and the drive to get the job done but she also has the true desire. Her work ethic is second to none and her passion for doing right by each of our residents is commendable,” the administrator said.

“I feel fortunate to call Vanessa a member of the Garden Terrace team as well as my friend.”

The CCC and RAI co-ordinator graciously accepted the Inspired Leader title.

“I honestly have to say this is really a shock, I really didn’t see that coming,” Labrecque said.

Labrecque became a registered practical nurse in 2005. In 2007 she began working at Garden Terrace and later covered a maternity leave for the CCC position. By 2008 she was the permanent CCC and RAI co-ordinator.

“The reason I stand here today is because the management team at the home believed in me, and especially Carolyn believed in me, so that means a lot to me to be recognized.”

OMNI honoured staff members from its 18 long-term care homes during the awards ceremony.

Following the presentations, managers were entertained by singing impressionist Matt Gauthier and tried their hand at crown and anchor, blackjack, poker and roulette for a chance to win prizes.

The gala evening featured a Viva Las Vegas theme and staff members embraced the opportunity to dress in creative and colourful costumes reflecting all-things Vegas.

Read more about OMNI’s inspired leaders and everyday heroes in upcoming stories.

If you have feedback on this article or a story idea to share, please e-mail natalie(at)axiomnews.com or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051.