EDITORIAL: OMNI homes are ramping up community engagement

Hunter Grozelle (centre) is pictured here with Frost Manor resident Grant Thurston (left) and Rick Riel (right). Hunter, a student at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School in Lindsay, was recently involved with a co-op program that’s part of a collaboration between the school and home. 

Community engagement is an important part of life at OMNI Health Care, and it’s a facet of the organization’s culture OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes have been focusing on enhancing.

Having a strong, healthy relationship with local communities is important to any long-term care home, and it’s especially crucial when your home is located in towns and smaller cities, as many of OMNI’s homes are.

Strong community connections are especially important in the effort to enhance quality of life for residents.

For example, Springdale Country Manor has formed a relationship with the Ennismore Knitting and Crochet Seniors Club, a group of 20 local knitters and crocheters that creates items for charitable causes.

In June, the group delivered a fidget blanket, fidget muffs – glove-like knitted tubes adorned with objects of various shapes and textures – and shawls to residents of the Peterborough County long-term care home. The fidget muffs and the fidget blanket are sensory stimulation items that are being used to help prevent agitation for residents living with cognitive impairment.

Frost Manor has been collaborating with St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School in Lindsay to create partnerships that are benefiting both the home and school. One such partnership is the co-op program, which sees students visiting Frost Manor to work in a variety of roles.

The program is described by environmental services and maintenance manager Rick Riel as a “win-win” for Frost Manor and the students. Frost Manor staff gets more time to care for residents and the students gain valuable work experience and have their eyes opened to possible career opportunities in the long-term care sector.

An important part of community engagement for long-term care operators is inviting the public into their homes. This showcases the high-quality care homes are providing and demonstrates for people the value staff members bring to residents.

Woodland Villa recently bought a Triobike, a three-wheeled bike with a two-seat carriage at the front. The home is using the Triobike to take residents for rides around the village of Long Sault.

To celebrate the launch of the new activity, the Woodland Villa team invited the people living in the surrounding area – including politicians – to stop by the home to see the Triobike for themselves and meet with residents and staff members.

This was a fantastic way to introduce people to Woodland Villa and to show the public the work staff members do to enhance the quality of life for residents.

Keep reading The OMNIway for future stories focused on the community engagement activities and programs our homes are involved with.