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Administrator underscores role of storytelling in strengthening health system

OMNIway stories capturing attention outside Ontario

December 13, 2013 — Deron Hamel

When a nurse in Nova Scotia was recently looking for information about the Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) initiative he did an Internet search and came across an OMNIway story about Streamway Villa’s success with the program that’s posted on the Central East Local Health Integration Network’s (LHIN’s) website.

Streamway Villa

Streamway Villa

From there, the nurse e-mailed Streamway Villa administrator Kylie Szczebonski to learn more about what the Cobourg long-term care home had accomplished through its involvement with BSO, a provincial initiative to help enhance quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that cause agitation.

“And I gladly gave him everything that I had,” Szczebonski tells the OMNIway. “I sent him a lot about Central East LHIN and the whole (BSO) project, and then talked about Streamway Villa and OMNI and how OMNI is really taking off with our Supportive Measures program.”

Szczebonski says this illustrates the role OMNI Health Care and its 17 long-term care homes can play in addressing issues related to elder care in Canada.

Likewise, the administrator says the OMNIway, which is produced by Axiom News, can play a role facilitating this engagement via the success stories published on the website.

“We are in a media world. Google something you want to know and it will pop up, and that’s the way of the future,” Szczebonski says. “Because (the OMNIway) is online, the stories that are out there are going to catch on. A lot of the stories focus on our quality and that’s really what’s going to capture people’s attention — all everybody hears in health care is quality, quality, quality. That’s because quality is important.”

Szczebonski refers to the fact Canada is the only G8 nation without a national dementia strategy, an issue that’s received media attention this week due to the Dec. 11 G8 dementia conference in London. The administrator says OMNI’s homes and the OMNIway can play a part in bringing stakeholders across the country together through news stories showcasing what’s working.

Ideally, this information sharing could eventually lead to a nationwide strategy, Szczebonski says.

“We’re not copyrighting things because we want people to take what we’ve done and use it,” she says.

See the links below to read OMNI stories posted on the Central East LHIN’s website.

Documentaries deliver hope for long-term care leaders

Responsive behaviours, restraints, medication use decreasing at Streamway Villa

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.

A Cure for Derek? Alzheimer’s Society Video

Yvonne is a cancer survivor, but Derek has dementia that can’t be cured.

Drugs that reduce the symptoms but do not cure dementia were developed four decades after drugs that can cure some cancers became available. A new Alzheimer’s Society video launched today (Monday 9 December) ahead of the G8 dementia summit in London this week, outlines the generation gap between key milestones in dementia and cancer research. (Video courtesy of the Alzheimer’s Society.)

The video is simple, poignant and enlightening.

Served up by the Alzheimer’s Society in advance of the G8 Summit on Dementia, the timeline stretches through Derek and Yvonne’s life.

It points out that while there has been remarkable strides in cancer research during this couple’s lifetime? Alzheimer’s is still regarded by many countries as an orphan disease, the natural outcome of aging.

Only it isn’t. Diet, exercise and a non-sedentary approach to life after 50 all combine to stave off the onset of dementia.

Programme for G8 Dementia Summit published

Information courtesy of UK Dept of Health

You can watch live coverage of the G8 dementia summit on the homepage of the Dementia Challenge site on 11 December and follow #G8dementia on Twitter.

The programme has been published for the G8 Dementia Summit on 11 December in London. It includes details of speakers, discussion topics and panel members. The event will be facilitated by Vivienne Parry, science writer and broadcaster.dementia-summit-logo

Speakers include:

G8 Ministers and the European Commission will deliver prepared statements as part of the opening session.

The topics for discussion during the day include:

  • improving life and care for people affected by dementia and their carers
  • preventing and delaying dementia
  • social adaptation to global ageing and dementia

The press conference will take place at 3pm.

You can watch live coverage of the G8 dementia summit on the homepage of the Dementia Challenge site on 11 December and follow #G8dementia on Twitter.

Read G8 Dementia Summit Programme.

 

Increased LHIN engagement would strengthen communication lines

OLTCA encourages homes to play leading role in LHIN engagement

November 27, 2013 — Deron Hamel 

OMNI Health Care president and CEO Patrick McCarthy says he hopes to see increased engagement between the organization’s 17 long-term care homes and the five Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs) they’re within.

Members of a panel discussion discuss the role the long-term care sector can play engaging with the 14 LHINs.

Members of a panel discussion discuss the role the long-term care sector can play engaging with the 14 LHINs.

This, he says, would create stronger communication lines as well as build upon successes already being seen by OMNI homes that are strongly engaged with their LHINs.

For instance, Rosebridge Manor in Jasper is involved with many of the South East LHIN’s mental health initiatives. Through its engagement with the LHIN, the home can listen to the mental health issues that come forward. Some of these issues have even made their way to the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

McCarthy’s comments were made Nov. 25 in an interview during the Ontario Long Term Care Association’s (OLTCA’s) Fall Symposium, an annual educational event that features keynote speakers, panel discussions and networking.

“It’s a two-way communication,” he said of home-LHIN engagement, following a panel discussion on the issue. “We can help (the LHINs) with resources at the home level (and) they can help us by informing us as to what the issues are on the ground that have a system-wide impact.”

When it comes to long-term care homes engaging with LHINs, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach, given the breadth of different needs and resources homes have, McCarthy notes.

For example, OMNI has several homes in the Champlain LHIN. But the two OMNI homes in Ottawa, Forest Hill and Garden Terrace, have different needs and available resources than Woodland Villa, which is located in Long Sault, just outside of Cornwall.

Even the physical structure of homes comes into play. For example, if an OMNI home wants to participate in a program that deals with mental health, does it have the capacity and staffing levels to do it?

OLTCA CEO Candace Chartier also emphasizes the importance of an individual approach to LHIN engagement.

“(The homes) know the residents they’re looking after and they know the community they’re in and they know the issues that they’re facing,” she said.

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

BSO an example of LHIN engagement success: McCarthy

Responsive behaviours reduced when resources applied

December 3, 2013 — Deron Hamel 

MARKHAM – OMNI Health Care president and CEO Patrick McCarthy says the province’s Behavioural Supports Ontario initiative is an example of the positive things that come from long-term care homes engaging with the 14 Local Health Integration Networks (LHINs).

McCarthy’s comments were made Nov. 25 in an interview during the Ontario Long Term Care Association’s (OLTCA’s) Fall Symposium, an annual educational event that features keynote speakers, panel discussions and networking.

BSO is a $40-million provincial initiative to help enhance quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that cause agitation. Funding is provided to long-term care homes through the LHINs.

Much of the funding is put towards staff education — and by giving staff members the educational resources, they have been able to enhance quality of life for residents affected by Alzheimer’s and related dementia, McCarthy says.

“There has been a reduction in behaviours, but also a reduction in the use of medications as interventions,” McCarthy tells the OMNIway.

“We followed some residents who had PRNs (pro re nata medications — pharmaceuticals given on an as-needed basis) for antipsychotics and their use fell off dramatically because we were intervening, not with drugs, but with Montessori techniques, being a big one.”

All 17 of OMNI’s long-term care homes are involved at some level. In the Central East LHIN, Riverview Manor and Streamway Villa have been lead homes in educating other long-term care homes, both within in the LHIN and within the OMNI family.

Results from engagement with BSO have been impressive.

In its first year of involvement with BSO in 2012, Riverview Manor saw a 35.5 per cent decline in responsive agitation, while the rate of PRN medication administration dropped 34.4 per cent.

Likewise, Streamway Villa reported a large reduction in incidents of responsive behaviours, such as aggression, wandering, physical resistance and agitation, after team members began applying their BSO learnings.

From a corporate perspective, a major benefit from being involved with BSO, and thereby the LHINs, has been that best practices garnered through educational sessions have been brought into OMNI’s policies, McCarthy notes.

“We’ve been able to take their knowledge and learnings and we’ve been able to incorporate it into our Supportive Measures program,” he says.

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

Helping others is the OMNIway

Streamway Villa’s annual Christmas bazaar is an important event at the Cobourg long-term care home. Proceeds from this year’s event will go towards relief in the Philippines as well as to providing presents for two children in need through the Northumberland Mall’s Giving Tree.

Spirit of giving shining through at homes

December 2, 2013 — Deron Hamel and Jennifer Neutel 

OMNI Health Care long-term care homes have a long record of proving their commitment to residents and local communities, but when a large-scale crisis occurs the team members can also be counted on helping people who live far away.

This is evident with the relief efforts that have been coming from OMNI homes in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated parts of the Philippines Nov. 8. The typhoon claimed about 4,000 lives and displaced about four million people.

OMNI’s two homes in Kanata, Forest Hill and Garden Terrace, have several staff members who are from the Philippines and, as a show of support, their co-workers wanted to help them with fundraising initiatives.

Shortly after the typhoon, Forest Hill personal support worker Jocelyn Geraghty was speaking on the phone with her mother who lives in the Philippines. Geraghty wanted to know what people in Canada could do to help. Since many people in the Philippines earn their living fishing, her mother suggested people raise money to buy boats so they could once again work. Many fishing boats were destroyed in the disaster.

Geraghty’s colleague, registered nurse Laarni Casiple, is also from the Philippines. Both staff members say even small donations will go a long way in helping people, adding that fishing boats typically cost about C$100 in the Philippines.

“We thought that, amongst us here (at Forest Hill), maybe we can help one family, because at the moment there is so much of an influx of support coming from all over the world to help the victims,” Casiple says. “The recovery is a long process. If we could help one family get a fishing boat, it would help them start.”

To help raise money for the relief effort, Forest Hill hosted a pancake breakfast on two shifts Nov. 19.

Like Forest Hill, Garden Terrace has also been raising money for the relief efforts. Following the typhoon, staff members at Garden Terrace rallied around one staff member whose family had lost their home in the storm.

The team immediately began a fundraising initiative.

Administrator Carolyn Della Foresta says the support the staff member has received has been heart-warming.

“The staff have been so kind and concerned about one another — it has really further brought to light the community we have amongst our staff members,” she says.

Streamway Villa’s annual Christmas bazaar is an important event at the Cobourg long-term care home. Proceeds from this year’s event will go towards relief in the Philippines as well as to providing presents for two children in need through the Northumberland Mall’s Giving Tree.

The initiative began when the home’s residents’ council vice-president came to life enrichment co-ordinator Christina Verleysen’s office, noting she had spoken with other residents and they all agreed these causes were what they wanted the bazaar proceeds to be spent on.

“It’s definitely going to be one busy Christmas, however, it’s going to be probably the best bazaar yet because of what we are putting the funds towards,” Verleysen says.

OMNI has also teamed up with the homes to raise money for relief efforts in the Philippines. The organization is matching donations raised at the homes. The Government of Canada is doubling every individual donation, so every dollar donated will be turned into $4.

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

From part-time RPN to administrator

Neil Peterson reflects on his career path at West Lake Terrace

November 25, 2013 — Deron Hamel

When Neil Peterson took a part-time registered practical nurse (RPN) position at West Lake Terrace in May 2012 he didn’t anticipate he’d become the Prince Edward County long-term care home’s administrator less than a year and a half later.

But that’s exactly what happened. Five months after Peterson started his RPN position he was promoted to part-time clinical care co-ordinator. On Oct. 28, 2013, he became the 47-bed home’s administrator, filling the vacancy left by Mary Lynn Lester, who recently retired.

As clinical care co-ordinator, Peterson worked with team members on interventions to improve several aspects of resident care, wound care, continence care, and to reduce urinary tract infections (UTIs). His ability to work with others and develop buy-in for interventions was soon noticed by OMNI management.

“I had the opportunity to tighten procedures and show some initiative in getting the staff behind me in what I wanted to accomplish, which was reducing wounds, reducing UTIs and increasing compliance with incontinence programs,” Peterson tells the OMNIway.

Through interventions Peterson and West Lake Terrace staff members worked on reducing the home’s incontinence rate from 86 per cent to 54 per cent.

“We worked with all the departments to let the entire team have a part in the process, because you need to have a solid team,” says Peterson, who worked in information technology before embarking on a nursing career.

Peterson says what he has liked best about his new role is “being able to see the entire picture” of life at West Lake Terrace. He adds he also likes bringing the OMNI vision and values to the home.

“(OMNI) has really worked well — and worked hard — to have systems that work well as a corporation,” he says.

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

Garden Terrace staff, OMNI come together for typhoon relief

Administrator commends resulting team effort

November 20, 2013 — Deron Hamel 

Garden Terrace and OMNI Health Care have come together to support relief efforts in the Philippines in the wake of the typhoon that claimed the lives of approximately 4,000 people and displaced as many as four million others.

“The staff have been so kind and concerned about one another — it has really further brought to light the community we have amongst our staff members,”

“The staff have been so kind and concerned about one another — it has really further brought to light the community we have amongst our staff members,”

Typhoon Haiyan struck the Philippines Nov. 8. Garden Terrace has many staff members who are from the Philippines. Following the disaster, administrator Carolyn Della Foresta approached each team member from the Philippines to inquire about their families.

Fortunately, no team members lost family members to the typhoon, however, one personal support worker’s family lost their home.

Following the storm, one good thing did happen — staff members came together to support each other, Della Foresta says.

“The staff have been so kind and concerned about one another — it has really further brought to light the community we have amongst our staff members,” she tells the OMNIway.

To support people in the Philippines, the Kanata long-term care home has been raising money since Nov. 12 for the relief effort. At the time of this writing, $423 has been raised. OMNI has agreed to match donations dollar for dollar and the Government of Canada is doubling every individual donation. In other words, every dollar donated to Garden Terrace will be turned into $4.

If you would like to donate to the relief effort, you can do so by calling Garden Terrace at 613-254-9702, ext. 224.

OMNI has also teamed up with Forest Hill to raise money for relief efforts in the Philippines. Like with Garden Terrace, OMNI is matching donations raised at that home. In tomorrow’s OMNIway we’ll hear two Forest Hill staff members from the Philippines share their thoughts on events in their home country as well as about the support they’re seeing from their colleagues and OMNI.

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

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