New Burnbrae Gardens DOC a familiar face

Lesley Dale promoted to position after 11 months as casual nurse

One of the benefits to being promoted to a management position in a long-term care home is that you’re a familiar face with residents and staff members right from the get-go. Read more

If OMNI can do it, Canada can do it

Springdale

Springdale administrator discusses importance of creating national dementia strategy
Wednesday, January 15, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When asked if Canada could have a national dementia strategy, Maureen King cites the province’s Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) initiative as evidence that widespread protocols and practices can work effectively.

King, the administrator at Springdale Country Manor, notes how OMNI Health Care has adopted many ideas and processes outlined in BSO, a $40-million provincial initiative designed to enhance quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that cause agitation.

The result has been reduced agitation and happier residents living in OMNI long-term care homes.

“Think of all the residents we have with Alzheimer’s — that’s a lot of lives we’re touching,” King tells the OMNIway. “Now imagine if the country had such a strategy, because just what (OMNI) has been able to do has been phenomenal and is changing lives of residents with Alzheimer’s who have responsive behaviours in our homes every single day.

“(BSO) has become a part of who we are and how we operate and how you can expect to be cared for if you come into an OMNI home. . . . OMNI is an organization that has taken itself to task and said, ‘We are going to be leaders.’ ”

So, if OMNI can enact a strategy like BSO, why can’t Canada create and implement a national dementia strategy, King says, noting Canada is the only G8 country without a strategy.

The lack of a national dementia strategy in Canada received significant media attention in December during a G8 conference in London, England focused on dementia.

With the populations of G8 nations — Canada, Britain, the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Japan — aging at a fast pace there’s more need now than ever to find a cure, attending health ministers concluded. The ministers vowed to invest resources to find a cure for dementia by 2025.

Until a cure is found, however, a national strategy is needed for Canada, King says. And creating one can start with bringing experts together to discuss what works best and how to implement procedures.

“If we can say, ‘Here’s how OMNI cares for residents with responsive behaviours,’ why can’t you take the same philosophies and principles and say, ‘This is how our country cares for people who have dementia,’ ” King 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.

There’s potential to find dementia cure in next decade: OMNI CEO

Canada is the only country in the G8 without a comprehensive Dementia Strategy.
Patrick McCarthy responds to G8 commitment to cure dementia by 2025
January 14, 2014 — Deron Hamel

OMNI Health Care president and CEO Patrick McCarthy says the commitment made by G8 health ministers in December to find a cure for dementia by 2025 is not unreasonable, given the progress that has been made into treating other serious conditions.

“I think it has potential,” McCarthy tells the OMNIway, when asked about the probability of finding a dementia cure by 2025.

He adds that research has unearthed many discoveries about Alzheimer’s disease and other types of dementia, which is also promising.

“It has been said in the past that a cure or a treatment is in sight — they’ve isolated several causal effects but haven’t really found ways to deal with that,” McCarthy says. “They have developed medications that help slow the progress and help speed up neuronal transitions.”

There’s another reason to believe that a cure for dementia might not be too far away; the fact that a lot of progress has been made into finding treatments for diseases such as cancer.

Meeting at a G8 conference in London to address the issue of dementia and what can be done to find a cure, health ministers from Canada, Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Russia and Japan agreed to create a “dementia envoy” dedicated to promoting research into finding a cure.

The first step to finding a cure for dementia will be to appoint the envoy, who will be tasked with assembling international expertise and obtaining research funding from public and private sectors.

The conference drew attention to the fact that $12 billion worldwide has been spent on research to cure dementia, yet there has been little success in the process.

With the populations of G8 nations aging at a fast pace there’s more need now than ever to find a cure, the ministers concluded.

McCarthy says he commends the G8 health ministers for their commitment to finding a cure for dementia, adding any inroads that will prevent or manage dementia will have a positive impact on society.

“Because it’s not a disease that’s easy to live with,” he says.

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.

Learn why early Alzheimer’s diagnosis is crucial

Alzheimer Society of Canada CEO Mimi Lowi-Young is seen here giving a speech at the Economic Club of Canada on the need for a national dementia plan.

Alzheimer Society of Canada CEO Mimi Lowi-Young is seen here giving a speech at the Economic Club of Canada on the need for a national dementia plan. Photo courtesy Alzheimer Society of Canada.

January is Alzheimer’s Awareness Month

Monday, January 13, 2014 — Deron Hamel
The Alzheimer Society of Canada is promoting the importance of early diagnosis for Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia in its campaign Early Diagnosis Keeps Your Life from Unravelling.

The campaign was launched at the beginning of January to mark Alzheimer’s Awareness Month in Canada. The Alzheimer Society is encouraging Canadians to visit the campaign’s website, http://www.earlydiagnosis.ca, to learn more about dementia. By visiting the site, people will learn about symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia as well as about why early diagnosis is important.

With early diagnosis, people who have dementia can access needed supports earlier and even avoid potential crisis situations. Unfortunately, people often don’t get early diagnosis. The reason, the society explains, is largely due to stigma about the disease. According to one Canadian survey, 60 per cent of respondents said it would be difficult for them to tell others they had had dementia because of preconceived notions about mental health.

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.

“Seventy-four per cent of Canadians know someone with dementia and more and more Canadians will continue to develop the disease. We want to make sure they’re getting the help they need at every stage of the disease,” says Mimi Lowi-Young, the Alzheimer Society’s CEO, in a statement.

“As devastating as the news can be, early diagnosis brings relief to families, gives them control over their situation and adds more years of living active and fulfilling lives.”

The campaign’s launch comes on the heels of a conference in London in December, where G8 health ministers pledged to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease by 2025. The conference was held to address concern about the increasing number of people living with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia worldwide.

Related story: G8 health ministers commit to curing dementia by 2025

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.

Home manages issue of resident’s unwanted advances

Safety and Sexuality Lead Image Jan 10 20142

Willows Estate reinforces behaviour isn’t appropriate: Mazzuca

Friday, January 10, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

When confusion related to a medical condition such as dementia impacts a long-term care resident, it can sometimes fuel inappropriate behaviours.

In some cases, these actions may be sexuality-based and despite being unintentional, they present safety and other considerations.

Willows Estate is managing a situation at the Aurora long-term care residence involving a male resident of the home.

A man who is very confused occasionally tries to grab or touch staff members inappropriately, life enrichment co-ordinator Teddy Mazzuca says.

“We know he’s not of sound mind so you can’t take it personally but you have to make it very clear to him that that’s not appropriate,” Mazzuca says.

If this situation escalated, Mazzuca says the next steps would involve organizing a team conference, calling in the families and together arriving at an action plan.

Men and women living together, coupled with cognitive impairment, can present a host of moral, ethical, safety and security issues.

“It is a fact. It happens and it’s bound to happen at some point and with families that doesn’t even enter their minds,” Mazzuca adds.

“I think the key is education so you don’t overreact because it is a fact of life.”

The OMNIway is taking a closer look at sexuality and safety in long-term care.

Through a series of stories, interviews and videos, Axiom News is exploring the rights, risks and regulations related to the issue of sexuality and safety.

The news team is exploring the supportive measures in place to support those who are confused, while protecting their dignity and maintaining a safe environment for all people who reside in the home.

Confusion as a result of cognitive impairment is an issue that is growing as homes receive more residents with complex conditions, such as mental health and dementia-related behavioural challenges.

Stay tuned to the OMNIway for stories unpacking these issues.

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

Staff keep eye on affectionate resident

Safety and Sexuality Lead Image Jan 9 2014

Resident develops soft spot for married man

Thursday, January 9, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

When seniors gather socially at Willows Estate, one female resident is determined to sit beside a particular man who also resides at the Aurora long-term care home.

It’s a situation employees keep top of mind as the man is happily married to another woman who lives at the home.

Staff members were prompted to discuss the best course of action after the woman made several attempts to hold the man’s hand and tried to lean in to kiss him on a few occasions.

Willows Estate life enrichment co-ordinator Teddy Mazzuca discusses the issue of sexuality in long-term care with The OMNIway.

“We have a few married couples here and it’s worked out well,” Mazzuca says.

“It’s never posed a problem, but we have had one incident where one of our lady residents has taken a liking to one of the male residents who is married.

“We’ve intervened and it doesn’t seem to be a problem. We’ve made it clear to her he is married. Even though she is somewhat confused, she certainly recognizes him all of the time, so when we have any programs running she’ll specifically ask to sit beside him.”

In response, life enrichment staff members do accommodate her request but under supervision. “I think it’s just a companionship, a friendship,” Mazzuca explains.

That said, Mazzuca says it became clear to staff there was a need to intervene.

“She became very obsessed with him. She would spot him out of a large group of residents sitting around and say, ‘There’s my friend, take me to sit beside him.’

“I think there were a few times she kind of wanted to give him a kiss so we thought we’d better be careful and make sure that if they’re together they’re together with him and his wife and we’re always there just to oversee and make sure.”

The nursing staff and activation staff discussed the situation and everyone is aware of the dynamics involved with the three residents.

If this situation escalated, Mazzuca says the next steps would involve organizing a team conference, calling in the families and brainstorming together to put a plan in place.

Men and women living together, coupled with cognitive impairment, can present a host of moral, ethical, safety and security issues.

The OMNIway is taking a closer look at sexuality and safety in long-term care. Through a series of stories, interviews and videos, Axiom News is exploring the rights, risks and regulations related to the issue of sexuality and safety.

Stay tuned to the OMNIway for stories unpacking these issues.

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

Osteoarthritis expert offers advice to enhance quality of life

Woodland Villa resident Wally Taillon and life enrichment aide Brenda McLaren are seen here in 2011 during a visit to the Cornwall Aquatic Centre. Residents are seeing benefits from the home's aqua-therapy program. (OMNIway archives)

Woodland Villa resident Wally Taillon and life enrichment aide Brenda McLaren are seen here in 2011 during a visit to the Cornwall Aquatic Centre. Residents are seeing benefits from the home’s aqua-therapy program. (OMNIway archives)

Physical activity, not medications, the key to controlling and preventing joint disease

Thursday, January 8, 2014 -- Deron Hamel

A leading researcher who has been studying osteoarthritis for 25 years says physical activity is the No. 1 thing people can do to prevent the degenerative joint disease as well as the best way to treat it.

In an interview with the OMNIway, Dr. Gillian Hawker, chief of medicine at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, notes that people with osteoarthritis, which is common in long-term care home residents, are often prone to depression, anxiety and other mood and physical disorders.

In fact, about one quarter of people who have osteoarthritis have symptoms compatible with depression, Hawker says.

Given the negative impact osteoarthritis can have on elderly people, caregivers need to be aware that physical activity, not medications, is the key to improving quality of life for those with the disease.

“Research shows that the primary approach is not drug-related; it’s a self-management approach,” Hawker tells the OMNIway. “Physical activity, in particular, is extremely effective at improving function, reducing pain and improving mood.”

Hawker suggests that caregivers get people mobile to stave off or prevent osteoarthritis. Simple walking can be an excellent way to stay mobile — and that includes walking with a cane or walker.

For those who are immobile, Hawker suggests a warm pool of water.

“Warm pools are good because the heat is soothing and the buoyancy of water removes the stress of weight-bearing,” she says. “If someone has been really physically inactive for a long time, getting them into a pool is a great way to get them started in physical activity.”

Hawker says walking and pool therapy can show better results in relieving pain than medications, which can have negative side effects, especially in an older population.

“In fact, physical activity, put head to head with Tylenol and anti-inflammatory drugs, et cetera, does just as well if not better in clinical trials,” 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 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.

Streamway Santa provides gifts for 40 residents

Mr. And Mrs. Claus are seen here at Streamway Villa.

Mr. And Mrs. Claus are seen here at Streamway Villa.

Janet Kellar brings Christmas cheer to home

Tuesday, January 7, 2014 — Jennifer Neutel

Streamway Villa staff feel it was the best Christmas gift-giving festivities yet for the home’s 59 residents, in large part thanks to the work of an unexpected “Santa.”

Janet Kellar, a Mary Kay consultant, contacted the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator Christina Verleysen at the beginning of November saying she’d like to provide gifts for the residents. Kellar had no previous connection to the home.
Kellar says she decided to contact Streamway to take part in Mary Kay’s Adopt a Grandparent Program, which is a way to get out into the community and meet people in the Cobourg area. She picked Streamway Villa as she thought some residents may not have family close by or be able to leave during the holidays.

“I thought anything to lighten their day, brighten their eyes, get the excited because that’s what it’s all about,” says Kellar.

She visited 160 local businesses and asked for their support of $20 towards a resident’s gift. Some businesses who declined said they may be interested in future years if they receive the request earlier.
Of those that took part, some provided the donation through the business while others made a personal donation.

On Dec. 23, Kellar and her husband delivered the basket-wrapped gifts to Streamway Villa. Each basket included a Mary Kay product as well as different items such as mugs, socks, deodorant, candy and razors.

In addition, the home received gift certificates for residents to attend a movie at the local Northumberland Mall Theatres and a $25 gift card to grocery store Metro, which was used to purchase treats for a New Year’s Eve celebration. No Frills donated boxes of President’s Choice cookies.

Verleysen says Kellar’s contribution was unbelievable and heart-warming.

“I’ve never encountered anything like this before,” she says.

On Christmas morning, each resident had at least two gifts to open. Staff members picked about 45 resident names off a list in the staff room to purchase gifts for, and local company Limpact provides gifts for 10-15 residents each year.

Verleysen matched Kellar’s gift baskets to residents. One resident who enjoys taking baths was given a fall mat for the bath tub, which “she loved.”

Two residents dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Claus called out the gifts and who donated the gift. Many staff took video and photos as they saw the “joy and excitement” on the residents’ faces, says Verleysen.

Kellar says that though the project took a lot of time, seeing the gratitude of Verleysen and knowing the appreciation made it worthwhile.

“You don’t even think about the time and the effort because that’s what it is about — is helping other people,” Kellar tells the OMNIway, noting she wishes she could have been a fly on the wall on Christmas morning to see the residents’ reactions.

“It was quite a rewarding effort, I felt really good about taking those gifts down for all of the seniors,” she adds.

This year, Kellar hopes to start asking businesses to get involved earlier and be able to provide gifts for all Streamway Villa residents.

Verleysen would like to extend her thanks to Kellar, Limpact and the following businesses who took part in the Adopt a Grandparent program: Northumberland Mall Theatres, Metro, Medigas, No Frills, a gallery in Cobourg, Marlin Travel, Lawn Care, Frenchies Deli, United TV Stereo, Stanley’s Fish and Chips, Gypsy Cece Tattoo, Serenity Day Spa, Rental City, Party Lines, Soula’s Tea Garden, Tugg’s Furniture Gallery, Jim’s Pizza Palace, Kelly’s Homelike Inn, House of Attitudes, Insurance Services, Erika Sorensen, Pizza Pizza, All Creatures Great and Small, The UPS Store, TNS Health Food, Lucinda, and MacCoubrey Funeral Home.

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

OMNI and Wildwood Care Centre learning from each other

Wildwood Care Centre

Wildwood Care Centre

Managing St. Marys home opens opportunities

Monday, January 6, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Since OMNI Health Care began managing Wildwood Care Centre in July, the long-term care provider and the St. Marys long-term care and retirement residence have embarked on a fruitful symbiotic relationship.

One of the strong points of the relationship, says OMNI president and CEO Patrick McCarthy, is that OMNI has been learning about some of Wildwood’s best practices that the organization can share with its other 17 homes.

Likewise, Wildwood has been adopting many of OMNI’s policies, such as supportive measures training, in an effort to introduce the organization’s culture to the home’s staff members.

“We’re sharing policies with them and moving them on to a platform where they can get full access to our policies,” McCarthy tells the OMNIway.

McCarthy says OMNI has been garnering valuable information from the 60-bed Wildwood Care Centre that can be shared within the organization.

For instance, Wildwood has a policy on needle-stick injuries that McCarthy says is “much more expansive” than OMNI’s current policy.

“(Wildwood’s needle-stick injury policy) is more inquiring, so it’s a much better system,” he says.

Wildwood Care Centre also uses a point-of-care tool, whereas OMNI homes do not, “so it’s a great opportunity for us to observe the positives and the negatives . . . we can learn from that when we start to roll it out in our homes,” McCarthy says.

Wildwood Care Centre’s administrator is Scott Walsh, whose family owns the home. McCarthy says OMNI is happy to be working with Walsh and is proud to have Wildwood Care Centre as a part of the OMNI family.

“We are really pleased to be working with him; it’s a great home in a great town in a great part of Ontario,” he 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 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.

Accreditation, health record platform, managers’ forum some of 2014’s highlights

CEO Patrick McCarthy discusses what’s on the horizon for OMNI in coming year

 

OMNI-Brochure-image

Friday, January 3, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Preparing for accreditation, moving each of its 18 long-term care homes to the MED E-care health record platform and the seventh annual spring managers’ forum are some of the major highlights at OMNI Health Care in 2014.

In a recent interview, OMNI president and CEO Patrick McCarthy enthusiastically spoke about some of the key events to look forward to in the coming year.

At the moment, homes are busy preparing for Accreditation Canada surveyors to visit March 23-28. This is the third time OMNI has sought accreditation — three-year accreditation was granted to the organization and its homes in 2008 and 2011. The purpose of accreditation is to increase transparency and demonstrate that national standards of excellence have been met or exceeded.

“(Surveyors) will be visiting our homes and visiting our office, and we’re looking forward to a very positive outcome from that,” McCarthy tells the OMNIway.

OMNI has teams at each of its homes preparing for the surveyors’ visits and “they’ve done a great job,” he adds.

Another milestone OMNI will reach in 2014 is moving all but three of its homes to the MED E-care platform by the end of the year. The web-based platform helps long-term care homes provide better information around key quality indicators which, in turn, positions providers to maximize case mix index scores.

The tool also helps homes better manage resources to ensure the highest quality of care delivery.

“Our applications are designed to minimize care staff’s time documenting so that they have the opportunity to better assist their residents,” MED E-Care says on its website.

This spring, OMNI will host its seventh annual spring managers’ forum at Fern Resort near Orillia. The three-day event consists of workshops, presentations and activities for managers.

Prior to the forum, McCarthy says managers will be asked for their input about what they would like to see in the program to make it the most productive event possible where attendees walk away with valuable information they can use, McCarthy says.

He adds that the opportunity for managers to come together and network is one of the event’s strong points.

“I think people learn a lot from working with each other,” he 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 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.