From snowmen to Christmas presents, how communities have supported OMNI homes recently
Local communities show residents compassion and kindness
OMNI Health Care long-term care homes have experienced an abundance of community support in recent weeks, a testament to the compassion communities have for homes and their residents as well as the willingness to help keep spirits high during the ongoing pandemic.
After a Facebook video callout was made to local children and parents on Feb. 2 to bring some winter cheer to Village Green, residents of the Greater Napanee long-term care home looked out their windows to see an array of snowmen and snow sculptures children and their parents had made for their enjoyment.
The response was far greater than life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Ulana Orrick had expected when she made the callout.
“I was hoping we might get one or two kids out, (but) I was completely wowed by our community,” she said, adding that by late afternoon the Facebook post had about 4,000 views and more than 100 shares.
Designs the children came up with included traditional snowmen, a bear cub climbing a tree, a cat and a heart-shaped snow sculpture that was painted red. Each one impressed the Village Green residents and staff.
“We have had families and even a daycare showing up. … Our residents are having a great time watching the kids playing and having snowball fights.”
At Streamway Villa in Cobourg, residents were recently on the receiving end of a massive greeting card project established by Mississauga-based charity Sending Sunshine.
The organization sent stacks of greeting cards – many handmade – that offered positive messages to help keep spirits high.
“(The cards) had lots of good wishes for residents,” says Streamway LEC Laurie Kracht. “We had lots of extra cards that we were able to hand out to staff as well.”
Meanwhile, at Forest Hill, the annual Angel Tree was once again a huge success, thanks to the local community, says LEC Craig Forrest.
Every year, the Ottawa-area home puts up the Angel Tree in the home. The Angel Tree is a Christmas tree that is covered with numbered tags representing every resident.
Family members, staff members and visitors are invited to take one of the numbered tags to buy presents for the resident each number on the tag corresponds with. The tags are always numbered for privacy and also include a list of gift ideas for residents.
Craig says the 100-plus tags on the tree were all gone within three days. As with past years, parishioners from nearby Trinity Presbyterian Church strongly supported the Angel Tree project, Craig says, adding church members took 80 tags.
“The life enrichment staff were able to deliver each resident a gift on Christmas Day and would spend some time with them helping open their gift and reminiscing about Christmases past,” he says.