Car clubs return to Garden Terrace – and bring back favourite memories for residents

The Ottawa MG Club and the Ottawa Car Club once again join together to create a meaningful event for residents

Members of the Ottawa MG Club and the Ottawa Car Club returned to Garden Terrace May 18 to provide the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home’s residents with a car show that was engaging and brought back fond memories.

The classic-car clubs were last at Garden Terrace in September, and that car show went so well that life enrichment co-ordinator Rachael King asked them to return.

Residents and Garden Terrace team members walked around the home’s parking lot to look at the cars – many of which were not at the last show – and ask questions.

Rachael says the best part of the event was watching residents reminisce about the classic cars they owned or had a connection with.

There were a variety of different makes and models of classic cars on hand, the oldest being a model from the 1940s, Rachael says.

One car, a classic Cadillac, brought back a favourite childhood memory for one resident, she notes.

“One resident, in particular, remembered his grandpa driving the Cadillac … and he had a lot of fond memories of being in that Cadillac,” Rachael tells The OMNIway.

“That was really nice to see.”

During the event, tea, coffee and cookies were served to everyone. Rachael commends the life enrichment team members who volunteered their own time to help make the car show a success.

Looking ahead, Rachael says there may be more opportunities this summer for residents to attend car shows, adding there will be one in the area in August residents and staff might check out.

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Gallery opens exhibit featuring Burnbrae resident artist’s work

Margaret Macmillan’s paintings will be on display at the Arts and Heritage Centre in Warkworth until July 10

Burnbrae Gardens resident Margaret Macmillan is making a splash in the local art community with the recent opening of an exhibit of her paintings at a Warkworth gallery.

On May 21, the Arts and Heritage Centre (Ah! Centre) opened Margaret’s exhibit, called A View From My Window. The exhibit features several of the paintings Margaret has created during the past 70 years, many of which are landscapes and buildings in and around Campbellford and Norwood.

One of Margaret’s favourite paintings – and the one her exhibit is named after – depicts a winter scene from a window of her house in Campbellford.

Margaret, who is 96, attended the opening with family members and says “there was a very good crowd” on hand to see her work.

“People came and went, and there were a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a while, and that was good,” she tells The OMNIway.

On its website, the Ah! Centre describes Margaret’s artwork as “abstract impression, working with bold colours and lively shapes, in many media including oil, acrylic, water colour and pencil.”

Margaret was introduced to painting and drawing at an early age. She recalls her kindergarten teacher bringing objects to the classroom for students to draw, and this, she says, sparked her interest in art.

“I saw that I could draw, and that (interest) has carried on through the years,” she says.

Margaret began seriously painting in 1949 and studied under two renowned Ontario artists, Paavo Airola and Peter Kolysnik.

Impressed by her “excellent colour sense,” the admissions board at the Ontario College of Art gave Margaret a one-year exemption when she applied for the four-year experimental arts program in 1975, the Ah! Centre states on its website.

Margaret completed the program in 1978. She also completed a BA at Trent University in 1994 and a B.Ed at the University of Toronto in 1999.

Asked what advice she has for aspiring artists, Margaret says they should look for inspiration in their outdoor surroundings.

“If you can’t paint nature at some time during your career, there’s not much point in painting at all,” she says. “That’s my advice for the day.”

Burnbrae Gardens administrator April Faux says Margaret has always been humble about her artistic talent.

She says many of the home’s staff members were surprised to learn such a gifted artist was among them when posters advertising Margaret’s exhibit began popping up.

“Her artwork has been a hidden secret,” April says.

The exhibit of Margaret’s work will be on display at the Ah! Centre until July 10. You can visit the Ah! Centre website for more information.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Burnbrae Gardens resident Margaret Macmillan is seen here alongside one of her paintings, A View From My Window.

Olympic-style event encourages camaraderie and friendly competition at Springdale

Many residents who normally don’t turn up for activities were participating each day

In April, Springdale Country Manor residents enjoyed their first-ever Springdale Spring Fling, an Olympic-style event that encouraged friendly competition and lots of fun and laughter among the Peterborough-area long-term care home’s residents.

The event consisted of daily competitive activities from Monday to Friday for two weeks. Events included discus throwing, paper airplane flying, bull’s-eye shooting, a beanbag toss and bowling.

For the discus throwing and plane flying, the objectives were to see how far residents could toss these objects. For the bull’s-eye shooting, there was a target set up and residents threw a Velcro ball to try to get the most points.

Each event had a first-, second- and third-place winner, explains life enrichment aide Nikki English, who says residents showed a strong spirit of camaraderie during the events.

“There was a lot of enthusiasm and encouragement among the residents,” she tells The OMNIway. “They would each cheer each other on after each turn. … The residents really enjoyed the events and the excitement of seeing how well they could do.”

Life enrichment team members created a standings board that was hung in the home’s main dining room. Each event was posted with the top three winners that were added at the end of the event.

Medals were also handed out to the top overall resident who achieved the most standings as well as a medal for the resident who participated in the most events.

On the last day of events, residents celebrated their hard work during the previous two weeks. The residents in the top three places for each event received a gold, silver or bronze medal.

“Since there was so much enthusiasm from the residents, some of them won multiple medals,” Nikki says, adding many residents who normally don’t join in programming participated in the Spring Fling.

Nikki says the event was so successful she’s hoping to see it return next year, adding that a month later the Spring Fling is still top of mind for residents.

“Some of the residents to this day still wear their medal every day to show it off and be proud of what they accomplished,” she says.

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Tammy Colman-Sadd started at Riverview Manor as a nurse. Three weeks later she was DOC

When the management spot opened, her fellow nurses encouraged Tammy to apply for the position

When Tammy Colman-Sadd started a position as a registered nurse at Riverview Manor in December, she had no idea that in less than a month she would be the Peterborough long-term care home’s director of care (DOC).

But that’s exactly what happened when she accepted the DOC position in January, after applying for the job at the urging of her co-workers.

“It was actually my colleagues on the floor who encouraged me and asked me to apply for the DOC position, which I found was quite interesting because I had only been here three weeks,” Tammy, who has previous experience in health-care management, tells The OMNIway.

Tammy has a distinguished career in health care. She has been an RN for 28 years and has worked as an emergency ICU trauma nurse and has several nursing sub-specialties.

A key strength Tammy brings to the DOC position, and one she’s embracing at Riverview Manor, is generating nurse leaders and promoting nurse leadership.

She describes nurse leaders as nurses who “exert exceptional critical thinking and nurses that lead by example and exercise best practice guidelines and setting the standard of care high above the others.”

Tammy says a factor that has made her transition into the DOC position in such a short time so smooth is the support she has received from her peers, both at Riverview Manor and at OMNI Health Care’s head office.

Of note, she credits chief operating officer Shawn Riel, western regional director of operations Pat Chartier, director of IPAC Doneath Stewart and clinical operations manager Susan Cymbaluk for their support and encouragement during the past four months.

Working alongside Riverview Manor administrator Matt Riel, whom Tammy describes as a “role model” every day, has helped her become stronger in her role, she says.

“Matt has been supportive in my role, (and) he has been able to help me better myself in my role, and I think we’re a good team as far as we think very similarly and we have a great passion (to achieve) similar outcomes,” she says.

Tammy says that aside from being a long-term care provider that’s focused on the residents living in its long-term care homes, she has also found OMNI to be strongly focused on employees, and this, she says, is a key strength she sees within the organization.

“I think OMNI is very geared towards their employees and that’s why I love my position and I love the company, and I really see a future with this company, so, to me, that speaks volumes,” she says.

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Mediterranean omelette named winner of inaugural March Madness recipe contest

Country Terrace nutritional care team member Josephine Goddard created the recipe after being inspired by an omelette she had in a restaurant

Country Terrace nutritional care team member Josephine Goddard is the winner of OMNI Health Care’s first annual March Madness recipe contest for her entry, a Mediterranean omelette bursting with flavours.

Josephine says she got the idea for the omelette, which is a medley of spinach, eggplant, red pepper, mushrooms, onions, feta cheese and garlic, after ordering something similar in a restaurant once.

She says she liked what she tasted but thought it could be improved, so she got to work creating her own version, which has been a hit with residents at the Komoka, Ont. long-term care home.

“When I saw the recipe contest, I immediately thought about the Mediterranean omelette; (it’s) such a great recipe,” Josephine says, adding this savoury egg dish has great versatility.

“(There are) a lot of flavours, and it can be used at breakfast and lunch.”

Chris Weber, OMNI’s operations manager of nutrition and food service, says the March Madness contest, which saw 16 recipes compete in a bracket contest where votes were cast each week between April 14 and May 6, was close, and the Mediterranean omelette won “by a very thin margin,” he says.

OMNI launched the first annual March Madness recipe challenge in March in recognition of Nutrition Month in Canada.

Chris came up with the idea to encourage nutritional care managers and cooks to showcase their most-loved recipes and to highlight the high-quality meals served in OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes.

Throughout March, nutritional care managers and cooks prepared their favourite meals, plated them and took photos that were sent to head office. The photos were accompanied by the name of each meal and its recipe.

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Radical! Frost Manor residents treated to ’80s theme day

Trivia, entertainment and lots of pastel colours mark the event

Big hair, skinny ties and pastel colours were in fashion at Frost Manor recently when the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home celebrated ’80s Day.

Every month, the Frost Manor life enrichment team organizes spirit days centred on a theme. For a theme day on April 28, the team chose the 1980s.

The day began with 1980s trivia for the residents. This proved to be a great way to spark reminiscing about famous names from the decade and bring out laughter about the trends of the time, says life enrichment co-ordinator Amy Whitehead.

“We really put staff and residents to the test with an ’80s quiz to complete as well,” Amy tells The OMNIway.

The life enrichment team also set up a whiteboard in the home’s main lounge where residents and staff members could write down their favourite 1980s memory or trend.

“Some of the answers included: big hair, bright colours, roller skates, Top Gun, and many more,” Amy says.

In the afternoon, residents enjoyed entertainment courtesy of musician Don Van Halteren, whom Amy describes as “a home favourite,” who played the accordion.

In keeping with the theme of the day, he dressed in “neon green” attire and included some 1980s tunes in the set, Amy adds.

Amy says the life enrichment team enjoys organizing theme days for residents and that the ’80s day proved to be a big hit.

“It’s always great to have these spirited days where lots of fun is had,” she says.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Frost Manor residents and staff are pictured here during the homes April 28 ’80s theme day.

Willows residents attend their first church service in two years, just before Easter

Willows Estate was able to host a church service on April 14, the first since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, which was well-received by residents of the Aurora, Ont. long-term care home.

Teddy Mazzuca, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator, says “the residents were overjoyed” at being able to attend the service, which was provided by Trinity Anglican Church, just before the Easter weekend.

The church had contacted the home earlier to offer the service to residents.

“When they called, it just so happened we were able to have them back in, so we had a nice group that came out to the service at 2 o’clock … and we were able to get our piano back into the room, so they played a lot of the church music and they sang, and being that Good Friday (was the next day) it was perfect timing,” Teddy tells The OMNIway.

Throughout the duration of the service, pandemic protocols, such as social distancing and mask-wearing, were in place. About 15 residents were able to attend the service.

Given the success of the first service, the Willows team has invited the people from Trinity Anglican back to the home for monthly services.

While having the ability to bring back a church service is a small step forward, Teddy says it had a “huge” impact on residents.

“You could see the residents relaxing, and they got to see some of their friends who they haven’t been able to see,” she says.

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Riverview Manor administrator brings well-rounded experience to position

Matt Riel has previously served as administrator at three other OMNI homes

A key strength Riverview Manor administrator Matt Riel brings to his position is well-rounded experience managing three other OMNI Health Care long-term care homes in the span of two years.

Matt, who became Riverview Manor’s administrator in January, joined the OMNI team in April 2020 when he became the administrator at Kentwood Park in Picton. He has also served as administrator at West Lake Terrace and Willows Estate.

A Peterborough native who says he’s happy to be back in his hometown, Matt says the experience of working with people from across OMNI has afforded him the opportunity to work with many people within the organization who have helped him grow professionally in a short time.

“I’ve had the opportunity to work at some of the smallest OMNI homes and at some of the larger OMNI homes; I’ve worked with a diverse group of people, from small communities, like Picton in Prince Edward County, to much larger communities, like Aurora (in the Greater Toronto Area), and now I’m back in Peterborough,” Matt tells The OMNIway.

“I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of people across the company and with a lot of experienced managers, and I have worked with the great staff across the board at OMNI, so it has been great.”

Matt says he’s found lots of support throughout OMNI during his first two years with the organization. When he began his OMNI career at Kentwood Park, the COVID-19 pandemic had just started and there was lots of uncertainty in the long-term care sector, which had never faced a crisis of this magnitude.

However, Matt says working with team members such as Streamway Villa administrator Kylie Szczebonski early on and later with Aimee Merkley, Doneath Stewart, Pat Chartier and Shawn Riel from head office while at the Willows, he was able to make transitions and meet challenges.

The teamwork and camaraderie he has experienced since joining the OMNI team have stood out for Matt, he says.

“I had an opportunity to learn through some really great mentors,” Matt says, adding that the addition of director of care Tammy Colman-Sadd to the Riverview team when he came on board has also been a plus.

“Having Tammy join our leadership here around the same time (has benefited Riverview Manor), and she has brought a lot of knowledge to her position,” he says.

Looking ahead, Matt says he’s looking forward to the completion of the Riverview Manor capital redevelopment project, which will see a new 192-bed home on Langton Street in Peterborough’s north end replace the existing 124-bed home on Water Street.

“I’m excited to work with the staff here and I look forward to growing with Riverview as it advances to a larger home in the future,” he says.

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Dance troupe makes Garden Terrace debut in early April

Celtic Cross Dancers bring a memorable performance of Irish, Scottish and other dances to residents

A Celtic dance troupe made its Garden Terrace debut April 6 during a performance for residents and staff members at the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home.

The Celtic Cross Dancers perform what they describe on their website as a “trifecta” of traditional Irish, Scottish and Ottawa Valley step dances.

The troupe was originally scheduled to perform at the Garden Terrace St. Patrick’s Day party on March 17, but the event was postponed, says Garden Terrace life enrichment co-ordinator Rachael King.

When Rachael was looking for St Patrick’s Day entertainment in March, she found the Celtic Cross Dancers’ website and contacted the group.

“I wanted to spice things up and kind of do something different,” she tells The OMNIway.

“I found this group and they showed up and performed traditional Irish dance, traditional Scottish dance and river dancing.”

In between the group’s performances, a singer took the stage to entertain residents with Celtic songs, Rachael adds.

The approximately 20 residents attending were in awe by the performances, Rachael says.

“They loved it,” she says. “We will definitely be bringing them back again.”

According to the Celtic Cross Dancers’ website, the group has performed across the globe.

“Collectively, we have decades of experience as teachers, performers, competitors, and choreographers,” the website states.

“We’ve performed for diplomats, royalty, festival audiences, wedding guests, political staff, and much more.”

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Community chips in to help Riverview Manor celebrate Nursing Week

Riverview Manor paid tribute to the Peterborough long-term care home’s nurses and personal support workers (PSWs) last week with five days of food-filled events, and much of the celebration was made possible by families, local businesses and community organizations chipping in to help.

Each day, from Monday to Friday, front-line staff members were provided with something different as a show of gratitude for their dedication to residents and hard work.

Monday was ice cream day that included a variety of frozen treats for everyone, thanks to some outside help, notes Becky Dennie, Riverview Manor’s manager of resident quality and co-IPAC lead.

“We were able to utilize a $200 donation from a family member to obtain ice-cream sandwiches and cones,” she tells The OMNIway.

On Tuesday, 90 apple fritters that were donated by Kawartha Buttertart Factory in Douro-Dummer arrived at the home for apple fritter day.

Wednesday was pop and potato chip day. As an add-on, nurses and PSWs each received a carnation courtesy of local florist Rambling Rose Flowers.

Thursday was candy day, and capping off the week on Friday was a barbecue for everyone where hamburgers, hot dogs and a variety of salads were served.

The manager of the Tim Hortons on Water Street donated three dozen doughnuts with coffee and tea to the Riverview Manor team each day last week.

There was a draw for a $25 gift card for Walmart and Esso that was donated by supplier Handicare Canada. The Chemung Lake District Lions Club donated 10 $20 pizza vouchers so team members could enjoy complimentary meals.

Each Riverview Manor team member also received a name-tag holder, with registered staff receiving a key chain as well.

National Nursing Week 2022 was May 9-15. The week is set aside to acknowledge nurses and other front-line staff members for their work.

Health-care organizations across Canada dedicate the week every year to acknowledging nursing teams.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Riverview Manor team members were given key chains and name-tag holders during Nursing Week.