Two OMNI homes win prizes for videos highlighting the Residents’ Bill of Rights

Burnbrae Gardens and Village Green will receive $50 Tim Hortons gift cards from the OARC

Two OMNI Health Care long-term care homes have won prize draws for videos they created highlighting the 27 rights listed in the Residents’ Bill of Rights as part of a contest organized by the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils (OARC).

Burnbrae Gardens and Village Green will be receiving $50 Tim Hortons gift cards which both homes will be using to host doughnut parties for residents.

A third OMNI home, West Lake Terrace, received an honourable mention on the OARC website for the video residents and team members submitted.

The OARC challenged Ontario long-term care homes to work with residents to create videos to teach others about the Residents’ Bill of Rights during Residents’ Council Week, which ran Sept. 13-19.

In the video submitted by Burnbrae Gardens, residents are wearing T-shirts listing the 27 rights. Each T-shirt is embossed with two residents’ rights – one on the front and one on the back. Residents had their photos taken wearing the T-shirts, and the photos were made into a slideshow accompanied by music.

Resident Jeannine LeClerc, who is fluent in French, provided a translation in the video for every resident right.

“Residents were super excited to know that they will receive a Tim Hortons recognition party for all their hard work in putting this video together,” Burnbrae Gardens administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) April Faux tells The OMNIway.

April says the prize is a bonus for a project everyone found rewarding to create.

“To be honest, we had so much fun as a group making this video that the gift card we received was just an extra little reward on top of the fun and laughter we had putting it all together,” she says.

The video created by Village Green features the Greater Napanee long-term care home’s residents and team members reading the residents’ rights.

In some segments, Village Green residents and staff members act out residents’ rights so viewers can see examples of residents’ rights in action.

Village Green LEC Ulana Orrick says residents were overjoyed when they learned they would be having a doughnut party thanks to their work on the video.

Ulana says when she asked residents how they felt about being recognized for their work, the most common reply was “I feel proud.”

“Our residents were thrilled to be one of the winning homes, and we will be having a party soon to celebrate with our Tim Hortons Gift card,” she says.

“This was such a great way for residents to express themselves and to feel some ownership of their home.”

The video created by West Lake Terrace, called Through Our Eyes Bringing the Residents’ Bill of Rights Alive, features a slideshow of residents and team members holding cards with each residents’ right explained as a rendition of the Beatles’ In My Life plays.

Click here to watch the Burnbrae Gardens video.

Click here to watch the Village Green video.

Click here to watch the West Lake Terrace video.

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Burnbrae Gardens residents make educational video on Residents’ Bill of Rights

The video has been submitted to the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils as part of a contest during Residents’ Council Week

Burnbrae Gardens residents have submitted an educational video focused on the Residents’ Bill of Rights to a contest organized by the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils (OARC).

The OARC is challenging Ontario long-term care homes to work with residents to create videos to teach others about the Residents’ Bill of Rights. The contest is being held in conjunction with Residents’ Council Week, which runs Sept. 13-19.

Life enrichment aides Lauren Farnham and Shawna Booth, along with Burnbrae Gardens administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator April Faux, helped residents create the video. The video features residents explaining the 27 rights all people living in long-term care homes are guaranteed.

In the video, residents are wearing T-shirts listing the 27 rights. Each T-shirt is embossed with two residents’ rights – one on the front and one on the back. Residents had their photos taken wearing the T-shirts, and the photos were made into a slideshow accompanied by music.

The idea to make the video got immediate buy-in from residents, Lauren says.

“We thought it would be great for the residents to get involved with this,” she tells The OMNIway.

Lauren created the T-shirts on her own time using a Cricut, a computer-controlled cutting machine. The T-shirts were distributed to residents who “loved them,” she says.

The video includes a speech on the Residents’ Bill of Rights from Burnbrae Gardens residents’ council president Frank Trombley.

In his speech, Frank outlines why the Residents’ Bill of Rights is important to residents and staff members, and he commends the home’s staff members for upholding those rights.

Shawna notes that resident Jeannine LeClerc, who is fluent in French, provided a translation in the video for every resident right.

“We wanted to up the ante by asking a resident who speaks fluent French to provide a translation,” she explains. “We wanted to make it bilingual for both English and French-speaking people.”

All video submissions will be entered into a prize draw. Prizes include an iPad with a $50 Apple gift card and a Google Home device.

Contest winners will be announced Sept. 19.

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Hot dog hat brings lunchtime fun and laughter to Burnbrae residents

Nutritional care aide Nikki McAleaney commended for her idea that made hot dog day even better for residents

Burnbrae Gardens nutritional care aide Nikki McAleaney had been looking for a chance to wear a hot dog hat she owns.

When hot dogs were on the lunchtime menu at the Campbellford, Ont. long-term care home recently, Nikki decided this was the perfect opportunity to provide residents with some mealtime fun and laughter.

With Nikki working in Burnbrae’s nutritional care department, her friends and family started giving her food-themed hats. Last Christmas, Nikki’s aunt gave her a turkey hat. A friend then gave her the hot dog hat.

When hot dog day at Burnbrae Gardens was approaching, she got the idea to wear the hot dog hat over her hairnet to serve residents.

“With me working in the dietary department, I just thought it would be a really cute idea and bring some laughter to the residents by wearing a hot dog hat on hot dog day,” Nikki tells The OMNIway.

Her plan worked.

“It brought them lots of laughter,” she says. “It felt really good to make residents so happy.”

Burnbrae Gardens administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator April Faux says Nikki’s idea to wear a hot dog hat while serving residents hot dogs is a great example of a team member’s strong resident focus.

Residents have been dealing with a lot of changes for the past 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Nikki thinking outside the box to deliver some extra fun to the home was meaningful, April says.

“It’s a great example of fun and laughter that has been incorporated into a tough year,” she says. “The residents had a really great time.”

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Burnbrae residents get home ready for Canada Day decorating contest

Residents are ‘very excited’ and hopeful the home will be in the winner’s circle

Canada Day isn’t for another six days, but Burnbrae Gardens is already decked out to celebrate the country’s 154th birthday on July 1.

That’s because the Campbellford long-term care home has entered the Trent Hills Canada Day Decorating Contest, a decorating challenge for homes and businesses in the region organized by the Trent Hills Chamber of Commerce.

Life enrichment aide Lauren Farnham organized the decorations at Burnbrae Gardens and got lots of help from residents Jean Bradshaw, Florence Casselman, Helen Earl, Diane Partridge, Karen Phillips, Jim Pollock, Tom Robbins and Marie Shearer.

Together, they decorated the front of the home with Canadian flags and a wide array of other red and white decorations with Canadian motifs.

When the decorating was done, Lauren snapped a picture of the front of the home (see photo above) and submitted it to the chamber of commerce to be entered in the contest.

According to contest rules, participants must have their decorations up by June 26 at noon and they must remain on display until July 4.

Burnbrae Gardens, along with other participating homes and businesses, will be part of a driving route for sightseers.

This is the first year Burnbrae Gardens has participated in the contest.

“They are doing (the contest) this way because of COVID precautions; it allows people to keep their distance from their cars, but they still get to see all the decorations,” Lauren says.

The contest winners will be announced July 2, and residents are hopeful Burnbrae Gardens will be in the winner’s circle, Lauren says.

“The residents are very excited,” she says. “They loved putting up the decorations, and I keep hearing compliments about the decorations from inside and outside the home.”

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Longtime resident Frank Trombley sings Burnbrae Gardens’ praises

Frank, who has lived at Burnbrae Gardens for 13 years, says staff members work hard to make residents feel at home

Frank Trombley has called Burnbrae Gardens home for 13 years and is a vocal advocate of the Campbellford, Ont. long-term care home.

If you ask Frank what he likes best about life at Burnbrae Gardens, he’ll tell you it’s the activities residents are offered.

From current events programs to music programs to Saturday-night movies, there’s no shortage of things going on at Burnbrae Gardens to keep him and other residents busy, Frank says.

“During the week, there is something going on pretty near every day,” he says. “It’s a nice place to live.”

Frank says staff members work hard to make Burnbrae Gardens a “home.”

“The staff members are wonderful, and (there is) a lot of freedom. We can do all our hobbies.”

And Frank has lots of hobbies.

Frank, 93, is always busy doing something. He’s particularly fond of building models. Some of Frank’s projects, such as a log cabin model he made in 2017, have been put on display at the home.

Frank’s room, as he puts it, “is a little helter-skelter,” with his walls full of pictures and his desk covered with projects he’s working on, including a model boat he’s currently building, so he’s always keeping busy.

Frank recently had an outdoor visit with his wife, Jean to celebrate her 89th birthday. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it was the first time the couple had seen each other face to face in 14 months.

Shortly after their visit, Frank spoke with The OMNIway about the experience. He said he was lost for words when asked how it felt seeing his wife of 42 years for the first time in more than a year.

“I’ll tell you right now, I’ll never forget this for the rest of my life, and I don’t think my wife will ever forget it either.”

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Photo caption: Burnbrae Gardens resident Frank Trombley and his wife, Jean, sit outside the Campbellford long-term care home on May 24.

Couple reunited at Burnbrae Gardens after 14 months

Frank and Jean Trombley shared an outdoor visit, just in time for Jean’s birthday

Burnbrae Gardens resident Frank Trombley and his wife, Jean, had not seen each other face to face since the COVID-19 pandemic began 14 months ago.

But with outdoor visits permitted once again in Ontario long-term care homes, Lauren Farnham, a life enrichment aide at the Campbellford, Ont. long-term care home, organized a reunion for the couple last week, just in time for Jean’s 89th birthday on May 25.

Lauren received lots of help from the people of Brighton, Ont., where she lives, to make the May 24 reunion extra special for the Trombleys.

With COVID-19 restrictions in place provincewide, non-essential items, which include party decorations, are not available for purchase in stores. Lauren turned to the Facebook community in Brighton to ask for help.

The responses poured in.

One offer of help came from Michelle Hopkins, who runs a health-food store in Brighton called Gran’s Cans and Baked Goods. She donated a gift basket that included jams, jellies and cookies. Other people donated party decorations and even a helium tank to inflate balloons.

Lauren picked up birthday flowers for Frank to give to Jean when she arrived. While they had to observe social-distancing protocols, Frank and Jean sat at a table in the shade on the home’s patio for some time to catch up.

Frank, 93, says he’s lost for words when asked how it felt seeing his wife of 42 years for the first time in 14 months.

“I’ll tell you right now, I’ll never forget this for the rest of my life, and I don’t think my wife will ever forget it either,” Frank tells The OMNIway.

“How do you explain how you feel after having not seen your wife for months? It was just tremendous.”

Lauren says it was touching to be there for the couple’s reunion.

“Jean cried; she was so excited, but they were both speechless,” she says. “They enjoyed their time together. They had a fantastic visit. Frank still can’t stop talking about it.”

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Residents honour Burnbrae staff during Nursing Week

Kind, supportive messages from residents fill an entire wall at the home

In recognition of National Nursing Week, a wall at Burnbrae Gardens has been covered with kind notes and thoughtful messages from residents in support of everyone working at the Campbellford long-term care home.

The notes, which are written on colourful rectangular paper designed to resemble doctor’s prescription pads and laminated, share residents’ feelings about the people who provide their care every day.

The kind messages fill an entire wall in the hallway leading to the dining room, a corridor that sees lots of traffic every day.

“Oh my, where do I start? All the staff is just absolutely incredible,” says one note.

“They (staff) make me feel safe and take care of everyone here. They all do amazing at their jobs,” says another.

“Everybody makes me feel so loved,” says another note.

National Nursing Week is May 10 to 16. Burnbrae Gardens celebrates Nursing Week every year by honouring all staff members working in every department.

April Faux, Burnbrae Gardens’ administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator, says Nursing Week is especially meaningful this year, given the hard work team members have put forth during the past 14 months to keep residents and each other safe during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Normally we just hand out a few treats (during Nursing Week), but we really want the staff to know that they are appreciated by the residents that they take care of,” April tells The OMNIway.

“We intend to leave the messages up longer than a week because a lot of work went into this; we will probably leave it up for a few weeks, just to make sure everyone has a chance to read the comments.”

April says staff members will be receiving snacks on each shift and there will be a raffle for various prizes during Nursing Week.

Held the week of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12 every year since 1965, National Nursing Week aims to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions nurses make to our health-care system.

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Let’s dance: Burnbrae music program gets residents moving

The Music Appreciation program is providing residents with exercise, reminiscing and lots of fun and laughter

Since Burnbrae Gardens started a multifaceted music program six months ago, residents of the Campbellford, Ont. long-term care home have been benefiting from the joys music brings as well as from more exercise, increased happiness and lots of reminiscing.

The Music Appreciation program is the brainchild of life enrichment aide Shawna Booth, who started the program in September to provide residents with activities they enjoy while adhering to safety protocols in effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Music brings a lot of joy into people’s lives, and I was thinking this was something that was lacking because of (the pandemic), so that was the main inspiration,” Shawna says.

The program, which Shawna hosts every Thursday, varies from week to week. Each week there’s a different musical theme, from golden oldies to country classics to jazz.

Residents gather in small, physically distanced groups while music is played. Often, Shawna leads residents in exercises they can do standing or sitting.

“Sometimes we do activities where residents can dance in their chair for exercise where there are movements to go along with the songs, (and) sometimes we will play songs that will get residents reminiscing,” Shawna says, adding residents recently enjoyed reminiscing about songs they remembered hearing at weddings and other events.

Shawna says she has also played relaxing music while leading residents in chair yoga exercises.

A major benefit Shawna says she has seen from the Music Appreciation program is increased participation. While some residents are not interested in games or bingo, virtually everyone loves music.

As a result, several residents who normally don’t participate in programs are attending this activity every week, she says.

But perhaps the greatest benefit Shawna is seeing from residents is an elevated mood accompanied by lots of laughter.

“That’s always good because laughter is the best medicine, and of course reminiscing is helpful with memory and cognition, and we do a lot of reminiscing,” she says.

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Pandemic prompts Burnbrae life enrichment team to invent new programming

A Mardi Gras activity and a music program are among the life enrichment team’s creations since safety restrictions have been in place

Necessity, as the old saying goes, is the mother of invention, and since the global COVID-19 pandemic began a year ago, Burnbrae Gardens life enrichment team members have had to tap into their creativity to develop meaningful programs for residents to enjoy.

And April Faux, the Campbellford, Ont. long-term care home’s administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator, says the life enrichment staff has answered the challenge by coming up with fun programs for residents that enhance their quality of life while adhering to protocols to keep everyone safe during the pandemic.

In February, life enrichment aide (LEA) and physiotherapy assistant Lauren Farnham organized a Mardi Gras party – something the home had never done before – complete with music and props such as Mardi Gras beads and refreshments.

The event sparked a lot of interest from residents, April says, adding Lauren was able to run the program for all residents who wanted to join the fun by having small groups take turns participating at different intervals.

For residents who stayed in their rooms, the LEAs would bring them a treat, such as a non-alcoholic margarita, to ensure they were still included in the activity.

“Residents loved the Mardi Gras program,” April says.

Another LEA, Shawna Booth, started a music program in September called Music Appreciation.

As part of this program, Shawna plays different types of music and encourages residents to dance and exercise. Each time the program runs there will be a different theme of music for residents to enjoy. The music is based on residents’ musical interests.

Like the Mardi Gras program, the music program is only done with small groups of residents.

“We have had to reach outside the box because we used to have so much live entertainment, but we can’t have that right now, so we’re having to be a bit more creative, which is good for everyone and it’s (providing) new programs for the residents,” April says.

– More to come

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Burnbrae DOC makes special buttons for residents after second Moderna vaccination

Helen Sadio made the buttons on her own time to acknowledge residents for doing their part to help end the pandemic

After Burnbrae Gardens residents received their second round of the Moderna vaccine on March 2 to help protect them from the COVID-19 virus, they each had a surprise waiting for them, courtesy of director of care (DOC) Helen Sadio.

Residents were handed special buttons Helen had made on her own time to acknowledge them for receiving the vaccine and doing their part to help end the pandemic.

Helen made the buttons in a variety of bright colours, and each button was embossed with a phrase such as, “For me, for you, for all. #COVIDVaccinated” and “I took the shot, 2021”, to recognize residents for receiving the vaccine.

Helen took the Friday before residents were vaccinated off work and spent the next three days making the buttons, a gesture home administrator April Faux says demonstrates Helen’s strong commitment to residents.

“I really want to recognize Helen because she went over and above, and the residents got a kick out of (the buttons),” she tells The OMNIway.

“She took her own time and used her own money to make the buttons. … And (the buttons) brought lots of smiles to residents’ faces.”

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