Creative team members ensure Burnbrae residents have Easter during outbreak

With safety precautions in effect, residents enjoyed cookie decorating, a colouring contest and window visits from the Easter bunny

Despite being in the midst of an outbreak, Burnbrae Gardens residents were still able to enjoy an Easter celebration with safety precautions in effect, thanks to the Campbellford long-term care home’s team members tapping into their creativity.

Residents have been in isolation since the outbreak was declared April 8, and staff members wanted to keep spirits high by providing everyone with Easter treats and some surprises to mark the holiday, says Burnbrae Gardens administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) April Faux.

Initially, the home planned to host an outdoor Easter egg hunt for staff members’ children, and there was also supposed to be a parade, but those plans were cancelled when the outbreak was declared.

Instead, April and the life enrichment team organized Easter cookie decorating for residents, providing them with cookies, icing and utensils that were delivered to every resident who could participate.

There was a colouring contest where residents were provided with markers and sheets of paper. Team members also made Easter baskets filled with small treats that were customized to each resident’s diet texture that were delivered Easter morning.

Due to safety precautions in effect, residents are being delivered meals in their rooms, but team members provided Easter-themed placemats with their tray service to keep with the holiday theme.

“Staff wanted to ensure the residents had that special touch,” April tells The OMNIway. “The staff really went the extra mile to try to bring a smile to their faces in light of the times they’re facing.”

Capping off the Easter weekend was a visit from the Easter bunny, played by former Pleasant Meadow Manor LEC Chris Garden, who came to residents’ windows for visits.

“That really brought a lot of smiles, and sometimes tears, to their faces,” April says. “She has done this for the past few years, but it was extra-special this year because we were in isolation, and it just meant that much more to have that special touch, so a big thanks to Chris for doing that for us.”

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Burnbrae Gardens helps resident Muriel Hay celebrate her 100th birthday

A party and greetings from dignitaries marked her special day

Burnbrae Gardens resident Muriel Hay turned 100 on Oct. 29, and team members at the Campbellford, Ont. long-term care home helped her celebrate her special day in style.

Muriel, who is known around Burnbrae Gardens for always cracking jokes and her sense of humour, was treated to a birthday party that featured a cake, presentations and everyone singing Happy Birthday to her.

Muriel received a certificate from Ontario Premier Doug Ford wishing her a happy 100th birthday, and team members put the wording from the certificate on the home’s big-screen TV so everyone could read it.

Burnbrae Gardens’ newest centenarian also received a certificate from Trent Hills Mayor Bob Crate to congratulate her on her milestone birthday.

Muriel’s son and niece also attended her celebration, and team members created balloon art and decorations that were set up on a wall that served as Muriel’s photo booth for the day.

Life enrichment aide Shawna Booth, who organized the celebration, made a slide show that featured photos of Muriel.

Muriel was presented with a large birthday card filled with happy wishes residents and staff members wrote for her that Shawna put together.

Muriel, who grew up in the Campbellford area with a farming background, recalls “working in the fields baling hay” when she was a girl, but when asked if she thought all that hard work contributed to her longevity, she points to another source: good genes.

“My father lived to be 90,” she tells The OMNIway.

And what did Muriel think of her birthday party?

“It went out with a bang,” she says. “You bet it was (a good party).”

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Community pitches in to ensure a happy Halloween at Burnbrae Gardens

11-year-old boy among those who made a donation

Community members from across Northumberland County pitched in to help ensure Burnbrae Gardens residents have a happy Halloween.

One of those who made a donation to the Campbellford long-term care home was 11-year-old Hayden Marlatt. His parents, Dave and Sherry, brought Hayden to Burnbrae Gardens on Oct. 9 to drop off 15 pumpkins for residents to decorate.

“Hayden loves to help in the community, and he wanted to make our residents’ Halloween special,” Lauren Farnham, a life enrichment aide at Burnbrae Gardens, tells The OMNIway.

Hayden knew the COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for residents so he wanted to do something to “brighten their spirits,” Lauren adds.

In addition to Hayden’s donation, three people from across Northumberland County donated money to help buy supplies to decorate the pumpkins.

Matthew Steven and Colleen C., both of Brighton, and Sarah Lord of Wooler donated money to buy the supplies.

In fact, Sarah’s grandmother was a resident of Burnbrae Gardens more than 10 years ago. She hopes to become a volunteer once pandemic protocols permit her to join the volunteer team, says Burnbrae Gardens administrator April Faux.

Residents got busy decorating the pumpkins. Some were given faces, while others were painted. There are decorated pumpkins on display inside and outside of the home.

“The residents really enjoyed doing the decorations,” Lauren says.

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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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