How a special name badge means ‘inclusion’ to a Country Terrace care aide

Jennifer Hamblin says a Christmas-themed badge administrator Karen Dann made for her also helped her get a COVID vaccination

Country Terrace care aide Jennifer Hamblin says the Christmas-themed name badge administrator Karen Dann made for her in December not only made her feel part of a team it also helped ensure she received her COVID-19 vaccination recently.

Jennifer, who joined the Country Terrace team Oct. 1, says wearing an ID badge has always been important in her work life and that she was “elated” when she was handed her name tag and card shortly after being hired.

“It was a personal touch that meant a big deal,” she tells The OMNIway. “Back in 2012, I retired from a career in security. The hardest part was handing over the identity badge. It was as if I handed over a part of myself, never to return.”

A few weeks ago, Jennifer’s badge went through the laundry when she forgot to remove it from a gown. The housekeeping staff found it and returned it to her.

Shortly after, her badge fell out of its plastic sleeve while she was making beds and she was not able to find it, so she had to get a new one.

There was one other name tag Jennifer had: the Christmas-themed badge Karen made for her.

In early December, The OMNIway published a story about how Karen made Christmas-themed name badges for everyone working at the Komoka, Ont. long-term care home.

The badges have team members’ first names embossed on a Christmas-themed design. Jennifer’s name tag is a red Santa stocking. Jennifer says receiving her Christmas badge brought her a feeling of inclusion at Country Terrace.

“I realized a lot of work and love went into the preparation of the badge; I even laminated mine with protective clear film,” she says.

“After years of experience and three degrees, what I have learned is what matters the most for me (in a workplace) is that I am included. I felt so blessed to be a part of a wonderful team, despite the challenging circumstances (of the pandemic).”

On Jan. 10, Jennifer went to the vaccination clinic in London, Ont. to be immunized against COVID-19. Since people working in health-care settings are a top priority for the vaccine, she was asked for a work ID.

“I proudly displayed my Christmas badge because that is all I had,” Jennifer says. “I forgot my real ID at home. Luckily for me, the police officer at the door chuckled, and the staff person at registration reassured me that everything would be fine.”

Jennifer showed them a copy of her police reference check she submitted when she was hired at Country Terrace. With her vaccination form and information already completed, she was ushered forward.

“Nevertheless, I wondered what would I have done without my Christmas badge,” Jennifer says.

Having experience teaching, Jennifer says she often finds herself looking for moral lessons to be learned from a given situation.

“In losing my title badge, gaining a Christmas badge (and) forgetting my real ID at home, I pondered what the next lesson in life would be for me,” she says.

“In the meantime, I enjoyed the moment of how a Christmas badge made me feel better about myself and helped me to get ushered through the vaccination process.”

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Country Terrace nutritional care team recognized by CSNM for Mother’s Day lunch

Photos and a description of the meal have been posted on the CSNM website

Country Terrace nutritional care team members have been recognized by the Canadian Society of Nutrition Management (CSNM) for the meal and tray service they provided residents on Mother’s Day.

The CSNM is a national organization aimed at moving nutritional-care management forward. Members, who largely represent the greater health-care sector, are provided with educational and networking opportunities to advance professional development.

The organization launched an initiative this year called Share the Passion to encourage members nationwide to submit something special they have done for residents, patients or customers during the pandemic.

Country Terrace submitted photos and an explanation of the Mother’s Day lunch tray the nutritional care team prepared. The CSNM selected the Country Terrace submission to be featured on a banner on the organization’s website.

The CSNM website states the initiative is aimed at encouraging nutritional care teams to share their work in an effort “to educate, inform and inspire positive change” and “to help increase the professional bond and showcase the outstanding work of our members.”

Knowing how important Mother’s Day is at Country Terrace, the nutritional care team prepared a special lunch that was served to each of the home’s 120 residents on May 10.

In addition to the barbecued pork ribs, parsnips, cornbread muffins, cream of celery soup and dulce de leche cheesecake that was served to all residents, the 55 mothers living at Country Terrace each had a small floral arrangement and Mother’s Day note on their tray.

Country Terrace nutritional care manager Alex Achillini says he and his colleagues are honoured to be recognized by the CSNM for their work.

“It is very nice for the staff to be recognized by such an institution, especially during this time where everyone works hard to keep up with the changes and (to make) the residents’ lives better with small gestures, such as the flowers for Mother’s Day on the food tray,” he says.

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Country Terrace residents treated to beef tenderloin

Alex Achillini and the nutritional care team at Country Terrace wanted to give residents of the Komoka, Ont. long-term care home a special, memorable dinner, and few meals compare to beef tenderloin.

On Nov. 27, Alex, the Country Terrace nutritional care manager, and his team prepared 150-gram slices of beef tenderloin for residents. The meat was pan-sealed and finished in the oven and then accompanied with gravy.

As for side dishes, the team went with locally farmed root vegetables and made-from-scratch mashed potatoes.

Presenting high-quality meals is important to maintaining a high standard of quality of life for long-term-care home residents, and Alex and the Country Terrace nutritional care team wanted to give residents a meal to remember.

Judging by residents’ comments, Alex says he and the nutritional care team succeeded.

“It was such a great meal, (and we had) lots of compliments,” he tells The OMNIway.

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Country Terrace residents sending special Christmas photos to their families this year

Residents have been having their photos taken as part of new project designed by the life enrichment team





Country Terrace residents had special Christmas photos taken this year to send to their loved ones this holiday season. Pictured above, Ken McKaig; bottom left, Harriet Clayton; bottom right, Helen Harloff.

Thanks to some creative thinking from the life enrichment team, Country Terrace residents each have a special gift to send their loved ones this holiday season.

Team members recently came up with the idea for every resident of the Komoka, Ont. long-term care home to have their photo taken in front of a Christmas backdrop.

The photos are being sent to residents’ family members with accompanying Christmas cards residents have made.

The idea came about when life enrichment staff members asked life enrichment co-ordinator Christie Patterson if residents could have a “picture day” at the home. Christie was on board, and the team ordered a Christmassy backdrop from Amazon.

The backdrop features a white brick fireplace – with Christmas stockings hung above it – and a mantel with covered with candles. The backdrop also includes a Christmas wreath and, of course, a Christmas tree in the foreground.

And it so happens the team has a talented photographer to capture residents’ Christmas cheer.

Country Terrace administrator Karen Dann has a knack for picture taking – along with a professional camera and tripod – so her services were called in.

Christie says a strong team effort from across the home helped make this project successful.

“We have designated a wing of the home every morning (for residents’ portraits), and the PSWs (personal support workers) help get the residents ready, and we provide the background and some props and away we go,” Christie tells The OMNIway, adding residents have been “excited” about having their pictures taken.

“We have even had some staff jumping in to do candid photos, so that was kind of a nice way to lift their spirits in December.”

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Administrator Karen Dann designs Christmassy name badges for Country Terrace team

From left to right, Country Terrace team members Debbie Scheerer, Simi Mathew, Chris Crookshank and Lidia Keleta pose with their Christmas-inspired name badges.

Not wanting to back away from a challenge, Country Terrace administrator Karen Dann recently created special Christmas-themed name badges for every team member working at the Komoka, Ont. long-term care home.

Karen tells The OMNIway she was recently “challenged” by Country Terrace personal support worker (PSW) Christine Crookshank to make the badges for every staff member – including team members brought in to help during the pandemic – to bring some seasonal cheer to everyone.

So that’s exactly what Karen did.

She got to work making the decorative badges which feature several different yuletide designs, including snowmen, Santas, red-and-white stockings, reindeer, angels, Christmas trees and jingle bells.

Along with the new name badges, each team member received a personalized Christmas card from Karen.

“That was 175 cards and 175 Christmas name badges,” she says.

Call it a labour of love.

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Country Terrace treats residents to a variety of seasonal favourite meals and desserts

From barbecued ribs to pumpkin desserts, residents have been enjoying top-notch meal service

With autumn and Halloween have come a variety of seasonal culinary favourites from the Country Terrace kitchen.

Last week, Country Terrace nutritional care manager Alex Achillini and his team at the Komoka, Ont. long-term care home prepared several resident-favourite meals and treats. For Halloween, the team prepared barbecued pork ribs that were slow-cooked for six hours.

The ribs went over very well with residents, Alex says.

“The ribs were incredible; they melted in your mouth,” he tells The OMNIway. “(We received) great comments from residents.”

Also on the Halloween menu were fancy chocolate cupcakes with an array of toppings and drizzles that residents also enjoyed, Alex notes.

“We used different flavours and garnishes for the cupcake icing; they looked pretty,” he says.

Also featured last week was a “pumpkin cart” that was created by the nutritional care team. The cart, which had a pumpkin for a centrepiece, was filled with desserts that were both tasty and sophisticated in appearance.

These included several sweets made from pumpkins, including pumpkin bars, chocolate-pumpkin cookies and pumpkin cheesecake parfait.

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Summertime barbecues resume at Country Terrace

Residents are thrilled that one of their favourite meal programs has returned

With some restrictions in Ontario long-term care homes easing, Country Terrace is once again hosting outdoor summer barbecues for residents once a week.

Every Thursday the Komoka, Ont. long-term care home’s nutritional care team fires up the barbecue to grill hamburgers and cheeseburgers for up to 12 residents at a time, with social distancing in effect at all times to keep everyone safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The barbecues also include side dishes, such as potato salad and dill pickles, and there’s always cold pop and beer as well as ice cream for dessert.

Because there’s a limit of 12 residents at a time who can attend the barbecues, there is a rotating schedule to allow a different group of residents to the event each week.

Country Terrace nutritional care manager Alex Achillini says barbecues are a favourite summertime meal program for residents, so they have been well received.

“They love the barbecues and especially eating outside in such beautiful weather,” he says.

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Doughnuts and safe family time mark Father’s Day at Country Terrace

Pictured above, Country Terrace’s resident dads were treated to coffee and doughnuts on Father’s Day.

‘For Father’s Day we wanted to make sure every dad got a treat as sweet as they are’

Although there were no family gatherings to celebrate Father’s Day at Country Terrace on June 21, the life enrichment team at the Komoka, Ont. long-term care home still managed to make the day “sweet” for all the dads. Read more

E-mail updates praised by Country Terrace family members for keeping them informed

Country Terrace resident Lorraine Bullas is pictured here in a photo administrator Karen Dann recently sent to her family.

Administrator Karen Dann is also sending photos of residents to their families to help give them peace of mind

Country Terrace administrator Karen Dann says family members of residents living at the Komoka, Ont. long-term care home have been supportive of an initiative she’s launched to provide regular updates about the COVID-19 situation and about family members’ loved ones. Read more

Mother’s Day lunch makes a big difference to Country Terrace residents during a challenging time

Staff members from different departments worked together to prepare and serve a special meal

Although Country Terrace residents stayed in their rooms and couldn’t be with their spouses, children or grandchildren on Mother’s Day (May 10), staff members at the Komoka, Ont. long-term care home worked together to make sure moms had a special day on Sunday. Read more