Kudos to Country Terrace PSWs for resident-centred care

Christine Cruikshank and Wendy Holcombe praised for ensuring seamless move for resident

Country Terrace clinical care co-ordinator Kimberley Noftle is commending two co-workers for their resident-centred focus recently when they ensured a seamless move for a resident to another long-term care home. Read more

Country Terrace going to the dogs

Pet therapy program enhancing quality of life

Pet therapy’s positive impact on people with cognitive impairment is well documented, and the Country Terrace team sees these benefits every time a St. John Ambulance therapy dog visits the home, says Veronica Couto. Read more

Country Terrace fundraising, encouraging healthy lifestyles

 Home hosts event in honour of Heart Month

February is Heart Month, and the team at Country Terrace dedicated Feb. 12 to promoting healthy eating while raising money for the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada. Read more

Winter Olympics bringing smiles to Country Terrace

Olympic fun is in full bloom at Country Terrace.

Olympic fun is in full bloom at Country Terrace.


Home hosting events honouring 2014 Winter Games

Tuesday, February 18, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Creativity is one of OMNI Health Care’s core values and the Country Terrace life enrichment team is capturing the essence of that value during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics with a variety of engaging activities for residents.

Organized by life enrichment co-ordinator Christie Patterson and life enrichment aides Amanda Guthrie and Rachael LeBlanc, the Komoka long-term care home’s tribute to the Winter Olympics began Feb. 10 and will continue to the end of the month.

One imaginative idea the team came up with was a biathlon event that combined hockey with a Nerf gun. At the Winter Olympics, the biathlon sees cross-country skiers race between stations where they stop to shoot rifles at targets. In the Country Terrace version of the event, residents shoot a hockey puck in a net, then “race” to a station where they fire a Nerf gun at a gold medal hung in the centre of the home’s Olympic rings — five hula hoops.

In addition to Olympicesque events, Country Terrace is hosting Olympic-themed socials for residents and staff members.

Guthrie says there has been a lot of interest in the events from residents, adding the No. 1 benefit she sees residents gleaning from the activities is another OMNI core value — fun and laughter.

“I love to see their smiles when things like this happen, especially when they’re waving their flags and they’re cheering,” she tells the OMNIway. “They’re getting involved in activities and they’re getting their social needs met.”  

Other OMNI Health Care long-term care homes are hosting Olympic-themed events for residents this year. Click here to read how Maplewood is celebrating the Winter Games.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Resident photos proving to be effective engagement tools

Country Terrace

Project encourages one-to-one time between residents and staff

Friday, February 14, 2014 — Deron Hamel

A photograph of a Country Terrace resident posing proudly in his military uniform, his medals earned for valour displayed conspicuously across his chest, is mounted outside his room at the Komoka long-term care home. This proved to be an effective conversation piece to engage the resident and his family as the man went through the end-of-life stage.

This is one way the home’s photo project, which sees residents’ portraits placed outside their rooms, is proving to be an effective engagement tool.

Clinical care co-ordinator (CCC) Kimberley Noftle recalls how the resident’s son was often at the home visiting his father; his dad’s photograph, she says, led to many conversations about the gentleman’s military service, which was important to him.

Administrator Karen Dann came up with the idea for the project but it has been led by resident services co-ordinator Heather Davidson.

The goal is to get a photo of each of the home’s 120 residents mounted outside their rooms for an added personal touch. Noftle says residents look forward to getting their photo taken by Davidson, who Noftle commends for the program’s success.

Davidson, who received Country Terrace’s Inspired Leadership Award in 2013, is finding that taking residents’ photos is an excellent way to spend one-to-one time with those living at the home, Noftle says.

The CCC adds that Davidson is patient with residents, giving them the time they need to find the clothes they want to wear for their photos and getting their hair done.

“We didn’t know how popular the program was going to be with residents, but their faces just light up when Heather is taking the extra time with them,” Noftle tells the OMNIway.

“She takes a lot of time with the residents; it’s not just snapping somebody’s picture and putting it up on the wall; she really takes a lot of time to make sure the person looks very good.”

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Video proves to be engaging tool for educating staff on abuse

Country Terrace

YouTube video features residents giving their definition of the word

Thursday, January 30, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When Country Terrace clinical care co-ordinator Kimberley Noftle had to lead an in-service recently focused on abuse, she didn’t want the session to be her merely standing in a room and talking in front of her co-workers. Because of the importance of the subject, she wanted everyone to be engaged and to walk away with an understanding of what abuse is so it can be recognized.

As a requirement of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Ontario long-term care homes must hold in-services to discuss the issue of abuse. Having led in-services in the past, Noftle says she doesn’t think “reading policies” accomplishes much — the information, she says, needs to stick.

What she did was use a YouTube video as the main prop in her presentation and let everyone hear the words of long-term care residents describe their definitions of abuse.

The two-part, 22-minute video, called Abuse: The Resident’s Perspective, was filmed at the Levindale Geriatric Center and Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland.

In one segment, resident and former long-term care registered nurse Sheila Tohn explains how, from a resident’s perspective, abuse can be emotional or psychological. It can be not offering people choices in what they eat or what activities they wish to pursue, or simply a staff member walking into a resident’s room and moving things. Tohn underscores that ignoring people is also abuse.

Tohn also says she sees “labelling” residents as another form of abuse. For example, referring to a resident as “the woman in 327.”

“As I recall, abuse used to be (defined as) physical abuse,” Tohn says. “I think it has expanded quite a bit now — it’s more subtle.”

Noftle says these are the same points she wanted to convey to her colleagues during the in-service —hearing the words come from a resident is much more impactful, she says, adding staff members were attentive throughout the video.

“I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from the staff,” Noftle tells the OMNIway. “(The video) did what I wanted it to do, which was to stop and make (staff members) think.”

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Falls reduced by 30% at Country Terrace in 2013

 

This wheelchair is equipped with alarms that sound if a resident at risk of falling gets up from their seat.

This wheelchair is equipped with alarms that sound if a resident at risk of falling gets up from their seat.

 

Focus on falls prevention pays off for home
Tuesday, January 21, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When Country Terrace recently did an audit on the number of falls at the Komoka long-term care home, team members were surprised to see how well their many falls-prevention strategies are working.

The home reduced the number of falls from 412 in 2012 to 286 in 2013, an improvement of 30 per cent, and team members are hoping these numbers continue to decline.

Registered practical nurse (RPN) Brenda Kumagai is one of the home’s falls-prevention champions. She cites Country Terrace’s physiotherapy program, exercise programs, toileting regimens, family education and installation of proper lighting as contributing factors to the success.

Physiotherapy and exercise programs help enhance mobility. Assisting residents with regular toileting helps decrease the risk of a person trying to stand up on their own to make their way to the washroom. Making sure areas are well lit helps people see where they’re going.

Reducing restraints is perhaps the greatest challenge long-term care homes face in the effort to reduce falls. Restraints, such as wheelchair seat belts or bed rails, can cause people — especially those with cognitive impairment — to want to get beyond the barriers, putting themselves at risk of falling in the process.

However, many family members insist their loved ones have restraints. This is where team members like Kumagai play an important role educating families about the dangers of restraints. Often, family members change their minds about having their loved ones’ wheelchairs or beds equipped with such devices once they learn about the risks they pose.

Scrutiny has also played a strong part in reducing falls at Country Terrace, says Kumagai. Staff members are made aware of residents who are at high risk of falling and these residents are closely watched and preventative measures, such as removing nearby clutter, are taken.

“We also look at patterns,” Kumagai tells the OMNIway. “For instance, in the evening, people may have more falls, so we will look at ways to protect them more.”

Kumagai conducts quarterly assessments on residents to examine their falls history, medications and safety devices.

Falls prevention is a major area of focus for Canadian long-term care homes. Falls pose serious health risks to seniors, and Health Canada estimates falls cost the Canadian health-care system more than $2 billion annually.

Teamwork has also played a crucial role in reducing falls at Country Terrace, Kumagai says. Front-line staff and the physiotherapy team meet monthly to discuss falls that have occurred and to develop interventions to prevent reoccurrence.

“We work well together as a team,” the RPN says.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Country Terrace embarks on two new outings

Country Terrace residents are seen here enjoying a London Knights hockey game Oct. 5. at Budweiser Gardens.

Country Terrace residents are seen here enjoying a London Knights hockey game Oct. 5. at Budweiser Gardens.

Access to the OMNI van made everything possible, says

LEC

October 18, 2013 — Deron Hamel

Country Terrace residents got to go on two new outings recently, which was made possible by the Komoka long-term care home having access to the OMNI van.

It was an experience like no other for four residents and two staff members from Country Terrace when they travelled to Budweiser Gardens in London, Ont. Oct. 5 to watch an OHL hockey game.

The residents had wanted to attend a hockey game for some time, but this had been challenging to organize because of transportation barriers. But when Country Terrace had access to the OMNI van the team booked tickets and the group got to see the London Knights beat the Guelph Storm 7-2.

While everyone was happy the home-team favourites won, it was the experience of once again being able to see a live hockey match that truly made the day special, says life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Christie Patterson.

“This was the first time we had gone to a London Knights game — the residents had asked about it last spring, during the playoffs, but we didn’t have the van at that time, so we made this a priority when we found out we’d be getting the van in October,” she tells the OMNIway, adding that having access to the OMNI van “makes a huge difference to our home.”

Patterson says being able to attend a live game made a big difference to residents. While they enjoy watching hockey on TV, it’s just not the same as being at an arena and in the thick of the action, she adds.

“And that’s what the residents said after — that (being at the game) was so much nicer,” Patterson says. “It’s many days later and the residents are still talking about it.”

Given the success of this trip, Patterson says she hopes to organize another hockey-game excursion in the future.

The hockey game wasn’t the only new outing at Country Terrace this month. On Oct. 16 the life enrichment team accompanied residents to a local theatre, which proved to be a special occasion.

In fact, one resident had not been to a movie theatre since her youth in England, Patterson notes.

“It was really neat to see their reaction when we went into the theatre,” Patterson says. “And the residents even said (the theatre) had the best popcorn ever.”

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.