(VIDEO) ‘Comedy is always the best way of learning’

Forest Hill cook Paul Green says “comedy is always the best way of learning,” and it was a lighthearted approach to educating OMNI Health Care team members about safe feeding techniques that helped the Ottawa-area long-term care home win second place in the OMNI Video Challenge. Read more

Resident to ministry: If your loved one lived in LTC, what would you want for them?

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Joan Leclaire underscores need for enhanced funding levels in sector

When Joan Leclaire looks around Forest Hill, she sees nurses and personal support workers (PSWs) giving their all for the 156 people living at the Kanata long-term care home. Read more

Former ministry employee, now a resident, calls for increased LTC funding

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‘Our seniors deserve homes that are ready and capable of meeting their ever-increasing, complex needs,’ says Joan Leclaire

Joan Leclaire never imagined she would one day live in a long-term care home – especially not when she was only 59. Read more

Excitement in the air as Forest Hill readies for video challenge

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Home to create educational piece on safe feeding techniques

Mealtimes are an important part of life in long-term care homes, so providing a safe environment for residents must always be at the forefront. Read more

Forest Hill team raises $500 for ALS research

Eight Forest Hill staff managers were on the receiving end of some ice-cold water recently when they took the Ice Bucket Challenge to raise money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research. Read more

Butterfly program engaging residents with cognitive impairment

LEA says families are ‘just blown away’ by results

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Forest Hill life enrichment aide (LEA) Shannon Lynch has brought a unique idea to the Kanata long-term care home that’s proving effective at engaging residents with cognitive impairment.

Lynch got the idea to bring larvae to a special area outside the home and engage residents in the process watching the cocoons hatch into butterflies from a newspaper article assistant director of care Nicole Fulford had shown her.

Plus, it has proved to be an excellent opportunity to bring residents outdoors to enjoy the summer weather while watching the chrysalis process inside a large mesh tent where the butterfly houses are stored.

Lynch says the residents have enjoyed many aspects of the program since it began in early June, from painting the butterfly houses to watching the vibrant colours of the butterflies’ wings to simply sitting outside in the warm weather.

Residents can sit inside the large tent and watch the butterflies come in and out of their house and fly around. Sometimes residents and life enrichment staff sit in the tent reading or talking and simply enjoying the ambiance.

The LEA says family members are overwhelmed with the program’s success. What has made it successful, she adds, is the fact that the program allows for residents to reminisce and socialize in an atmosphere that provides a lot of sensory stimulation.

“The family members are just blown away by this,” she says. “When you show them the photographs of their loved ones smiling and laughing, they love it.”

The program has also served as an opportunity to make new connections. Rita Gurova, a staff member who works in the kitchen, speaks Russian as her first language. One of the residents involved with the program also speaks Russian, so Gurova takes time to visit with this resident when the program is running.

Nineteen butterflies were hatched this year, and life enrichment co-ordinator Craig Forrest says he hopes to increase that number to 50 next year and open the program to more residents.

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

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

Shannon Lynch ‘lives the OMNIway vision’

Forest Hill recognizes LEA as its Everyday Hero

Tuesday, July 8, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

On a daily basis, Shannon Lynch personifies OMNI Health Care’s mission, vision and values. It’s the reason Forest Hill has crowned Lynch, a life enrichment aide (LEA), as its Everyday Hero.

OMNI managers learned more about Lynch’s contributions to the 160-bed Kanata long-term care home during the second annual Awards and Recognition Night at Fern Resort.

Lynch has been with Forest Hill for 10 years, almost as long as the home’s inception. She began working in the housekeeping department, progressed to a personal support worker and completed a one-year term as nursing administrative services manager. Lynch currently specializes in dementia care approaches.

“Shannon certainly lives the OMNIway vision, mission and values every day,” said Nicole Fulford, assistant director of care at Forest Hill, during the ceremony.

Lynch is reliable, respectful, kind, dedicated and a team player. “She certainly has her special way with all of the residents and we are lucky to have her at Forest Hill, the residents are lucky to have her and the families are lucky to have her,” Fulford said.

Forest Hill also named Anna Gagnon, RAI co-ordinator, as its Inspired Leader. (link to Gagnon’s story)
OMNI honoured staff members from its 18 long-term care homes during the awards ceremony.

Following the presentations, managers were entertained by singing impressionist Matt Gauthier and tried their hand at crown and anchor, blackjack, poker and roulette for a chance to win prizes.

Read more about OMNI’s inspired leaders and everyday heroes in upcoming stories.

If you have feedback on this article or a story idea to share, please e-mail natalie(at)axiomnews.com or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051.

Anna Gagnon ‘an inspiration to us all’

Forest Hill recognizes RAI co-ordinator as Inspired Leader

Monday, July 7, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

With “a huge heart” and a deep devotion to residents, Anna Gagnon is an inspiration to her colleagues at Forest Hill.

OMNI Health Care managers learned more about what makes Gagnon, the RAI co-ordinator at the 160-bed Kanata long-term care home, Forest Hill’s Inspired Leader.

“Forest Hill is proud to present (Gagnon) with the Inspired Leadership award,” said Susan Bell, administrator of the home.

OMNI honoured staff members from its 18 long-term care homes May 7 during the second annual Awards and Recognition Night at Fern Resort.

Gagnon started her career at Forest Hill 12 years ago, working in the capacity of a registered practical nurse. She has been the RAI co-ordinator for three years.

“Anna truly leads by example with her commitment to our residents by producing high-quality work and she has such a positive attitude to teamwork,” Bell said. “She also has a huge heart, is very kind and has a great sense of humour.

“We’re very fortunate to have Anna as part of our team. Anna is a great inspiration to all of us at Forest Hill.”

The Inspired Leadership award acknowledges employees who consistently motivate, inspire and enable others to provide the kind of care that benefits residents in every aspect of their lives.

“Thank you, I absolutely love my job,” Gagnon said of the honour.

Following the awards presentations, managers were entertained by singing impressionist Matt Gauthier and tried their hand at crown and anchor, blackjack, poker and roulette for a chance to win prizes.

Read more about OMNI’s inspired leaders and everyday heroes in upcoming stories.

If you have feedback on this article or a story idea to share, please e-mail natalie(at)axiomnews.com or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051.

Hotel treats Forest Hill residents, staff to complimentary lunch

LEC applauds benefits of community partnership

Forest Hill’s life enrichment co-ordinator Craig Forrest is applauding a community partnership the Kanata long-term care home has with the local Holiday Inn that sees residents, their families and staff members enjoy a complimentary luncheon every holiday season.

For about 10 years the Holiday Inn & Suites Kanata has hosted a free holiday lunch for those connected with Forest Hill and nearby Garden Terrace. Unfortunately, Garden Terrace is in outbreak and the home’s residents and staff were not able to attend this year. However, about 40 Forest Hill residents, plus family members and staff, attended this year’s luncheon on Dec. 13.

In addition to a full-spread lunch, residents were treated to Christmas carols from the Holy Trinity Catholic High School’s boys choir and each resident received a Christmas poinsettia.

Forrest adds the Holiday Inn staff did an “excellent” job of serving.

As part of the collaboration, Forest Hill hosts its annual Christmas party at the Holiday Inn. Forrest says the residents appreciate the hotel’s generosity and the staff members’ hard work, adding the luncheon  provides an avenue for others in the community to become acquainted with Forest Hill and its residents.

“It gives a local business the opportunity to meet our residents and to experience what we can do for them,” Forrest tells the OMNIway. “(The luncheon) also gives the residents’ family members a different setting to spend time with their loved ones as well.”

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact 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.

Helping others is the OMNIway

Streamway Villa’s annual Christmas bazaar is an important event at the Cobourg long-term care home. Proceeds from this year’s event will go towards relief in the Philippines as well as to providing presents for two children in need through the Northumberland Mall’s Giving Tree.

Spirit of giving shining through at homes

December 2, 2013 — Deron Hamel and Jennifer Neutel 

OMNI Health Care long-term care homes have a long record of proving their commitment to residents and local communities, but when a large-scale crisis occurs the team members can also be counted on helping people who live far away.

This is evident with the relief efforts that have been coming from OMNI homes in the wake of Typhoon Haiyan, which devastated parts of the Philippines Nov. 8. The typhoon claimed about 4,000 lives and displaced about four million people.

OMNI’s two homes in Kanata, Forest Hill and Garden Terrace, have several staff members who are from the Philippines and, as a show of support, their co-workers wanted to help them with fundraising initiatives.

Shortly after the typhoon, Forest Hill personal support worker Jocelyn Geraghty was speaking on the phone with her mother who lives in the Philippines. Geraghty wanted to know what people in Canada could do to help. Since many people in the Philippines earn their living fishing, her mother suggested people raise money to buy boats so they could once again work. Many fishing boats were destroyed in the disaster.

Geraghty’s colleague, registered nurse Laarni Casiple, is also from the Philippines. Both staff members say even small donations will go a long way in helping people, adding that fishing boats typically cost about C$100 in the Philippines.

“We thought that, amongst us here (at Forest Hill), maybe we can help one family, because at the moment there is so much of an influx of support coming from all over the world to help the victims,” Casiple says. “The recovery is a long process. If we could help one family get a fishing boat, it would help them start.”

To help raise money for the relief effort, Forest Hill hosted a pancake breakfast on two shifts Nov. 19.

Like Forest Hill, Garden Terrace has also been raising money for the relief efforts. Following the typhoon, staff members at Garden Terrace rallied around one staff member whose family had lost their home in the storm.

The team immediately began a fundraising initiative.

Administrator Carolyn Della Foresta says the support the staff member has received has been heart-warming.

“The staff have been so kind and concerned about one another — it has really further brought to light the community we have amongst our staff members,” she says.

Streamway Villa’s annual Christmas bazaar is an important event at the Cobourg long-term care home. Proceeds from this year’s event will go towards relief in the Philippines as well as to providing presents for two children in need through the Northumberland Mall’s Giving Tree.

The initiative began when the home’s residents’ council vice-president came to life enrichment co-ordinator Christina Verleysen’s office, noting she had spoken with other residents and they all agreed these causes were what they wanted the bazaar proceeds to be spent on.

“It’s definitely going to be one busy Christmas, however, it’s going to be probably the best bazaar yet because of what we are putting the funds towards,” Verleysen says.

OMNI has also teamed up with the homes to raise money for relief efforts in the Philippines. The organization is matching donations raised at the homes. The Government of Canada is doubling every individual donation, so every dollar donated will be turned into $4.

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