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.

Small donations have large impact in Philippines recovery: Forest Hill staff

Forest Hill and OMNI reaching out to help those affected by typhoon

November 21, 2013 — Deron Hamel

A simple fishing boat costs about C$100 in the Philippines. With a fishing boat, people in coastal regions of the country can earn a decent living, and fishing boats will be the starting point for many Filipinos as they rebuild their lives in the wake of the devastation left by Typhoon Haiyan on Nov. 8.

Working with the Forest Hill team, OMNI Health Care has agreed to match donations dollar for dollar, and the Government of Canada is doubling every individual donation. In other words, every dollar donated to Forest Hill will be turned into $4.

Working with the Forest Hill team, OMNI Health Care has agreed to match donations dollar for dollar, and the Government of Canada is doubling every individual donation. In other words, every dollar donated to Forest Hill will be turned into $4.

Given the low cost of a boat, small donations — even a few dollars — will go a long way in helping people recover from the disaster, which claimed about 4,000 lives and displaced about four million people.

Many boats were destroyed in the typhoon, many residents of the Philippines would benefit greatly from even just a few fishing boats like a coleman crawdad boat for example. Once people in the coastal regions in the country’s north — where the devastation was most felt — have boats, they can start fishing again. The money they make fishing will help rebuild homes.

A small donation will be a long-term investment. This is the message Jocelyn Geraghty and Laarni Casiple want everyone to know.

Geraghty, a personal support worker, and Casiple, a registered nurse, work at Forest Hill. Both are originally from the Philippines and both have friends and family members impacted by the typhoon — Geraghty has relatives whose house was destroyed and Casiple has a friend whose brother is missing.

Geraghty and Casiple say they hope money raised at Forest Hill can help even just one family in the rebuilding process. In fact, Geraghty was speaking with her mother on the phone after the typhoon struck the archipelago to inquire about how she could help.

Her mother’s suggestion was to raise money to buy people boats.

“And then I said, ‘Yes, we can help with a boat,’ ” Geraghty says.

Adds Casiple: “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. Continued donations are welcomed.

Working with the Forest Hill team, OMNI Health Care has agreed to match donations dollar for dollar, and the Government of Canada is doubling every individual donation. In other words, every dollar donated to Forest Hill will be turned into $4.

Geraghty and Casiple underscore their appreciation for the Forest Hill administration team and OMNI for their support for people affected by the typhoon.

“We are very grateful to everyone,” Geraghty says.

If you would like to make a donation to the relief effort in the Philippines you can contact Forest Hill at 613-599-1991.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or email 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.

Physio restores dreams of ‘walking in the park’

No shortage of success stories in long-term care

For one Forest Hill resident, physiotherapy was a key element in breaking the sentence of forever having to use wheelchair.

For another, it offered the chance to return to activity after a knee replacement.

Still another faced giving up garden walks with her sister, until exercise and strategic physio services strengthened her body, and also her confidence, in walking.

These are just a few of the stories from Forest Hill in Kanata.

“We have lots of them,” says registered physiotherapist Andy Natarajan.

One of the most dramatic though is a woman who broke her hip. Following the surgery, it was evident to most that she would be using a wheelchair for the rest of her life. But some strategically designed exercises and careful monitoring of goals got her back on her feet. Now she is independent with a walker.

“Nobody expected that, not even family,” Natarajan says.

Another very active resident found herself in a predicament when she needed a knee replacement.

“All of a sudden she couldn’t go out, and that was really important to her,” Natarajan says, adding that exercise and, again, careful monitoring of goals, helped her regain her independence.

“She says now that it got her back her independence,” he says.

There are other stories, like the patient who likes to walk in the garden with her sister. Both have Huntington ’s disease, and spending the garden time together is important for many reasons. Unfortunately, for a time, one of the sisters had such difficulty with balance that she couldn’t walk without assistance. Now, though, through strengthening and balancing exercise, the sisters are again, walking together in the garden.

“Patients in long-term care have a major problem,” Natarajan says. “When we get old, we become deconditioned, our balance goes off, and we are at risk of falls. Everyone is different. So individualized treatment plans for each resident that are focussed and goal-oriented are crucial.”

This is one in a series of physiotherapy-related stories from our homes. If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, or feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at  800-294-0051, ext. 30, or e-mail jeanne(at)axiomnews.ca.