Local businesses show support for Frost Manor Christmas fundraiser

‘We have had some awesome donations from the community’

Frost Manor’s annual Christmas crafts sale and fundraiser helps the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home’s residents’ council fund entertainment, programs and outings each year.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Frost Manor staff and family council members had to put their thinking caps on and come up with a different way to raise money for residents’ council this holiday season.

Meeting via Zoom video calls, they decided to host a gift-card raffle this year.

Fortunately, the local community has been supportive, and at the time of this writing, there has been about $400 worth of gift cards collected, says Frost Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Lyndsay Burton.

Raffle tickets will then be sold, the gift cards raffled off in a draw, and all money raised will once again be put into the residents’ council fund.

Some of the local businesses that have donated to the raffle include Canadian Tire, Food Basics, Garry’s Garden Gallery, Boston Pizza, Domino’s Pizza and Home Hardware.

Lyndsay says Frost Manor is grateful for the support the community has shown.

“We have had some awesome donations from the community,” she tells The OMNIway.

“It’s a very tight-knit community around here, and everybody is willing to help, so it wasn’t hard to get (businesses involved), that’s for sure.”

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Frost Manor resident and LE team member collaborate on Remembrance Day project

Resident Gordon Browning and LEA Sarah Thayer created a memorial based on a design envisioned by former team member Kim Williams

Just before Remembrance Day at Frost Manor, a memorial that was initially envisioned by former life enrichment aide (LEA) Kim Williams was completed by resident Gordon Browning and team member Sarah Thayer and put on display at the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home.

The memorial features the silhouette of a soldier kneeling in front of a grave marked with a cross with a poppy – the symbol of remembrance – at the centre.

Below the silhouetted image are the words “Lest we forget”.

The silhouette of the soldier was originally created by Kim, who is now the LEC at Pleasant Meadow Manor in Norwood.

The silhouette image of the soldier was in a storage area, where it was discovered by maintenance manager Rick Riel.

Rick suggested it be used for Remembrance Day.

Gordon and Sarah designed the backdrop for the image, and the finished product was put on display for Remembrance Day.

Sarah, an LEA, and Gordon, a retired police officer, worked on a project together, putting on features to add to the work Kim had started.

Frost Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Lyndsay Burton says everyone was impressed by the teamwork Gordon and Sarah put into the project.

“Together, Gordon and Sarah were able to create a scene (based on) what Kim’s original vision was,” she says.

“It’s a beautiful board that we’re really proud of. It was really great how we were able to save one of (Kim’s) projects and then expand upon it, and we will have it for years to come to put out for Remembrance Day.”

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Frost Manor looking ahead to maintain programing and visitation during colder months

Team members will ‘try to keep things as normal as possible’ while adhering to safety guidelines

With the start of winter less than a month away, Frost Manor team members have been looking at ways to maintain programming and visitation for residents during the colder months while adhering to important safety measures as the world continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lyndsay Burton, the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home’s life enrichment co-ordinator, says she and her team will “try to keep things as normal as possible” for residents in the coming months.

“We are still running programs with the usual social distancing (and with) the usual cleaning and sanitizing, so that does help that the residents can have some sense of normality going into the winter season,” she says.

Naturally, residents have been missing the in-house entertainment that’s normally a cornerstone of programing at Frost Manor.

Instead, Lyndsay says the team has been focusing on providing residents with Montessori-style activities, which she says have been especially fruitful for residents who normally don’t participate in programming.

Montessori activities include programs that tap into people’s strengths, such as colouring or sorting items.

“We have been focusing on that because a lot of our low-active residents did enjoy coming to music programs, so we want to make sure that their needs are still being met,” Lyndsay says.

Because visitation will continue to be important for residents and their families, especially during the holiday season, Frost Manor is working to create a new window-visiting location to provide families with some cover from the wind and the other elements, she adds.

Due to the uncertainty and changing rules surrounding visitation during the pandemic, the Frost Manor team is trying to stay ahead of the curve by always having window visits as an option for residents to connect with their loved ones, Lyndsay says.

“We want to still be able to offer window visits and still have the (outdoor visits) as well, so a lot of the visits are really working off of the guidelines created by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,” she says.

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Frost Manor family council connects for the first time since pandemic began

Council discusses pandemic and Christmas fundraiser ideas during video conference

For the first time since February, members of Frost Manor’s family council had a meeting on Oct. 29 when they connected during a video conferencing session.

Lyndsay Burton, the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home’s life enrichment co-ordinator, also attended the meeting which focused on several topics, including the global COVID-19 pandemic and how to create a safe Christmas fundraiser.

For many of the council members, this was a time to reconnect with one another and discuss how the pandemic has affected them and their loved ones, Lyndsay tells The OMNIway.

“Some of the meeting focused on emotional topics about how they are separated from their loved ones and how it has impacted them having a loved one living in a long-term care home and how they have had to adapt to the changes that have happened,” Lyndsay says.

Lyndsay says the atmosphere was “exciting” and upbeat for family members. Simply having a chance to see each other and chat was important to them, she adds.

“It was nice to be able to see everybody in a group setting again, and we were laughing and joking as we got tours of everyone’s home and updates about what everyone was doing because they hadn’t seen each other in so long, so it was good for them to catch up and hear about what everybody has been up to for the past several months,” Lyndsay says.

One of the topics of discussion was the annual Christmas crafts sale and fundraiser, which Frost Manor will not be able to host this year due to the pandemic.

Instead, family council discussed the possibility of having a gift-card fundraiser by contacting local businesses to donate gift cards and selling raffle tickets for gift-card prizes.

“We discussed the logistics of doing that, so that will be the question to ponder for next meeting,” Lyndsay says.

Lyndsay says the Zoom-call meeting went so well the family council will continue to connect virtually during the pandemic.

“We are going to stick to the normal days where we have council meetings, but they will just be online,” she says.

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LEA helping Frost Manor residents tap into their creativity

Sarah Thayer has been leading a popular art program at the Lindsay LTC home

While coming up with ideas for resident programming has been challenging during the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Frost Manor life enrichment team has found a revamped art program has been successful at engaging the Lindsay long-term care home’s residents in a meaningful activity.

Life enrichment aide (LEA) Sarah Thayer recently began a painting program that was first led by LEA Kim Williams – who is now life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) at Pleasant Meadow Manor – and was popular with residents.

The program starts with Sarah creating a drawing that serves as a model, and the residents create their own painting based on that drawing.

The first time Sarah led the program for residents she painted a birch tree. For October, the model will be a silhouette of a cat sitting on a tree branch. November will feature a Remembrance Day poppy.

“The great thing is we can do this socially distanced, which works out really well,” Frost Manor LEC Lyndsay Burton tells The OMNIway, adding the program has been “going over really well.”

Lyndsay says that although safety is the No. 1 priority during the pandemic, life enrichment departments can still develop fun programs for residents.

“You have got to be really creative, but you can still keep on doing the normal things,” she says.

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Frost Manor residents make special tree, enjoy turkey dinner to mark Thanksgiving

While it has been a challenging year, residents are still thankful for the important things

Although the global COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone for the past seven months, Frost Manor residents still feel blessed for many things and took time before the Thanksgiving holiday to reflect on what makes them most grateful.

The result was a paper “Thanksgiving tree” they made as a craft. Each of the leaves contains residents’ thankful thoughts.

“Some of the things they were thankful for were friends, family and thankful for the loving staff – it’s all about the people who are important to them,” Frost Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Lyndsay Burton tells The OMNIway.

Of course, no Thanksgiving would be complete without a traditional meal, so on Monday the nutritional care department served up a roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings, including mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

As with all mealtimes since the pandemic began, residents were served Thanksgiving dinner in two seatings for safety. There are also Plexiglas dividers between residents so they can still share meals while adhering to social distancing requirements.

There was also a special Thanksgiving-style bingo where team members gave away treats as prizes. Residents played to win chocolate bars, potato chips, Cheezies, word search books or plastic jewelry.

“It was a different Thanksgiving this year, but the residents still enjoyed it,” Lyndsay says.

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Short-stay visits have had a positive impact on Frost Manor residents: LEC

Since restrictions have eased, many residents have enjoyed time outside the home with their families

Being able to do something as simple as spending an hour in a local park with family members has made a world of difference to Frost Manor residents, says life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Lyndsay Burton.

Lyndsay says many Frost Manor residents have taken advantage of short-stay visits with their families since the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care eased restrictions in August.

“So far, short-stay visits are going very well,” Lyndsay tells The OMNIway. “They have been so great for the residents (and) for their mental health.”

A press release issued by the ministry on Aug. 28 states that residents may now leave their long-term care home “for day trips or overnight absences.”

Overnight absences are permitted at the discretion of each long-term care home and are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, the ministry’s statement says.

During these short-stay visits, residents and family members wear face masks and practise social distancing.

When the global COVID-19 pandemic began in March, the Frost Manor team organized video calls between residents and their family members. As restrictions on visits eased in phases over summer, residents met outdoors with their loved ones and eventually inside the Lindsay long-term care home once in-house visits resumed.

Being able to leave the home with their loved ones for short periods of time has meant a lot to residents, Lyndsay says.

“They’ve been able to go and look at the fall colours, they’ve been able to go for a drive-thru meal,” she says. “A lot of the residents and their families have been using our beautiful park spaces to go and sit and visit with each other.”

Some families have been creative in coming up with ways to safely meet with residents, Lyndsay notes.

“They’ve been doing a lot of tailgate parties in the parking lot, so families will come with camp chairs and coffee and we’ll bundle the residents up and assist them out to the parking lot,” Lyndsay says.

“They’ve been inventive in the ways they get to visit with each other,” she says.

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Resident fortune teller gives Frost Manor carnival an added boost of fun and laughter

Heather Marshall was a ‘natural’ at playing the part during the home’s carnival-themed month, say staff

One of the key factors that made Frost Manor’s carnival-themed month in August so successful was the high degree of resident involvement, and resident Heather Marshall filling in as a fortune teller was a memorable part of the event, says Frost Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Lyndsay Burton.

The idea to have a fortune teller during the carnival came from residents’ council president Diane Hickman who was initially going to play the part.

However, Diane couldn’t be the fortune teller on the designated day, so Heather, who serves as the council’s treasurer, filled in and did a stellar job, Lyndsay says.

Working with life enrichment aide Amy Whitehead, Heather read Tarot cards and looked into a crystal ball to tell residents and staff members what the future had in store for them.

“Amy said that Heather was a ‘natural’ in the role and really embraced the spirit of fun and laughter to put on a fun resident-led program for her fellow residents,” Lyndsay tells The OMNIway.

“Amy noted there was lots of laughs and intrigue, as some of the fortunes told were hilariously accurate. We were so happy that Heather took on the role and had so much fun doing it.”

In February, Heather was crowned Miss Frost Manor during a pageant the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home hosted.

Lyndsay says Heather has done a great job fulfilling her duties as the home’s pageant queen.

“She really truly embraces the spirit of leadership and friendship that embodies the role as Miss Frost Manor,” Lyndsay says.

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LEA Sarah Thayer’s balloon art continues to be a huge hit with Frost Manor residents and staff

‘So much laughter and smiles have been created with a lot of talent and a few balloons’

Residents and staff members at Frost Manor just can’t get enough of the animal-shaped balloons life enrichment aide (LEA) Sarah Thayer makes.

A talented balloon artist, Sarah’s first job was with Supernova Fireworks, where she put her talents to work by creating balloon art for parties and events.

Since starting her position at Frost Manor in spring, she has been making an assortment of balloon animals the residents enjoy, including balloons shaped like turtles, pigs, octopuses, giraffes, snails and the residents’ favourite, penguins, as part of programming at the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home.

“The residents and staff just love watching Sarah create her various animals,” says Frost Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Lyndsay Burton.

“She has really risen to the occasion to be able to put on such a unique program for our residents.”

Frost Manor hosted a carnival-themed month throughout August, and Sarah got to show her talent for balloon making by creating an array of animal-shaped balloons.

Lyndsay says residents have asked Sarah to make more balloon animals, so the life enrichment team has added more dates to the program calendar.

Lyndsay says it’s not just the residents who are enjoying Sarah’s balloon talents.

“The staff have really enjoyed joining in on the fun,” she says. “So much laughter and smiles have been created with a lot of talent and a few balloons.”

This is Part 2 of a two-part story.

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Animal balloon-making talents helped LEA land a position at Frost Manor

After LEC Lyndsay Burton saw this skill on Sarah Thayer’s CV, she wanted to learn more

Back in the spring, Frost Manor life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Lyndsay Burton was going through resumés, looking to hire a new part-time life enrichment aide (LEA), when she came across a CV with an interesting skill listed: animal balloon maker.

The resumé belonged to Sarah Thayer, and Lyndsay immediately wanted to learn more about her.

“Her first job was making balloon animals for events and parties and things like that, and I really had to pick her brain about that,” Lyndsay tells The OMNIway.

Lyndsay contacted Sarah and asked her to come to the Lindsay long-term care home for an interview.

It turned out Sarah is a self-taught animal balloon maker, learning the tricks of the trade by watching online videos.

Lyndsay knew Sarah would fit into the Frost Manor team and hired her in May.

Sarah’s balloon-making skills have been put to good use at Frost Manor. The home hosted a carnival-themed month throughout August and Sarah got to show her talent. Her animal balloons were a hit with residents and staff alike.

Balloon making is one of many avenues where Sarah has shown her creative flair, Lyndsay says, adding Sarah has also wowed the folks at Frost Manor by making flowers out of napkins.

“She has come to the team with so many ideas … (and) having Sarah here has created a really well-rounded team for us,” she says.

This is Part 1 of a two-part story.

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