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


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)

Streamway toasts volunteers for making a difference

Streamway Villa residents Fred and Joan Hawes are seen here enjoying the home's recent volunteer barbecue.

Streamway Villa residents Fred and Joan Hawes are seen here enjoying the home’s recent volunteer barbecue.

Annual BBQ brings together all those who enrich residents’ lives

October 17, 2013 — Deron Hamel 

Streamway Villa recently hosted a volunteer barbecue to say thank you to the many people who give their spare time to enhancing the lives of residents at the Cobourg long-term care home.

The barbecue has been a tradition at Streamway Villa for the past four years, and is always held in the autumn when there are fewer events and everyone has more time.

Hosted in Streamway Villa’s courtyard Sept. 28, the barbecue featured live entertainment for the first time. Food included sausages, hamburgers, salads and cake.

Residents and staff members made thank-you cards with a special inscription:

“We are very fortunate to have such amazing volunteers like you that come to our home to strive to bring hope, love and understanding to all of our residents in the form of musical entertainment, crafts, block walks, lending a helping hand on van outings/events or socializing one on one with our amazing residents,” the cards read. “Streamway Villa would not be the comfortable, fun and hopeful home it is without our volunteers.”

As a token of appreciation for their hard work and dedication to residents, staff members gave the volunteers soup mugs that read, “Volunteers are souper” on one side and on the other side, “Our team is ‘souper’ because volunteers like you go above and beyond in all that they do.”

Life enrichment co-ordinator Christina Verleysen notes that these words incorporate a core element of OMNI Health Care’s culture: going above and beyond to ensure the best quality of life for residents.

“All life enrichment staff were present to cater and engage with our volunteers as well as say a speech at the end of the day,” she says. “The sun was out, the food was amazing, the music was great and many laughs and stories were heard.”

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

Long-time staff acknowledged at Village Green celebration

A scene from Village Green's recent 35th anniversary celebration.

A scene from Village Green’s recent 35th anniversary celebration.

35th anniversary a time to reflect on people’s


October 16, 2013 — Deron Hamel

Village Green’s rural location, coupled with the home’s friendly staff members and OMNI Health Care’s corporate culture, has resulted in many people spending the bulk of their careers at the Greater Napanee long-term care home, says administrator Linda Pierce.

Pierce, who has herself worked at Village Green for 25 years, says staff members’ commitment was top of mind during the home’s Oct. 7 celebration commemorating its 35th anniversary. As part of the celebrations, several staff members received pins acknowledging their many years of employment at Village Green.

Commemorative pins were awarded to staff members to honour five, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years of service.

“There were a phenomenal amount of pins given out that day,” Pierce says.

The home, which is located in the small village of Selby, is also a centre point for employment in the community, Pierce says.

“It’s a nice home,” she says of Village Green. “It has a really nice culture, and the people here are in it for the long run and we have very devoted people who really stick to it and they’re hard-working; they have common values and common goals.

“And the (staff members) love what they’re doing, so they’ve stayed here,” the administrator adds.

While Village Green had a large party for its 30th anniversary in 2008, the home decided on a quieter celebration in 2013. The event was advertised locally, and residents, their families and staff members past and present attended.

At the party, a 35th anniversary cake was presented and Bill Dunn, a local entertainer, provided music. The home also combined Thanksgiving into the 35th anniversary events, with a turkey dinner provided to staff members on all shifts.

Keep reading the OMNIway for upcoming stories about Village Green’s long-time staff members.

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

Linda Pierce celebrating 25 years at Village Green

Administrator reflects on changes she has seen

October 9, 2013 — Deron Hamel

It was September 1988 when Linda Pierce started her career at Village Green and she has seen a lot of change in the course of 25 years.

The most notable change, she says, has been the different faces — both residents and staff members — she has seen pass through the Selby long-term care home’s doors throughout the years.

“These are the people that we connect with as a community at Village Green, and (people’s coming and going) has been both a little bit exciting and a little bit sad,” Pierce tells the OMNIway.

She notes how she has seen the changes that come with leadership, with each leader bringing strengths to the organization. When Pierce began her career at Village Green, Steve Wilson and a partner ran the organization. In 1989, Wilson became sole owner and, in 1998, his son, Fraser, took the reins until 2007 when OMNI was bought by Abacus Private Equity.

Of course, Pierce has experienced change herself. While she started her OMNI career as the home’s office manager, she was promoted to administrator in 1991. She credits OMNI’s support and belief in empowering its employees for helping her in her career.

Aside from the people and leadership changes Pierce has seen, there have also been systematic changes.

While the high level of resident care has remained constant, some aspects of care delivery have changed, she notes. Thanks to staff education and learning about best practices, Village Green and OMNI Health Care’s other 16 long-term care homes have enhanced processes, systems and policies to continuously improve resident care.

Pierce says it’s the relationships she has formed with people over the years that have made her job most rewarding.

“The journey has been an incredible, exciting path to walk on,” she says. “All the people have been so great. . . . If there is one thing I could say to all those people it would be a thank you for all the support they have given.”

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)

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

A ‘true love story’ at Woodland Villa

Collaboration reunites husband and wife

October 7, 2013 — Deron Hamel

A husband and wife have been reunited at Woodland Villa, thanks to collaboration between the Cornwall-area long-term care home, a hospital and the regional Community Care Access Centre (CCAC).

Life enrichment co-ordinator Lisa Doran says residents Gaston and Molly Duchesneau have been living happily together since Sept. 9 when Gaston moved into Woodland Villa.

Gaston-Molly Duchesneau

Reunited: Gaston and Molly Duchesneau are happy together at Woodland Villa.

After Molly moved into the home in early August, the couple didn’t know if they would ever be able to live together again, but the efforts of resident services co-ordinator Denise Partridge, The Ottawa Hospital and Champlain CCAC resulted in the couple reuniting.

The three parties put “a lot of work” into making sure the Duchesneaus would be reunited, says Doran.

Prior to the couple moving into Woodland Villa, Gaston was Molly’s primary caregiver, until he required surgery in Ottawa. During this time Molly moved into Woodland Villa but was concerned the change would mean she and her husband would not be able to live together again.

Doran describes the couple as a “true love story.”

“Molly was anxious all morning, pacing the halls, asking staff if he was actually coming or if something changed and he wasn’t able to come,” Doran tells the OMNIway.

“But let me tell you at 11:35 a.m., when the Ottawa civic transportation van pulled up, you could see Molly and staff jumping out of their skin, waiting in anticipation for him to come through the doors.

Doran says the entire Woodland Villa team is touched by the Duchesneaus’ story.

“It was pretty special to see them reunite again,” she says. “They’re taking care of each other again and life is grand for them. . . . It’s as though they were never apart.”

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

Former RPN returns as RAI/CCC co-ordinator

Becky Brownson has good vibes about OMNI

Becky Brownson reluctantly left Burnbrae Gardens nine years ago; a health ministry guideline had made it impossible for her to continue her job as RPN and care for her family. Read more

Chef whips up creative concoctions

Brings restaurant lessons into long-term care

CAMPBELLFORD, Ont. – If you’ve been to Ricky’s All Day Grill in Peterborough, you’ve probably eaten Adam Brand’s culinary creations; he was the chef from the time they opened until just recently when he took the job of nutritional services manager at OMNI Health Care’s Burnbrae Gardens. Read more

Cruise night proves to be valuable fundraising, community engagement event


Pleasant Meadow Manor recently hosted a cruise night that saw 23 classic cars stop by the Norwood long-term care home.

Life enrichment worker’s first crack at event organizing pays off for Pleasant Meadow

October 1, 2013 — Deron Hamel

Life enrichment worker Tiffany Martell was recently at a car show and fundraiser in Warsaw, Ont., when she got an idea — why not do the same thing at Pleasant Meadow Manor?

She brought the idea to her manager, life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Chris Garden, who supported it, and on Sept. 18 the Norwood Cruisers brought 23 classic and antique cars and three motorcycles to the home for residents, their families, staff members and people from the community to enjoy.

The event, which Martell organized, was also used as a fundraiser for residents’ council. A barbecue, 50-50 draw and a silent auction raised a whopping $1,662 in just a few hours.

Garden attributes much of the event’s success to planning — and advertising. Her husband, who works as a mechanic in Norwood, spread the word to customers, and Martell created posters advertising the event. Even the local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion helped advertise the event, as did staff members, volunteers and families.

“The night was great; it was a huge success . . . and there was a great teamwork approach to make it happen,” Garden tells the OMNIway.

Garden also commends Martell for coming up with the idea and making it work.

“Tiffany did an awesome job,” says the LEC, adding it was Martell’s first time organizing a large event at the home.

Garden notes the event was successful in two ways. First, the money it raised for residents’ council will go towards meaningful programming. Secondly, there’s an important engagement aspect — the event brought Norwood residents to the home and proved itself once again to be a central spot in the community.

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)

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