Kentwood Park team among essential workers honoured by Shriners

Members of the local temple toured the region with a float to thank health-care workers and others for their efforts during the pandemic

Members of the local Shriners temple showed up at Kentwood Park this summer to show their support for everyone working at the Picton, Ont. long-term care home.

Members of the Belleville and District Shrine Club travelled around some of eastern Ontario’s counties in a motor home and float this summer to pay tribute to essential workers for their efforts during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

“It gives these people a little break from their busy work days and they really seem to appreciate it,” Shriner spokesman Clarence Stevenson told the Belleville Intelligencer in June.

“We’re really lucky to have them taking care of the community and this is our way to show them that we appreciate what they do.”

Long-term care homes, hospitals and OPP detachments were among the stops the Shriners made. When the Shriners pulled up to each stop there was music playing from their float.

Lisa Mills, the life enrichment co-ordinator and environmental services manager at Kentwood Park, says that while the pandemic has presented challenges for all of us, having a group like the Shriners stop by to thank workers and send their best wishes makes a difference.

The Shriners’ visit was well-received by everyone at Kentwood Park, Lisa adds.

“That made everyone feel good; it was really nice of them to do that,” she tells The OMNIway.

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Recent barbecue brings a welcome change at Kentwood Park

‘It was just a fabulous day all the way around’

Kentwood Park residents were treated to a backyard barbecue at the Picton, Ont. long-term care home in August, their first group event since March, and they couldn’t have been happier with the day, says Lisa Mills.

Lisa, Kentwood Park’s life enrichment co-ordinator and environmental services manager, says the outdoor event, which included entertainment from a husband-and-wife duo who performed outside the gates in the yard, attracted 39 of Kentwood Park’s 45 residents.

This included some residents who normally don’t attend programming, so this large number attests to the value the barbecue delivered, she adds.

“It was ecstatic for them because they hadn’t done anything like that in so long; they really enjoyed it,” Lisa says of the barbecue.

“Just getting outside to see something outside of the home was important for them.”

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, indoor large-group programming and entertainment have been on hold at Ontario long-term care homes since March, so residents have been missing social gatherings.

While indoor visits with family members with safety protocols in effect have been permitted by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care since June, some residents don’t have families, so for these residents the barbecue was especially meaningful, Lisa says.

“It was an eye-opening for them all,” she says. “It was just a fabulous day all the way around.”

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Kentwood Park residents are turning to YouTube for much-loved drumming circle program

The program, which is normally led at the home by Ruth Dwight, is a resident favourite

For two years, Ruth Dwight has led a much-loved drumming circle program at Kentwood Park, but since she cannot enter the long-term care homes she works with because of restrictions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ruth is bringing the program to the Prince Edward County Public Library’s YouTube channel.

Long-term-care home residents – or anyone else interested in learning drumming techniques – can now follow Ruth while watching from their computer.

As part of the program Ruth leads at Kentwood Park and other long-term care homes in Prince Edward County, residents have a chance to experiment with a variety of percussion instruments, from hand-held drums to bongos.

But since she cannot visit Kentwood Park at the moment, Ruth has crafted drums out of coffee cans for residents to use. She’s also made drumsticks by adding sponge balls to the ends of wooden dowels.

Ruth has also taken plastic hollow Easter eggs and filled them with popcorn kernels to fashion an instrument that creates a sound similar to maracas.

Residents have been following Ruth’s videos since August and drumming along to her rhythms. They’ve been watching Ruth on Kentwood Park’s large TV and through an iPad outdoors when the weather has permitted.

Since the pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization in March, Kentwood Park and other long-term care homes have been restricted from having large-group indoor programming, and regular entertainers have not been able to perform indoors.

The videos of Ruth leading drumming programs are filling a much-needed gap for Kentwood Park residents, says Lisa Mills, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

“She’s just amazing; the residents just love this, I mean, if you want to talk about being engaged, this has been a really big thing,” Lisa says.

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Family and community support for Kentwood Park team continues to flourish

Staff members have received cards and gifts that have helped keep morale high during a challenging time

Since the global COVID-19 pandemic was declared in March, the Kentwood Park team has received unwavering support from the families of the Picton, Ont. long-term care home’s residents as well as the local community. Read more

Family visits, outdoor time have been key to keeping residents’ spirits high at Kentwood Park

Kentwood Park

‘We want every single resident to be happy’

Given the restrictions in place in the long-term care sector since the global COVID-19 pandemic began in March, homes have concentrated on finding ways to keep residents’ spirits high while maintaining important safety protocols. Read more

Community’s support is having a positive impact at Kentwood Park

Individuals and groups have been demonstrating random acts of kindness for residents and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic

Kentwood Park interim life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Brandy Courtney says staff members are “feeling the love and support” from the local community, thanks to the many kind gestures individuals and groups have shown for those working at the Picton long-term care home during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

Kindergarten class gives Kentwood Park residents an early Valentine’s Day surprise

Kentwood Park residents are pictured here with Valentine’s Day cards they received from kindergarten students at St. Gregory Catholic School.

A kindergarten class from St. Gregory Catholic School brought an early Valentine’s Day gift that put smiles on the faces of residents of the Picton long-term care home. Read more

Kentwood Park kicks off annual letter-writing campaign with a party

Kentwood Park residents and staff are pictured here at the Picton long-term care home’s launch of the annual Better Seniors’ Care letter-writing campaign.

LTC home will be working with residents, families and staff to get letters signed in support of Better Seniors’ Care campaign

Kentwood Park kicked off its support of the Ontario Long Term Care Association’s (OLTCA’s) Better Seniors’ Care campaign on Oct. 26 with a party that brought residents, their families and staff members from the Picton, Ont. long-term care home together. Read more

Teamwork and sense of family among OMNI homes leaves impression on two new Quality Forum attendees

Nutritional care managers Zach Jarvis (left) and Eli Thompson (right) are pictured here at Fern Resort on Sept. 28.

Eli Thompson and Zach Jarvis say events like the Quest for Quality highlighted these aspects of OMNI’s culture at the three-day forum

ORILLIA, Ont. – Two first-time attendees at OMNI Health Care’s 2018 Quality Forum say what impressed them most about the three-day conference at Fern Resort was the sense of family and teamwork they experienced. Read more

Kentwood Park gets rave Google review

Kentwood Park

Family member shares experience with Picton home

The daughter of a resident living at Kentwood Park is giving the OMNI Health Care long-term care home five stars. Read more