Being an administrator ‘an all-encompassing life enrichment role’

Rachel Corkery discusses recent promotion at Maplewood

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – Rachel Corkery says one of the great things about becoming Maplewood’s administrator is that it’s “an all-encompassing life enrichment role.” Read more

Prom season comes to Maplewood

Brooke Parker makes her grandfather’s day

It’s that time of the year when high-school students are having their proms. For East Northumberland Secondary School student Brooke Parker, it was important her grandfather, George, got to see her dressed up for her big day, so she stopped by Maplewood en route to her prom on May 23.

George is a Maplewood resident, and the Brighton long-term care home’s life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Rachel Corkery says Brooke showing up for a visit made her grandfather’s day. Brooke’s grandmother, Jackie, was also at the home that day.

“Brooke was so beautiful, and it meant a lot to George and Jackie,” Corkery says of Brooke’s visit.

This, Corkery adds, is an example of the great things that happen all the time at Maplewood. She adds that George and Jackie’s family, like many others at Maplewood, make sure their loved ones living at the home are included in special moments like this.

There’s a humorous postscript to this story, Corkery says. East Northumberland Secondary School’s prom parade always passes by Maplewood, so residents and staff members braved the wet, rainy day by wearing plastic garbage bags to keep dry when the students went by at 4:30 p.m.

“But this year they passed by at four o’clock,” the LEC chuckles.

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

Hope, purpose, belonging and KFC

Outings help change public perception of long-term care: LEC

Thursday, May 1, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

Rachel Corkery fondly recalls an outing where memories and conversations were shared over a bucket of KFC.

On this occasion, she was in the company of Maplewood residents in the tranquil setting of Presqu’ile Provincial Park.

The 49-bed Brighton long-term care home’s life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) says when the residents get together in a community environment it’s no different than when she hangs out with her 30-something group of pals.

Outings, while enjoyable for residents and staff alike, also play an important role in demystifying existing perceptions about long-term care, the LEC says.

“I don’t know if people’s perceptions of long-term care and nursing homes are that of the old-style or the news is putting a bad spin on long-term care, but they see that we still enjoy the same quality of life in long-term care that somebody would who’s not living in long-term care.

“We still like to go out for drives. We still like to go out to restaurants with our friends. We still like to take a drive on a nice afternoon through the park and watch the waterfowl.

“All of these things kind of epitomize quality of life. Things don’t diminish when you move to long-term care.”

Corkery suspects some people perceive quality of life changes when seniors move into long-term care and outings help illustrate that isn’t the case.

The LEC recalls when she first started at Maplewood and she and the residents were enjoying a day and a picnic lunch at Presqu’ile in Brighton. After lunch, a few residents wanted to go for a walk along the lakefront. A fellow picnicker approached them and started a conversation. After learning about Corkery and the seniors, the park patron handed the LEC $20 so she could purchase an extra treat for the residents.

When asked why she thinks Maplewood receives such a gracious welcome in the community, Corkery says “I think it’s because (people) can see themselves (in long-term care) some day. The fact we’re still going out for a drive or going to a restaurant is an ordinary thing — things you and I take for granted — but it does make a difference.”

“I think once people see what it is that we do besides that (nursing) aspect, I think that changes people’s perceptions. They want to help. They think ‘wow, you’ve just enhanced that person’s quality of life.’ I think that’s why we have such a great reception.”

If you have feedback on this article or a story idea to share, please e-mail Natalie@axiomnews.ca or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051.

Brighton home thanks community for hearty hospitality

Seniors receive royal treatment from local residents, employees

Wednesday, April 30, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

From the Bingo players who keep an eye on residents’ cards to the restaurant servers who deliver a buffet-destined dessert directly to their table, the men and women of Maplewood are pampered “like royalty” by the long-term care home’s surrounding communities.

The hospitality can’t be beat, says Maplewood life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Rachel Corkery.

Corkery is expressing her gratitude for the reception residents and staff receive from the small towns nearby the 49-bed long-term care home in Brighton.

Maplewood just finished up its two-week turn with one of the OMNI vans.

“I started thinking about all of the trips and all of the experiences we’ve had with the OMNI van and how well we’re treated…anywhere we go in the local community,” Corkery tells The OMNIway. “I do my best to bring attention to the great community we are part of and myself and the residents always show our appreciation, but sometimes it just needs to go farther than that. It really needs to be said.”

For example, Corkery is giving a big shout-out to the staff at a restaurant in a small community about 15 minutes east of the home.

“At what is now our favorite restaurant, Pizza Hut  in Trenton, once again, we received the royal treatment. The staff are so personable and they now recognize us when we pull up,” Corkery says.

“We never feel rushed and it has now become tradition for them to bring us a platter of the cinnamon bun dessert directly to our table. Every time we go, we get treated more and more like royalty.”

It’s not one particular waitress alone, the entire team of servers makes the group feel special, she notes.

Maplewood also enjoyed a warm reception recently from the local Lions Club. Volunteers helped and catered to residents, Corkery says, adding, “when we left at intermission, the Bingo caller made a special announcement thanking us for coming out and inviting us back again.”

Fellow club patrons also kept track of residents’ Bingo cards after they left and requested the phone number of the long-term care home. “Though no one won, we did get a call from someone to let us know so that we weren’t left guessing,” the LEC notes.

“I shouldn’t be surprised when we are treated like this. When I first started at Maplewood, while on an outing to Presqu’ile Provincial Park, we were approached by another park guest and given $20 to be used for a treat for the group we had out.”

Residents took in a recent drive through Presqu’ile to observe how the waterfowl and park survived the winter. A Maplewood volunteer, whose family member previously lived at the home, and her friends chip in to purchase a season’s pass to the park for residents.

Corkery suspects the outings, while enjoyable for residents and staff alike, also help make the home’s fundraising efforts “the huge success they are.” All of the donations to the home and the proceeds from silent auctions support resident outings — a decision made by Maplewood residents’ council – “so that all residents have an opportunity to go out with no extra costs.”

Discover how outings are helping change the community’s perception of long-term care in an upcoming OMNIway story.

If you have feedback on this article or a story idea to share, please e-mail Natalie@axiomnews.ca or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051.

Maplewood resident cuts hair to support children’s charity

Maplewood resident Corina Dempsey poses with the braid of hair she's donating to a children's charity.

Maplewood resident Corina Dempsey poses with the braid of hair she’s donating to a children’s charity.

Residents’ council also chips in with donation

Thursday, March 27, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Maplewood resident Corina Dempsey and the Brighton long-term care home’s residents’ council are helping A Child’s Voice Foundation in Mississauga with two donations.

The first donation was a foot-long hair braid from Dempsey; the second was $50 from residents’ council.

With family members, residents and staff cheering her on, Dempsey cut off a large braid of her long hair to donate to the charity through its Angel Hair for Kids initiative. Angel Hair for Kids provides wigs made from human hair to children undergoing medical treatments that cause hair loss.

Dempsey told staff members last week of her intentions to make a donation to the charity, and when word got around to the council, residents unanimously agreed to donate $50 to the charity.

One hair prosthesis requires 10 to 12 ponytails and the charity spends about $800 to $1,000 on manufacturing and other costs.

Minutes after Dempsey cut her hair, life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Rachel Corkery contacted the OMNIway via e-mail to share the story.

Even with the approximately one-foot braid chopped off, Dempsey still has lots of “long, beautiful hair,” says Corkery.

“Corina did something really good today, and her hair still looks fantastic,” the LEC says. “She’s our celebrity here today.”

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)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.

How a handful of Cheerios made a difference on Valentine’s Day

Maplewood resident George Mularchuck’s Valentine’s Day tradition of presenting his wife, Jackie, with a heart made from Cheerios has continued since he moved into the Brighton home.

Maplewood resident George Mularchuck’s Valentine’s Day tradition of presenting his wife, Jackie, with a heart made from Cheerios has continued since he moved into the Brighton home.


‘I will remember this for the rest of my life,’ says resident

Thursday, February 27, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When Jackie Mularchuck was at Maplewood visiting her husband George on Valentine’s Day she got a huge surprise when she was presented with a heart-shaped handful of Cheerios on a table.

It had been a long-standing tradition for George to arrange Cheerios into a heart every Feb. 14, but this had not happened since George moved into the Brighton long-term care home a little more than a year ago.

The surprise came about when personal support worker (PSW) Roxanne Wills asked Jackie what sorts of things George would do for her on Valentine’s Day. Jackie told her about the Cheerios tradition. Jackie always helps staff members during her visits. While she was folding napkins, George and Roxanne snuck into the kitchen to get Cheerios and arrange them into a heart shape.

Jackie says she was “thrilled” that Wills had taken time to help George with the Valentine’s Day gesture, and she admits she was overcome with emotion when she discovered what the pair was up to.

The moment, she says, will leave a lasting impression on her, as receiving heart-shaped Cheerios is something Jackie looks forward to every Valentine’s Day.

“I broke down and George broke down and Roxanne broke down,” Jackie laughs. “I have a lot of friends and family on Facebook, so the next day I told everyone about what this special PSW had done for my husband and I. I will remember this for the rest of my life.”

While Jackie was touched that a staff member went the extra mile for her and George on Valentine’s Day, she says the gesture is part and parcel with what she has come to expect from the Maplewood team.

Since George moved into the home, Jackie says she’s been happy with the care he receives and his quality of life.

“The staff here at Maplewood are exceptional,” she says. “I don’t ever worry about George while he’s here.”

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 contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Spirit of Winter Olympics comes to Maplewood

The Olympic rings and torch to mark Maplewood's winter games are seen outside the Brighton long-term care home.

The Olympic rings and torch to mark Maplewood’s winter games are seen outside the Brighton long-term care home.

Residents competing in their own version of Winter Olympics this week

Tuesday, February 11, 2014 — Deron Hamel

The spirit of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics has touched down at Maplewood, where residents and staff members at the Brighton long-term care home celebrated with their own opening ceremonies which included a torch relay.

Acting as Olympic torchbearers, residents Douglas Nicholson, Ena Clews, and John and June Closs carried a makeshift torch through Maplewood’s corridors to the “Olympic Stadium” — the dining room.

“The afternoon was such a hit,” says life enrichment co-ordinator Rachel Corkery, adding the day included a snowball fight.

“Man, I got hit by so many snowballs, but the best part was seeing all their faces and hearing their laughter. It was so much fun.”

During the next week, three teams of residents will be competing in Maplewood’s version of Winter Olympic events. The specially planned events include an ice-cream meltdown, bowling, curling and slalom races.

There are three resident teams competing. The teams are named after the three words in the Olympics’ motto: Citius (swifter), Altius (higher), Fortius (stronger).

Closing ceremonies will be hosted next Sunday to mark the end of a fun week and gold, silver and bronze medals will be presented.

Corkery says residents’ excitement is building.

“The residents are really looking forward to a great week,” she says.

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)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.

Holiday season in full swing at Maplewood

Brighton long-term care home involved with a variety of resident-focused events

Thursday, December 19, 2013 — Deron Hamel

Maplewood’s holiday season began the first week of December with the Brighton long-term care home’s annual Christmas party with 8 Wing Trenton and the local Royal Canadian Legion branch, and the momentum has been ongoing since.

For the eighth consecutive year, Maplewood, 8 Wing Trenton and Royal Canadian Legion, Brighton Branch 100, joined together to celebrate the holidays Dec. 5. There was food, live music and a Santa handing out presents, making the occasion “one of the most amazing afternoons experienced all year here at Maplewood,” says Maplewood life enrichment co-ordinator Rachel Corkery.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the Bernard Sisters pose for a photo during Maplewood's recent family Christmas party.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the Bernard Sisters pose for a photo during Maplewood’s recent family Christmas party.

Last weekend, Maplewood staff members celebrated the spirit of the season with residents and their families at the home’s annual family Christmas party. Musical entertainers Adrienne and Sharlene Bernard, better known as the Bernard Sisters, were special guests at the party, bringing their much-loved humour and talent to residents and their families.

“Even Santa and Mrs. Claus stopped in for a quick visit before heading back to the North Pole,” Corkery notes, adding that since Santa was on hand, families and residents had their photos taken with him.

And the festivities don’t stop there.

This weekend will see a new idea brought to Maplewood’s Christmas season — a children’s Christmas party. The party will include a resident and his wife playing Santa and Mrs. Claus — something the couple has been doing for many years.

Andy Forgie, a regular entertainer at Maplewood, will be singing and playing guitar at the event, and each child will get a present from Santa, made possible by the home’s residents’ council.

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

What happens when you combine luck, fabulous people and even a small glitch?

Maplewood hosts ‘astounding’ live auction

November 19, 2013 — Michelle Strutzenberger 

The night before Maplewood long-term care home’s inaugural live auction, Rachel Corkery dreamed the event had raised more than $5,000. Though she knew there was no way that would happen, the life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) headed into work that day energized to think this could be a good omen for the event.

In total, the event raised, not $5,000, but close to $2,700, which, for a small long-term home in a small community is still very significant, says Corkery. Image courtesy of OMNI files.

In total, the event raised, not $5,000, but close to $2,700, which, for a small long-term home in a small community is still very significant, says Corkery. Image courtesy of OMNI files.

She shared her dream at the home, which fuelled the energy of the day as final preparations for the auction took place.

In the end, the evening event went off in a way Corkery now describes as astounding.

“We’re still glowing, days later,” she says. “We’re still getting feedback from people that they had such a wonderful evening.”

The evening began with a silent auction and a chance to sample “absolutely delicious” desserts and hot drinks prepared and served by volunteers.

A local band, the Bordens, struck up a mix of bluegrass, classic rock and folk music. “They were wonderful,” says Corkery, noting the home plans to have the band back for a resident birthday party.

About 7 p.m., it was time for the live auction, which featured a mix of about 30 items — from artwork to baked goods to a spa day pass.

The room at that point was so full Corkery had to run and find extra chairs in residents’ rooms.

Then she stepped up to the podium to announce the one hiccup in the otherwise perfect evening — that the auctioneer they had planned to have join would be unable to participate — and that she, Corkery, would be taking his place.

Admittedly nervous beforehand, Corkery says she found herself quite at ease once she started the bidding. She’s now thinking that glitch may have contributed to the event’s success. “I think my inexperience as an auctioneer allowed for the prices to go up a little faster than they might have,” she says with a chuckle.

In total, the event raised, not $5,000, but close to $2,700, which, for a small long-term home in a small community is still very significant, says Corkery.

“It’s about double what we raise in a typical fundraising event.”

Glitch aside, she attributes the evening’s success in large part to a group of “hardworking, fabulous” volunteers.

“At Maplewood we’re very lucky,” she notes. “We have a lot of volunteers who are committed to Maplewood and making sure that no matter what we do, we’re successful at it. It’s almost like they own Maplewood too.”

In addition to the volunteers, there were many community members who attended and showed their support of the residents of Maplewood by bidding — sometimes surprisingly high — on items.

The event would also have not been possible without the contributions from local businesses for the auction, says Corkery, who is a strong advocate of shopping local and supporting local businesses.

Local businesses have consistently demonstrated their eagerness and willingness to support the long-term care home, as well as other similar organizations, she says. “We wouldn’t be able to do our fundraisers without them. I can’t speak highly enough about shopping local.”

All of this support — from the long-term care home, volunteers, community members and local businesses — demonstrates to residents that they’re valued members of the community, Corkery says.

“There are some unique qualities about being a small home in a small town,” she adds. “We don’t get lost in a big city; we don’t get lost in a big home

“Our community takes care of us and we do our best to take care of the community.”

All proceeds from the fundraising will be directed to the residents’ council. A portion will be used to enable all residents to participate in a variety of outings. Residents’ council also sponsors part of the highly anticipated annual Maplewood family/resident barbecue and resident birthday parties.

The hardworking volunteers of the night Corkery would like to recognize include: Marg Catney, Carol Leadbetter, BJ Brideau, Cindy Phillips, Ron Peppy, Robyn Dilworth, Marilyn Page and Marianne Muston.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 27, or e-mail michelle(at)axiomnews.ca.