Horsing around at Pleasant Meadow

LEA commended for going ‘above and beyond’ to help bring two horses for a visit with residents

A Pleasant Meadow Manor life enrichment aide (LEA) is being praised for going “above and beyond” to help bring a pair of horses to the Norwood long-term care home to visit residents on a Sunday afternoon.

On Oct. 9, the horses stopped by the home with a representative from the Norwood Fair, whom LEA Emily Gerow had contacted to arrange the visit, explains life enrichment co-ordinator Kim Williams.

Emily had also organized a visit on Oct. 7 from fair organizers who shared information with residents about the baking and crafts contests the fair hosts (residents won two ribbons in the crafts contest. See Nov. 9 OMNIway story).

Kim says the work Emily did to bring the horses to the home, as well as her efforts to ensure residents entered crafts and baking in the fair’s contests, was “much appreciated.”

The horses were brought to the front of the home and residents spent part of the afternoon petting and interacting with them.

Kim is commending Emily for coming up with an idea she knew the residents would appreciate.

“Emily thought it would be a great idea for the residents to see the horses, and she was right,” Kim tells The OMNIway.

“That was above and beyond, and it was very thoughtful of Emily to arrange that.”

The Norwood Fall Fair returned this year for the first time since 2019. The event, which has been a highlight of autumn in Norwood since 1868, was cancelled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Burnbrae residents awake to find a richly decorated Christmas tree, thanks to some community kindness

When the home tried to hire local tree decorator Rachel Rutherford, she offered her services for free

When the residents of Burnbrae Gardens went to bed on the evening of Nov. 17, the Christmas tree in the Campbellford long-term care home’s lounge was bare. When they awoke the next morning, they were overjoyed to find the tree lavishly adorned with festive decorations.

This was thanks to a kind gesture by renowned local Christmas-tree decorator and hairdresser Rachel Rutherford, who also happens to be the mother of Paige Rutherford, one of Burnbrae Gardens’ dietary aides.

Rachel has a side business decorating Christmas trees. In fact, she even decorated Christmas trees this year for the Royal Winter Agricultural Fair in Toronto.

Recently, while visiting her salon in nearby Havelock, Burnbrae Gardens administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator April Faux asked Rachel if she could hire her to work her magic with the home’s Christmas tree. Rachel kindly offered to do it for free.

“She even offered to donate all the decorations,” April tells The OMNIway.

Rachel arrived at Burnbrae Gardens last Thursday evening, just as her daughter was finishing her shift. Together, Rachel and Paige elaborately decorated the tree April had set up beforehand.

This helped create the perfect surprise for residents the next morning, April says, adding everyone at the home is grateful for Rachel’s kind gesture.

“There have been lots of comments between residents and staff about how beautiful the tree is,” April says.

“They went to bed when the tree was bare, but they woke up this morning to a bright, beautiful tree. The tree got lots of great comments from both the staff and the residents.”

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Riverview Manor residents and staff step up to Movember challenge

Fundraisers are being hosted throughout the month to support men’s health projects

Gentlemen living and working at Riverview Manor are once again growing their moustaches this month to help raise money for Movember Canada.

Adam Wicklum, one of the Peterborough long-term care home’s life enrichment aides, is the captain of Team MO Riverview and organizing events to raise money for the charity, which funds men’s health projects related to testicular cancer, prostate cancer, mental health and suicide prevention.

In 2017, the last year a Movember fundraiser was held at Riverview, the team raised $1,789. Team MO Riverview is hoping to raise $2,500 this year.

During the weekend of Nov. 12-13, “Mo Bros” Adam and LEA Trevor Davis, along with LEA Rosemary Roseborough, sold ice-cream sundaes and floats to residents, families and staff members for a donation of $2 or more.

In the end, $132 was raised from both sides of the home, Adam says.

“It was a great success,” he tells The OMNIway.

On Nov. 17, residents, their families and staff bought Tim Hortons doughnuts which were available at the home, raising $151 for the campaign.

The following day, team members from one of Riverview’s sister homes, Springdale Country Manor, hosted a Tim Hortons fundraiser to support Team MO Riverview and raised $75.

Adam and Trevor are also hosting biweekly men’s events for the gentlemen living on both sides of the home every second Tuesday. The last one featured air hockey games and pizza.

A Movember pub night will be hosted on Nov. 30 to cap off the month.

The Movember campaign, which began in 2003 in Melbourne, Australia, has grown to become a global movement that sees men worldwide grow moustaches every November to raise awareness of health issues affecting men.

Since starting the campaign in 2012, the Riverview Manor team has raised $6,192 for Movember Canada. Adam has captained the Riverview team each year the fundraiser has been hosted at the home.

In 2021, Canadians raised $24.6 million for the campaign, according to the Movember Canada website.

Anyone wishing to make a donation to Team MO Riverview can do so by clicking here.

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Riverview Remembrance Day service includes community members for first time since 2019

Riverview Manor residents and staff members honoured veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces on Nov. 9 with an early Remembrance Day service that included representatives from the Royal Canadian Legion and the local community.

This was the first time community members have participated in the Peterborough long-term care home’s annual Remembrance Day service since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.

The home organized the event two days early due to participants having commitments at the city’s Remembrance Day service on Nov. 11, explains Riverview Manor life enrichment aide (LEA) Adam Wicklum.

This year’s service, which LEA Rosemary Roseborough organized, was also in honour of Canada’s late monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away Sept. 8.

Rosemary has organized the home’s Remembrance Day services for 21 years.

Representing Riverview Manor residents at the service were Joan Brownson, who served in the Women’s Auxiliary Territory Service, a branch of the British Army, during the Second World War; and Frank Lindsay, a veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Joan and Frank laid a poppy wreath during the service.

Guests included Verne and Collette Kish from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 52, Pastor Ben Denhood of Gilmour Memorial Baptist Church, bagpiper Brandon McDermott, bugler Sgt. James McLaren of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets 534 Raider Squadron, and Sgt. McLaren’s father, who was one of the poetry readers.

Riverview Manor LEAs who helped Rosemary this year included Adam, who served as photographer and video player; Marilyn Price, one of the readers; and Tina Hutchinson, who operated the CD player.

A highlight of the service was the bagpipe and bugle music, Adam says.

“The musicians performed amazingly, and this was their first time participating in our service,” he says.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Riverview Manor residents Joan Brownson and Frank Lindsay are pictured here laying a wreath during the Peterborough long-term care home’s Remembrance Day service as Pastor Ben Denhood of Gilmour Memorial Baptist Church looks on.

LEA is taking Woodland Villa residents around the world

Armchair travel program uses videos, slideshows and music to help residents experience other cultures

A Woodland Villa life enrichment aide (LEA) is being commended for a program he’s created that’s taking residents to far-away places while remaining in the comfort of the Long Sault, Ont. long-term care home.

Every month, Nicholas Merizzi dedicates a whole day to his armchair travel program, which engages residents in the cultures of countries across the world.

Residents look forward to the globetrotting program, which features props such as videos, slideshows and music to give residents a feel for the featured country of the day.

For many residents, the program brings back fond memories of their travels; for others, it’s a way to learn about countries and their people.

“(The program) goes over really well with the residents, especially the ones who have done lots of travelling,” says Woodland Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Lisa Doran.

“Nicholas starts off in the morning, and he might do something like trivia. In the afternoon they will sing and have slideshows. There is a whole bunch of stuff that is involved with it.”

While Nicholas spearheads the program and organizes the events, other life enrichment team members provide support.

Lisa says Nicholas will let her know what’s needed for an armchair travel day, and she and other team members will help with backdrops and decorations.

Lisa says Woodland Villa residents enjoy programs where they can learn about other cultures and experience the sights, sounds and tastes of other countries.

“We did Oktoberfest last month; the residents really enjoyed that, with the German music and the decorations and the different types of German beers – that was a huge success as well,” she says.

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Fall flavours, community engagement and pirates highlighted life at OMNI in October

Indulging in fall flavours, community engagement and a day dedicated to pirates – these are among the many highlights of life in OMNI Health Care long-term care homes in October.

Just before Thanksgiving weekend, we visited Springdale Country Manor to attend a favourite event that was both engaging and delicious: the annual pumpkin pie social.

About 15 residents attended the Oct. 6 event, which saw them go through nearly three large pumpkin pies, much to the delight of one of the social’s organizers, life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Sonia Murney.

Sonia notes that special treats like pumpkin pie are a great way to get people to eat and socialize.

“Everybody loves pumpkin pie,” she told The OMNIway, while prepping pie slices for residents. “And we always offer it to the staff as well.”

Between slices of pie, team members engaged residents in a discussion about how to make the perfect pumpkin pie, and everyone shared their favourite tips.

Some residents were quick to point out errors others were committing when trying to make the perfect pie crust.

“You can’t overwork the pastry,” one resident advised a staff member.

At Streamway Villa, a representative from the Cobourg Police Service (CPS) stopped by to help build a community relationship and deliver a presentation about fraud prevention to protect residents from rising telephone scams targeting seniors.

Acting detective James Egas explained how so-called “grandparent scams” are committed by fraudsters who play on people’s emotional vulnerabilities in order to get their financial information.

Streamway life LEC Laurie Kracht says there was a large turnout for the presentation, and residents paid close attention throughout the session, asking Det. Egas questions afterward.

Aside from being a valuable educational session for residents, the presentation also opened the door for future community partnerships with the CPS, Laurie says.

“This was a perfect opportunity to get back into the community and bring (the police) in,” she says. “Moving forward, they would love to come back to the home in the future.”

Meanwhile, at Village Green, residents and team members once again celebrated a different kind of event, one that has become a part of the Selby, Ont. long-term care home’s culture.

International Talk Like a Pirate Day is precisely that – a day dedicated to people talking like a pirate that dates back to 1995.

For the past two years, Village Green has joined the celebration by playing games with pirate themes, encouraging people to dress like pirates and, of course, talking like pirates.

LEC Ulana Orrick says one of the benefits of the day was that it engaged residents of all abilities in an entertaining program that generated lots of excitement.

“The residents all had a lot of fun,” she says.

Pleasant Meadow residents win two ribbons in Norwood fair craft contests

‘The residents were pretty proud of themselves’

Pleasant Meadow Manor residents and team members were hoping to pull off a big win with their crafts entries at this year’s Norwood Fall Fair, and for their hard work, they earned two ribbons.

A terracotta pot and a basket that were decorated by residents both earned second-place honours at the fair, which ran over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Pleasant Meadow life enrichment co-ordinator Kim Williams says residents look forward every autumn to entering crafts and baked goods in the fair’s contests, so winning ribbons for their entries is always a big deal for them.

Other items residents entered in the fair’s contests included wall decorations, door decorations, a Pleasant Meadow Manor scrapbook and homemade fudge.

The Norwood Fall Fair returned this year for the first time since 2019. The event, which has been a highlight of autumn in Norwood since 1868, was cancelled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every September, residents get to work making crafts and preparing baked goods to enter in the fair’s contests. Residents win prizes for their crafts and baking entries almost every year, Kim says.

Fall Fair organizers supply the home with a list of crafts and baking that residents can enter. The Pleasant Meadow Manor life enrichment team presents the list to residents for them to decide what they would like to work on for entries.

About 12 residents worked on crafts and baking for the fair this year, and lots of hard work was put into the entries which made the wins even sweeter, Kim says.

“The residents were pretty proud of themselves,” she says.

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Fall Prevention Month organizers urging people and organizations to generate ideas to reduce fall risk

Falls are the No. 1 cause of hospitalization resulting from injury amongst Canadians aged 65 and older

November is Fall Prevention Month, an annual Canadian campaign aimed at raising awareness of the impact fall-related injury has on the greater health-care sector and generating ideas to prevent falls from happening.

As part of the month, people and health-care organizations are urged to focus on raising awareness of the importance of fall prevention by promoting fall prevention in the workplace as well as on social media by sharing successful best practices.

On its website, the Government of Canada says falls are the No. 1 cause of hospitalization resulting from injury amongst Canadians aged 65 and older.

The website also notes that falls have an adverse effect on seniors’ quality of life as well as a negative impact on the greater health-care system.

In 2018, the direct cost of falls resulting in injury amongst Canadians 65 and older was $5.6 billion, the government says.

OMNI Health Care long-term care homes have a strong focus on fall prevention. Physiotherapy, exercise programs, toileting regimens, family education and ensuring home areas are properly lit are among the initiatives homes take to mitigate falls.

Physiotherapy and exercise programs help enhance mobility. Assisting residents with regular toileting helps decrease the risk of a person trying to stand up on their own to make their way to the washroom. Making sure areas are well-lit helps people see where they’re going.

The Fall Prevention Month website is asking people and organizations to collaborate to promote fall prevention awareness and share ideas.

“Together we can raise the profile of fall prevention and encourage everyone to see their role in preventing falls and fall-related injuries across the lifespan,” the website says.

Click here to learn more about Fall Prevention Month.

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Woodland Villa residents couldn’t go to a pumpkin festival, so a pumpkin festival was brought to residents

The local community came together to help the home host its own version of Pumpkinferno

When an outbreak at Woodland Villa prevented residents of the Long Sault, Ont. long-term care home from taking a much-anticipated trip to see hand-carved pumpkins on display at a Halloween festival, family members, staff and the local community came together to bring a festival to residents.

Residents had been looking forward to attending Pumpkinferno, an annual festival at Upper Canada Village with more than 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins on display, so they were saddened to learn they wouldn’t be able to make it this year.

Then a family member had an idea to host a similar event at Woodland Villa so residents wouldn’t miss out. And that’s how the “Woodland Villa Inferno” was born, says Lisa Doran, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

The Woodland Villa team reached out to the community for support and got a “tremendous” response, Lisa says.

Generous local farmers donated 168 pumpkins. Local elementary and high-school students joined family members, staff and residents to help carve jack-o’-lanterns.

When the work was done, carved pumpkins and decorations adorned Woodland Villa’s two new courtyards, and about 30 residents got to see the spectacle on the evening of Oct. 28.

Residents who couldn’t make it outside still got to enjoy the view by looking out their windows onto the courtyard, Lisa says.

“We had a bunch of decorations outside and we had music playing and we brought the residents out so they got to see all the pumpkins and the decorations and get the full effect – and they absolutely loved it,” she tells The OMNIway.

“This was an amazing idea from a family member, and so we ran with it.”

Lisa says the community support the home received to make the pumpkin display possible was inspiring.

“This was the first time we have really worked with the community since COVID started,” she says. “We were really impressed with the feedback we got and with the people who wanted to help out to make this happen.”

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Leafs lose season opener, but the day was still a big win at Streamway Villa

Residents and team members celebrate all things hockey during annual event


There’s nothing like a hockey game to bring Canadians together, and there’s no day during the regular NHL season that gets fans more revved up than opening day.

The Streamway Villa life enrichment team tapped into that enthusiasm on Oct. 12.

As has become a tradition at the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home, residents and staff dedicated the Toronto Maple Leafs’ opening game to all things hockey.

During the day, residents and team members wore their favourite hockey jerseys, T-shirts and caps. Residents were treated to beer and popcorn and got to play hockey trivia, explains life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht.

In the evening, everyone gathered to watch the Leafs play the Montreal Canadiens.

It’s NHL tradition that the Maple Leafs – who were clearly the crowd favourite at Streamway – and Canadiens play their first game of the year against each other.

This year’s opener, which was played in Montreal, saw the Habs beat the Leafs 4-3.

Last year residents and team members also got together to watch the opening game of the season. The Leafs beat the Habs 2-1 in that contest.

While most of the residents and team members are Maple Leafs fans, Laurie says there were a couple of Habs fans in the crowd.

One resident Habs fan staged a mock hockey fight with life enrichment aide Chelsea Tinney, a Leafs fan, for fun, which added another layer of entertainment to the evening.

“(The Habs fan) was our jokester for the evening; he used to live in Montreal, so that was pretty funny,” Laurie says.

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