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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Administrator Karen Dann designs Christmassy name badges for Country Terrace team

From left to right, Country Terrace team members Debbie Scheerer, Simi Mathew, Chris Crookshank and Lidia Keleta pose with their Christmas-inspired name badges.

Not wanting to back away from a challenge, Country Terrace administrator Karen Dann recently created special Christmas-themed name badges for every team member working at the Komoka, Ont. long-term care home.

Karen tells The OMNIway she was recently “challenged” by Country Terrace personal support worker (PSW) Christine Crookshank to make the badges for every staff member – including team members brought in to help during the pandemic – to bring some seasonal cheer to everyone.

So that’s exactly what Karen did.

She got to work making the decorative badges which feature several different yuletide designs, including snowmen, Santas, red-and-white stockings, reindeer, angels, Christmas trees and jingle bells.

Along with the new name badges, each team member received a personalized Christmas card from Karen.

“That was 175 cards and 175 Christmas name badges,” she says.

Call it a labour of love.

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Small interventions can make a big difference to residents during pandemic

Riverview Manor BSO team shares some of its tools and ideas

Since the global COVID-19 pandemic began in March, the Riverview Manor Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team has been providing interventions to enhance quality of life for residents affected by cognitive impairment.

Often, these interventions are small things but they appeal to residents’ strengths and interests and keep their spirits high during what has been a challenging time.

At the beginning of the pandemic, one of the interventions BSO team members put in place was signage in residents’ rooms that let residents know they were safe and that their loved ones knew where they were.

“They were constant reminders for the residents to see for when staff members were not around, and that helped a lot,” explains registered practical nurse and Riverview Manor BSO team lead Becky Dennie.

Montessori kits, which include activities that reflect residents’ interests, have also been used since the pandemic began.

Recently, a new activity kit has been designed by the BSO team especially for new residents as well as for residents who are returning to the home from hospital and must go into isolation as a safety precaution.

The activities in the kit include clothespin matching, cutlery sorting, colouring activities, cards and sewing materials.

These are all items that can be easily sanitized between each use, explains personal support worker and BSO team member Karlie Phillips.

“We are hoping this will work well and that the staff will set this up with the residents to keep them busy as much as possible,” she says.

BSO is a provincial initiative that’s enhancing quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that can cause agitation. The funding, which is provided to long-term care homes through the province’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks, is largely put towards staff education.

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Almonte Country Haven hosts surprise ceremony for two PSW graduates

Debbie Burke and Rebecca Smith are the first team members to graduate from a PSW program ACH is involved with. When their graduation ceremony was cancelled due to the pandemic, the home stepped up and organized a special event to honour their achievement

Almonte Country Haven PSWs Debbie Burke (left) and Rebecca Smith (right) pose in their caps and gowns at a ceremony their colleagues at the Lanark County long-term care home organized for them.

When Almonte Country Haven administrator Carolyn Della Foresta learned that two graduates of a personal support worker (PSW) program the home is involved with were unable to have a graduation ceremony due to the COVID-19 pandemic, she and the rest of the home’s staff made sure their accomplishments were honoured.

In October, Debbie Burke and Rebecca Smith became the first team members at the Lanark County long-term care home to complete training through a PSW program offered by the Catholic District School Board of Eastern Ontario (CDSBEO) and supported by the Canadian Career Academy (CCA).

Almonte Country Haven is a long-term care home in the region partnering with this CDSBEO-CCA collaboration.

Given that Debbie and Rebecca graduating from the program was an important milestone, Carolyn wanted to ensure their achievement was celebrated at Almonte Country Haven, so she planned a surprise ceremony for the two PSWs.

“I went on Amazon and found graduation gowns and caps, as well as some fun and affordable decorations, (and) we quietly planned a surprise, safe graduation ceremony – everyone wore masks and we all social-distanced,” Carolyn tells The OMNIway.

Debbie and Rebecca joined the Almonte Country Haven team in early 2020. Carolyn characterizes Debbie and Rebecca as “truly amazing PSWs – we are blessed to have them as part of our team.”

Carolyn adds that Debbie and Rebecca worked full time during the COVID-19 outbreak that impacted Almonte Country Haven in the spring, while taking classes and managing their family lives.

“I am amazed by what they have accomplished,” she says.

On the day of their graduation ceremony, Debbie and Rebecca were called to a “staff meeting” and were “completely surprised” when they walked into the meeting last (Carolyn had made sure of this) to be met with lots of fanfare from their co-workers.

There was music playing and staff members handed Debbie and Rebecca their caps and gowns to wear.

“All the staff cheered them on and congratulated them,” Carolyn says. “We are so proud of them, as they both are amazingly kind and compassionate PSWs and they embody OMNI’s mission, vision and values.”

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Province approves Village Green rebuild that will add 62 beds

Once completed, the new Village Green will benefit residents, staff and the community, says administrator Linda Pierce

The Ontario government announced Nov. 20 that approval has been granted to build a new 128-bed Village Green in Greater Napanee, a move the home’s administrator, Linda Pierce, says will benefit residents, staff members and the community.

Once completed, the new Village Green will have an additional 62 beds, nearly twice as many as the current home, which has 66.

“We are really excited about it,” Pierce tells The OMNIway. “This is such a complement to everybody: the team, the community (and) the people we serve.”

While there is no confirmation on when construction on the new Village Green will start or be completed, Pierce says a tentative site for the home is being considered on the west side of Lennox and Addington County Road 41.

Once completed, the rebuilt Village Green will be a Class A long-term care home with modern amenities, such as wider hallways and more home-like dining areas, and privacy will be enhanced by limiting all rooms to no more than one or two beds.

Pierce says eliminating three- and four-bed wards is crucial to ensuring high quality of life for people living in long-term care homes because lack of privacy can agitate residents.

By limiting rooms to no more than two beds, Pierce says residents will have increased privacy and a more home-like living experience.

“From bathing to dining experiences, everything will be enhanced,” Pierce says.

“Everything, in my opinion, will be more favourable to resident care and to the quality of life of the resident and the quality of life of the worker.”

Pierce also says the redeveloped Village Green will be a community asset because the additional 62 beds will help minimize waiting times for people in the region requiring long-term care.

Village Green is the latest OMNI Health Care long-term care home to receive approval for redevelopment. In 2018, approval was granted to build a new 160-bed Riverview Manor in Peterborough. The province recently announced approval for an additional 32 beds to be added to Riverview Manor, bringing the total to 192 beds.

Pleasant Meadow Manor, Almonte Country Haven, Woodland Villa and Country Terrace received approvals in 2018 for redevelopment projects to expand those homes.

Construction has started on the expansions to Pleasant Meadow Manor, Almonte Country Haven and Woodland Villa.

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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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Province approves 32 additional beds for the new Riverview Manor

The new funding will increase the size of the rebuilt home in Peterborough’s north end from 160 to 192 beds

The news keeps getting better for Riverview Manor residents – both present and future.

The province recently announced it has approved funding for another 32 beds to add to the 36 new beds that were promised in December 2018 for the rebuilt Peterborough long-term care home.

Riverview Manor’s current location on Water Street has 124 beds. Construction on the new Riverview Manor, which will be nearby on Langton Street in Peterborough’s north end, will likely start in 2021 and will take about two years to build.

During a virtual press conference on Nov. 20, Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith said the additional 32 beds Riverview Manor will receive will improve access for people in the region who require long-term care.

“Our seniors deserve quality care in the communities they live in,” he said.

“This is why today’s announcement of more new beds is so important. We are working to reduce wait times and meet the needs of our aging population now and in the future.”

Once completed, the new Riverview Manor will be a state-of-the-art long-term care home offering residents a wide range of modern amenities.

Some of the new Riverview Manor’s features will include wider hallways, more home-like dining and lounge spaces, and privacy for residents will be improved by having only one- and two-bed rooms.

The new Class A home will surround a spacious courtyard, complete with a walking loop paved with an “elder-friendly surface,” patio seating and a sandbox for visiting children to enjoy.

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Residents, staff members looking forward to the new Pleasant Meadow Manor

Excitement builds as construction begins on home expansion

Pictured above, construction crews have started clearing land on the south side of Pleasant Meadow Manor to make way for the Norwood long-term care home’s 34,000-square-foot expansion.

NORWOOD, Ont. – The shovels are in the ground, the work is underway and Pleasant Meadow Manor residents and staff members could not be happier as they look forward to the completion of the redevelopment project that will increase the size of the Norwood long-term care home by 34,000 square feet.

Standing on the south side of Pleasant Meadow Manor on Nov. 16 after a ground-breaking ceremony, administrator Sandra Tucker points to a mound of soil that has resulted from land being cleared for construction.

“That mound was built today, and that’s how fast it can go,” she tells The OMNIway. “I’m excited, I’m really excited about the whole works.”

Some residents have found entertainment value in the project, and they have been watching construction unfold from windows at the rear of the home, Sandra says.

“The residents come up to the windows or come out to the yard to watch,” she says.

Once redeveloped, Pleasant Meadow Manor will have a two-storey addition on the south side of the existing 61-bed home that will house 35 more residents. Residents will live in three spacious neighbourhoods, each housing dining, lounge and activity spaces.

Pleasant Meadow Manor’s new design will also accommodate a courtyard, gardens and outdoor space, and include a whole-home gathering area and chapel space.

The new design will enhance privacy by eliminating three- and four-bed rooms. Once complete, 60 per cent of Pleasant Meadow Manor’s rooms will be private and 40 per cent semi-private.

Having more space in their home is what residents are looking forward to most, Sandra says.

“They’re looking forward to the new rooms and having no more than two to a room,” she says.

The Pleasant Meadow Manor redevelopment project is slated to be complete by December 2022.

This is Part 2 of a two-part story. Click here to read Part 1.

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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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Riverview front-line team receiving care packages as thanks for work during pandemic

MaryEllen Hearns has been distributing gifts to Riverview Manor and other Peterborough LTC homes to show her support and gratitude

Riverview Manor front-line team members have been on the receiving end of some community kindness recently.

Peterborough resident MaryEllen Hearns has been putting together care packages for front-line staff members at Riverview Manor and other long-term care homes in the area to show support for the work they’re doing to keep residents safe during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

MaryEllen collects donations to create the care packages and puts the name of sponsors on each bag that gets dropped off at long-term care homes, explains Riverview Manor registered practical nurse Becky Dennie.

Inside the care packages are items that include popcorn, protein bars, bottles of premium water, energy drinks, vitamin C tablets, lotion and gift cards.

Inspired by a friend in northern Ontario who was putting together care packages for long-term care homes, MaryEllen called Riverview Manor in August and offered to put together care packages to bring to front-line staff members.

MaryEllen has been distributing care packages throughout the Peterborough area. At the time of this writing, she has distributed 56 care packages to Riverview Manor, and the home will be getting up to 90, Becky says.

As the care packages get dropped off at Riverview Manor, Becky distributes them to front-line staff members, starting with the personal support workers (PSWs).

“We are almost done distributing the care packages to the PSWs, so then I will start giving them out to the registered staff,” Becky says.

Becky says staff members have been overjoyed with the care packages and appreciative of what MaryEllen is doing.

“They think the care packages have been great – they really like the gifts that have been inside the packages,” she says.

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