Diabetes program earns OMNI innovation award

Program enhancing quality of life for long-term care residents

A comprehensive diabetes program launched by OMNI Health Care in 2013 to enhance quality diabetes care for nursing-home residents across Ontario has earned recognition from the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA).

OMNI was awarded the Innovation of the Year award for the program during the OLTCA’s June 5 Quality Innovation Forum in Toronto.

At the centre of the program is a group of evidence-based order sets addressing several aspects of diabetes care, including nursing assessment, dietary and foot care, and sick-day management. The assessments can be used when residents enter long-term care homes as part of the admissions process.

Diabetes is a serious issue in long-term care, and its impact on quality of life is profound: fluctuating blood sugar brought on by diabetes can cause falls and the disease also poses challenges for wound care. Diabetes can also lead to cardiovascular disease and stroke.

By having better control of diabetes, residents can avoid hospital visits, which in turn improves quality of life while helping reduce the burden on the acute-care system.

The protocols developed are also designed to save time.

For example, a hypoglycemic event can take more than two hours to correct. If a hypoglycemic event happens when there’s a staff shortage, it compounds the stress level and can prolong treatment. But with the protocols, team members can quickly assess the situation and resolve it in a timely manner.

In the case of a hypoglycemic event, this can have tremendous impact on the person. Research indicates elderly people often have heart attacks or strokes within eight weeks of a hypoglycemic event due to its impact on the body.

By responding quickly or even eliminating the risk, there’s a large-scale trickle-down effect, says Shawn Riel, OMNI’s chief operating officer.

“The more events that we can eliminate, the better quality of life residents will have, and the lower health-care costs will be,” she says.

OMNI received a grant from Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. and Eli Lilly (Canada) Inc. in February 2013 to help make the strategy possible.

Assessments were done in each of OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes in areas including hypoglycemic events, numbers of residents with diabetes, and the time required to resolve issues related to diabetes.

A collaborative effort between registered staff members and community partners, including hospitals, clinicians and dietitians, made the order set a reality.

Medications were also assessed to find the pharmaceuticals that work best with the over-65 population. Every quarter a review is conducted to determine the success of interdisciplinary interventions on residents.

As part of the program, new protocols and strategies, including medications, were initially piloted at two OMNI homes, Riverview Manor in Peterborough and Pleasant Meadow Manor in Norwood. The program was then rolled out to OMNI’s other 16 long-term care homes.

One of the initiative’s greatest successes is that long-term care homes from outside the OMNI family are starting their own comprehensive diabetes programs focused on replicating OMNI’s successes, explains Riel.

“We’re hoping to help as many residents who live with diabetes in long-term care as possible to get more thorough assessments and receive better interventions to help them live a quality life,” Riel says.

OMNI president and CEO Patrick McCarthy emphasizes the efforts that went into developing this program.

“There were hundreds and hundreds of hours of work, reaching out to engage the physicians locally and to work with registered staff and administration at the homes to make sure that we got it right and to listen to any constructive feedback that we were able to get,” he says.

“We were able to get the documentation of statistics to help support the need for change and to really make it work from that perspective.”

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Administrator has ‘changed Streamway Villa around significantly’

Kylie Szczebonski receives Inspired Leader award

In the three years since Kylie Szczebonski joined the Streamway Villa team, the Cobourg long-term care home’s administrator has shown top-notch leadership qualities that have made her the ideal recipient for this year’s Inspired Leader award, says Christina Verleysen.

Verleysen, Streamway Villa’s life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC), says Szczebonski has “changed Streamway Villa around significantly” through several policies and procedures she has spearheaded or helped bring to the home.

At the top of this list is her involvement with implementing Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) at Streamway Villa.

BSO is a $40-million provincial initiative to help enhance quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that 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.

Since Streamway Villa began its involvement with BSO in 2012, the home has seen a significant decrease in aggressive behaviours from residents affected by cognitive impairment, Verleysen points out.

In fact, during a one-month period in 2012, the home saw a 50 per cent reduction in responsive behaviours, including aggression, wandering, physical resistance and agitation.

“BSO was a huge thing,” Verleysen tells The OMNIway. “She (Szczebonski) went to head office and she helped with implementing of BSO. Our behaviours have decreased significantly since BSO was implemented.”

In addition to the policies she’s helped implement at Streamway Villa, Szczebonski has shown strong leadership by way of example, Verleysen says.

“She always has an open-door policy and she’s a very hard worker,” the LEC says. “She’s a very strong leader in that if you are unsure of anything you can go to her and she usually has the answer.”

Szczebonski and team members from 16 other OMNI Health Care long-term care homes were presented with Inspired Leader awards May 7 during the second annual Awards and Recognition Night at Fern Resort. The presentation was part of OMNI’s annual managers’ forum.

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.

Home’s salmon dish exemplifies LTC kitchens’ modern face

Garden Terrace culinary creation shows the high quality residents expect

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Garden Terrace nutritional care manager Dawn Cameron points to a salmon dish recently served to residents for dinner as an example of the fine cuisine prepared in the kitchen at the Ottawa-area long-term care home.

Cook Isioma Okolie plated the salmon with a Dijon mustard and orange glaze and an orange slice for garnish. The result was a dish that could have been served in a high-end restaurant.

Garden Terrace cook Isioma Okolie’s Dijon mustard-orange glazed salmon

Garden Terrace cook Isioma Okolie’s Dijon mustard-orange glazed salmon

“He layers all his food, so it’s not side-by-side; it’s got height,” Cameron explains, adding residents liked the presentation and enjoyed the meal. “It was really colourful.”

It’s this type of high-quality, from-scratch cooking that’s the modern face of long-term-care home cooking, she adds.

Cameron underscores the importance of food to people living in a long-term care home. For many residents, food is the one thing in their lives they have full control over — and they expect their dining experiences to be high quality.

“If the food isn’t appetizing, they’re not going to eat, which leads to other health problems,” Cameron explains. “So, it’s important to give the residents the food they want to eat while following the standards we need to follow and making the food appetizing for them.”

While long-term care chefs and cooks need to follow ministry standards when preparing meals, there are still opportunities for creativity, says Cameron, who began her career in hotel and restaurant management. She chose a career in long-term care because she enjoys working with seniors.

On a recent episode of Top Chef Canada, judges disparagingly remarked to two contestants who were being eliminated from the cooking reality show that their culinary creations resembled “nursing-home food.”

Chris Weber, OMNI Health Care’s operations manager of nutrition and food services, wants to show the world just what “nursing-home food” really is and how chefs and cooks working in the long-term care sector can produce top-quality dishes as good as anyone.

Using the hashtag #NursingHomeFood on social-media networks Twitter and Facebook, Weber and The OMNIway are collaborating in the coming weeks to showcase some of the top-notch food being prepared at OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes.

Cameron says she would like food experts to look at the kinds of foods being served outside the restaurant industry so they can see that there high standards throughout the food-service industry.

“I think they need to broaden their horizons to see what is going on in our field,” she says.

Do you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway? If so, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

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

Streamway Villa pedals for Heart and Stroke Foundation

Cobourg home raises more than $1,000 for charity

Thirteen people representing Streamway Villa took to the streets of Cobourg May 27 to raise money and bring awareness to the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada during the organization’s annual Big Bike event.

This is the sixth time Streamway Villa has put together a Big Bike team. As the team rode the Big Bike through Cobourg they hollered and waved at everyone they passed on the street to promote the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

The home raised more than $1,000 for the Heart and Stroke Foundation prior to the event.

Life enrichment co-ordinator Christina Verleysen says raising money and bringing awareness to heart disease and stroke is important for Streamway Villa because the home sees many people affected by these maladies.

“We have about nine residents who have suffered from stroke, so we’re really doing this for our residents,” Verleysen tells the OMNIway, adding the Heart and Stroke Foundation provides a lot of support to residents affected by heart disease and stroke.

“We’re also giving back to that community, which does so much for us,” she says.

Aside from the community aspect of the event, it was also a fun team-building exercise for the group, Verleysen says.

“Everyone gave it their all, and it was great to get every department in on it — PSWs (personal support workers), kitchen staff, housekeeping and laundry participated,” she notes.

The Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada’s Big Bike event is held in communities across the country every spring.

Click here to learn more about the Big Bike events.

Do you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway? If so, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

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Inspired Leader a ‘ray of sunshine,’ says colleague

Sarah McAdams demonstrates what Supportive Measures is every day, says Susan Towns

Wednesday, May 28, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When Pleasant Meadow Manor personal support worker (PSW) Sarah McAdams walks through the door of the Norwood long-term care home at the start of her shifts, she always has a smile on her face, says her colleague Susan Towns.

This is a characteristic of McAdams’ that has always stood out for Towns, who is Pleasant Meadow Manor’s nursing administrative services manager (NASM).

“She’s a ray of sunshine every time she walks through the door,” Towns says. “Her smile lights up the home and she always has a kind word to say for everybody.”

Towns nominated McAdams for the Pleasant Meadow Manor’s Everyday Hero award because the PSW “demonstrates — and is the picture of — what Supportive Measures truly is,” the NASM says, referring to OMNI’s core program that develops individualized approaches to care.

Through her gentle, friendly approach, McAdams has gained residents’ trust and is a favourite team member among the 61 people living at Pleasant Meadow Manor, Towns says.

“She always has a positive approach and manner with them, and approach is the key to working with people when it comes to care,” Towns says. “She always has a smile on her face and that opens the door.”

Towns notes that because of McAdams’ demeanour, residents work well with her when it comes to having their care provided.

“It’s all about approach; it truly is,” the NASM says.

OMNI Health Care hosted an awards presentation at the managers’ forum at Fern Resort in Orillia in early May. Team members from 17 long-term care homes were presented with Everyday Hero and Inspired Leader awards during a special ceremony May 7.

The Everyday Hero program is running at OMNI’s long-term homes. The initiative began nine years ago to recognize employees’ hard work and dedication to residents.

Do you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway? If so, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

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

Riverview Manor team raises $5K at MS walk

Staff member living with MS commends co-workers, OMNI for support

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – Pietra Lodewyks is commending the support she’s received from her colleagues at Riverview Manor and OMNI Health Care in raising about $5,000 for this year’s Peterborough Mandarin MS Walk.

For the second straight year, Lodewyks, who serves on the board of the MS Society of Canada’s Peterborough chapter, organized a team to represent Riverview Manor at the annual walk, which raises money for MS research and awareness of the neurological disease.

Lodewyks has a personal reason for her passion in finding a cure for multiple sclerosis — she was diagnosed with the disease in December 2009.

On the morning of May 25, Lodewyks and three of her colleagues from Riverview Manor gathered at the Trent Community Sports and Rec Centre for the walk around the facility’s outdoor track.

Since receiving her diagnosis, Lodewyks says OMNI has helped her through some challenging times. OMNI even had T-shirts made for the Riverview Manor team — and home office had them made with very short notice, Lodewyks notes.

“OMNI has been very good to me,” she says. “They have been very accommodating, and they still stick by me. I enjoy working there and OMNI has a lifetime employee in me.”

Lodewyks, a registered practical nurse at Riverview Manor, also has a lot of praise for her co-workers at the Peterborough long-term care home.

“I love them all; they’re a great bunch and I’m a very lucky girl to work with them,” she says.
 
Do you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway? If so, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

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Streamway increasing focus on National Nursing Week

Streamway Villa staff members Rosanne Millar, Cathy Nottingham, Terry De Jong and Pam Howard were among the home's front-line recently honoured for their years of service.

Streamway Villa staff members Rosanne Millar, Cathy Nottingham, Terry De Jong and Pam Howard were among the home’s front-line recently honoured for their years of service.

Service awards highlight this year’s celebration

Thursday, May 22, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Streamway Villa has hosted National Nursing Week celebrations for many years but administrator Kylie Szczebonski says the Cobourg long-term care home will continually make the week a bigger event going forward.

“I’m trying to make this a big thing,” Szczebonski says of National Nursing Week. Nurses and personal support workers (PSWs) play valuable roles in long-term care homes and this needs to be brought to the forefront in a memorable way each year, she says.

During National Nursing Week, which ran May 12-18, Streamway Villa hosted events in collaboration with some of the home’s community partners, including Medigas, Smith & Nephew and the Ontario Nurses’ Association. These included lunch-and-learn activities, prize draws and a barbecue.

But the highlight of this year’s Nursing Week celebrations was a service award presentation. Streamway Villa has a significant number of team members who have worked at the home for more than 20 years. Szczebonski says this is a testament to Streamway Villa being a place where people want to work.

“Last year we had someone (Val Foster) who celebrated 35 years, and we have quite a few people next year who are going on 30 years, so, to me, that proves that OMNI likes to keep people and people want to stay with OMNI,” Szczebonski says.

Here are the staff members Streamway Villa recognized for their service:

– Rosanne Millar, PSW, 25 years
– Delphine Robertson, environmental services, 25 years
– Cathy Nottingham, PSW, 20 years
– Jennifer Huras, PSW, 10 years
– Terry De Jong, PSW, five years
– Pam Howard, registered practical nurse, five years.
– Anna Tan-Knox, PSW, five years
– Hailey Murphy, PSW, five years

Held the week of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12 every year since 1965, National Nursing Week aims to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions nurses make in our health-care system. OMNI Health Care homes also make a point of including PSWs in their Nursing Week celebrations.

Visit the Canadian Nurses Association website for more information on National Nursing Week.

Do you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway? If so, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

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

OMNI kicks off campaign to showcase top-quality food

Two examples of the fine food being created in OMNI kitchens.

Two examples of the fine food being created in OMNI kitchens.

‘Nursing-home food’ should not be seen in a negative light

Wednesday, May 21, 2014 — Deron Hamel

On a recent episode of Top Chef Canada, judges disparagingly remarked to two contestants who were being eliminated from the cooking reality show that their culinary creations resembled “nursing-home food.”

Now Chris Weber, OMNI Health Care’s operations manager of nutrition and food services, wants to show the world just what “nursing-home food” really is and how chefs and cooks working in the long-term care sector can produce top-quality dishes as good as anyone.

The plan is to get OMNI’s nutritional care managers and cooks to photograph their favourite food dishes and then speak with The OMNIway about these meals and what it means to them to cook in a long-term care home.

Using the hashtag #NursingHomeFood on social-media networks Twitter and Facebook, Weber and The OMNIway will be collaborating in the coming weeks to showcase some of the top-notch food being prepared at OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes.

In short, the idea is to dispel the myth that food prepared in long-term care homes is unappetizing.

“Traditionally, the reputation hasn’t always been the greatest when it comes to (long-term care food). With OMNI, and many other long-term care operators, we’re taking food more seriously,” Weber says.

He notes that food is an important part of OMNI’s culture. Being served high-quality meals is important to residents and their families. For several years, OMNI has focused on serving made-from-scratch meals with quality ingredients. Weber now wants everyone to see the passion that goes into meal preparation.

“And we’re putting talented chefs and cooks and dietary aides into positions so they have the chance to . . . have creative opportunities to enhance the resident experience (through their food),” Weber says.

During a meeting at OMNI’s recent managers’ forum at Fern Resort, Weber pitched the campaign idea to nutritional care managers, who he says were taken by the concept.

“Cooks in the homes are pretty excited about this, and I’ve had a few pictures sent in already,” he says.

You can follow OMNI and Weber on Twitter at @OMNIHealthCare and @OMNIfoodDUDE, respectively.

Do you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway? If so, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have any feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.
OMNI kicks off campaign to showcase top-quality food
‘Nursing-home food’ should not be seen in a negative light
May 21, 2014 — Deron Hamel

On a recent episode of Top Chef Canada, judges disparagingly remarked to two contestants who were being eliminated from the cooking reality show that their culinary creations resembled “nursing-home food.”

Now Chris Weber, OMNI Health Care’s operations manager of nutrition and food services, wants to show the world just what “nursing-home food” really is and how chefs and cooks working in the long-term care sector can produce top-quality dishes as good as anyone.

The plan is to get OMNI’s nutritional care managers and cooks to photograph their favourite food dishes and then speak with The OMNIway about these meals and what it means to them to cook in a long-term care home.

Using the hashtag #NursingHomeFood on social-media networks Twitter and Facebook, Weber and The OMNIway will be collaborating in the coming weeks to showcase some of the top-notch food being prepared at OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes.

In short, the idea is to dispel the myth that food prepared in long-term care homes is unappetizing.

“Traditionally, the reputation hasn’t always been the greatest when it comes to (long-term care food). With OMNI, and many other long-term care operators, we’re taking food more seriously,” Weber says.

He notes that food is an important part of OMNI’s culture. Being served high-quality meals is important to residents and their families. For several years, OMNI has focused on serving made-from-scratch meals with quality ingredients. Weber now wants everyone to see the passion that goes into meal preparation.

“And we’re putting talented chefs and cooks and dietary aides into positions so they have the chance to . . . have creative opportunities to enhance the resident experience (through their food),” Weber says.

During a meeting at OMNI’s recent managers’ forum at Fern Resort, Weber pitched the campaign idea to nutritional care managers, who he says were taken by the concept.

“Cooks in the homes are pretty excited about this, and I’ve had a few pictures sent in already,” he says.

You can follow OMNI and Weber on Twitter at @OMNIHealthCare and @OMNIfoodDUDE, respectively.

Do you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway? If so, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

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

Riverview Manor celebrates Nursing Week

The Riverview Manor team poses with a cake with the inscription "Happy Nursing Week" at a May 16 celebration of front-line staff.

The Riverview Manor team poses with a cake with the inscription “Happy Nursing Week” at a May 16 celebration of front-line staff.


Tuesday, May 20, 2014 — Deron Hamel

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – Riverview Manor celebrated its nurses and personal support workers (PSWs) on Friday with a barbecue in honour of National Nursing Week, which ran May 12-18.

The May 16 event saw OMNI Health Care nutrition and food services manager Chris Weber stop by the Peterborough long-term care home to grill chicken, sausages and hamburgers for front-line staff. The day also saw an array of prize draws for gifts that were handed out to nurses and PSWs.

Home management also presented a cake with the inscription “Happy Nursing Week” to the team.

Held the week of nursing pioneer Florence Nightingale’s birthday on May 12 every year since 1965, National Nursing Week aims to celebrate and acknowledge the contributions nurses make to Canada’s health-care system.

Video to come soon.

Interim manager nourished by long-term care experience

Leading Frost Manor’s strong dietary care team is ‘awesome,’ Neil MacDonald says

Frost Manor’s interim nutritional care manager says he might very well consider staying on permanently in long-term care because he’s enjoying the experience so much.

“I really enjoy people and I really enjoy being able to do something and immediately see the results, the positive effect. And that comes through with the residents,” says Neil MacDonald, who joined the Lindsay long-term care home in mid-February.

Residents are the best diners, he says. “Every service the dining room is full, they’re always going to be there, and they like to give you feedback. And I want to know if they didn’t like something so I can do it better the next time. It’s a really nice thing to be able to do the small things and impact someone’s life in a positive way.

“That’s something I’ve really learned from this long-term care experience,” MacDonald says.

He brings to Frost Manor past cooking experience at Peterborough’s Riverview Manor, another OMNI Health Care home, and in restaurants. He remembers working in a restaurant kitchen many years ago with two OMNI managers, including nutrition and food services operation manager Chris Weber, and marvels at how they’re all with the same organization again.

“When this opportunity came up, I was very excited,” MacDonald says, adding it’s “awesome” to be leading the team in Frost Manor’s kitchen.

“It’s a great experience, with great learning as far as a career is concerned, and it’s wonderful being able to impact people’s lives by making small adjustments.”

As a Type I diabetic, MacDonald understands the important link between nutrition and health. In long-term care, many dietary requirements have to be met to maintain residents’ health.

“I feel so many issues, especially being in this role in a long-term care home, can be solved through proper nutrition and good food. And residents, as I’ve seen, like their food more when it’s enjoyable, which is very important,” MacDonald says.

He appreciates the opportunity to cook, and to cook from scratch, which he was surprised to learn happens more than one might think. “OMNI is going in a positive direction in the food and nutrition sectors, just by cooking from scratch and getting back to the basics,” MacDonald says.

He is also grateful for the support of his team, whom he says demonstrates strong camaraderie and a willingness to try new things. For instance, they tried one of MacDonald’s dessert recipes for last month’s volunteer appreciation

“What was cool about that was, they did it and it was restaurant quality,” he says, adding it was a memorable team-building and learning experience.

“They’ve been very accepting of me and my style and everything. It’s cool for both of us.”

If you have a story to share or feedback on this article, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 25, or e-mail lisa(at)axiomnews.ca.