More NPs in LTC will build upon individualized care: administrator

SpringdaleCountryManor

Maureen King commends province for announcement

March 17, 2014 — Deron Hamel

The 75 new, in-house long-term care nurse practitioners (NPs) the province has promised to fund over the next three years will play an important part in strengthening individualized, person-centred care in the sector, says Maureen King.

Nurse practitioners, says Springdale Country Manor’s administrator, “are phenomenal” for the long-term care sector because they can address many unique resident-care issues that need immediate attention. Residents are used to having this type of person-centred care, King adds.

Having accessed NPs through the Central East Local Health Integration Network’s Nurse Practitioners Supporting Teams Averting Transfers (NPSTAT) program, King says she has seen first-hand the difference timely, in-house care makes to the Peterborough-area long-term care home’s residents.

Through NPSTAT, NPs visit long-term care homes in the LHIN’s catchment area to provide on-site care for medical issues that front-line staff members are unable to treat. Some of their work includes writing prescriptions for antibiotics, administering IV therapies, doing post-fall assessments and performing G-tube reinsertions.

“Physicians have full practices and we’re looking for an answer in a timely manner — as in right now — and (without access to an NP)  we’re mostly told that we have to wait until the end of the physician’s work day which could be hours and hours,” King explains.

“It is nice to have someone in the situations that we deal with to come now because that is their role. It’s also good that we are not sending people to emergency rooms. It’s very upsetting for our residents if we have to send them to hospital.”

While a hospital visit can negatively impact the quality of life for anyone, it can be especially traumatic for a person living with a cognitive impairment — and a significant portion of the long-term care resident population consists of people with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, King notes.

In addition to being added to long-term care homes’ staffing mixes, NPs can soon expect to see their scope of practice expanded. Through Bill 179, the federal government has approved NPs to prescribe more medications and order most lab tests. The next step is for the provinces to approve the legislation.

Click here to read more about the Ontario government’s announcement.

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Chris Weber named OSNM Kawarthas representative

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Nutrition and food-services manager hoping to bring shared experiences to OMNI

Friday, March 14, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Chris Weber has a long track record of dedication to food-services management, and this focus has led to him being named the Ontario Society of Nutrition Management’s (OSNM’s) Kawarthas chapter representative.

The OSNM is an organization dedicated to promoting the profession of nutrition management through education and advocacy in Ontario. Weber, OMNI Health Care’s nutrition and food services manager, says he hopes to build a network of new colleagues within the food-services industry through his position.

Weber adds that being a player in the OSNM will introduce him to many others with key interests in nutritional management and health care.

“I’m also really excited to bring the shared experiences back to OMNI,” he says.

Weber has been connected to the OSNM in the past, having attended the organization’s events. When he saw there was a vacancy for a Kawarthas representative, Weber says it was a “perfect opportunity” to enhance his career as a nutritional manager and to further his interest in the field.

“I contacted (OSNM president) Matthew Bombardier (about taking the position) and he thought it was a great idea, so I gave him more information about myself and my background and he welcomed me in and appointed me as the Area E Kawarthas region chapter representative,” Weber explains.

In this role, Weber will reach out to other nutritional managers in the community to bolster OSNM membership.

“This is exciting for me because it’s my first time as a board member, and I’m really excited about making new friends within the industry,” he says.

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Evacusleds could ‘save a lot of lives’ in emergencies: PSW

 

Willows Estate fire-safety team members prepare to move a volunteer on a mattress fitted with an Evacusled during a mock evacuation.

Willows Estate fire-safety team members prepare to move a volunteer on a mattress fitted with an Evacusled during a mock evacuation.

Willows fire-safety team member attests to value of new devices

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — Deron Hamel

If a fire ever broke out in a long-term care home equipped with Evacusleds, the devices would “save a lot of lives,” says Willows Estate personal support worker (PSW) and fire-safety team member Hayley Barclay.

Barclay spoke to the OMNIway days after the Aurora long-term care home completed its first-ever vertical evacuation — bringing people down flights of stairs — during a fire drill on Feb. 28.

Evacusleds are devices with tiny wheels that fit under bed mattresses. In an emergency, staff members can rush into the rooms of residents who have Evacusleds, lift residents to the floor without getting them out of bed, and pull them across the floor to safety in short order.

“I think the value of the Evacusleds is priceless,” Barclay says, adding the team only had two weeks of training with the devices before the mock evacuation. “The (Evacusleds are) great; they’re easy to use and easy to explain to people.”

Not only did the fire-safety team safely “rescue” 42 resident and staff-member volunteers in an exercise that ran smoothly, they did it in only 26 minutes, a feat Central York Fire Services (CYFS) Capt. Ryan Schell says is “unheard-of.”

“That even blew my mind,” says Barclay of the team’s success. “I didn’t think we would be able to do it in that amount of time.”

Willows Estate is the first long-term care home in the Newmarket-Aurora region that CYFS has seen use Evacusleds, says Schell. Willows Estate recently bought 12 of the devices.

Before the alarm was sounded to start the evacuation, Barclay says she was feeling anxiety, but as soon as the drill began, she was focused and her fire-safety training kicked in. Having the Evacusleds made the exercise run smooth for the team, she adds.

Barclay says she recommends other long-term care homes invest in Evacusleds to enhance resident safety.

Aside from being excellent safety devices, Evacusleds are also comfortable, she adds. Even in the event of an emergency, residents whose beds are fitted with the devices would feel little disruption.

“I’ve been in an Evacusled and you don’t feel a thing, even going down stairs,” Barclay says.

Click here to watch a YouTube video of the evacuation.

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Patient ombudsman announced by Ontario government

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Process already in place for complaints and concerns in long-term care homes

Monday, March 10, 2014 — Deron Hamel

TORONTO – OMNI Health Care is supportive of a section of accountability legislation announced at Queen’s Park March 6.

The province is proposing the establishment of a patient ombudsman to resolve complaints lodged against Ontario’s long-term care homes, hospitals and 14 Community Care Access Centres.

While long-term care homes have long had processes in place for reporting concerns and complaints to Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care inspectors, the new office will extend to some other parts of the health-care system that have not been subject to the same degree of inspection and oversight.

OMNI president and CEO Patrick McCarthy wants residents and family members to be clear that if they need to lodge a complaint against a home, there are processes that remain in place, whether communicating the concern directly to the home, through residents’ council or family council, OMNI head office, or directly to the ministry.

In each of OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes, residents and family members have access to information posted in common areas outlining toll-free telephone and mail contact information for the purpose of lodging complaints.

Additionally, there is existing protection in OMNI homes and under the Ontario Long-Term Care Homes Act for whistleblowers, which McCarthy says OMNI continues to support as an accountability measure in the sector.

If Premier Kathleen Wynne’s idea for a proposed patient ombudsman’s office is created, McCarthy says he hopes that it will broaden Long Term Care’s existing complaint processes, addressing resident and family concerns relating to system issues and transitions involving home care and hospital — an important element in a more integrated health-care system.

An office with oversight of community and acute-care providers, he adds, would be well placed to look at the broad issues affecting the greater health-care system.

“So long as the office has some power in looking at system and quality issues that are beyond the purview of providers alone, then that’s a positive development for residents and patients,” McCarthy says.

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Streamway resident shares unique experience of life in a hard-rock band

Moxy bassist says music was constant presence

Friday, March 7, 2014 — Lisa Bailey

Imagine jumping off a performance stage and running on the heads of your fans for as far as you can see.

Terry Juric

Terry Juric

Terry Juric could imagine it, when he was part of the popular Canadian hard rock band Moxy.

“It was a great thrill playing in front of so many people,” says Juric, who toured North America as

bassist with the group called the “sons of Led Zeppelin” and “the forefathers of metal.”

Juric doesn’t dwell on those days back in the 1970s and ’80s, simply saying they were “good times.” He has shared some of his experiences, though, with staff members at Streamway Villa in Cobourg where he lives.

Personal support worker Dawn Shaw says it’s been pretty cool getting to know someone who is, well, pretty cool. She Googled Juric’s name to learn more about him and his musical past when he first moved into the home and has purchased his CD at the local music store. Juric has shared photos from his musical days and talked about the guitar he keeps in his room.

It’s been fun and fascinating getting to know someone whose experiences are only lived by a few, Shaw says.

Music has been a constant in Juric’s life. His dad taught violin and Juric began piano lessons around age five.

“I didn’t give it a second thought. It was just always there,” he says.

He’s been in bands as far back as he can remember.

Juric was an original member of Moxy, which scored its first hit in 1975 and played throughout Canada and the U.S.

“The Holiday Inn was my main home for a long time,” Juric says with a smile, adding it was a way of life that many young musicians would dream of.

Moxy was hugely popular in Texas, thanks largely to San Antonio deejay Joe Anthony, who endorsed many Canadian bands before they were stars. It’s said that Moxy’s music is still played on many Texas radio stations.

Among bands that opened for Moxy was AC/DC, who are considered heavy metal pioneers. “I thought they were great,” Juric says, adding that guitarist Angus Young had already adopted his trademark school-uniform stage outfit when he knew them. Juric also got to know the original lead singer Bon Scott, who died after a night of binge-drinking in 1980.

Juric’s biggest thrill was playing Toronto’s Massey Hall – the same concert venue where he’d watched many great bands play. “It was a big deal for me because of all the people I’d seen that had touched that stage and then I finally got to be on it.”

After Moxy, Juric says he did music on weekends. He became a letter carrier, enjoying the chance to be outdoors as well as the solitude.

He spends a lot of time today listening to music, especially progressive jazz and classic rock. “It’s stuff that moves, anything with a good drum,” Juric says of his musical preferences.

He’s always been drawn to the rhythmic side of music. “I liked the idea of playing with a drummer, rocking out with a drummer,” he says.

Music always has and always will be a part of Juric’s life. Its power as a positive force in life isn’t lost on him.

“Music can get you out of depression,” he says. “You can sit down, put on something you like and forget about things. Just relax.”

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.

Pleasant Meadow applauds province’s investment in LTC nurse practitioners

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Home knows first-hand of benefits to LTC homes and hospitals

Thursday, March 6, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Pleasant Meadow Manor nursing administrative services manager Susan Towns is applauding the Ontario government’s recent announcement to invest in 75 nurse practitioners during the next three years who will tend to the needs of long-term care home residents.

Towns says the province’s decision will be beneficial to long-term care residents because more nurse practitioners means fewer home-to-hospital transfers, which can have a negative impact on those living in long-term care homes.

“I think it’s absolutely wonderful that they’re going to increase the number of nurse practitioners available to (long-term care homes),” Towns tells the OMNIway. “(Nurse practitioners) have been an absolute asset to our home.”

Nurse practitioners visit long-term care homes to provide on-site care for medical issues that front-line staff members are unable to treat. They can also prescribe some medications. For example, nurse practitioners can order antibiotics for infections. This, says Towns, is beneficial on two levels.

Firstly, residents needing additional treatment can remain at their long-term care homes, rather than having to deal with the stress of a hospital transfer. When a resident goes to hospital from a long-term care home it can create a lot of anxiety and worsen a person’s quality of life, especially if they end up waiting a long time to be seen, she says.

Secondly, because residents are able to remain at the home, there’s less emergency-room congestion, an issue facing the acute-care system.

Since 2010, a nurse practitioner has been regularly visiting Pleasant Meadow Manor as part of its involvement with the Central East Local Health Integration Network’s (LHIN’s) Nurse Practitioners Supporting Teams Averting Transfers (NPSTAT) program. Since then, Towns says many of the Norwood long-term care home’s residents have been able to avoid hospital transfers.

As part of the funding, long-term care homes that successfully apply for nurse practitioner funding but are unable to recruit one will be able to access the province’s new Grow Your Own Nurse Practitioner in Long-Term Care program. Once launched in 2015-16, this initiative will support homes in providing registered nurses with the education and training to become nurse practitioners.

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CYFS says Willows fire-safety team setting example for other LTC homes to follow

Willows Estate's fire-safety team (pictured above) impressed Central York Fire Services during a recent evacuation drill.

Willows Estate’s fire-safety team (pictured above) impressed Central York Fire Services during a recent evacuation drill.

Fire department wants to use video and Evacusleds in demonstrations

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 — Deron Hamel

AURORA, Ont. – Central York Fire Services (CYFS) personnel is so impressed with the Willows Estate fire-safety team’s recent evacuation drill they want to use a video of the exercise to demonstrate how long-term care homes should react in an emergency.

Willows Estate’s fire-safety team conducted its first-ever evacuation of the second floor during a fire drill at the Aurora long-term care home Feb. 28. The OMNIway filmed the exercise, which took 26 minutes for staff members to evacuate 42 volunteer residents and staff members from rooms.

The evacuation included safely moving people from the second floor down a stairwell.

“I’d like to showcase these people (Willows Estate’s fire-safety team) as an example of how to do this correctly,” CYFS fire prevention officer Ryan Schell tells the OMNIway. “(They) evacuated the second floor of a long-term care facility in 26 minutes — that’s unheard-of. The zone was evacuated in 10 minutes (which) well exceeds provincial standards.”

The evacuation was also unique because it was the first time Evacusleds were used in a fire-safety drill at the home. Evacusleds are devices with tiny wheels that fit under bed mattresses. In an emergency, staff members can rush into the rooms of residents who have Evacusleds, lift residents to the floor without getting them out of bed, and pull them across the floor to safety in short order.

The Evacusleds also played a major factor in the fire-safety team’s success, says Schell.

Willows Estate is the first long-term care home in the Newmarket-Aurora region that CYFS has seen use Evacusleds, says Schell. Willows Estate recently bought 12 of the devices.

In addition to using the video for training purposes, CYFS personnel also wants to show others the value Evacusleds bring to fire-safety teams. In fact, the fire department has borrowed one of the Evacusleds from Willows Estate for a month to use in demonstrations.

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.

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Willows Estate ‘leading the way’ in LTC fire safety: CYFS captain

RN Christine Quizon is seen here preparing to evacuate a staff volunteer during Willows Estate's Feb. 28 fire drill.

RN Christine Quizon is seen here preparing to evacuate a staff volunteer during Willows Estate’s Feb. 28 fire drill.

Team’s top-notch preparedness evacuates second floor in 26 minutes during drill

Monday, March 3, 2014 — Deron Hamel

AURORA, Ont. – Central York Fire Services (CYFS) fire prevention officer Capt. Ryan Schell says the success of Willows Estate’s Feb. 28 evacuation drill shows the home is “leading the way” in fire safety in the region’s long-term care homes.

Schell is referring to the fact the Aurora long-term care home’s fire safety team was able to evacuate 42 staff and resident volunteers from rooms on the second floor and down a flight of stairs in only 26 minutes.

“That’s unheard of,” Schell tells the OMNIway, moments after the drill was complete. “Not only did they do it in a timely manner, I think they’re leading the way. . . . When it comes to evacuating people, these guys are at the top of their game.”

Rooms were evacuated in about 90 seconds each. The fire zone was evacuated in 10 minutes. Schell says these times “well exceed” provincial fire safety standards.

Prior to the evacuation drill, the home’s fire safety team spent two weeks preparing for it. Schell commends team members for their effort.

“The fire safety team here at the Willows went above and beyond,” he says.

This is the first time the Willows team has performed a “vertical evacuation” down a stairwell. It’s also the first time the Willows used Evacusleds during a fire safety drill.

Evacusleds are devices with tiny wheels that fit under bed mattresses. In an emergency, staff members can rush into the rooms of residents who have Evacusleds, lift residents to the floor without getting them out of bed, and pull them across the floor to safety in short order.

The home recently bought 12 of these state-of-the-art emergency devices.

CYFS personnel are so impressed with how quickly people were evacuated they’ve borrowed one of the Evacusleds from Willows Estate for a month to use in demonstrations.

Most fires happen between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. With this in mind, Willows Estate simulated a night shift, with six staff members on hand to perform the drill. Night charge nurse and fire safety team member Lesley Noordhuis says she and other participants were anxious ahead of the drill, but when the time came, everyone jumped into their roles seamlessly.

“As long as everyone works together as a team, it will go smoothly — and what we did today just proves that,” she says

Stay tuned to the OMNIway for Part 2 of this story: CYFS Using Willows Example for Training

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Tanya the Turkey a source of inspiration at West Lake

Tanya the Turkey is seen here outside West Lake Terrace.

Tanya the Turkey is seen here outside West Lake Terrace.

Wild bird’s presence is calming resident agitation

Friday, February 28, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Sometimes inspiration for resident-centred care comes from an unexpected source, as the West Lake Terrace team has recently discovered.

When a wild turkey began showing up at the Prince Edward County long-term care home — ironically around Thanksgiving in October — staff members noticed the positive impact the bird was having on residents, especially those with cognitive impairment.

Nicknamed Tanya the Turkey, the bird has since taken to hanging around the home’s front door, often peeking into the windows.

Registered nurse Tracy Dowdall says one resident who has cognitive impairment and is often affected by agitation will become calm when he sees the turkey.

It can be challenging to divert this resident’s attention, Dowdall notes, but Tanya the Turkey has done an excellent job at making the resident happy.

“When she comes to a window, we will bring this resident in his wheelchair so he can see her, and he calms right down,” Dowdall tells the OMNIway. “Ordinarily, this resident’s attention wanders very quickly, but when Tanya the Turkey is in sight his attention stays.”

In fact, the resident will often look for the bird, sitting by the dining room windows waiting for her to appear.

And this isn’t the only resident who has taken a shine to the turkey, Dowdall says. Since this has been a harsh winter, residents have stayed indoors more than usual, so many people who usually enjoy going outside have looked to Tanya the Turkey to provide stimulation, she says.

“It’s really neat to look outside and see the breast feathers of a wild turkey pressed up against a window,” Dowdall says.

Tanya the Turkey is also proving to be a source of motivation for residents involved in the home’s physiotherapy program. Dowdall notes how when Tanya is hanging around, the physiotherapy assistants promise residents they will get to visit her when they’ve completed their exercises.

Staff members have been feeding the bird to ensure she keeps returning. Dowdall has also been in contact with a local bird expert for advice on the best feed the team can leave for Tanya.

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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.”

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