Too cold for ice cream? Never!

Garden Terrace embraces a favourite summer treat on a cold autumn day

Who thinks of paying a visit to an ice cream truck on a cold, brisk, autumn day?

The residents, families and staff members at Garden Terrace, that’s who.

People living and working at the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home recently proved that ice cream tastes great, no matter what the weather is like.

On Sept. 30, a Mr. Sundae ice cream truck turned up at Garden Terrace, and residents and staff members were quick to line up for ice cream cones and sundaes.

Ice creams were provided free to all residents and $3 each to family members and staff.

About 50 people in total turned up to get ice cream, says Garden Terrace life enrichment co-ordinator Rachael King.

Rachael says one of the big benefits from the Mr. Sundae visit was the social aspect. She says ice cream proved to be a great tool to get residents chatting amongst themselves and meeting new people.

“It was really nice, we had some social time, I got to chat with a lot of the residents, and the residents got to mix and mingle, so it was great that they had time to chat with each other,” she tells The OMNIway.

A photo booth was set up by team members for the day; however, due to the cool weather, most people decided to enjoy their ice cream indoors.

And, of course, visiting an ice cream truck was one last chance to hold on to summer.

“Someone said it was too cold (for ice cream), but one of the residents said, ‘I’ll have ice cream any time of the year,’ ” Rachael says, noting she agrees with this sentiment.

“I think ice cream is something people can enjoy even in the coldest of weather.”

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Riverview Manor among Peterborough LTC homes to receive additional funding to increase staffing, hours of care

Riverview Manor is one of five long-term care homes in the Peterborough-Kawartha riding to receive a portion of a $3.1-million investment from the Ontario government to boost staffing levels and increase direct care to residents for the remainder of the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Additionally, Riverview Manor will receive $2,116,320 annually more than the home currently receives in funding by 2024-25 as part of an investment package of $18,043,200 earmarked for the riding, Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith said at an Oct. 20 announcement in Peterborough.

As a result of this funding, the province says the hours of direct care residents receive will increase from an average of two hours and 45 minutes per day to three hours for the remainder of this fiscal year.

By 2024-25, residents can expect an average of four hours of direct care per day, the province says.

Riverview Manor will receive $345,530 to enhance nursing and personal care for residents for the remainder of 2021-22. This, coupled with the funding the home will receive by 2024-25, will help enhance overall care at the home, says Riverview Manor administrator Mary Anne Greco.

Greco said Riverview Manor and OMNI Health Care are thankful to the Ontario government for this investment and that the funding will help bolster staffing levels and improve the care residents receive at the home.

“All of the funding is to be spent directly on nursing, personal care and programs, with any surplus returned to government,” she said.

Smith said the $18,043,200 long-term care homes in Peterborough-Kawartha will receive by 2024-25 “will hire thousands of new nurses, personal support workers, attendants and physiotherapists for homes across our community.

“Our seniors will see four hours of direct care every day by our hardworking health-care professionals,” he said.

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Frost Manor LEAs’ creativity delivers a memorable Thanksgiving to residents

‘Thanksgiving was really a team event, and the LEAs did a great job’

Amy Whitehead is commending Frost Manor life enrichment aides (LEAs) for tapping into their creativity to help deliver a fun and engaging Thanksgiving to the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home’s residents.

Amy, Frost Manor’s life enrichment co-ordinator, says LEAs Sarah Thayer, Taylor Davies and Amanda Pendrith each brought their own talents to the table in the days leading up to the Thanksgiving weekend to create activities and programs that helped make the holiday memorable.

For instance, Sarah made a turkey out of construction paper and attached it to a wall where each month the life enrichment team creates a mural as part of a theme.

On Thanksgiving Day, Taylor encouraged residents to write something they are thankful for on the turkey’s feathers.

“The whole feathered area of the turkey now has all the things residents could think of that they are thankful for written on them, and some of them were really cute,” Amy tells The OMNIway.

“Some of them said bingo, and lots of them were about being here, having great food, and having great staff.”

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, Amanda led an activity where residents made centrepieces. Each table had a centrepiece that was made by residents waiting for them when they sat down to enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner.

“Thanksgiving was really a team event, and the LEAs did a great job,” Amy says.

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A thank-you to staff for vaccine campaign’s success

As we enter the final quarter of 2021, COVID-19 remains at the forefront of Canada’s collective mind, and we are now, by most estimations, in the fourth wave of the pandemic.

At OMNI Health Care, the good news is how well the pandemic has been managed by our 18 long-term care homes in 2021. This is largely due to the availability of vaccines since the start of the year and the exceptionally high rate of immunization amongst our resident population.

The people working on the front lines in OMNI homes have played an important part in this success. Their contributions to this year’s vaccine campaign cannot be understated.

When inoculations for COVID-19 became available to long-term-care home residents at the start of the year, staff members were educated about the vaccines and shared information about the science supporting their effectiveness with residents and their families.

This resulted in large-scale vaccine support and a 90-plus-per-cent vaccination rate in our homes, with many homes having nearly all eligible residents immunized against the highly contagious COVID-19 virus.

Staff members also worked tirelessly this year to organize in-house vaccine clinics, and they have collaborated with public health units to ensure seamless delivery of the vaccines to our homes.

Additionally, OMNI, along with a number of other Ontario long-term care operators, has made vaccinations mandatory for all staff members effective Oct. 15.

The Ontario government has subsequently issued a vaccine mandate for people working in all long-term care homes in the province.

Health-care experts across the board have stressed that vaccines are the best tool we have for preventing COVID-19 infection and for minimizing the impact of the virus in people who still become infected.

With a high vaccination rate amongst residents and staff, new directives from the Ministry of Long-Term Care and the hard work of team members working in OMNI long-term care homes, residents have continued to enjoy a high quality of life, despite the challenges that have come with the pandemic.

Keeping residents’ quality of life high is our greatest measure of success.

Still, we cannot lose sight of the fact the pandemic is not over, and we will remain diligent in keeping residents safe while keeping their quality of life high.

A huge thank-you to all staff members is in order for continuously maintaining this balance.

Local elementary school students make Thanksgiving gifts for Riverview residents

‘I am very proud of the students for their hard work and care they put into the project’

Riverview Manor residents were surprised to find gifts waiting for them at Thanksgiving, and what they received made the holiday extra special for them.

Grade 2 and 3 students at St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School in Douro created Thanksgiving artwork and letters that were sent to residents at the Peterborough long-term care home.

The artwork the children created had Thanksgiving motifs, such as cornucopias filled with harvested vegetables and, of course, turkeys. The artwork was accompanied by letters students wrote to residents.

The idea for the project came from Nick McIlwain, a personal support worker at Riverview Manor, and his wife.

Nick and his wife spoke with a teacher they know at St. Joseph’s about the project, and the teacher got on board with the idea.

The students created the artwork and wrote the letters as part of a segment of their religion program that focuses on doing charitable work and supporting social justice.

Nick has seen first hand the benefits children can bring to residents and the benefits residents can bring to children.

Up until the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, Nick’s two children would visit Riverview Manor during special holidays, bringing cards with them they would make for residents.

Nick says the residents “really enjoyed seeing our children” and the experience was also rewarding to Nick’s son and daughter, “who have been taught the importance of building relationships based on kindness and respect,” Nick says.

Residents were so pleased with their gifts at Thanksgiving that residents’ council president Peter Bascan thanked Nick for his part in getting the project off the ground.

Nick hands credit to the students for their work.

“I am very proud of the students for their hard work and care they put into the project,” he says.

“The residents were very happy to receive picture boxes and little books from the children,” he says.

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Garden Terrace Apple Fest proves to be a ‘fruitful’ way to start autumn

LEA Dakota Lynch created the program, which centred on apple pies and a fall-inspired craft

With summer coming to an end and autumn on the horizon, a Garden Terrace team member was recently inspired to create a fall-themed program to engage the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home’s residents.

Life enrichment aide Dakota Lynch came up with the idea to organize Apple Fest to celebrate the coming autumn season. She decided to focus the event on two things the fall season is known for: trees losing their leaves and apples.

On Sept. 8, the residents were treated to Apple Fest. The life enrichment team provided residents with apple pies and apple cider which everyone enjoyed.

Garden Terrace life enrichment co-ordinator Rachael King says Apple Fest proved to be the perfect way to launch the fall season.

“We wanted to kick off fall with apple pies and apple cider,” she tells The OMNIway.

After their apple pie and cider, about 15 residents broke into groups and made an autumn-themed craft: fall trees made from tissue paper.

Once the trees were complete, residents hung their creations on their doors as seasonal ornaments.

Rachael commends Dakota for coming up with a program idea that proved to be meaningful for residents.

“She thought it would be a cool idea to have Apple Fest for the residents, and the residents really enjoyed the day,” she says.

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West Lake Terrace becomes the Magic Kingdom for a day

Life enrichment team creates an engaging Disney-themed day for residents

You know you have a great job when you can engage your personal interests and hobbies at work.

That’s just what West Lake Terrace life enrichment co-ordinator Janie Denard discovered recently when she and the life enrichment team at the Prince Edward County long-term care home organized a Disney-themed day for residents.

Janie, who describes herself as “a huge Disney fan,” got to share her love of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Buzz Lightyear and other Disney characters on Sept. 29 with residents and other staff members.

Janie and life enrichment aide Elaine Goheen came in early that day to decorate the dining room with Disney-themed decorations, movie posters and balloons.

Many staff members came to work dressed in Disney-themed costumes, and residents were given Mickey and Minnie Mouse ears to wear.

All the residents got into the spirit of the day, Janie says.

“Every single one of them walked around with the ears on all day,” she tells The OMNIway. “The staff were fantastic, too. The residents love seeing the staff dress up.”

Residents enjoyed a pizza lunch that was inspired by the Pizza Planet scene from Toy Story 3. There were also lots of conversations about Disney movies that “brought back lots of memories” for residents, Janie notes.

“They were talking about how they remembered taking their kids to the drive-in and seeing movies like The Fox and the Hound, or the first time they saw a Disney movie, so it was a good day,” Janie says.

In the afternoon, Janie set up a projector and screen to give residents a virtual tour of the Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Florida, a landmark she has visited many times.

Janie gave residents a presentation on Disney World and shared some little-known information about the famed international resort – like, for instance, how Walt Disney in the mid-1960s secretly bought the property where Disney World would eventually be built.

“The residents really enjoyed that,” Janie says.

As a result of Janie’s presentation, residents are now keen to take other virtual tours, so the life enrichment team is looking at other opportunities.

“Some residents wanted to see the Eiffel Tower and the pyramids of Egypt, so this has spawned ideas for different activities that residents would like to do, so I think we’re going to do some world travelling soon,” Janie says.

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Fore! Streamway golf program combines fun with physical and cognitive benefits

Some of our residents were regular golfers, so they enjoy a good golfing afternoon’

Summer may be over, but Streamway Villa residents are still getting the occasional round of golf in at the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home.

An activity that merges fun with therapeutic recreation, the golf program led by the Streamway Villa life enrichment team is held regularly in the home’s courtyard.

As part of the program, team members set up a strip of green turf with a hole at the end. Residents take turns stepping up to the “tee box” with a putter and try to putt the ball – which is larger than a regulation-size golf ball – into the hole.

Laurie Kracht, Streamway Villa’s life enrichment co-ordinator, says the activity is a fan favourite amongst residents and the program has a strong turnout when it’s offered.

She credits this to the fact many people enjoy playing golf.

“Some of our residents were regular golfers, so they enjoy a good golfing afternoon,” she tells The OMNIway.

Aside from the fun residents have playing on the Streamway Villa “golf course,” the activity also harnesses important cognitive and physical benefits, Laurie notes.

“(Golfing) brings back memories, it works on hand-eye co-ordination, it works on balance, and it brings out the competition in everyone,” she says.

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Two OMNI homes win prizes for videos highlighting the Residents’ Bill of Rights

Burnbrae Gardens and Village Green will receive $50 Tim Hortons gift cards from the OARC

Two OMNI Health Care long-term care homes have won prize draws for videos they created highlighting the 27 rights listed in the Residents’ Bill of Rights as part of a contest organized by the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils (OARC).

Burnbrae Gardens and Village Green will be receiving $50 Tim Hortons gift cards which both homes will be using to host doughnut parties for residents.

A third OMNI home, West Lake Terrace, received an honourable mention on the OARC website for the video residents and team members submitted.

The OARC challenged Ontario long-term care homes to work with residents to create videos to teach others about the Residents’ Bill of Rights during Residents’ Council Week, which ran Sept. 13-19.

In the video submitted by Burnbrae Gardens, residents are wearing T-shirts listing the 27 rights. Each T-shirt is embossed with two residents’ rights – one on the front and one on the back. Residents had their photos taken wearing the T-shirts, and the photos were made into a slideshow accompanied by music.

Resident Jeannine LeClerc, who is fluent in French, provided a translation in the video for every resident right.

“Residents were super excited to know that they will receive a Tim Hortons recognition party for all their hard work in putting this video together,” Burnbrae Gardens administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) April Faux tells The OMNIway.

April says the prize is a bonus for a project everyone found rewarding to create.

“To be honest, we had so much fun as a group making this video that the gift card we received was just an extra little reward on top of the fun and laughter we had putting it all together,” she says.

The video created by Village Green features the Greater Napanee long-term care home’s residents and team members reading the residents’ rights.

In some segments, Village Green residents and staff members act out residents’ rights so viewers can see examples of residents’ rights in action.

Village Green LEC Ulana Orrick says residents were overjoyed when they learned they would be having a doughnut party thanks to their work on the video.

Ulana says when she asked residents how they felt about being recognized for their work, the most common reply was “I feel proud.”

“Our residents were thrilled to be one of the winning homes, and we will be having a party soon to celebrate with our Tim Hortons Gift card,” she says.

“This was such a great way for residents to express themselves and to feel some ownership of their home.”

The video created by West Lake Terrace, called Through Our Eyes Bringing the Residents’ Bill of Rights Alive, features a slideshow of residents and team members holding cards with each residents’ right explained as a rendition of the Beatles’ In My Life plays.

Click here to watch the Burnbrae Gardens video.

Click here to watch the Village Green video.

Click here to watch the West Lake Terrace video.

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Prom night comes to Garden Terrace

When it was discovered that some residents never attended prom, team members organized a special event

After several Garden Terrace residents mentioned they had not gone to their high school prom, the life enrichment team decided to create a prom night for them on Sept. 22.

“We thought it would be a fun idea to bring prom to Garden Terrace,” says Rachael King, the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

The event was a chance for residents who didn’t attend their prom to experience something new; for residents who did attend prom, it was an opportunity to reminisce about fond memories, Rachael says.

Residents got dressed up, and the life enrichment team worked with the ladies to apply makeup, curl hair and put on jewelry, she adds.

Some residents asked other residents to be their date.

A major highlight of the event was the voting for prom king and prom queen. After votes were counted, John Koiste was elected prom king and Eleni-Sahie Woldemariam received the honour of being prom queen.

Additionally, certificates of recognition were handed out to each resident attending the prom. The certificates were awarded to residents for a variety of attributes, including best bingo player and nicest smile.

Like with any prom, there was lots of dancing, Rachael notes.

“Many residents knew some dance moves from years ago – like the twist – and that was nice to see because many of them are great dancers,” she says.

At the end of the prom, residents got to have their photos taken in front of the Garden Terrace prom sign team members made.

There was a strong social aspect to the Garden Terrace prom, which, says Rachael, was an added benefit.

“There was lots of mingling, and a lot of the residents got to meet people they didn’t know,” she says.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Garden Terrace prom queen and king Eleni-Sahie Woldemariam and John Koiste are pictured here during the prom event the home hosted on Sept. 22.