Ides of March celebration takes residents back to ancient Rome

Residents and staff mark March 15 by acting out a day in the life of Romans

Pleasant Meadow Manor became an arm of the Roman Empire on March 15 when the Norwood, Ont. long-term care home’s residents and staff members celebrated the Ides of March.

The Ides of March was the day in ancient Rome marking the deadline for settling debts, but it became more famous as the day Roman dictator Julius Caesar was assassinated in 44 BC.

In honour of this day, Pleasant Meadow Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Kim Williams and her team organized an Ides of March party, which saw everyone dress up in togas and enjoy foods popular in the Mediterranean region, including mozzarella and feta cheeses, olives, cherry tomatoes, Italian flatbread crackers and grapes.

The snacks were washed down with non-alcoholic wine and grape juice.

The life enrichment staff shared famous quotes by Julius Caesar. The residents donned togas and became Julius Caesar or Roman goddesses to have their pictures taken in front of the Roman columns team members created for a backdrop.

“I was looking to do something different with the residents and came up with the idea of celebrating March 15th and the Ides of March,” Kim tells The OMNIway.

“The residents really enjoyed themselves and got quite a chuckle with the staff costumes and when they dressed up. One gentleman was quite impressed with his picture, exclaiming, ‘now that’s a handsome picture of me.’ ”

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured above, Pleasant Meadow Manor resident Frank Bischof plays Julius Caesar as “life enrichment goddesses” Emily Gerow (left) and Sheila Fleury feed him grapes during a celebration of the Ides of March.

Dietary team member working towards next step in career path at Pleasant Meadow

Jessica Arscott has gone from working as a PSW to working in dietary and is now taking courses to help her one day become a nutritional care manager

Pleasant Meadow Manor team member Jessica Arscott is setting her sights on the next step in her 20-year career in long-term care.

While Jessica has spent most of her career working as a personal support worker (PSW), she’s now working in the nutritional care department at the Norwood, Ont. long-term care home and is taking courses to help her gain the skills needed to eventually become a nutritional care manager (NCM).

Jessica made the switch to the dietary department after an injury forced her to change duties. But Jessica’s years working as a PSW resulted in a strong connection with residents and she “didn’t want to lose the rapport with them,” she says.

The skills Jessica is learning through the online course she’s taking through CHA Learning are providing her with the knowledge she will need as an NCM.

“Taking on the education and hopefully the role of the nutritional care manager just gives me a different way to care for the residents; it gives me a different option to make sure that their needs are met,” Jessica tells The OMNIway.

“Right now I’m working in dietary, exploring the different shifts and learning the different responsibilities, and it has been nice because there is so much that I had no idea about relative to residents’ diets.”

For example, when Jessica worked as a PSW, she says she knew that protein drinks helped promote skin integrity, but she didn’t know how those drinks were made.

“But now I know,” she says.

Jessica also says Pleasant Meadow Manor NCM Judy Schell and Chris Weber, OMNI Health Care’s operations manager of nutrition and food service, have been with her to offer support and guidance.

Working with Judy every day, Jessica adds, has gone a long way in helping her learn about everything the NCM position entails.

“To have a mentor like her, I feel it would be an easy transition into a role like this,” she says.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

PHOTO CAPTION: Pleasant Meadow Manor dietary team member Jessica Arscott is seen here holding a tray of muffins.

Pleasant Meadow cook embraces the creativity that comes with his job

Dean Smith has spent his life working in food services, and it’s LTC where he wants to be

It seems Dean Smith was destined to work in a long-term-care home kitchen.

Dean, who has worked as a cook at Pleasant Meadow Manor for the past two years, says his parents laid the groundwork for his career path – his dad is a butcher, his mother a personal support worker, so he says he’s not surprised to be working a job that marries food services with health care.

“I think a lot of us look up to our parents,” Dean tells The OMNIway.

But Dean also has a strong love of the culinary arts, something he says began in his youth with watching celebrity cooks like Guy Fieri and Bobby Flay on TV.

Dean answered the career call of the food services industry at a young age. He began working in restaurants at 13, starting with busing tables and eventually working his way up to serving as a line cook and sous chef in kitchens.

In 2015, Dean graduated from the culinary management program at Fleming College.

Dean says his favourite aspect of working at Pleasant Meadow Manor is trying out new recipes with the Norwood, Ont. long-term care home’s residents.

While cooks working in long-term-care home nutritional care departments need to follow specific nutritional guidelines, there’s still room for creativity, Dean says.

This, Dean adds, is the aspect of working in the Pleasant Meadow Manor kitchen he likes best.

Dean’s supervisor, nutritional care manager Judy Schell, recently sent The OMNIway an array of photos that illustrate Dean’s talent and versatility when it comes to creative cooking.

Entrées, salads and desserts – all colourfully and creatively plated – speak to the passion Dean has for his work.

Dean says his favourite recipe to prepare for residents is his butter-tart bar, which is essentially a butter tart minus the pastry shell, a dessert that residents have enjoyed.

“It’s great to be able to give the residents something that they maybe haven’t had before,” he says. “And we give residents good quality food.”

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured above are some examples of the meals Dean Smith has created for Pleasant Meadow Manor residents.

Strong teamwork ensured smooth meal service during Pleasant Meadow kitchen rebuild

‘Everyone worked well as a team to make it work’

Pleasant Meadow Manor’s nutritional care manager says strong teamwork among the dietary staff ensured seamless meal service for residents during the months the kitchen was being rebuilt as part of the $25-million redevelopment and expansion project underway at the Norwood, Ont. long-term care home.

Judy Schell is commending nutritional care team members for adapting to the changes that came with having to work in a kitchen that was relocated to trailers adjacent to Pleasant Meadow Manor for a year while a new kitchen was built as part of the renovations.

Judy says the nutritional care team showed “excellent teamwork” during this time and that the goal of delivering seamless meal service to residents was met.

The key to this success, she says, was careful planning and assigning duties to ensure everything was running smoothly. Everyone in the nutritional care department worked together to make sure residents’ food service continued to run smoothly while the kitchen was being operated from the trailers, Judy adds.

“Everyone worked well as a team to make it work. Each person had a specific area to work in and a specific job to do,” Judy tells The OMNIway.

“Everything kept going – it was like people were working separately but they were still working as a team. … There was a lot of pitching in and helping others out, and we have also been doing this throughout the whole pandemic.”

Since November 2020, construction has been underway at Pleasant Meadow Manor to add 34,000 square feet and 35 beds to the home.

When the project began, the home’s kitchen was temporarily relocated to trailers since the former kitchen was part of the area undergoing construction.

While construction continues, a new state-of-the-art kitchen with top-of-the-line equipment recently opened at Pleasant Meadow Manor.

There are four OMNI Health Care long-term care homes currently undergoing redevelopment: Pleasant Meadow Manor, Almonte Country Haven, Country Terrace and Woodland Villa.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

New state-of-the-art kitchen opens at Pleasant Meadow

Residents and team members say the new kitchen and equipment is enhancing food service

Pleasant Meadow Manor has become the first OMNI Health Care long-term care home undergoing redevelopment to have a new kitchen opened.

After a year working in trailers adjacent to the Norwood, Ont. long-term care home during the redevelopment project, nutritional care team members are “loving” the new state-of-the-art kitchen and its amenities, says nutritional care manager Judy Schell.

Judy says the new, roomy kitchen is allowing team members to be better organized and provides “lots more room” for everyone to move around. She adds that the new counters, tables and equipment are making work more efficient for team members.

Among the new equipment are two top-of-the-line “smart ovens” which Judy says are streamlining food preparation, which in turn is enhancing food service for residents.

The ovens, which were created by manufacturer Rational, are computerized and can roast, bake, grill or poach food perfectly, and this has been a huge plus for team members.

“They are loving it,” Judy tells The OMNIway. “Everything is so much quicker.”

Most importantly, the residents are noticing the difference the new ovens are making.

As a testament to the excellent job the ovens do, Judy says residents were recently treated to a roast beef dinner. The meat had been slow-roasted overnight and was a huge hit with everyone, Judy says.

“One of the residents commented that it was the best roast beef she had ever tasted,” Judy says.

The $25-million redevelopment and expansion project at Pleasant Meadow Manor has been underway since November 2020. The project is adding 34,000 square feet and 35 beds to the home.

The project is expected to be completed by December.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

Community pulls together to help make Christmas extra special at Pleasant Meadow

‘The residents were deeply touched by the generosity of the community’

Local charities and citizens of Norwood are getting a huge round of applause from people living and working at Pleasant Meadow Manor for their tremendous generosity during the holiday season.

Thanks to many acts of community kindness, the home was on the receiving end of lots of wrapped presents that were handed out to residents on Christmas Day.

Organizations that delivered presents to the home in December include St. Paul’s Catholic Church, Home Instead, Be A Santa To A Senior (BASTA) and Christmas for Seniors. These groups requested a shopping list of items residents needed before the holiday season.

Pleasant Meadow is also thanking local resident Eryne Somers who, with the help of her daughter, used social media to reach out to the community to ask the citizens of Asphodel-Norwood to contribute gifts so they could meet the goal for their Christmas gift bag drive.

The gifts residents received included various items of clothing, blankets and a wide variety of treats.

In fact, there were so many presents sent to Pleasant Meadow Manor that life enrichment aide Sheila Fleury, who was in charge of handing the gifts out to residents, spent Christmas Day and Boxing Day delivering presents.

Maintenance manager Rick Riel put on a large Santa Claus mask and posed with the gifts that were sent to the home before they were delivered to residents.

Pleasant Meadow Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Kim Williams says the community’s kindness made a big difference to residents during the holiday season.

“The residents were deeply touched by the generosity of the community,” she says.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

Legion’s ladies auxiliary donates $200 to Pleasant Meadow residents’ council

The donation will help fund outings and events this year

The residents of Pleasant Meadow Manor were on the receiving end of an act of kindness that will help make 2022 an enriching year for them when they received an annual donation from the local legion’s ladies auxiliary.

On Dec. 7, the Norwood, Ont. long-term care home’s residents’ council received a $200 cheque from the ladies’ auxiliary of the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 300.

As with all monies donated to the residents’ council, the generous gift from the ladies auxiliary will be used to help pay for events that residents choose, such as outings or entertainment.

Pleasant Meadow Manor residents’ council president Gord Holliday accepted the cheque from Leslie Rogers, the Norwood legion’s ladies’ auxiliary president, who stopped by to make the presentation.

Kim Williams, the life enrichment co-ordinator at Pleasant Meadow Manor, says the home and residents’ council are grateful for the valuable community relationship between the home and the Norwood legion, noting the $200 donation will be put to good use.

“The donation, as always, was greatly appreciated and will be used for future outings,” she says.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

Pleasant Meadow team shows flair for creating safe, in-house ‘outings’ during the pandemic

A virtual museum tour, a fall fair and Oktoberfest were among the ‘trips’ residents safely took in 2021

With safety top of mind during the COVID-19 pandemic, team members at Pleasant Meadow Manor demonstrated a flair in 2021 for creating in-house programs that allowed residents to safely enjoy special events without leaving the comfort of their home.

In June, thanks to a great community connection, residents of the Norwood, Ont. long-term care home were treated to a free virtual tour of the Canadian Canoe Museum that proved to be educational and engaging.

Located in Peterborough, the Canadian Canoe Museum showcases more than 100 canoes and kayaks. The unique museum is dedicated to educating people about the role of the canoe in Canadian history.

During the virtual tour on the home’s smart TV, museum staff explained the different types of canoes on display at the museum. Residents learned about the history of canoes and how they’re made, and everyone had lots of questions after the presentation.

“They had a lot of pertinent questions that the staff were more than happy to answer, and it showed that they really were engaged during the whole tour,” said Pleasant Meadow Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Kim Williams.

For many Pleasant Meadow residents, the Norwood Fall Fair is a favourite annual tradition and one that brings back lots of fond memories.

Every autumn, residents and staff members attend the fall fair, but due to the pandemic, the event has been cancelled the past two years.

This, however, did not stop residents from enjoying a version of the autumn tradition that was created at the home by team members.

On Oct. 12, staff decorated the activity room with a midway filled with games and stuffed animals – such as a pony, pig, “the world’s smallest rooster,” a turkey and a buffalo.

Residents could take a “pony ride” through one area set up to resemble a barn. After their tour looking at the animals, residents could join in on the games being offered.

“The residents really enjoyed the day and had a lot of laughs,” Kim said. “We had residents who usually don’t enjoy going to programs come out and enjoy the afternoon.”

Another fall tradition the Pleasant Meadow team created for residents was Oktoberfest.

In late September, the activity room was turned into a Bavarian beer hall. Team members donned lederhosen and served sausage rolls along with freshly baked pretzels a local supermarket bakery made especially for residents.

Residents were also served non-alcoholic beer, root beer and other varieties of pop as well as some sweet treats.

It was also a time to reminisce and share stories, Kim noted.

“With Oktoberfest music playing in the background, we learned all about Oktoberfest, and the residents shared their stories of Oktoberfest,” Kim said.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

Pumpkin carving and a party marked Halloween at Pleasant Meadow

Halloween festivities at Pleasant Meadow Manor started on Oct. 28 with residents carving pumpkins and ended with a party on Oct. 31 that was made possible by quick-thinking staff.

Three days before Halloween, residents at the Norwood, Ont. long-term care home showed their artistic side by carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns that were put on display.

A party that included costumes, trivia, games and music was planned for Halloween on Oct. 31; however, the entertainer who was scheduled to perform had to cancel at the last minute.

Luckily, quick-thinking life enrichment staff came up with a backup plan for the party.

“They had vintage Halloween music from YouTube playing in the background while (residents) played Halloween trivia,” Pleasant Meadow Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Kim Williams tells The OMNIway.

With the music problem solved, the party was able to continue.

After the games and trivia, residents and staff members – dressed in their Halloween costumes – enjoyed refreshments that included cookies and cupcakes decorated with Halloween themes along with warm apple cider.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

Oktoberfest comes to Pleasant Meadow

Life enrichment team organizes an in-home version of the famous Bavarian festival for residents

When Pleasant Meadow Manor residents came to the activity room on Sept. 28 they discovered it had been turned into a German beer hall.

With the arrival of autumn, the life enrichment team at the Norwood, Ont. long-term care home seized the opportunity to bring some additional fun and laughter to residents by organizing an Oktoberfest party.

Oktoberfest is an annual celebration of beer and Bavarian culture that dates back to the early 1800s in Munich. Oktoberfest celebrations are held every autumn across the globe and feature music, food and, of course, beer.

Team members donned lederhosen and served sausage rolls along with freshly baked pretzels a local supermarket bakery made especially for residents, says life enrichment co-ordinator Kim Williams.

Residents were also served non-alcoholic beer, root beer and other varieties of pop as well as some sweet treats and various kinds of brownies.

It was also a time to reminisce and share stories, Kim notes.

“With Oktoberfest music playing in the background, we learned all about Oktoberfest, and the residents shared their stories of Oktoberfest,” she says.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.