Sylvia Sanders named Pleasant Meadow’s Inspired Leader

‘She is the glue that holds our home together,’ says colleague who nominated her

If there’s one thing Pleasant Meadow Manor office manager Sylvia Sanders does well it’s keeping everything at the Norwood long-term care home running like a proverbial well-oiled machine.

It’s for this reason that Susan Towns, Pleasant Meadow Manor’s clinical care/RAI co-ordinator, nominated Sanders for the home’s Inspired Leader award.

“She is the glue that holds our home together,” Towns says of Sanders.

In her nomination to OMNI Health Care home office, Towns cited Sanders’ key strengths. Her organizational skills, Towns says, are top-notch and, in her role as office manager, she ensures the home is staffed in all areas, and also offers “insightful discussion” in situations where different points of view are needed.

“She can handle any situation that arises, staying calm, cool and collected at all times, and I can’t imagine the home without her,” Towns says.

Another important strength Sanders brings to the table is her strong ability to communicate, Towns says.

“She’s a great communicator — she has a way of communicating with people that makes them understand things from a different point of view,” she says.

OMNI Health Care’s Inspired Leader award is presented to staff members from each of OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes. The accolade recognizes people who demonstrate outstanding leadership and dedication to their work. This year’s Inspired Leader awards were presented at OMNI’s managers’ forum at Fern Resort in Orillia in early May.

Sanders is the only office manager to receive an Inspired Leader award this year. Towns says the leadership role office managers play in a long-term care home is largely behind the scenes, so their work might sometimes go unnoticed.

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.

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On the hunt for a fun intergenerational experience

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Pleasant Meadow Manor hosts 10th annual Easter celebration

Friday, April 25, 2014 — Lisa Bailey

Residents, staff members and their families found more than sweet treats at Pleasant Meadow Manor on Easter weekend.

There was also fun and fellowship for the Norwood long-term care home’s extended family, as they enjoyed the 10th annual Easter egg hunt.

“Easter is one of those occasions that is family time,” life enrichment co-ordinator Chris Garden says.

Balancing the deep and serious meaning of Easter with something light and appealing like the egg hunt engages all generations.

“It’s nice to have something where the kids are getting involved and excited and the adults are watching them have fun,” Garden says. “It just brings everybody together as one big family because after the hunt everybody gathers in different areas of the home and has their visit.

“So even if residents can’t get out to their families’ homes for Easter dinner, they’re still part of an Easter celebration,” Garden says.

Before the hunt, held on the sunny Saturday morning of April 19, residents helped staff members place treats inside plastic eggs that were then hidden around the grounds of Pleasant Meadow Manor, also with the help of residents.

Using the plastic eggs makes it easy for residents to participate, and reusing the eggs year after year is cost-conscious and environmentally-friendly, Garden says.

She initiated the Easter egg hunt so staff and their families could engage in an activity at the home and come together with residents for an intergenerational experience.

Approximately 30 youngsters, including residents’ and staff members’ grandchildren and great-grandchildren, participated in this year’s hunt.

“The residents just love watching the kids run amok,” Garden says. “They laugh because it takes so long to hide the eggs and it only takes maybe 10 minutes for them to be all scooped up.”

Garden, who brought her son and baby grandson to the event, says it’s also a chance for residents to see staff members outside of their caregiving role, as members of a family. “We talk about our kids and grandkids with residents all the time so it’s nice for them to be able to put faces to the kids,” Garden says.

“It makes it feel like even more of an extended family.”

Also present at the Easter egg hunt was the Easter Bunny, who had his photo taken with many people.

Seeing him, along with other longstanding Easter symbols, was also particularly special for residents with cognitive challenges. Garden saw them light up, indicative perhaps of a memory or something familiar. “It’s great to see that recognition,” Garden says.

Now that it’s become a much-anticipated tradition, the Pleasant Meadow Manor Easter egg hunt is likely to continue. Garden notes it continued even when she went to Maplewood, another OMNI home, for two years.

“Staff made sure it kept going,” she says, expressing gratitude for their effort and pledging to keep it going

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 Manor gives kudos to volunteers

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Home hosts luncheon as part of National Volunteer Week

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

From sharing the joy of music to maintaining long-standing friendships, volunteers are an integral part of the fabric at Pleasant Meadow Manor.

The 61-bed Norwood long-term care home is grateful for its crew of 25 volunteers and is hosting an April 8 luncheon in honour of the men and women who give generously.

Resident Jerry Farrow, president of the home’s residents’ council, will speak at the event.
“I will welcome them and thank them for volunteering,” Farrow tells the OMNIway.

“It’s very good of them to volunteer their time.”
 
April 6-12 is National Volunteer Week. The week is set aside to “recognize, celebrate and thank Canada’s 13.3 million volunteers.”

At Pleasant Meadow Manor, residents enjoy numerous benefits from having volunteers in the home, says life enrichment co-ordinator Chris Garden. Volunteers run bible studies, help residents with Bingo, visit one-on-one and pitch in with special events ranging from outings to the home’s bazaar.

“They can be there for the residents when the staff can’t be,” Garden says, noting residents outnumber employees.

She says the home appreciates having extra hands helping with activities and people with different skill-sets present. For instance, one volunteer plays the piano for residents.

“We have other volunteers who have known the residents for a really long time. It’s a small community and this is their way of staying connected to friends who are now residents and vice versa.”

During the luncheon, resident Jack Pryne, a former official volunteer at the home who still pitches in, is being celebrated with the rest of the volunteers.

Garden is weaving a meeting into the luncheon and taking the opportunity to update the volunteer handbook that is part of the new life enrichment manual from home office.

The home will treat volunteers to lasagna, Caesar salad, garlic bread, fruit and cake.

“It’s nice to recognize them and say thank you,” Garden says. “We do appreciate them and recognize they’re doing this out of the goodness of their hearts.”
 
If you have feedback on this article or a story idea to share, please e-mail Natalie@axiomnews.ca or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051.

Springdale families applauded for helping form councils at other homes

Pleasant Meadow

Pleasant Meadow Manor LEC attests to the difference a supportive philosophy makes

Monday, March 31, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Pleasant Meadow Manor life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Chris Garden is applauding the Springdale Country Manor family council for helping families at her home establish their own council.

The LEC adds that the Springdale Country Manor group has a clear message they pass on to family members at other long-term care homes: family councils should exist to support staff members, not find fault.

By being supportive of staff members, family councils can help enhance a home’s atmosphere, Garden says. It’s a philosophy she says has made a difference at the Norwood long-term care home.

“Staff members are happier; they work together better, they’re there for the residents more, the home just flows better,” Garden says. “This makes a huge difference.”

Garden adds that with a supportive atmosphere, staff members work together better as a team, as opposed to working in individual “silos.”

“Everybody is happier,” says Garden, adding the Springdale families have come to Norwood twice to help her home’s council.

The OMNIway recently spoke with Springdale Country Manor family council chair Carol Delahey about the success the family council — whose members prefer to call a “family circle” — has had spreading its message to other long-term care homes in the Peterborough area.

To help promote a supportive culture in long-term care homes, the Springdale Country Manor families also share the initiatives they undertake, such as the Guardian Angels program, which sees staff members who go above and beyond for residents.

Delahey says the rationale behind creating a supportive atmosphere is simple.

“If we want the residents to be happy, we have to have happy staff members,” she says.

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

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

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.

Pleasant Meadow cheers on as Canadian women take gold

People at Pleasant Meadow Manor are seen here celebrating after the Canadian women won gold in hockey.

People at Pleasant Meadow Manor are seen here celebrating after the Canadian women won gold in hockey.

Home making the most of a big day for Canada at Winter Games

Friday, February 21, 2014 — Deron Hamel

It was all hoots and hollers at Pleasant Meadow Manor on Thursday afternoon as residents and staff members watched Team Canada beat Team USA 3-2 to win the gold medal for the fourth consecutive time in the Winter Olympics.

But the celebrations had actually started earlier in the day, when the Canadian women’s curling team took the gold medal in a match against Sweden.

Many of the Norwood long-term care home’s residents and staff members were decked out in red-and-white maple leaf shirts, hats and rub-on tattoos as they cheered the Canadian ladies to victory in hockey and curling.

Canadian flags adorned the home in celebration of the day. Some residents attached flags to their wheelchairs and walkers. During Thursday’s events, residents and staff members gathered around the TV, while others participated in activities, including a floor-hockey game.

It was a tight hockey game that ended in overtime when Marie-Philip Poulin scored to ensure Team Canada’s victory.

Residents had a blast, says life enrichment co-ordinator Chris Garden.

“They’re loving it; they think this is great,” she says. “They’ve been parading around the home with their little flags and all of them were cheering.”

The rivalry between Canadian and U.S. hockey isn’t over. Team Canada and Team USA face off today in the semifinal round of the men’s ice-hockey tournament. The winner will advance to the gold-medal match on Sunday.

And you can bet everyone at Pleasant Meadow Manor and OMNI Health Care’s other 17 long-term care homes will be watching.

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

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

Supportive Measures key to preventing unwanted advances: administrator

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Pleasant Meadow Manor would turn first to OMNI’s proven program

Wednesday, February 5, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Although Pleasant Meadow Manor has not had incidents of residents making unwanted sexual advances on other residents, administrator and director of care Sandra Tucker says staff members would look first to a tried and proven intervention — Supportive Measures — if they occurred.

A core OMNI Health Care program, Supportive Measures is aimed at developing an individualized approach to care. It also utilizes individual interventions to identify the causes of anxiety and agitation and enact processes to help residents feel calm and secure in their home.

Tucker says if an incident of unwanted sexual advances occurred at the Norwood long-term care home, a staff member would approach the resident making the advances and redirect them using tools from the Supportive Measures program.

For example, the staff member might approach the resident and start talking about a subject of interest to change their focus. Or a staff member might suggest the resident join them for a walk.

However, if a situation arose involving two consenting residents and there was no objection from the residents’ power of attorney (POA), Tucker says staff members would not interfere — after all, this is the residents’ home and they have the right to pursue relationships.

Tucker underscores that residents’ rights must remain top of mind.

“We work at the residents’ home; they don’t live at our work,” she says. “If there are two consenting adults wishing to have a relationship, who are we to interfere with that?”

If a POA objected to this — for example, if the incident involved a resident with a spouse living outside the home — staff members would accommodate the POA’s wishes.

The OMNIway is taking a closer look at sexuality and safety in long-term care. Through a series of stories, interviews and videos, Axiom News is exploring the rights, risks and regulations related to the issue of sexuality and safety.

Stay tuned to the OMNIway for stories unpacking these issues.

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 call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Pleasant Meadow flu-vaccination campaign rolling along

Most residents, staff members receive immunization

November 13, 2013 — Deron Hamel

Almost all of the 61 residents and about 80 per cent of staff members at Pleasant Meadow Manor have received the flu shot this year as

Getting the vaccination is especially important for residents 65 and older

Getting the vaccination is especially important for residents 65 and older. Creative Commons photo.

part of OMNI Health Care’s corporate-wide vaccination campaign.

Pleasant Meadow Manor registered nurse Shelley Vandenberg says all the residents who have consented to the vaccination have received the flu shot and the campaign is ongoing at the Norwood long-term care home.

Each year at this time OMNI Health Care’s 17 long-term care homes embark on the vaccination campaign as part of the effort to keep homes free of the flu. The program is important to any home’s infection prevention and control program and helps keep outbreaks ay bay, says Vandenberg.

“It’s not going to always stop people from getting sick, but (the vaccination) is going to make it less severe,” Vandenberg says.

Vandenberg says flu vaccinations are especially important for seniors living in long-term care homes.

“As with any medication there are pros and cons, but (with the flu vaccination) the pros far outweigh the cons as far as I’m concerned, especially for people who are vulnerable already,” the RN says.

The Health Canada website underscores the importance of influenza vaccinations and infection prevention.

“The most effective way to protect yourself from the flu is to be vaccinated each year in the fall,” the site says. “Regular hand-washing is another way to help minimize your risk. By washing your hands often, you will reduce your chance of becoming infected.”

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

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

Cruise night proves to be valuable fundraising, community engagement event

norwood_carshow

Pleasant Meadow Manor recently hosted a cruise night that saw 23 classic cars stop by the Norwood long-term care home.

Life enrichment worker’s first crack at event organizing pays off for Pleasant Meadow

October 1, 2013 — Deron Hamel

Life enrichment worker Tiffany Martell was recently at a car show and fundraiser in Warsaw, Ont., when she got an idea — why not do the same thing at Pleasant Meadow Manor?

She brought the idea to her manager, life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Chris Garden, who supported it, and on Sept. 18 the Norwood Cruisers brought 23 classic and antique cars and three motorcycles to the home for residents, their families, staff members and people from the community to enjoy.

The event, which Martell organized, was also used as a fundraiser for residents’ council. A barbecue, 50-50 draw and a silent auction raised a whopping $1,662 in just a few hours.

Garden attributes much of the event’s success to planning — and advertising. Her husband, who works as a mechanic in Norwood, spread the word to customers, and Martell created posters advertising the event. Even the local branch of the Royal Canadian Legion helped advertise the event, as did staff members, volunteers and families.

“The night was great; it was a huge success . . . and there was a great teamwork approach to make it happen,” Garden tells the OMNIway.

Garden also commends Martell for coming up with the idea and making it work.

“Tiffany did an awesome job,” says the LEC, adding it was Martell’s first time organizing a large event at the home.

Garden notes the event was successful in two ways. First, the money it raised for residents’ council will go towards meaningful programming. Secondly, there’s an important engagement aspect — the event brought Norwood residents to the home and proved itself once again to be a central spot in the community.

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

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