Riverview resident Dorothy Bourne celebrates 101st birthday

The Riverview Manor team recently helped the Peterborough long-term care home’s most senior resident, Dorothy Bourne, celebrate her 101st birthday with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

On Dec. 1, the Riverview team organized a safe outdoor celebration to mark Dorothy’s birthday. Dorothy, who was warmly bundled up, and her family members, who all wore face masks, gathered under the gazebo in the home’s courtyard to celebrate.

Adam Wicklum, a life enrichment aide at Riverview Manor, says some of Dorothy’s family members had not seen her since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March.

“Two of her five children were there and they haven’t seen her since pre-COVID, so that was pretty special for them,” he says.

Once everyone was together, Dorothy’s family sang Happy Birthday and lit sparklers in her honour.

There was some additional fanfare for Dorothy as well, Adam notes.

“The family also had a big birthday sign on the lawn in front of her window,” he says.

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Small interventions can make a big difference to residents during pandemic

Riverview Manor BSO team shares some of its tools and ideas

Since the global COVID-19 pandemic began in March, the Riverview Manor Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team has been providing interventions to enhance quality of life for residents affected by cognitive impairment.

Often, these interventions are small things but they appeal to residents’ strengths and interests and keep their spirits high during what has been a challenging time.

At the beginning of the pandemic, one of the interventions BSO team members put in place was signage in residents’ rooms that let residents know they were safe and that their loved ones knew where they were.

“They were constant reminders for the residents to see for when staff members were not around, and that helped a lot,” explains registered practical nurse and Riverview Manor BSO team lead Becky Dennie.

Montessori kits, which include activities that reflect residents’ interests, have also been used since the pandemic began.

Recently, a new activity kit has been designed by the BSO team especially for new residents as well as for residents who are returning to the home from hospital and must go into isolation as a safety precaution.

The activities in the kit include clothespin matching, cutlery sorting, colouring activities, cards and sewing materials.

These are all items that can be easily sanitized between each use, explains personal support worker and BSO team member Karlie Phillips.

“We are hoping this will work well and that the staff will set this up with the residents to keep them busy as much as possible,” she says.

BSO is a provincial initiative that’s enhancing quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that can 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.

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Province approves 32 additional beds for the new Riverview Manor

The new funding will increase the size of the rebuilt home in Peterborough’s north end from 160 to 192 beds

The news keeps getting better for Riverview Manor residents – both present and future.

The province recently announced it has approved funding for another 32 beds to add to the 36 new beds that were promised in December 2018 for the rebuilt Peterborough long-term care home.

Riverview Manor’s current location on Water Street has 124 beds. Construction on the new Riverview Manor, which will be nearby on Langton Street in Peterborough’s north end, will likely start in 2021 and will take about two years to build.

During a virtual press conference on Nov. 20, Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith said the additional 32 beds Riverview Manor will receive will improve access for people in the region who require long-term care.

“Our seniors deserve quality care in the communities they live in,” he said.

“This is why today’s announcement of more new beds is so important. We are working to reduce wait times and meet the needs of our aging population now and in the future.”

Once completed, the new Riverview Manor will be a state-of-the-art long-term care home offering residents a wide range of modern amenities.

Some of the new Riverview Manor’s features will include wider hallways, more home-like dining and lounge spaces, and privacy for residents will be improved by having only one- and two-bed rooms.

The new Class A home will surround a spacious courtyard, complete with a walking loop paved with an “elder-friendly surface,” patio seating and a sandbox for visiting children to enjoy.

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Riverview front-line team receiving care packages as thanks for work during pandemic

MaryEllen Hearns has been distributing gifts to Riverview Manor and other Peterborough LTC homes to show her support and gratitude

Riverview Manor front-line team members have been on the receiving end of some community kindness recently.

Peterborough resident MaryEllen Hearns has been putting together care packages for front-line staff members at Riverview Manor and other long-term care homes in the area to show support for the work they’re doing to keep residents safe during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

MaryEllen collects donations to create the care packages and puts the name of sponsors on each bag that gets dropped off at long-term care homes, explains Riverview Manor registered practical nurse Becky Dennie.

Inside the care packages are items that include popcorn, protein bars, bottles of premium water, energy drinks, vitamin C tablets, lotion and gift cards.

Inspired by a friend in northern Ontario who was putting together care packages for long-term care homes, MaryEllen called Riverview Manor in August and offered to put together care packages to bring to front-line staff members.

MaryEllen has been distributing care packages throughout the Peterborough area. At the time of this writing, she has distributed 56 care packages to Riverview Manor, and the home will be getting up to 90, Becky says.

As the care packages get dropped off at Riverview Manor, Becky distributes them to front-line staff members, starting with the personal support workers (PSWs).

“We are almost done distributing the care packages to the PSWs, so then I will start giving them out to the registered staff,” Becky says.

Becky says staff members have been overjoyed with the care packages and appreciative of what MaryEllen is doing.

“They think the care packages have been great – they really like the gifts that have been inside the packages,” she says.

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Springdale honours veterans with Remembrance Day programs

Although it was a smaller event this year due to restrictions in place to keep everyone safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Springdale Country Manor still honoured Remembrance Day on Nov. 11 with several activities throughout the day.

The day’s events included a two-minute moment of silence and a video program about Canada’s military history and Canadian veterans was played for residents throughout the day, says the Peterborough County long-term care home’s life enrichment co-ordinator Sonia Murney.

“We did our moment of silence, and in the afternoon one of the LEAs (life enrichment aides) brought a small group of residents together to do a service and to have singalongs,” she adds.

Sonia also read a poem and the Legion prayer over the intercom.

While there is only a few veterans living at Springdale Country Manor, the resident veterans received some extra attention, Sonia says.

“One resident veteran had a visit from her daughters, and for the other veterans we made sure they got some extra TLC,” she says.

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The Riverview Manor trees that keep on giving

Vinyl adhesive trees at the home have been used successfully by the BSO team to engage residents with cognitive impairment in meaningful activities

The Riverview Manor Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team has been using life-like vinyl adhesive trees to engage residents living with cognitive impairment in meaningful activities.

Riverview Manor bought the trees last year and recently put one up on a wall on each end of the Peterborough long-term care home for residents to decorate, explains registered practical nurse and BSO team lead Becky Dennie.

Residents and BSO team members have been spending time at the trees decorating them with paper leaves to match the seasons.

Currently, the trees have autumn leaves. When winter arrives, the trees will have winter items on them, Becky says.

The BSO team can take a couple of residents to the trees at a time and change the leaves to match the season as an activity, she adds.

Riverview Manor’s life enrichment department has also been using the trees to create resident programming, says life enrichment aide (LEA) Adam Wicklum.

During the Thanksgiving Weekend, LEA Taylor Ioannou accompanied residents from each side of the home to a tree and asked them to describe the things they were thankful for, Adam says.

Taylor wrote down residents’ words and placed them on colourful paper leaves with their initials.

The BSO team is also working with residents to decorate the trees during special holidays. For Halloween, there were pumpkins underneath the trees. Poppies were placed there for Remembrance Day. There will be a Christmas theme in December.

Most importantly, residents are enjoying their activities at the trees.

“The residents love the trees,” Becky says.

BSO is a provincial initiative that’s enhancing quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that can cause agitation. The funding, which is provided to long-term care homes through Ontario’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks, is largely put towards staff education.

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Pub parties cap off Riverview Manor Halloween season

Festivities capture the spirit of the season and the OMNI core value of fun and laughter

Riverview Manor started Halloween season with jack-o’-lantern decorating this year (see Nov. 2 story) and carried activities and celebrations through to the Halloween weekend, with socially distanced pub parties being hosted on the north and south sides of the Peterborough long-term care home.

For the parties, both dining rooms were decorated with jack-o’-lanterns residents designed days earlier as well as with large spiders dangling from the ceiling. Residents were also provided with pointy witch hats to wear during festivities.

To keep the pub parties safe during the global COVID-19 pandemic, seating arrangements were organized for two residents per table, rather than four residents per table, which was the pre-pandemic norm.

There were also plastic, see-through barriers between residents for added safety.

The pub parties featured beer, a variety of different pop, Cheezies and cake that was served to residents.

Riverview Manor life enrichment aide Adam Wicklum says that while the pub parties were socially distanced, the spirit of the Halloween season was as strong as ever and the OMNI Health Care core value of fun and laughter was in high gear.

And of course, Halloween parties would not be complete without lots of favourite Halloween music.

“We used Spotify Halloween music, like Ghostbusters and Monster Mash, during the party” and the scary background noises were also a hit with the residents, Adam says.

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BSO interventions have enhanced quality of life for Riverview Manor residents during pandemic

Team members reflect on how they have helped residents through a challenging time

The global COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging to deal with for all people living in long-term care homes, but many residents who are also living with cognitive impairment have found the lack of family contact and physical restrictions the pandemic has brought to be especially challenging, say members of Riverview Manor’s Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team.

However, Karlie Phillips and Carly Kenny say the BSO team has applied interventions that have helped residents of the Peterborough long-term care home through this difficult time.

For example, one resident living with cognitive impairment who will sometimes wander was finding restrictions difficult to cope with during an isolation period, so BSO team members engaged her in activities she found interesting.

Of note, Karlie says the resident enjoys colouring and sorting activities, so team members would bring her colouring books and sorting games that would keep the resident busy and, most importantly, happy.

On those occasions when the resident wished to leave her room, Karlie says she would equip the resident with a mask and accompany her to the dining room where they could be alone.

Karlie would then provide one-to-one activities to safely give the resident the change of environment she needed.

Adapting to the resident’s needs worked well, Karlie says.

“The resident understood why (the restrictions were in place); we had to explain why things were different and why we have to wear masks, and eventually she would stay in her room,” Karlie explains.

Sometimes the resident would come to her doorway, but team members understood this was a cue the resident was looking for someone to spend time with, so team members would stay with the resident.

Carly notes that isolation can increase agitation for people living with dementia, but by using BSO interventions and working collaboratively with other staff members, the BSO team members can enhance quality of life for residents.

“We really want to make sure that we have interventions to make sure residents (maintain their quality of life) – it’s a process, but we’ve been successful,” she says.

BSO team lead Becky Dennie says BSO skills have been “very important” during the pandemic.

“It has been especially important to have the specially trained staff to work with people exhibiting behaviours because (the pandemic) does create new behaviours – loneliness being huge – and having those familiar faces popping in to see them throughout the day has helped,” she says.

BSO is a provincial initiative that’s enhancing quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that can 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.

– More to come

Riverview Manor residents share all they are thankful for during Thanksgiving services

The global COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many changes affecting long-term-care home residents in 2020, but there are still many things for which Riverview Manor residents are thankful.

During the Thanksgiving holiday, the Peterborough long-term care home’s residents attended a “gratefulness service” led by life enrichment aide Adam Wicklum.

Adam led one service for residents of the home’s south side Oct. 9 and another service for north-side residents Oct. 12.

During the services, residents volunteered to read gratitude topics that included a question-and-answer session. This was followed by a prayer read by Adam, who also shared a reflection story about residents being thankful.

Residents also took the time to share with others the things they are most thankful for.

Resident Rev. Marvin McDermott played piano as staff gathered residents into the dining room to set the mood of the non-denominational south-side service. Residents also sang a hymn of thankfulness.

Adam says Rev. McDermott’s piano playing has become a fixture at Riverview Manor.

“He plays piano almost every day, and residents come in on their own to listen,” Adam tells The OMNIway.

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Riverview Manor’s BSO team has created a toolkit that’s preventing agitation in male residents

When team members see that a resident is agitated, they can provide them with a familiar object that redirects their attention and has a calming effect

When Riverview Manor’s Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team members spot a male resident who is agitated or appears bored, they have a toolkit – quite literally – they can turn to that will prevent responsive behaviours. Read more