Riverview Manor is celebrating St. Patrick’s Month

The life enrichment team has organized engaging Irish-themed programs for residents throughout March

Rather than paying homage to Irish culture only on St. Patrick’s Day, the Riverview Manor life enrichment team has been helping residents celebrate the Emerald Isle throughout March.

During “St. Patrick’s Month”, the Peterborough long-term care home’s life enrichment team has been organizing a wide variety of programs for residents that combine fun with learning.

One creative program the team delivered residents was a virtual tour of Ireland that was presented by streaming Internet videos through the large TVs in the two dining rooms. Residents also got to see a piece of Blarney Castle life enrichment aide Adam Wicklum brought.

Adam also showed residents a video about the town of Wicklow, on the east coast of Ireland. The town has a personal connection with Adam, whose ancestors hailed from Wicklow. In fact, Adam explained, his family’s surname was changed from “Wicklow” to “Wicklum” upon their arrival in Canada.

Irish-themed trivia and games, including an Irish-themed bingo, a “shamrock spin beanbag toss” and a “pot of gold coin toss”, have also been featured throughout March.

The life enrichment team tapped into web-based resources like Activity Connection to come up with ideas for programming that included a game where residents played a version of “name that tune” with an Irish song theme.

Additionally, there was an Irish blessing at a church service, and residents also watched Stella Days, a 2011 film set in rural Ireland.

On March 15 and 16, residents were treated to pub nights which have proven to be fan-favourite events, Adam says, adding these programs have had “residents and staff talking for days.”

Drinks served at the pub nights included green beer, pop and a rainbow punch made from sherbet, crushed ice and diet lemon-lime pop.

To help build up everyone’s thirst, residents were provided with snacks that included green-coloured sour cream and onion ring chips, mozzarella sticks and orange Cheezies. The colours of these snacks matched the tri-colour flag of the Republic of Ireland.

Adam often makes creative Jell-O desserts for special occasions at Riverview Manor, and he came through for the pub nights, preparing a tri-colour green, white and orange gelatin dessert over top of crushed pineapple symbolizing a pot of gold.

He made a separate Jell-O dessert for those who are not fans of pineapple.

Adam says he also got into the groove during pub nights.

“(I) tried to do a little Irish jig, then danced a little with some residents before ending the program,” he says.

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Riverview Manor residents celebrate Mardi Gras

With safety protocols in place, residents enjoyed a piece of New Orleans in the home

A little bit of New Orleans came to Riverview Manor in mid-February.

The Peterborough long-term care home hosted its own version of Mardi Gras, the famed carnival held every year in the Big Easy on Shrove Tuesday.

Residents living on the north side of Riverview Manor celebrated Mardi Gras with a pub night organized by the life enrichment team on Feb. 15 and those living on the south side celebrated on Feb. 16, which was Shrove Tuesday.

Mardi Gras, which translates to “Fat Tuesday,” gets its name from the tradition of Catholics eating rich, high-calorie foods the day before the start of Lent the next day, Ash Wednesday.

So, of course, there were plenty of snacks available for residents to enjoy, including mozzarella sticks, pigs in a blanket, sour cream ring chips and a special gelatin dessert life enrichment aide Adam Wicklum made with Jell-O featuring the three colours representing Mardi Gras, green, gold and purple.

For drinks, residents had a choice of Mardi Gras purple punch with cherry and pineapple ice cubes or beer and pop.

Each of the Mardi Gras colours carries significance. Green represents faith, gold stands for power and purple signifies justice. Adam also made a Mardi Gras backdrop using these three main colours.

Masks and beads are also part of Mardi Gras celebrations, and Adam attached Mardi Gras masks and beads to the colourful backdrop for added effect.

Mardi Gras beads are said to be protective and ward off evil spirits or spells, and they can also be good-luck charms, Adam explains.

Music is another important feature of any Mardi Gras celebration, and residents listened to Louisiana-flavoured music through Spotify during the events.

Due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing was in effect and there were transparent barriers between people to ensure everyone kept safe.

“(During) other years, residents got Mardi Gras masks and beads (to wear), but because of COVID-19 they did not this year for their safety, but they had this year’s backdrop for decoration and (there were) photo sessions with some residents,” Adam says.

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Riverview Manor ensures resident has a happy Hanukkah

Ken Greenberg celebrated the Festival of Lights with residents and staff

When Hanukkah began on Dec. 10, the Riverview Manor life enrichment team went to work to make sure a resident of the Jewish faith had everything he needed to celebrate the Festival of Lights.

Resident Ken Greenberg had a menorah to light and, as part of the Hanukkah tradition, received a small gift every morning during the course of the eight-day holiday.

Ken happily educated residents and staff about some of Hanukkah’s traditions, such as the dreidel, a spinning wooden top that’s played with during Hanukkah.

Ken and other residents spun a dreidel during Hanukkah, and Ken took the opportunity to explain its significance.

For example, each of the four sides of a dreidel has a letter from the Hebrew alphabet. The four letters – nun, gimel, hey and shin – stand for “nes gadol haya sham,” which translates to “a great miracle happened there.”

However, Ken explained, if a dreidel is made in Israel, the phrase is “nes gadol haya pho,” which means “a great miracle happened here.” On these dreidels, the letter shin is replaced with the letter peh.

“(The dreidel) was played because it is said that because Jewish people were outlawed from practising their religion and studying the Torah, they would use their dreidel to pretend that they were playing games,” Riverview Manor life enrichment aide (LEA) Adam Wicklum tells The OMNIway.

During Hanukkah, Ken had his own electric menorah in his room. For Hanukkah 2019, the life enrichment department purchased a small battery-powered menorah after Ken moved to the Peterborough long-term care home.

This menorah was placed in the window near the table where Ken has his meals, and during Hanukkah Ken would light the menorah at dinnertime. Team members also decorated the two windows near Ken’s table with a Hanukkah motif. Every morning before breakfast, an LEA would bring Ken a small gift.

Hanukkah began at sunset on Thursday, Dec. 10 and ended at sunset on Friday, Dec. 18. Hanukkah, which translates to the words “to dedicate,” is the eight-day celebration commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple of Jerusalem in 165 BC.

Hanukkah, also called the Festival of Lights, begins on the 25th day of the month of Kislev in the Hebrew calendar.

People celebrate Hanukkah by eating traditional foods, playing games and exchanging gifts. The holiday is observed over eight days with the nightly lighting of the menorah candles and saying prayers.

Adam says it was important to celebrate Hanukkah at Riverview Manor because of the diversity of faith among residents and because it was an opportunity for residents to learn about one of Judaism’s most important holidays.

“It shows we care for one individual’s faith (and) special holiday, and (it was a chance) to educate and share culture with other residents,” he says.

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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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