Rosebridge Manor aims to boost its volunteer roster

People needed to provide one-to-one-support, help with outings

As provincial government restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic ease, many OMNI Health Care homes are welcoming family members and visitors once again.

Rosebridge Manor in Jasper is experiencing this return of entertainers and loved ones, much to the joy of its residents.

But as life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Kathy Barr looks ahead towards planning upcoming programs and activities, she’s coming up a bit short in terms of volunteers.

While Rosebridge Manor has typically had a healthy roster of volunteers, the number of people available to lend a helping hand has dwindled during the past two years amidst the pandemic.

Some volunteers are aging and are not up to coming into the home anymore, others are nervous about the coronavirus, and some have moved on with their lives in other areas.

“That’s going to be a work in progress – getting volunteers back in the home,” Kathy says.

“We need to work on building that back up because so many things have happened over the last two years — more than two years — that have impacted our volunteer program. We have to almost start from scratch again with the exception of one or two volunteers.”

While Kathy expects students to reach out to the home to complete their volunteer hours, she’s also looking for additional volunteers to spend time with residents.

People can help in many ways, Kathy says. They can assist with outings and activities and programs. Of particular need at the moment, are volunteers who can spend one-on-one time with individual residents, the LEC says.

Having conversations, sharing a short story, enjoying music, or playing a card game are just a few examples of one-to-one activities.

“That’s the first priority.”

As spring here, residents are also looking to enjoy the outdoors so that will be happening more often when warmer weather arrives.

Volunteers can play a role there too by accompanying residents on a stroll around the property or taking part in gardening. The summer also holds opportunities for volunteers to assist with barbecues and other outdoor events.

For more information about volunteering, call Kathy at 613-283-5471 and/or keep an eye on an upcoming edition of the home’s newsletter.

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Lanark County pancake house meal a sweet treat for Rosebridge Manor residents

This was the first outing in some time for residents, due to the pandemic, notes LEC

Having pancakes with fresh maple syrup recently was sweet in more ways than one for Rosebridge Manor residents.

Residents from the Jasper, Ont. long-term care home went on an hour-long drive and enjoyed a meal at Wheelers Pancake House in Lanark County. It was the first outing in a long time due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Kathy Barr, Rosebridge Manor’s life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC), told The OMNIway residents were looking forward to the trip.

“We’re reclaiming our previous enjoyments from 2019,” Kathy said about the return of pre-pandemic pleasures like live entertainment and outings.

“It’s quite a popular local place. They have a beautiful restaurant way back in the country. It’s a nice country road to drive up and they always treat us really well. They’re super to help” residents and staff get settled at their tables, she added.

A small group of residents went on the outing and Kathy hopes to bring along additional people in the future.

“It’s a start,” she said about once again venturing out into the community.

Wheelers Pancake House, as described on its website, is nestled in the centre of a 730-acre forest, built with huge windows “that allow a true sense of being in the woods.”

In the spring, when the sap is flowing, diners can watch from their table as the maple sap flows through a clear tube.

Owners Vernon and Judy Wheeler, who opened the sugarhouse in 1978, have had many visitors over the years to see how pure maple syrup is made.

After countless requests for pancakes, the couple built the pancake house and began serving pancakes with their own maple syrup in 1996.

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CUTLINE: Rosebridge Manor resident Cecil Ballance dines at Wheelers Pancake House in Lanark County.

Irish eyes were smiling on Rosebridge Manor March 17

Jasper long-term care home marks St. Patrick’s Day with party

As the saying goes, everyone is a little Irish on St. Patrick’s Day, and that was certainly true at Rosebridge Manor.

Residents and staff at OMNI Health Care’s Jasper, Ont. long-term care home donned green hats and necklaces and enjoyed live music on March 17.

Those who live at the home raised their glasses of non-alcoholic punch served in fancy wine goblets. They also enjoyed a special lunch featuring Irish stew and the appropriate sides.

Rosebridge Manor life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Kathy Barr had to close her office door to take a phone call from The OMNIway due to the volume of the joyous celebrations underway.

Being able to consistently have live entertainment back in the home after many interruptions due to the various safety protocols and restrictions of the last two years related to the COVID-19 pandemic has been wonderful for residents, the LEC noted.

“We’re having our big St. Patrick’s Day party,” Kathy said.

“Everybody’s got their hats on and their beads on and we’ve had some family involvement and our nutritional care manager (Kori Bigelow) made an Irish-themed lunch.”

Staff and residents who had green items of clothing dressed for the occasion. Employees also wore headbands with shamrocks or put green colouring in their hair.

“The staff were really good to get involved this year, which was nice,” Kathy said.

Residents also had a second round of live entertainment on St. Patrick’s Day, featuring a trio on saxophone, keyboards and vocals, after their evening meal.

Rosebridge Manor and other long-term care homes were permitted by the provincial government as of Feb. 21 to welcome back entertainers, Kathy noted.

“The last week of February was just full of people coming in and entertaining and whatnot and volunteers. It was great.”

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