Seniors Cruises returns to Springdale for car show

Car club members bring back fond memories of classic cars for residents

A local car club returned to Springdale Country Manor Aug. 31 to display their wheels to the Peterborough-area long-term care home’s residents and bring back some fond memories for everyone.

Members of Seniors Cruises stopped by Springdale for two hours with more than 20 classic cars and trucks for residents to see during the Yesterday Memories car show.

The Seniors Cruises car club, which hosts car shows at long-term care and retirement homes across the Peterborough area, visits Springdale Country Manor most years.

Residents had a chance to look at the hot rods and chat with car club members about their vehicles. This brought back fond memories for many, says Springdale life enrichment co-ordinator Sonia Murney.

“The residents had so much fun, reminiscing and touring around the cars,” she tells The OMNIway.

“The weather was wonderful and the residents loved being outside, and they even had a chance to watch some planes fly over, as we are close to the Peterborough airport.”

The club members had some interesting stories, Sonia says, adding one member brought the 1947 Mercury he has been driving for 40 years.

In addition to the cars, Seniors Cruises supplied music – golden oldies, of course – for residents and community members to enjoy during the show.

To keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, safety precautions, such as mask-wearing and social distancing, were in effect.

Sonia notes some residents’ family members brought their classic cars to the show and combined the car show with an outdoor visit with their loved ones.

“We had two families participate in the group with their cars, and they made it great for a visit as well,” she says.

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Springdale’s friendly, compassionate staff and smaller size give the home a family feel: family member

‘That small, community feel provides a trusted and intimate care that we find at Springdale’

Rob Wallace says Springdale Country Manor’s friendly, compassionate staff members and the home’s smaller size provide a family-like atmosphere and a “community feel” that make it the right long-term care home for his mother to live.

For three years Rob’s mom has called Springdale Country Manor home. Since his mother has lived at the Peterborough-area long-term care home, Rob says he has become familiar with residents and their families as well as the staff members on a first-name basis.

Something as seemingly small as this makes a big difference, he says.

“That small, community feel provides a trusted and intimate care that we find at Springdale,” Rob tells The OMNIway, adding that with 68 beds, Springdale is a smaller home.

“You know everybody and everybody knows you.”

Even Springdale Country Manor’s architecture adds to the home’s comfortable feel, Rob says, noting the home’s “quadrangle shape allows people to walk around and never get lost.”

Rob also notes that many people working at Springdale Country Manor are longtime staff members. The staff retention says something about the culture of the home, he says.

“It (tells you) that the staff is really appreciated there and is really committed to their jobs,” Rob says.

“That rings loudly and clearly for us, and it’s a true testament to the quality of the organization when you can retain staff for that length of time.”

Rob, who is now an essential caregiver for his mother at the home, says Springdale life enrichment co-ordinator Sonia Murney has been an outstanding team member.

Throughout the pandemic, Sonia has shown her support to Rob and his family, and that has made a positive impact, Rob says.

“When I send her an e-mail, I hear back from her right away,” he says of Sonia.

“She’s really compassionate and I see how she treats the other staff and how the residents respond to her. She is one of many who (Springdale) is really lucky to have.”

– This is Part 2 of a two-part story.

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Springdale team described as ‘an extended family’

Family member Rob Wallace says friendships between staff and residents’ loved ones have been especially important during the pandemic

Rob Wallace says one of the most noticeable strengths about Springdale Country Manor is its family atmosphere.

And it’s the people working at the Peterborough-area long-term care home who have made Springdale a homey, comforting place, not just for residents but also for their families, says Rob, whose mother has been a Springdale resident for about three years.

Having this atmosphere was reassuring to Rob and his sisters that their mother was in good hands when the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020.

Due to protocols put in place to keep everyone safe, families could not visit their loved ones in long-term care homes for several months after the pandemic began.

As difficult as this was for residents and their families, Rob says the Springdale Country Manor team worked hard to ensure everyone was staying in touch with their loved ones through video calls on FaceTime.

“It was tough to not be able to go in and see my mother, (but) Springdale was happy to set up FaceTime visits,” Rob tells The OMNIway.

“We did visit her two or three times a week (on FaceTime). The staff would set up a location for my mother to sit, and they were really helpful. It was important for my mother to hear our voices.”

Rob and one of his sisters, who also lives in Peterborough, are now essential caregivers for their mother at Springdale. Between Rob and his sister, their mother is having near-daily visits which has benefited everyone.

Before the pandemic began and right up to today, Rob says the Springdale staff has maintained its family atmosphere which has been important during this challenging time.

Staff members approach residents and their families as they would their own family and friends – on a “personal level,” Rob says. This holds true for people working in all departments at the home, he adds.

“The staff, in a way, became more like an extended family,” he says. “They are an extended family because they’re looking after our mother, and that’s important. We have absolute faith in the staff.”

– This is Part 1 of a two-part story.

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Being an essential caregiver has been ‘absolutely wonderful,’ says daughter of Springdale resident

Maureen Whiteside says both she and her mother are benefiting from the in-home visits they’ve shared in recent months

Since becoming an essential caregiver in March, Maureen Whiteside has been at Springdale Country Manor regularly to spend one-to-one time with her mother, an experience she describes as being “absolutely wonderful.”

Maureen says visiting her mother three times a week at the Peterborough-area long-term care home has meant a lot to both her and her mother.

“You can’t believe the difference,” Maureen tells The OMNIway. “(My mother) really appreciates the visits and always asks when the next visit is.”

Maureen’s mother moved to Springdale Country Manor only weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. When the pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization, Springdale, like other long-term care homes across Ontario, put pandemic protocols in place immediately and restricted visitation.

While Maureen and her mom were not able to have in-home visits for months, they did have regular phone calls and window visits, but as Maureen says, nothing beats being with her mother in person.

During her regular visits with her mom, Maureen says she has witnessed the compassion Springdale team members show residents. She says staff members go out of their way to give Springdale a homey, family-like atmosphere.

“I like that they chit-chat with all the residents,” she says. “They have pet names for the residents and they just are very happy and comfortable talking with the residents. That’s a big comfort. … They try to make it homey.”

One thing residents have been missing since the pandemic began is in-home entertainment, but Maureen says the Springdale team “tries to make up for that with personal visits and camaraderie.”

Before moving to Springdale, Maureen’s mother lived at Riverview Manor, another OMNI Health Care long-term care home.

Maureen says her mother also received outstanding care while living at Riverview and wants team members at that home to know how much she appreciates the staff.

“Mom spent several months at Riverview before going to Springdale, and I would like to give kudos to Riverview as well,” she says. “They were absolutely awesome.”

– This is Part 2 of a two-part story.

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Springdale family member recounts how staff eased uncertainty early in the pandemic

Maureen Whiteside says the Springdale team has also been ‘very receptive’ to her mother’s needs

Maureen Whiteside recalls the swirl of uncertainty she experienced when the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, only a couple of weeks after her mother moved into the Peterborough-area long-term care home.

“The whole world was in pandemonium, and Springdale shut everything done right away,” Maureen remembers.

Maureen’s mother lives in a private room at Springdale, and when window visits began the home’s staff members would assist her mom to ensure she could have visits with her loved ones standing outside. This offered a valuable measure of comfort, Maureen says.

Since residents’ loved ones could not enter long-term care homes at the start of the pandemic, communication was important during the first few months.

Maureen’s mother, who is 98, had recently learned how to use a cellphone she was given. The cellphone became an important communication tool for Maureen and her mother during this time, and Springdale staff members helped ensure the communication between Maureen and her mother stayed constant.

For example, if Maureen didn’t hear from her mother or if her phone calls went unanswered, Maureen would call Springdale and staff members would check to make sure her mother’s cellphone was charged and switched on.

Staff members would regularly charge her mother’s phone to ensure the battery was always full, Maureen says.

Maureen says the phone her mother uses is an older flip-phone which some of the younger staff members were unfamiliar with. Life enrichment co-ordinator Sonia Murney typed instructions for them detailing how to use the phone, Maureen says.

“It has made a huge difference,” Maureen says of staff members’ efforts.

Maureen adds that correspondence between her and the Springdale team has been top-notch and everyone has been “very good at responding, either by telephone or by e-mail.”

Maureen says one of Springdale’s greatest strengths is that staff members are cognizant of her mother’s needs and are always willing to help.

“Doing things as simple as plugging in her cellphone or having her radio tuned to the classical station she likes (are examples of this),” she says. “They are very receptive to small tasks as well as large tasks. I would have to say that my mom is well looked after.”

– This is Part 1 of a two-part story.

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Springdale departments collaborate to deliver residents requested luncheons

‘Support and teamwork makes all events happen in our home’

Staff members working in every department at Springdale Country Manor have been collaborating to provide the Peterborough-area long-term care home’s residents with special monthly meals.

This idea came from Springdale Country Manor’s residents’ council. The Springdale team has collaborated to make the residents’ wishes come true.

Residents put forth a suggestion for a special lunchtime meal each month, and the life enrichment department, with support from the nutritional care, nursing, environmental services and management teams, makes the monthly luncheons happen, explains Springdale life enrichment co-ordinator Sonia Murney.

The residents have also requested for these luncheons to be held in the large dining room with a smaller group setting.

The home’s departments collaborate to fulfil residents’ wishes, taking into account all social-distancing protocols to keep everyone safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The most recent luncheon was held May 21 and was combined with a party to celebrate resident Lillian de Bassecourt’s 101st birthday. Residents enjoyed make-your-own pizzas and beer.

For June, the plan is to serve residents barbecued steak with fried onions, mushrooms and summer side salads. Nutritional care manager John Wickert will be working the barbecue for the June luncheon, Sonia says.

Sonia underscores the importance of all Springdale team members collaborating for these monthly events.

“Support and teamwork make all events happen in our home,” she says. “From dietary to nursing to PSWs (personal support workers) to environmental services to housekeeping and laundry to management, the activity department appreciates everyone’s support.”

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Springdale resident Lillian de Bassecourt celebrates 101st birthday

Lillian enjoyed phone calls from family, flowers and pizza to mark her special day

Springdale Country Manor resident Lillian de Bassecourt celebrated her 101st birthday at the Peterborough-area long-term care home with a build-your-own pizza luncheon provided to her and other residents on May 21.

Lillian had “a wonderful time” celebrating her special day with residents and staff members, says Sonia Murney, Springdale’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

Aside from the pizza luncheon, which also featured ceasar salad, Canadian maple ice cream and beer for everyone, Lillian received flowers and a window visit from her local family members.

Lillian also received calls from her loved ones living far away, including her grandson, who lives in Australia, and daughter Johanne, who lives in Alberta.

A former ski instructor, Lillian is an active resident at Springdale. Every morning she reads the newspaper, which is a favourite pastime of hers. She is also an avid bingo player and participates in nearly every activity offered. The Springdale fitness program, called Fun and Fit, is another favourite activity of Lillian’s, Sonia says.

Lillian recently moved into a new room at Springdale Country Manor. Sonia says Lillian’s new room provides her with a “beautiful view” of the home’s back courtyard. Lillian enjoys watching birds eat at the feeder and looking at the flowers.

“She can also see the hills and the green farmers’ fields, and she just loves looking at the scenery,” Sonia says.

In fact, Lillian’s daughter Carolyn, who is also her essential caregiver, was recently planting flowers in the courtyard for her mother and other residents to enjoy, Sonia says.

As part of her daily routine, Lillian stops by Sonia’s office to get chocolates and other snacks, Whippets being her favourite.

“And there’s nothing wrong with a little chocolate every day to keep you healthy,” Sonia says.

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Mobile unit is a one-stop activity shop for Springdale residents

Touch2Play system has been ‘worth it’s weight in gold,’ says LEC

A mobile activity unit Springdale Country Manor acquired three months ago has gone a long way to help provide residents of the Peterborough County long-term care home with meaningful activities during a time when large-group programming is not available, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The home purchased the Touch2Play game and activity system in December, and since then it has proven to be “worth its weight in gold” for the hours of entertainment and one-to-one programming it brings residents, says Sonia Murney, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC).

The Touch2Play unit is on a cart and brought to residents in their rooms when they wish to use it. The system includes more than 70 games and puzzles for residents to enjoy, including word searches, connect-the-dots activities, memory activities, crosswords, chess, bowling and garden-building activities.

But the tried and proven favourite activities the unit offers are casino games, Sonia says.

“It doesn’t cost them to play but they want their money when they’re done,” Sonia chuckles. “I’ve seen residents win $200,000 or $300,000 and they think I’m going to cash them out.”

If a game or activity requires two participants, a life enrichment staff member will join in for a one-to-one activity, Sonia notes.

Residents have been eager to use the Touch2Play unit, Sonia says, adding that residents will often book times to use the system, which is carefully sanitized before and after each appointment.

Residents have also adapted quickly to the technology, Sonia adds.

“Once you show them how to do it, they can figure it out and they’re good to go,” she says.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Springdale Country Manor resident Shirley Sweeting is pictured here playing a casino game on the home’s Touch2Play. Shirley’s “big win” on the game was $350,497.

Colourful snowmen bring back winter memories for Springdale residents

With residents’ input, staff members Keyanna O’Rourke and Patricia Stein built two snowmen on their own time for residents to enjoy

Frosty, the world’s most famous snowman, first came to life in a song during the early 1950s, and two Springdale Country Manor team members recently tried to bring that magic to residents of the Peterborough County long-term care home.

Life enrichment aide Keyanna O’Rourke and registered practical nurse Patricia Stein returned to Springdale Country Manor after their shift recently to build two snowmen outside the home for the residents to enjoy.

It was, perhaps, the last chance to build snowmen before the warmer spring weather arrives.

The snowmen are visible through the dining room windows, and Keyanna and Patricia wanted residents to be able to enjoy the snowy figures during their meals, explains Sonia Murney, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

Keyanna and Patricia decorated the snowmen with coloured spray paint, hats, mitts and even the traditional carrot for noses. Residents were asked how they wanted the snowmen to look, and the two team members followed their advice, Sonia says.

“Due to the sun shining, a few repairs had to happen with encouragement and direction from the residents,” Sonia says. “This made some magical memories of snowball fights, fort building, snow angels and tobogganing.”

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COVID-19 vaccinations bring ‘excitement and a relief’ to Springdale

Springdale Country Manor residents have received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine and they are scheduled to have their booster immunization today (March 2).

All the residents of the Peterborough County long-term care home who were vaccinated against the COVID-19 virus provided the necessary consent. There were two residents who declined the vaccination.

Additionally, 11 Springdale staff members were immunized. Springdale staff members have also received the vaccine through a clinic offered at Peterborough Regional Health Centre that is immunizing long-term-home employees, essential caregivers, paramedics and high-risk hospital workers.

With almost all residents and many staff members now vaccinated, Springdale Country Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Sonia Murney says everyone has become more positive about life getting back to being at least a little more normal in the coming months.

While Sonia says safety restrictions will continue to be in place for the foreseeable future, there is a feeling of hopefulness amongst residents and staff members.

“There’s an excitement and a relief,” Sonia tells The OMNIway. “We have kept everybody safe; we have not had COVID in the home and we want to keep it that way.”

The Government of Ontario says on its website that vaccinations will be crucial to curbing COVID-19 infection.

“(Vaccines) will be an important tool to help stop the spread of the virus and allow individuals, families and workers to safely resume normal life,” the website states.

“The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine does not cause a coronavirus infection. It helps to build up your immunity to the virus, so your body will fight it off more easily if it affects you.”

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