Province approves development of 192-bed Streamway Villa Long-Term Care Home

The project, which will upgrade the current 59 beds Streamway Villa offers and add 133 new beds in Cobourg, is expected to begin next spring

COBOURG, Ont. – Streamway Villa residents and staff members are looking forward to living and working in a new, spacious 192-bed long-term care home with modern conveniences that will be built in Cobourg to replace the present home within the next three and a half years.

Representatives from OMNI Health Care, the Ontario government, Northumberland County and the Town of Cobourg held a press conference in the Streamway Villa courtyard March 22 to make the blockbuster announcement.

The project, which will likely begin next spring, will upgrade the current 59 long-term care beds Streamway Villa offers and add 133 new beds in Cobourg.

Construction is expected to take up to 36 months to complete, including the design and approval stages.

“We have a proud history of providing great care to this community, and we’re happy to see the Ontario government recognize the need for more long-term care beds right here in Cobourg,” said Patrick McCarthy, OMNI’s president and CEO.

Once completed, the new Streamway Villa will be a Class A long-term care home with modern amenities, such as wider hallways and more home-like dining areas, and privacy will be enhanced by limiting all rooms to no more than two beds.

The new home will be divided into six neighbourhoods, with 32 beds in each home area, to provide residents with a quieter, more enjoyable living experience.

Streamway Villa administrator Kylie Szczebonski said the new, state-of-the-art home with all its amenities will help enhance quality of life for residents and enable staff members to provide an even higher level of care.

“The new modern facility will have a significant impact and a positive impact on our residents, families and staff,” she said.

“The new home will allow us to provide the highest standard of care that we are known for in the community while also allowing us to easily incorporate new technologies and innovations into our practices.

“We cannot wait to have this new home, and we cannot wait to be one of the top (long-term care homes) in this province.”

Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini underscored the impact the new home will have on the local community.

“Our loved ones in long-term care deserve a comfortable, modern place to live that is near family and friends and has the built-in supports they need when and where they need it,” Piccini said.

“The number of people in Cobourg who will need long-term care is expected to rise over the next decade. These new and upgraded spaces, built to modern design standards, will help ensure residents have access to the care they need in a safe and secure environment.”

With a growing aging population and a greater need for long-term care beds in the region, Northumberland County Warden Bob Crate said the project will help shorten wait times for people in the county seeking long-term care.

“An expanded 192-bed home will increase access to long-term care and address some of the associated pressures in our local health-care system,” he said.

Cobourg Mayor John Henderson also welcomed the announcement as a “historic long-term care investment” in the community.   

“We are proud and supportive of our aging demographic and recognize that this is a huge step in the right direction towards continuing to serve our senior population.”

The province has now approved redevelopment projects for seven OMNI long-term care homes since 2018.

In addition to today’s announcement for Streamway Villa, approval has been given for a new 192-bed Riverview Manor in Peterborough, a new 128-bed Village Green in Greater Napanee, and a redeveloped and expanded 128-bed Country Terrace in Komoka, Ont., all of which are currently in the design phase.

Construction is well underway on the renovation and expansion of Almonte Country Haven, Pleasant Meadow Manor and Woodland Villa.

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Friendly ‘hockey brawl’ livens up sports-themed day at Streamway Villa

Sports day is one of many day-long themed programs the home has been hosting in February and March

When a Streamway Villa resident wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs jersey came face to face with a life enrichment aide (LEA) clad in Boston Bruins attire, there was bound to be trouble.

The two hockey clubs are both renowned for their die-hard fans who, in some cases, don’t want to see the opposing team’s uniform in their neighbourhood.

So, when resident Gavin Wilson and LEA Lynette Sandercock crossed paths, they decided to have a brawl – albeit, a very friendly one – to liven up the sports-themed day Streamway Villa recently hosted.

“They were fighting it out for who the best hockey team is,” explains Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht, who witnessed the “altercation.”

Gavin and Lynette happily posed for photos of them “duking it out” in support of their favourite team, and this is exactly the sort of passion the life enrichment staff was hoping to tap into during the sports-themed day.

During the sports-themed day residents and staff members were encouraged to wear jerseys, shirts, caps and other clothing with their favourite sports team’s logo.

Residents and staff members also watched sporting events on TV, and there was sports-themed trivia for everyone to enjoy as well.

The Cobourg long-term care home has once again organized Spirit Days, which are themed programs aimed at ramping up fun and laughter during the colder months.

Streamway Villa hosted Spirit Days last year at this time, but the COVID-19 pandemic began shortly after and the program had to be put on hold.

“Lately it has been pretty gloomy with the winter, cold days, and the pandemic so we chose to try and lift everyone’s spirits,” Laurie says.

“The Spirit Days are meant to just cheer everyone up since we still aren’t able to do much recreation programming besides one-to-ones or very small group activities.”

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Streamway Villa residents take a trip to ‘Margaritaville’

Residents and staff celebrate National Margarita Day

It may have been one of the coldest days this winter, but inside Streamway Villa residents were sipping margaritas on Feb. 22 to mark the drink’s special day.

On National Margarita Day, the life enrichment team at the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home served up icy-cold margaritas for residents to enjoy – complete with straws and cocktail umbrellas.

“Originally we were all going to dress up in vacation gear, but I have to say it was hard, due to it being in a snowstorm that day and the coldest day of the year,” explains Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht.

“But we did go through with the margaritas and a little dance party, of course. We played music like we were on vacation, such as Margaritaville, and then drank margaritas.”

For an added measure of fun, the life enrichment team asked residents to close their eyes and imagine they were walking along a warm, tropical beach, listening to the waves roll up to the shore.

“Some of the residents really engaged in the activity and started to tell me how hot the sand was on their toes and how they could hear birds in the distance,” Laurie says.

Margarita day was part of this year’s Spirit Days program at Streamway Villa. Spirit Days are themed programs aimed at ramping up fun and laughter during the colder months.

Streamway Villa hosted Spirit Days last year at this time, but the COVID-19 pandemic began shortly after and the program had to be put on hold.

“Lately it has been pretty gloomy with the winter, cold days, and the pandemic so we chose to try and lift everyone’s spirits,” Laurie says.

“The Spirit Days are meant to just cheer everyone up since we still aren’t able to do much recreation programming besides one-to-ones or very small group activities.”

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Students help make Valentine’s Day even more special at Streamway Villa

Grade 2 and 3 students from Notre Dame Catholic Elementary School send artwork to residents

Students at a local primary school helped ensure Streamway Villa residents had an extra-special Valentine’s Day.

The week before Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14), the Grade 2 and Grade 3 classes at nearby Notre Dame Catholic Elementary School made some creative Valentine’s Day artwork they sent to the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home’s residents.

The small posters the students made feature photos of them blowing on an extended hand and sending a flurry of hearts into the air as a Valentine’s Day message.

“We have a relationship with (Notre Dame Catholic Elementary School); they always make cards for our seniors, this time they did an art project of them blowing hearts – it was so cute,” says Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht.

Most importantly, Laurie says the students’ efforts were well-received by residents, who appreciated the time they took to create these unique pieces of art.

“The artwork put a huge smile on our residents’ faces,” she says. “It’s always special when we get stuff sent over from (the school).”

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Streamway residents show support for a LTC home impacted by an outbreak

Residents sent cards to each Hope Street Terrace resident to help lift their spirits

After a COVID-19 outbreak was declared in January at Hope Street Terrace, a long-term care home in Port Hope, Streamway Villa residents wanted to show their support for people living at the home.

After a discussion about how to help, Streamway Villa life enrichment aide Chelsea Tinney suggested a resident activity where everyone would make cards and write a letter of support to send to residents and staff at Hope Street Terrace.

Streamway Villa is in Cobourg, the town next to Port Hope, and there’s a feeling of togetherness among long-term care homes in the area, says Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht.

“We’re a small community … and we thought sending them cards would be a nice touch,” Laurie tells The OMNIway.

Streamway Villa residents then got to work making enough cards to send to all residents at Hope Street Terrace.

The Streamway management team then penned a letter to accompany the cards and everything was then sent to Hope Street Terrace.

“We just wanted to let you know that we are thinking about you,” the letter said. “Our residents have made cards for each of your residents in hopes to brighten their day just a little.”

In a Facebook post, the staff at Hope Street Terrace thanked Streamway Villa residents for their consideration, noting the residents’ gesture meant a lot to everyone.

“A big thank you goes out to Streamway Villa for their lovely cards and words of support. It truly brightened every resident’s day reading all these messages of Hope.”

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Streamway Villa vaccination clinic immunizes 47 residents against COVID-19

Residents received their first immunization on Jan. 28 and will receive a booster in 28 days

Streamway Villa is one of the latest OMNI Health Care long-term care homes to receive a vaccine to immunize residents against the COVID-19 virus.

Forty-seven of the 49 residents currently living at the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home received their first dose of the Moderna vaccine to help protect them against the highly contagious virus.

One resident requested not to be vaccinated and another resident could not receive the vaccine due to health reasons.

The Moderna vaccine requires two doses, a primary vaccination and a booster dose. Residents will receive the second dose of the vaccine in 28 days.

Streamway Villa administrator Kylie Szczebonski and nurse manager Jen Suave administered the vaccine to residents.

Laurie Kracht, the life enrichment co-ordinator at Streamway Villa, says the vaccination clinic at the home went “extremely well,” adding that some staff members were able to be vaccinated as well since there were extra doses. Vaccinations for all staff members should be available soon, Laurie says.

The COVID-19 pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization in March 2020. At the time of this writing, the Government of Canada website is reporting there have been 783,589 cases of people in Canada contracting the virus. The website reports that 20,136 Canadians have died as a result of COVID-19 infection.

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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Streamway Villa residents share their new year’s resolutions

Streamway Villa residents rang in 2021 by sharing their new year’s resolutions on the Cobourg long-term care home’s Facebook page.

The idea to encourage residents to make new year’s resolutions came from Chelsea Tinney, one of Streamway Villa’s life enrichment aides.

Life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht says team members visited residents individually and asked them to share their new year’s resolutions.

Residents’ names, ages and new year’s resolutions were written on a whiteboard, and their photos were taken and put on the Streamway Villa Facebook page. 

Some of the new year’s resolutions include “travel more”, “eat more chocolate”, “go to the beach”, “to be very wealthy” and “eat more Cheezies and drink more beer”.

Residents also gave humorous responses when asked to supply their age, and there were a few who simply said “guess.”

The residents’ answers were off the cuff and unrehearsed, Laurie tells The OMNIway.

“We didn’t guide them in any way,” she says.

The Streamway Villa life enrichment team created the home’s Facebook page in 2020 as a way to engage with family members during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Team members regularly take photos of residents who have given consent and post them on the page to help keep families and friends updated on life at Streamway Villa.

Laurie credits Chelsea for coming up with ideas like this to share residents’ stories.

“Chelsea is really running with this,” she says.

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Streamway’s resident Santa makes Christmas even more special

Even if he wore a protective face mask instead of a long white beard, Streamway Villa’s resident Santa Claus still made a positive impact on other residents at Christmas.

Dressed in a full Santa costume, resident Claire Conlin did a walkabout at the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home Christmas Day, handing out gifts and visiting residents to help give the occasion that needed personal touch that only Kris Kringle can deliver.

During his visits to residents, Claire played up the part of Father Christmas well, asking everyone if they remembered what he brought them last year, says Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht.

“And the residents would all say, ‘Oh yeah, I remember,’ and he’d say, ‘well, this is your present for this year,’ and hand them their gift,” Laurie tells The OMNIway.

Normally, presents are given to residents in the dining room on Christmas morning, but because of social distancing precautions in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was safer for Claire to hand the presents out one by one in residents’ rooms, Laurie adds.

Laurie says the Streamway Villa team is grateful to Claire for playing the part of Santa and helping make Christmas extra special for residents.

“He played the part really well,” she says.

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Local initiative brings Christmas presents to Streamway Villa residents

For the fourth straight Christmas, the Stuff a Stocking for a Senior project partnered with Cobourg LTC homes. When funds fell short this year, a local florist stepped in to help

For the fourth straight year, the Stuff a Stocking for a Senior project helped ensure all residents of Streamway Villa woke up on Christmas morning to find presents to unwrap.

The Stuff a Stocking for a Senior project was launched by friends Vicky Davis of Cobourg and Lynn Stewart of Orangeville in 2017.

The project normally sends stockings stuffed with presents to long-term care homes, retirement homes and Community Living Ontario residences to bring Christmas cheer.

However, this year homes in the Cobourg area received money to purchase gifts for people.

Vicky, who oversees the project in Cobourg, had a goal of raising $7,000 this past Christmas season to buy presents for homes in the area, but by mid-December, she had only raised $2,000.

Then a Cobourg florist, Quinn’s Blooms & Greenery, donated $4,000 to the Stuff a Stocking for a Senior project, which was a huge boost for the project, explains Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht.

Vicky was then able to go to all the long-term care and retirement homes in the area and share the donations so staff members could buy presents for residents.

Using money that was donated through the Stuff a Stocking for a Senior project, as well as funds provided by OMNI Health Care, Streamway life enrichment staff went shopping for presents to give each of the 50 residents living at Streamway Villa.

In 2018, Vicky told The OMNIway she was inspired to start the program while visiting her mother, who was living at a long-term care home. She says she noticed some residents were not getting family visits and saw an opportunity to make a difference.

She then contacted Lynn, who had many years’ experience organizing a Christmas hamper and stocking-stuffing program for Orangeville seniors, to suggest working together to extend the stocking-stuffing program to Cobourg.

Laurie says the gifts she and her colleagues bought for residents were all personalized.

“We looked at each resident, we looked at their needs, and we went and bought them each individual presents and we then wrapped them,” she says.

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Resident photo project ‘really brightened everyone’s mood’ at Streamway

A project at Streamway Villa that began with team members decorating the Cobourg long-term care home for the holiday season and culminated with staff taking special Christmas photos of residents proved to be just what everyone needed to cap off an otherwise trying year.

Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht says team members used donations from family members to start decorating the inside and outside of the home several weeks ago.

When the decorating was finished, they took residents’ photos in front of a Christmas tree and sent the pictures and a card to family members for a surprise.

Given that 2020 has been a challenging year due to restrictions in place to keep everyone safe during the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Christmas photos and the holiday decorating lifted everyone’s spirit, Laurie says, adding residents were happy with the results.

“It really brightened everyone’s mood; it was something that we needed,” she tells The OMNIway.

Several photos were taken of every resident or resident couple over a three-day period, and families received two photos each.

“We didn’t tell the family members, so when they got their cards they (were surprised),” Laurie says.

When Streamway Villa team members read a Dec. 9 OMNIway article about the Country Terrace team taking residents’ photos and sending them to their families, Laurie says she was inspired to share Streamway Villa’s Christmas story.

Decorating the home and taking residents’ Christmas photos was a great way to finish off the year, Laurie says.

“Everyone was on board; this really lifted everyone’s spirits.”

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