Streamway residents focus on keeping healthy minds and bodies

Story-sharing and physiotherapy are among the programs residents are finding beneficial

Streamway Villa residents have been focusing on keeping both healthy minds and bodies through programming the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home offers.

Laurie Kracht, Streamway Villa’s life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC), says there are many active residents at the home who enjoy a wide range of programs.

One such program is a story-sharing activity where residents reminisce or discuss current events, which promotes healthy cognitive function.

In the past, life enrichment team members would be leading this program, but the current residents are enjoying taking the reins, she notes.

“The residents do the talking,” Laurie tells The OMNIway. “They will have conversations about the past … and they will talk about their experiences and have the conversation within themselves.”

Laurie says the residents and staff members have also enjoyed taking the short walk from Streamway Villa to downtown Cobourg which gives everyone a chance to interact with the community.

There has also been a high number of residents participating in the physiotherapy programming the home offers, Laurie notes.

At the moment, the LEC says there are several residents who are focusing on maintaining their mobility.

Every day, physiotherapy assistant Harita Patel will lead an exercise group of residents who do exercises together, and this is showing a lot of promise, Laurie says.

“It’s going amazingly well,” she says. “We even have a couple of residents who can touch their toes now.”

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Streamway physio program graduate moves back home

Debra Belliveau worked hard to improve her mobility to the point she can once again live on her own

During her time in the Streamway Villa physiotherapy program, Debra Belliveau improved her mobility so well she was able to move back home earlier this year.

Working with Streamway Villa physiotherapy assistant Harita Patel, Debra spent about 17 months doing strengthening exercises, range-of-motion exercises, practising transferring, weight training, balance training and doing lots of walking.

Debra’s goal from the get-go was to improve her mobility to the point she could return to living independently, and she worked hard to make that happen, Harita says.

When Debra made her intentions known, team members at the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home, along with the physiotherapy team, worked with her to create a plan to help her maximize her strength and achieve her mobility goals.

Once a plan was in place, Debra focused on her exercises and let nothing get in her way, Harita says.

“That was really inspiring,” Harita tells The OMNIway, adding Debra’s determination, focus and sticking to her planned routines helped her achieve success.

“She used to exercise and walk with me every day,” Harita says.

Not only did Debra exercise with the physiotherapy team, she also worked on improving her mobility by herself, Harita says.

Harita says that while the support physiotherapy team members provide plays a part in residents’ progress, it’s also crucial the residents are self-motivated and are dedicated to improving their mobility.

“Motivation, dedication and consistency are very important,” Harita says, noting Debra showed each of these characteristics.

Physiotherapy programs are an important part of life in OMNI Health Care long-term care homes. For many years, residents have worked with physiotherapists and physiotherapy assistants to achieve goals to improve their mobility.

While she now lives on her own, Debra continues to keep in close contact with Streamway Villa, making frequent visits to the home to say hello to residents and staff, who have remained her close friends.

“She came to visit us, just last week, and she was so happy,” Harita says.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured above, former Streamway Villa resident Debra Belliveau is now living on her own, thanks to improving her mobility in the home’s physio program.



Hard work and determination help Streamway resident achieve mobility goal

Wanda Greacen is now walking independently after 12 months of participating in the home’s physiotherapy program

Hard work, focus and lots of determination have helped a Streamway Villa resident improve her mobility to the point she can walk independently.

When Wanda Greacen moved into the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home she required a wheelchair and was finding it challenging to stand – even with assistance from staff members.

But after a year of working hard to reach her goal, Wanda is walking independently with a walker and enjoying an enhanced quality of life, thanks to her determination and some help from the physiotherapy team.

Wanda’s journey to improved mobility began not long after she moved to Streamway Villa and met physiotherapy assistant Harita Patel, whom she would work with for the next 12 months.

Wanda set her own goals and she worked with the physiotherapy team to create a routine that would help her reach those goals, Harita says.

Wanda and Harita worked primarily on range-of-motion and strengthening exercises, gradually adding weight to the movement as Wanda progressed at a fast pace.

Range-of-motion exercises improve joint function, and strengthening exercises improve muscle function.

Wanda also focused on balance and co-ordination exercises which helped her to improve her gait. Wanda exercised often and stuck to her schedule tenaciously, Harita says.

“These (exercises) helped her a lot to improve her mobility and helped her switch from a wheelchair to a walker,” Harita tells The OMNIway.

Physiotherapy programs are an important part of life in OMNI Health Care long-term care homes. For many years, residents have worked with physiotherapists and physiotherapy assistants to achieve goals to improve their mobility.

Dedication and motivation are very important, and Wanda was dedicated and self-motivated, Harita says. Harita says she would sometimes start her shift to find Wanda already waiting for her.

“Motivation, dedication and consistency are very important,” Harita says, adding Wanda was a “very dedicated” resident.

And what does Wanda think of the progress she has made since moving to Streamway Villa?
 
“(I was) raised a poor, old country girl; I didn’t enjoy life growing up,” she says, “but since I have been here at Streamway, I feel like a chicken coming out of an egg.”

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PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured above, Streamway Villa resident Wanda Greacen greatly improved her mobility by participating in the home’s physiotherapy program.

Doll therapy, music programs are enhancing quality of life for Streamway residents

These activities, which are geared to people living with cognitive impairment, are easing agitation and preventing behaviours

At Streamway Villa, a simple reminder of parenthood is all it sometimes takes to eliminate agitation in residents living with cognitive impairment or prevent behaviours associated with dementia from occurring.

The home keeps a supply of baby dolls especially for this purpose, and when a resident who is at risk of agitation or is exhibiting behaviours holds one of these dolls they almost immediately feel at ease, says Laurie Kracht, the Cobourg long-term care home’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

One resident who is living with dementia believes one of the baby dolls is real and will happily hold the doll for much of the day, which keeps them calm for long periods of time, Laurie says.

“A lot of the residents are loving the baby dolls and folding and sorting the baby clothes, those sort of things are working well (for the residents with cognitive impairment),” she says.

“We have some residents who will become very agitated, but when we give them the baby dolls, their behaviours will completely calm down.”

Streamway Villa’s long-standing music therapy is also working well preventing agitation and behaviours in residents living with cognitive impairment, Laurie says.

The Music and Memory program trains people how to use personalized playlists loaded into iPods and related digital audio systems that help those living with cognitive impairment to reconnect with their environment through music-triggered memories.

“We have one resident that wanders and doesn’t communicate, but when we give (the resident) the iPod they will be dancing all day long,” Laurie says.

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Finger-lickin’ good time! Streamway residents attend first Ribfest in two years

12 residents enjoyed ribs, chicken and pulled pork during favourite summertime event

Streamway Villa residents were treated to a finger-lickin’ good time recently when they went to nearby Victoria Park in Cobourg to enjoy the 14th annual Northumberland Ribfest and Music Festival.

A group of 12 residents, as well as family members and staff, walked and wheeled to Ribfest on Aug. 12, the day the festival opened, to sample some of the barbecued goodies vendors cooked up on site.

Ribfest events are held across Ontario in summer. The events see barbecue masters prepare and serve ribs, pulled pork and chicken. They also compete in a variety of contests.

To add to the enjoyment of the event, residents created their own contest where they judged vendors’ ribs, pulled pork and barbecued chicken, notes Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht.

The winners were Boss Hog’s in the best ribs category, while Uncle Sam’s BBQ, a team from Albuquerque, New Mexico, took the honours for best pulled pork. The chicken, residents said, was all equally great and they couldn’t decide on a winner.

Ribfest is a favourite summertime event for Streamway Villa residents. This was the first time the festival had been held since 2019, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so residents were happy to attend, Laurie says.

Pandemic precautions were still in effect and everyone from Streamway Villa wore face masks when not eating. Normally, everyone would be mingling in the beer tents and strolling around, Laurie says, but to keep things safe, residents, their family members and staff sat at a table by themselves.

Laurie says everyone enjoyed their return to Ribfest.

“The day went really well; there was beautiful weather and we stayed for a couple of hours, the time just flew by,” she tells The OMNIway.

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Chef’s chicken souvlaki is a delicious way to pack recommended nutrients into a meal

Streamway Villa’s Litsa Christodoulou entered this delicious and nutritious meal in the March Madness recipe contest

When the Streamway Villa nutritional care team asked residents what they would like for their residents’ choice meal, a favourite Greek dish, chicken souvlaki, was at the top of the list.

It just so happens that one of the Cobourg long-term care home’s nutritional care team members comes from a Greek background and can expertly prepare this meal of grilled marinated chicken.

Litsa Christodoulou says her chicken souvlaki is not only a meal residents enjoy, but it also delivers the recommended daily nutrients residents need.

In addition to the marinated chicken, Litsa serves her chicken souvlaki with sides of lemon rice, warm pita bread and a classic Greek salad made from tomatoes, cucumbers black olives and feta cheese.

This meal is so good that Litsa entered the recipe in OMNI Health Care’s March Madness recipe challenge.

“Speaking with residents regarding the residents’ choice (meal), this was one of their requests, and coming from a Greek background myself, it was my pleasure to introduce and prepare for them a famous Greek dish,” Litsa says in her submission form.

“(This recipe) provides all the recommended nutrients for a meal protein, carbohydrates and vegetables … (and) for that reason alone I am submitting my dish.”

While Litsa keeps her recipe a secret, she’s willing to share that she marinates chicken breast cubes in a mixture of vegetable oil, garlic powder and mustard for two hours before cooking.

Chris Weber, OMNI’s operations manager of nutrition and food service, says the March Madness contest, which saw 16 recipes compete in a bracket contest where votes were cast each week between April 14 and May 6, was close.

The winning entry was a Mediterranean omelette, created by Josephine Goddard at Country Terrace, which won “by a very thin margin,” Chris says.

OMNI launched the first annual March Madness recipe challenge in March in recognition of Nutrition Month in Canada.

Chris came up with the idea to encourage nutritional care managers and cooks to showcase their most-loved recipes and to highlight the high-quality meals served in OMNI homes.

Throughout March, nutritional care managers and cooks prepared their favourite meals, plated them and took photos that were sent to head office. The photos were accompanied by the name of each meal and its recipe.

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Streamway residents attend first Canada Day parade in two years

Volunteer family members and staff made it possible for a large group of residents to attend

Streamway Villa residents were dressed up in their favourite red-and-white apparel and lined the streets of downtown Cobourg July 1 to help the town and the rest of Canada celebrate the nation’s 155th birthday.

For the first time in two years, residents were able to attend Cobourg’s Canada Day parade, which kicks off the town’s annual three-day Waterfront Festival at Victoria Park.

Along with their family members and Streamway staff who volunteered to accompany them the two blocks to King Street, residents spent part of the late morning and early afternoon watching the colourful floats, cheering and waving small Canadian flags as they passed.

The parade and festival were cancelled in 2020 and 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
To keep everyone safe during their time downtown, attending residents, families and staff members wore face masks while attending the parade.

Since everyone was already downtown, residents were treated to lunch after the parade finished.

Streamway Villa posted a note at the home before the event, asking for staff and family volunteers, and many answered the call, which ensured that residents who wanted to attend the parade could do so.

Residents and staff members were grateful for the help.

“(A) huge shout-out goes out to the family members and staff that volunteered to help bring residents down,” the Streamway Villa life enrichment team said in a Facebook post.

“Without you guys, it wouldn’t have been possible to take as many residents down.”

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Picnic marks first outdoor outing of 2022 for Streamway Villa residents

‘It was a perfect day’ spent at Cobourg’s Victoria Park

With sunny skies and the mercury staying around a comfortable 22 C, 11 Streamway Villa residents, their family members, volunteers and staff were able to enjoy their first picnic in a long time on June 8.

Everyone made their way down to nearby Victoria Park in downtown Cobourg to enjoy the day with their friends and families in the afternoon.

Once at the park, the group tucked into sandwiches for lunch and then part of the afternoon was spent playing games, says Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht.

One of the benefits Streamway Villa enjoys is being located in the heart of Cobourg, close to many of the city’s restaurants, shops and, of course, Victoria Park and its adjoining beach.

This convenience goes a long way in helping Streamway Villa life enrichment team members organize outings for residents.

It had been a while since residents were able to enjoy such an outing, due to pandemic restrictions in place for the past two years, but Laurie says everything went to plan.

“Everything went smoothly,” she tells The OMNIway.

In addition to having lunch and playing games, the group walked down to the beach that’s nestled along the shore of Lake Ontario and went along the footpath to enjoy the scenery.

“That’s how we ended the picnic, with one final walk by the water, but we got to stay (at the park) for more than three hours,” Laurie says.

“It was a perfect day.”

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Cooking at Streamway Villa is a chance to enrich lives every day, says team member

‘Putting a smile on residents’ faces – there is nothing more rewarding than that,’ says Litsa Christodoulou

Each day when Litsa Christodoulou walks into Streamway Villa to start her shift in the kitchen, she knows she’s making a difference in the lives of everyone she cooks for at the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home.

Being served high-quality meals is one of the most important aspects of life in a long-term care home for residents, and Litsa does everything she can to deliver the quality meals residents want.

It can be something as simple as plating meals colourfully or by making a happy face out of bacon and eggs, she says.

“I know it might sound a little bit kooky, but they love it; they will think that is the greatest thing,” Litsa tells The OMNIway.

Litsa has been doing “kooky” things like this for residents for seven years, and she says there’s no other job she can imagine doing.

“The thing I love about working in long-term care is the residents,” she says. “Putting a smile on residents’ faces – there is nothing more rewarding than that.”

It’s fitting that Litsa would gravitate to a career cooking for long-term-care home residents.

When she was a high-school student in Toronto, Litsa participated in an adopt-a-grandparent program through a Scarborough long-term care home. This experience had a positive impact on her and introduced her to the long-term care sector.

Additionally, Litsa’s parents owned restaurants, and Litsa grew up helping in the kitchen and working in restaurants, so Streamway Villa has been a perfect fit for a career, she says.

Litsa says the best part about her job is the residents she serves.

“At the end of the day, if I can make the residents happy, then I have fulfilled my duty,” she says.

So, what’s the difference between working in a long-term-care home kitchen and a restaurant kitchen?

“Foodwise, it’s all the same; whether I’m working in a restaurant or a long-term care home, I am giving 110 per cent every day, no matter what,” she says.

“The difference is the people. Sometimes in restaurants, the customers make you feel like they’re doing you a favour by coming in; but here (at Streamway Villa), the residents are always thanking you and telling you that your food is delicious. It’s constant, and I think that that’s the difference and makes it more rewarding.

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Nothing says ‘love’ quite like lobster

Nutritional care team treats Streamway Villa residents to a lobster lunch on Valentine’s Day

The Streamway Villa nutritional care team delivered a special Valentine’s Day lunch to residents Feb. 14 that featured lobster tails as the main course.

Valentine’s Day is always a big event at long-term care homes, so Garth Derry, Streamway Villa’s nutritional care manager, says he wanted to serve a memorable meal to mark the occasion.

Residents tucked into a lunchtime meal that featured large lobster tails served on a bed of rice accompanied by drawn butter, lemon slices, bell pepper rings and asparagus spears.

Residents of the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home had requested lobster for lunch, and Garth and the nutritional care team went all out to ensure they got the meal they wanted.

Garth is happy to report residents enjoyed their meal as much as he and the nutritional care team enjoyed preparing it for them.

“(It was) a rare treat that they loved,” he tells The OMNIway.

Of course, not everyone is a seafood fan, so residents who wished to opt-out of the lobster lunch were treated to pizza.

“Valentine’s wouldn’t be complete without treating our loved ones who don’t like lobster! Why not treat them to some PIZZA!” the Streamway Villa team wrote on the home’s Facebook page.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured at left, Streamway Villa resident Debra Belliveau is seen here enjoying the lobster lunch residents were served on Valentine’s Day. Right, a plate that was served to residents for their Valentine’s lunch, featuring a lobster tail, rice, bell pepper and asparagus.