Fun-filled night engages Streamway residents, families in quality initiatives

Education and entertainment enhance relationship building

Streamway Villa hosted an education session and dance Oct. 2 that saw residents and their families participate in a fun-filled evening which gave them a better understanding of quality initiatives being undertaken at the home and at OMNI Health Care. Read more

Frost Manor makes lemonade from lemons

Barbecue provided for residents whose camping trip was cancelled at the last minute

When an annual camping trip was cancelled for Frost Manor residents, the Lindsay long-term care home’s life enrichment team pulled together to make the best of a disappointing situation.

Frost Manor residents and staff members have gone to Eaglewood Resort in Pefferlaw, Ont. every September for the past 10 years for a three-day camping trip. Eight residents and staff members were ready to go on this year’s outing Sept. 10-12, however, at the last moment the outing was called off due to a warning about E. Coli contamination in Lake Simcoe.

Residents had been excited about the trip, and life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Vi O’Leary and others were saddened to have to break the unfortunate news to them. Still, the team wanted to do something to make up for it, so they organized a barbecue for the eight people — complete with steaks and beer.

News of the cancellation was especially tough on four residents who went to Eaglewood Resort last year and had a great time, O’Leary says.

“All the residents who were going were really looking forward to the trip,” the LEC says. “The first night that we were (at the camp) we would have had happy hour and then a barbecue, so we did those things here.”

The nutritional care department also provided a helping hand by preparing the steaks, potatoes and caesar salad for everyone, O’Leary adds.

“It was the best we could do — we had to do something,” she says. “But we will go (to Eaglewood Resort) again. We will see what another year brings.”

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.com.

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Hands-on care, warm atmosphere, good food are Country Terrace’s strengths: family member

Country Terrace

‘The care my mother receives is A-plus,’ says Peter Welsh

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When Peter and Grethe Welsh visited Country Terrace for the first time on a tour, one thing stood out for them: the warm atmosphere.

The Welshes were touring the home, where Peter’s mother would soon be living. The couple was looking for a long-term care home that would provide the best possible care for Peter’s mother. When resident services co-ordinator Heather Davidson was showing the couple around, Peter says “90 per cent of the residents were saying hi to us and smiling — this is what makes the difference to me in a (long-term care) home.”

Peter and Grethe say their first impression has remained long after Peter’s mother moved into the Komoka long-term care home. Not only does the home offer a warm, welcoming environment, the care is exceptional, they say.

“The care my mother receives is A-plus,” Peter says. “The staff there is on top of everything.”

Peter, who visits his mother regularly, adds that the home provides regular updates on how his mother is doing and to inform him of any changes in her care.

“This is the type of care we like,” he says.

Peter and Grethe note that they’re not alone in their admiration of Country Terrace. The mother of a friend of the couple’s also lives at the home. Before moving, the resident wasn’t eating well but that’s changed.

“Her mother has gained 20 pounds,” Peter says, adding the meals prepared by nutritional care manager Alex Achillini and his staff are top notch.

The home’s wide variety of resident programming is another bonus, the Welshes say, noting staff members in the life enrichment department engage Peter’s mother in activities.

“Her quality of life is much better (at Country Terrace),” Grethe says. “Her memory is declining, but the second she remembers something, those are the seconds that count for her.”

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.com.

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Woodland Villa the first OMNI home to have a physician assistant

Woodland

Nancy Bonaparte bringing unique skill set to home

Monday, August 18, 2014 — Deron Hamel

SOUTH STORMONT, Ont. – Nancy Bonaparte is bringing a unique set of skills to Woodland Villa. Since May, she has been the only physician assistant working at an OMNI Health Care long-term care home, and her work is helping both residents and the home’s physician.

As a physician assistant, Bonaparte provides quick assessments and sometimes treatments for residents’ conditions which can avoid hospital transfers. This is important because transfers can have a detrimental effect on quality of life. Secondly, by having an in-house physician assistant, Bonaparte’s position lessens doctors’ heavy workloads.

The Canadian Association of Physician Assistants describes physician assistants as “academically prepared and highly-skilled health-care professionals who provide a broad range of medical services.”

There are some differences between physician assistants and nurse practitioners, which several long-term care homes utilize.

Firstly, physician assistants and nurse practitioners work under a different scope of practice. Nurse practitioners are much like “independent practitioners,” notes Bonaparte, while physician assistants work under defined supervision.

“It’s a new position,” says Bonaparte, who works half days at the home. “We’re basically physician extenders, so we always work under a scope of practice under the supervision of a physician. We assess and diagnose, we prescribe some medications, perform biopsies, we order lab and x-ray tests and interpret them.” I work here half days and in the clinic in the afternoons, except Fridays.”

Prior to coming to Woodland Villa, Bonaparte worked in a Kingston long-term care home. There, she says her position was well received

“The families and the residents loved the fact that they were getting seen quicker and probably more frequently, because we have more time than the doctors,” she says. “In long-term care, everybody loves having an extra set of hands.”

Janna Sabourin, Woodland Villa’s director of care, says Bonaparte adds an important contribution to the home.

“Every home should have a Nancy,” she says.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or email deron(at)axiomnews.com.

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OMNI participating in survey to enhance understanding of epilepsy

OMNI-Brochure-image

Initiative aims to enhance care, identify educational opportunities for staff

Tuesday, August 12, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Staff members at OMNI Health Care long-term care homes are invited to participate in a survey to help identify their understanding of seizure disorders as well as educational opportunities.

OMNI and Epilepsy Ontario, a Markham-based epilepsy support agency, are collaborating on the initiative to help ensure residents get the best possible care, says OMNI president and CEO Patrick McCarthy.

Given OMNI’s dedication to forming partnerships with other community organizations, McCarthy says the organization saw this as an opportunity to make a difference.

“Many of our homes have residents diagnosed with seizure disorders, including epilepsy, and I believe that by working together we can help to identify areas where OMNI homes might be able to benefit from education and support services provided by Epilepsy Ontario,” McCarthy says.

“In turn, (this will) help Epilepsy Ontario develop knowledge of prevalence of seizure disorders in long-term care and of the particular support needs of residents living in long-term care homes.”

Managers and staff members will soon be asked to complete a 10-minute electronic questionnaire about the prevalence of epilepsy in OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes. The information provided will help Epilepsy Ontario better understand the needs of residents and staff members, and assist homes in finding needed resources.

An estimated one in every 100 Canadians has epilepsy.

Working with Bramm Research, Epilepsy Ontario has developed surveys for long-term care homes, educators and employers to gain a better understanding of their familiarity with epilepsy, its characteristics and the prevalence of seizure disorders in their workplaces.

Nikki Porter, Epilepsy Ontario’s project manager for the From Isolation to Inclusion initiative, emphasizes that the survey aims to discover opportunities to enhance resident care.

“Our goal in this survey is to achieve an accurate understanding of current levels of awareness and understanding,” she says. “This information will help Epilepsy Ontario and community epilepsy agencies across the province help support long-term care homes, schools and workplaces to accommodate people with epilepsy.”

Other Ontario long-term care providers will be participating in the survey.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or email deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

People make the difference at Woodland Villa, couple says

Ron and Dorothy Clare are seen here relaxing in their private room at Woodland Villa.

Ron and Dorothy Clare are seen here relaxing in their private room at Woodland Villa.

Ron and Dorothy Clare discuss their favourite aspects of home

Monday, August 11, 2014 — Deron Hamel

SOUTH STORMONT, Ont. – Ron and Dorothy Clare have lived at Woodland Villa for the past year, and both husband and wife say what makes life great at the Cornwall-area long-term care home is the people.

Inside the home, the Clares say residents and staff members are a friendly bunch who facilitates a warm, welcoming atmosphere that is an ingrained part of Woodland Villa’s culture.

“The people here — all the people here — are really nice . . . and that’s an important thing,” Ron says.

Dorothy says the warm atmosphere is something she noticed from the day she and Ron moved into the home. Woodland Villa residents and staff members, she says, were quick to introduce themselves and make them feel at home.

“Everybody wants to know the new person who came in, and they always come to you to introduce themselves,” Dorothy explains. “Everyone meets everyone else very quickly.”

She adds that the many activities offered by the home’s life enrichment department provide an excellent forum for residents to interact and get to know each other.

The homey atmosphere the Clares have found at Woodland Villa extends to their private room, which is adorned with Ron’s elaborate carvings and paintings, and to the meals served.

Good food, the Clares say, is an important to them and to other residents, they say, adding choices are given to residents at every meal.

“They have a pretty good system here (for food service),” Ron says.

Another aspect of Woodland Villa life the Clares like is the home’s residents’ council. They say the meetings provide an outlet for residents to dialogue and have their voices heard.

“We’re asked if we want to see anything improved or if we want something done different,” Dorothy says. “And they listen.”

Do you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway? If so, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

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Pie-in-the-face fundraiser scores big for residents’ council

Nutritional care manager Alex Achillini is seen here after getting a pie in the face at Country Terrace's family barbecue.

Nutritional care manager Alex Achillini is seen here after getting a pie in the face at Country Terrace’s family barbecue.


Country Terrace team raises more than $300

Tuesday, July 29, 2014 — Deron Hamel

A pie-in-the-face event at Country Terrace’s recent family barbecue not only underscored the OMNI Health Care value of fun and laughter, it also raised more than $300 for the Komoka long-term care home’s residents’ council.

Inclement weather on July 19 forced the Country Terrace team to setup the event, which had a carnival theme, indoors. But the change of venue didn’t affect the outcome of the day, says life enrichment co-ordinator Christie Patterson.

The life enrichment team came up with the idea for the event. Seven managers volunteered to stick their heads through a star-shaped opening in a board, and staff members, families and residents could donate their spare change for a chance to throw a pie covered in whipped cream and banana pudding at them.

In fact, administrator Karen Dann raised more than $100, Patterson notes, joking that she knew everyone would like the idea of managers being the object of the pie throws.

“It’s great to see your boss get a pie in the face,” she laughs. “It was quite a mess afterwards.”

Money donated to the residents’ council largely goes towards financing resident outings and in-house entertainment.

Click here to read a related story.

Do you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway? If so, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

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LEA organizes luncheon that brings her back to her roots

When Country Terrace life enrichment aide (LEA) Alysha Verhoeven began to notice an increase of Dutch residents at the Komoka long-term care home, she got an idea for a program that would tap into her own Dutch roots.

When Country Terrace life enrichment aide (LEA) Alysha Verhoeven began to notice an increase of Dutch residents at the Komoka long-term care home, she got an idea for a program that would tap into her own Dutch roots.


Country Terrace’s growing Dutch population sparks an idea for Alysha Verhoeven

Wednesday, July 16, 2014 — Deron Hamel

When Country Terrace life enrichment aide (LEA) Alysha Verhoeven began to notice an increase of Dutch residents at the Komoka long-term care home, she got an idea for a program that would tap into her own Dutch roots.

Alysha thought of her grandmother, or “oma,” Margaret Verhoeven, who is an excellent cook. What better way to make Dutch residents feel even more at home than to have her oma prepare a Dutch luncheon for them?

So, Alysha called her grandmother, who has volunteered in other long-term care homes, and asked if she’d be willing to cook some of her favourite Dutch recipes for them. Margaret was happy to help out and recently prepared a Dutch spread of food that included a traditional meatball soup and a cake, while Alysha prepared an array of sandwiches and tea.

Adding to the spirit of the event, Alysha decorated the dining room with red, white and blue ribbons to emulate the colours of the Netherlands’ flag. She also brought in a clog, a traditional wooden shoe that was used as a centrepiece, as well as miniature porcelain gin bottles shaped like houses that are distributed by Dutch airliner KLM.

Of course, no event celebrating culture would be complete without music, so the luncheon was followed by a Dutch singalong that brought out residents’ musical side.

“One woman, who speaks mainly Dutch, was singing the entire time and I’ve never heard her sing like that before,” Alysha says, adding that several residents who aren’t Dutch also joined in.

Alysha says she wants to celebrate a different culture each month on a go-forward basis.

“We have a lot of people here who are of different ethnicities, so it would be nice to celebrate everyone,” she says.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

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Birru Firew an employee ‘you’d love to clone’

The Garden Terrace management team gathers for a photo prior to an awards ceremony at Fern Resort in Orillia.

The Garden Terrace management team gathers for a photo prior to an awards ceremony at Fern Resort in Orillia.

‘Genuine’ PSW Garden Terrace’s Everyday Hero

Monday, July 14, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

ORILLIA, Ont. – Through his “authentic” and “genuine” ways, Birru Firew brings a sense of peace to the residents of Garden Terrace.

The personal support worker’s (PSW) gifts were on display recently when Firew was named Garden Terrace’s Everyday Hero.

OMNI Health Care managers heard about the contributions of the full-time, fifth-floor PSW during the May 7 second annual Awards and Recognition Night at Fern Resort.

“He’s the kind of PSW you’d love to clone,” said Annik Donzil, Garden Terrace director of care. “He daily demonstrates a kindheartedness that just can’t be put on — it’s truly who he is.”

Firew’s gestures are not grandiose, glamorous or of high profile. “They are authentic and genuine,” Donzil said.

“Even though the majority of our residents may suffer from dementia, they can still be perceptive and understand things. I believe that our residents see in Birru what each of us would so desperately long for if we were in their shoes. I believe they see comfort and for that he won the award.”

The 160-bed Kanata long-term care home also recognized another employee, clinical care co-ordinator and RAI co-ordinator Vanessa Labrecque, by honouring her with the Inspired Leader award. Click here to read her story .

OMNI acknowledged several staff members from its 18 long-term care homes during the awards ceremony.

Following the presentations, managers were entertained by singing impressionist Matt Gauthier and tried their hand at crown and anchor, blackjack, poker and roulette for a chance to win prizes.

The gala evening featured a Viva Las Vegas theme and staff members embraced the opportunity to dress in creative and colourful costumes reflecting all-things Vegas.

Read more about OMNI’s inspired leaders and everyday heroes in upcoming stories.

If you have feedback on this article or a story idea to share, please e-mail natalie(at)axiomnews.com or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051.

Ont. dementia strategy a would be a great start: King

SpringdaleCountryManor

Springdale administrator applauds recent petition

Wednesday, July 9, 2014 — Deron Hamel

A petition was recently launched to encourage the Ontario government to create a provincewide dementia strategy, and while Maureen King says a national strategy is needed, the Springdale Country Manor administrator notes this is a “great start.”

The petition, which was spearheaded by Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Percy Hatfield and the Alzheimer Society of Windsor and Essex County, states that 200,000 Ontarians are living with dementia. The economic impact of the disease is expected to reach $15.7 billion by 2020.

The petition calls for a strategy that addresses primary health care, health promotion, illness prevention, caregiver support and investment research.

King says that while Canada needs a national dementia strategy, an Ontario strategy could serve as a Rosetta stone that other provinces could follow.

“Ultimately, I would like to see that tied up nationally, and wouldn’t it be nice if all the provinces had a basic concept of what a national plan should look like,” King tells The OMNIway.

“What a provincial plan needs to look like is how we’re going to address care as it progresses; community care, day care and long-term care. How that’s going to look (and) how we’re going to move through the system smoothly for people (with  dementia) because of their high needs and their sensitivity to change.”

Canada is the only G7 nation without a national dementia strategy. Britain, the United States, France, Germany, Italy and Japan all have national strategies.

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