Being proactive has kept Village Green safe during the pandemic: administrator

‘We have … made a strong commitment to try to keep (COVID-19) out,’ says Linda Pierce

Village Green administrator Linda Pierce describes the COVID-19 pandemic as a bit like fighting an “invisible enemy” that is “circling the sky” – but by being proactive from the beginning, the Greater Napanee long-term care home has been able to keep residents and staff members safe from the virus.

“We can’t see it, but it’s there, and we’re fighting to keep it out, and staff members are doing an amazing job to keep it out,” she tells The OMNIway.

“It involves every day, every moment, ensuring mask-wearing, ensuring hand hygiene, ensuring social distancing.”

Aside from everyone on the floor being vigilant about safety measures and infection prevention, Linda says there has been strong leadership from both Village Green director of care Debbie McTaggart as well as from OMNI Health Care’s clinical operations manager Susan Cymbaluk.

Strong leadership has resulted in strong compliance, Linda says, crediting everyone working at Village Green for doing their part to keep residents and themselves safe during the pandemic.

“We started wearing masks inside the home before we were told we had to – I have to give credit to Debbie and to Susan and to all of the team, but when you have the leads and the supports directing it, it moves it along a path of heightened awareness,” Linda says.

“We have, collectively in our discussions together, made a strong commitment to try to keep (COVID-19) out.”

Most of all, Linda says the Village Green team always keeps the pandemic top of mind and people do not let their guard down.

“It’s a worry every day, (but) we are standing guard and we are trying our very best to keep our residents and staff safe,” she says.

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Province approves Village Green rebuild that will add 62 beds

Once completed, the new Village Green will benefit residents, staff and the community, says administrator Linda Pierce

The Ontario government announced Nov. 20 that approval has been granted to build a new 128-bed Village Green in Greater Napanee, a move the home’s administrator, Linda Pierce, says will benefit residents, staff members and the community.

Once completed, the new Village Green will have an additional 62 beds, nearly twice as many as the current home, which has 66.

“We are really excited about it,” Pierce tells The OMNIway. “This is such a complement to everybody: the team, the community (and) the people we serve.”

While there is no confirmation on when construction on the new Village Green will start or be completed, Pierce says a tentative site for the home is being considered on the west side of Lennox and Addington County Road 41.

Once completed, the rebuilt Village Green 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 one or two beds.

Pierce says eliminating three- and four-bed wards is crucial to ensuring high quality of life for people living in long-term care homes because lack of privacy can agitate residents.

By limiting rooms to no more than two beds, Pierce says residents will have increased privacy and a more home-like living experience.

“From bathing to dining experiences, everything will be enhanced,” Pierce says.

“Everything, in my opinion, will be more favourable to resident care and to the quality of life of the resident and the quality of life of the worker.”

Pierce also says the redeveloped Village Green will be a community asset because the additional 62 beds will help minimize waiting times for people in the region requiring long-term care.

Village Green is the latest OMNI Health Care long-term care home to receive approval for redevelopment. In 2018, approval was granted to build a new 160-bed Riverview Manor in Peterborough. The province recently announced approval for an additional 32 beds to be added to Riverview Manor, bringing the total to 192 beds.

Pleasant Meadow Manor, Almonte Country Haven, Woodland Villa and Country Terrace received approvals in 2018 for redevelopment projects to expand those homes.

Construction has started on the expansions to Pleasant Meadow Manor, Almonte Country Haven and Woodland Villa.

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Village Green residents were missing Tim Hortons, so staff built a Tim Hortons at Village Green

The creative life enrichment team built a Tim’s drive-thru in the home’s garden. Residents loved it

Challenging times often call for creative measures, and Village Green life enrichment team members really came through for residents when they heard how much people living at the Greater Napanee long-term care home were missing outings to Tim Hortons.

Before short-stay visits for Ontario long-term-care home residents were reinstated in late August by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, residents expressed to life enrichment co-ordinator Ulana Orrick that they were missing trips to Tim Hortons.

Many residents had not had Tim Hortons coffee and doughnuts since the global COVID-19 pandemic began in March.

So on Oct. 6, the life enrichment team set up a Tim Hortons drive-thru in the Village Green garden. Life enrichment aide Jess Boot, a new team member, designed a Tim Hortons storefront facade that was placed on the front of the gazebo.

The Tim Hortons store on Centre St. in Napanee donated coffee, doughnuts and Tim Hortons staff shirts for the life enrichment team to wear.

The nursing team then assisted residents outside to the garden where they queued on the walking path as they would at a Tim Hortons drive-thru.

The residents loved it, Ulana says.

“We had music playing and lots of fun was had,” she tells The OMNIway. “At one point one of the residents exclaimed, ‘you can tell this is a real Tim Hortons because the lineup is so long!’ ”

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Village Green continues to provide safe outdoor entertainment for residents

‘We are going to cram as much live entertainment in as we can’

Village Green is continuing to offer the Greater Napanee long-term care home’s residents a wide range of top-notch outdoor entertainment in a safe environment.

Country-rock band Picket Fences is the latest outdoor entertainment troupe to perform outside at Village Green.

On Aug. 5 the group played a show for Village Green residents, who were seated at a distance in the home’s garden.

“The residents were super happy to have more entertainment at the home, and we even shared one song via Facebook Live with our friends, families and followers,” Ulana Orrick, Village Green’s life enrichment co-ordinator, tells The OMNIway.

The Picket Fences show was the second live performance at Village Green since restrictions in place due to the global COVID-19 pandemic were eased in June to allow outdoor entertainment.

Keeping in line with safety protocols, residents watch performances while observing social distancing requirements from inside the chain-link fence in the Village Green garden. The bands play from the other side of the fence.

The first outdoor concert for Village Green residents was on June 30, when Breaking Chains performed.

There are more outdoor shows lined up at Village Green.

Another entertainer, Mr. Honky Tonk, will be performing on Sept. 2, and a duet consisting of two residents’ family members will be providing entertainment on Sept. 5.

“We are going to cram as much live entertainment in as we can before the weather makes that impossible for us,” Ulana says.

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LEC says she noticed the potential for Village Green’s garden from Day 1

Village Green residents practise social distancing while enjoying a performance from Breaking Chains on June 30.

‘I fell in love with the garden here during my interview,’ says Ulana Orrick

When Ulana Orrick was interviewing for the position of life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) at Village Green, one of the first things she noticed was the Greater Napanee long-term care home’s garden. Read more

Village Green’s LEC reflects on starting a new job during a time of great change

Ulana Orrick (middle) began her position as Village Green’s life enrichment co-ordinator in late March, shortly after the global COVID-19 pandemic was declared.

‘I am absolutely loving it here, this is such a great little home,’ says Ulana Orrick

Ulana Orrick says she’s loving her job as Village Green’s life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC), a position she started shortly after the global COVID-19 pandemic was declared. Read more

Village Green residents enjoy first live entertainment since March

Village Green residents practise social distancing while enjoying a performance from Breaking Chains on June 30.

‘People were smiling for days’ after a June 30 safe outdoor performance from a local band

A live outdoor performance from the musical group Breaking Chains on June 30 was a much-needed change for Village Green residents. Read more

Village Green’s resident feline fills an important position during the pandemic

Roxy, Village Green’s resident cat, is pictured here relaxing on a desk at the Greater Napanee long-term care home.

Roxy, a cat the home adopted in February, has developed a routine to visit residents and staff

The value our furry friends bring to people living in long-term care homes is well documented, and during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic Roxy, a cat Village Green adopted four months ago, is proving to be a big asset to residents during this time. Read more

Unique setup is helping Village Green residents safely visit their loved ones in the garden

Ruth (pictured at right), a Village Green resident, has a safe visit with her daughter Evelyn in the Greater Napanee long-term care home’s garden.

Village Green residents and their loved ones have recently been enjoying safe outdoor visits in the Greater Napanee long-term care home’s garden. Read more

Rosebridge Manor PSW praises Village Green BSO program, training session

‘It was a very informative day’

As Rosebridge Manor builds its Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team, personal support worker (PSW) Richard Barr says the best training he has received by far was during a session at Village Green. Read more