Redeveloped Village Green will be an important community asset: administrator

Job creation and improved local access to LTC beds are among the community benefits the new 128-bed home will provide, says Linda Pierce

When the project to redevelop Village Green is completed, the state-of-the-art 128-bed long-term care home will not only enhance the living and working experience for residents and staff members, it will also be a major benefit to the community, says Linda Pierce.

Linda, Village Green’s administrator, says the redeveloped Village Green will create employment opportunities for Greater Napanee as well as ensure more people in the region requiring long-term care will be able to stay close to home.

Village Green employs about 85 people. Because the redeveloped home will be almost double in size – Village Green currently has 66 beds – about twice as many people will be needed to staff the new home.

Linda notes the region around Greater Napanee contains many small towns and villages where people have lived all their lives. A major benefit the additional 62 beds will bring to the region, she says, is that people living in these communities needing long-term care will have increased access to beds.

“That’s comforting for people to know; that you’re going to be where you grew up,” Linda tells The OMNIway, adding this is equally important to families.

“Being close to Mom and Dad is important (for families), and in our area, we are an aging population. … We have cared for our moms and our dads and our aunts and uncles … and that’s a great honour to be able to (continue to) do that.”

Village Green was approved for redevelopment by the province in November 2020. Construction on the new Village Green, which will be located at the northwest corner of Drive-In Road and Highway 41 in Greater Napanee, could start as early as autumn.

Once completed, the new Village Green will be a Class A long-term care home consisting of four spacious living areas that will each be home to 32 residents.

The redeveloped Village Green will also have 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.

Outside, the new Village Green will have scenic gardens and outdoor space as well as a “whole home” gathering area and chapel space.

“It’s going to be just absolutely stunning,” Linda says of the redeveloped Village Green. “It’s going to have quite a presence in our community.”

– This is Part 3 of a three-part story series

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

Excitement building around plans for Village Green redevelopment

‘If I had to rate the excitement on a scale from one to 10, it would be 15,’ says administrator

Village Green is buzzing with excitement as residents and staff members await the start of construction to build a new 128-bed long-term care home to replace the existing 66-bed residence in Greater Napanee.

“If I had to rate the excitement on a scale from one to 10, it would be 15,” administrator Linda Pierce tells The OMNIway.

The design plans for the new Village Green were recently unveiled, and a site at the northwest corner of Drive-In Road and Highway 41 in Greater Napanee has been secured for the new home.

Construction could begin as early as autumn.

“As we start now to move along the path and really have a heightened awareness that this is actually going to happen, that we are closer to putting shovels in the ground, there’s a real flavour of excitement,” Linda says.

Once completed, the redeveloped Village Green will be a Class A long-term care home that will include four spacious neighbourhoods, with 32 residents living in each neighbourhood.

To enhance privacy, all rooms will have either one or two beds, and there will be a host of modern amenities, such as wider hallways and more home-like dining areas. Outside, the new Village Green will have scenic gardens and outdoor space as well as a “whole home” gathering area and chapel space.

“We are going from a 66-bed home to a 128-bed home, and the exciting thing for the residents is that they will no longer have to share a basic room with (as many as) three other residents,” Linda says.

“There’s going to be such an enhancement (in quality of life).”

The new Village Green, which has been designed by Toronto-based G Architects, has been planned “very, very well” with a strong focus on privacy, Linda adds.

Linda notes that residents have had input into the home’s design and that G Architects has included their input in the plans. Some of the features that have been important to residents include enhanced privacy, wider doors and more spacious bathrooms, Linda says.

Village Green opened in 1978 and the home has always been focused on providing a high quality of life for residents, Linda says, but a new home is needed to stay ahead of the curve and meet the needs of an ever-changing resident population.

“The residents love living here, but, let’s face it, it’s an almost 45-year-old home that was built all that time ago and the population has changed,” she says, adding everyone at the home is pleased with the province for approving the new build.

“We are thrilled.”

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured above, an illustration created by G Architects of the front entrance of the new, 128-bed Village Green that has been approved for redevelopment.

New Village Green design plans unveiled

The spacious, redeveloped home will bring 62 new beds to the region and include a host of modern amenities

Design plans for the new, state-of-the-art Village Green were unveiled March 25 at a press conference in Greater Napanee, where announcements for the redevelopment of three other long-term care homes in the region were being made.

The event was attended by representatives from OMNI Health Care and other long-term care operators as well as representatives from provincial and local governments and the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.

In November 2020, the Ontario government approved the redevelopment plan to build a new 128-bed Village Green in Greater Napanee that will add 62 beds to the existing home.

During the event, it was announced that the new Village Green will be located at the northwest corner of Drive-In Road and Highway 41 in Greater Napanee.

Once completed, the new Village Green will be a Class A long-term care home consisting of four spacious living areas that will each be home to 32 residents.

The redeveloped Village Green will also have 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.

Outside, the new Village Green will have scenic gardens and outdoor space as well as a “whole home” gathering area and chapel space.

Patrick McCarthy, OMNI’s president and CEO, said in a statement that OMNI is pleased the Village Green redevelopment process is underway, adding feedback from people living and working at the home was included in the designs created by G Architects.

“We appreciate the people who live and work at Village Green and look forward to the new Village Green meeting the current and future needs of the community,” he said.

“During each design stage, architects have presented preliminary plans to residents, families, and staff in order to obtain and consider feedback.”

Village Green opened its doors Aug. 27, 1978. Since then, the home has prided itself on being focused on providing the best possible quality of life for residents, said Linda Pierce, the home’s administrator.

“Over the past 44 years the team of caregivers at the home have strongly believed in providing hope, purpose and belonging to the residents,” she said.

“With great anticipation, we appreciate the trust and support to continue our story.”

Construction on the $33-million project to redevelop Village Green could start as early as this autumn.

In addition to Village Green, there are two other OMNI long-term care homes that have been approved for rebuilding: Riverview Manor in Peterborough and Streamway Villa in Cobourg.

Construction is also well underway at four OMNI homes that have been approved for expansion: Almonte Country Haven, Country Terrace, Pleasant Meadow Manor and Woodland Villa.

– This is the first story in a three-part series about the Village Green redevelopment

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

PHOTO CAPTION: Pictured above, an illustration created by G Architects of the front entrance of the new, 128-bed Village Green that has been approved for redevelopment.

Entertainer’s Spanish music gets Garden Terrace groovin’

Marco the Musician’s engaging performance attracted several residents who usually don’t attend programming

Garden Terrace recently welcomed back Marco the Musician, a fan-favourite entertainer among residents, who delivered an hour-long performance at the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home.

One of the benefits of having Marco back at Garden Terrace was that his appearance encouraged several residents who normally do not attend programming to stop by and take in the performance, says Rachael King, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

“Everyone seemed very happy and engaged,” she tells The OMNIway, “and people who usually don’t attend programming came out, so there were some new resident faces there.”

Marco plays a wide variety of tunes residents love, but his specialty is Spanish music, Rachael says.

During his March 24 performance, Marco played some Spanish songs for the residents which prompted a few to stand up and start dancing, she adds, noting Marco brings out the festive spirit in residents.

“Marco is one of the crowd favourites,” Rachael says. “He will play anything – he will play Spanish music, but then he will play other music with a Spanish twist and he will sing in English and in Spanish.”

About 25 people in total attended the event, including some who particularly liked the Spanish theme of many of Marco’s songs.

“There are a few Spanish residents who really enjoyed it,” Rachael says.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

Viral Facebook post brings children to Village Green to make snowmen for residents

‘I was hoping we might get one or two kids out, and I was completely wowed by our community,’ says LEC Ulana Orrick

If you post it on Facebook, they will come.

This is something Village Green life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Ulana Orrick learned Wednesday (Feb. 2) when she posted a live video on the Village Green Facebook page asking children in Greater Napanee to stop by the home to build snowmen for residents.

When Ulana arrived at Village Green for work that morning, she immediately noticed the balmy, 3 C weather had created soft, sticky snow around the home, and soft, sticky snow, as every Canadian knows, makes perfect snowmen.

Knowing it was a PA day and children would be off from school, it was the perfect opportunity to engage the younger generation in life at Village Green, Ulana says.

Ulana made a live video of herself outside the home inviting children of all ages and families to stop by to make snowmen and snow sculptures for the residents and enjoy the nice weather.

Before long, children and their parents were showing up in droves. Ulana says she was overwhelmed by the response.

“I was hoping we might get one or two kids out, (but) I was completely wowed by our community,” she tells The OMNIway, adding that by late afternoon the Facebook post had about 4,000 views and more than 100 shares.

“We have had families and even a daycare showing up. … Our residents are having a great time watching the kids playing and having snowball fights.”

Designs the children came up with included traditional snowmen, a bear cub climbing a tree, a cat and a heart-shaped snow sculpture that was painted red. Each one impressed the Village Green residents and staff.

“The snowmen and snow sculptures are all so creative,” Ulana says.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

Church ensures Village Green residents get to see much-loved Christmas choir

Since the much-loved choir could not be at the home for Christmas, a special video was made for residents

Village Green residents were able to watch a favourite Christmastime event in December, thanks to the kindness of the members of Selby United Church.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the children’s choir at the church, which is directly across the road from Village Green in Greater Napanee, would visit the home to perform for residents at Christmas.

This past Christmas, due to pandemic protocols in effect, the children could not be at the home to sing for residents.

Instead, the church members recorded a special presentation of the children’s choir along with a skit that was posted on YouTube for Village Green residents to watch. The video was well-received by residents, says Village Green life enrichment co-ordinator Ulana Orrick.

“We were able to play that on the big TV in the activity room for the residents and they really loved seeing the kids again because they haven’t been able to since (the pandemic) started,” she tells The OMNIway.

Ulana says that in addition to making the special video for residents, the church sent Christmas cards and treats to the home during the holidays.

“They have pretty much adopted us,” Ulana says. “The fact that they videotaped (the choir) and did a special shout-out to the residents at Village Green, saying that they miss them and that they were sorry that they couldn’t come in, was really nice.”

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

Local pharmacy funds backdrop for Village Green Christmas photos

Residents had festive pictures to send their loved ones, thanks to the generosity of Gray’s IDA Drug Store in Napanee

Village Green residents had high-quality, festive photos taken in front of a Christmas backdrop they were able to send to their loved ones during the holiday season, thanks to the generosity of a local business.

Before the holidays, Village Green life enrichment co-ordinator Ulana Orrick reached out to the local community in Greater Napanee on Facebook to ask photographers if they had unwanted backdrops they could donate.

The post received little response until Jason Hager of Gray’s IDA Drug Store saw Ulana’s query and offered to pay for a backdrop for Village Green through the pharmacy’s staff Christmas donation fund.

“(Jason) told us to order one and then bring him the receipt because the residents of Village Green deserve to have a nice, new backdrop, and so that’s what we did,” Ulana tells The OMNIway.

The backdrop – which features a fireplace and mantel adorned with Christmas stockings along with a Christmas tree and presents – was purchased and residents “absolutely loved” having their photos taken, Ulana says, adding the home’s hairdresser helped residents get their hair done on her own time, and staff members helped with makeup.

“We took some amazing Christmas photos for residents to send to their loved ones since they weren’t able to go see them over the holidays,” Ulana says.
“The residents absolutely loved it, they really got into it.”

In short time, residents’ family members were sending e-mails to Village Green to thank team members for taking photos of their loved ones.

“This is the kind of thoughtful and heartwarming care that makes Village Green a wonderful and trusted atmosphere for our loved ones,” wrote one family member.

Wrote another family member: “This picture is priceless, I can’t thank you enough. I’ve been thinking of this guy all day. This Christmas again will not be the same without him due to restrictions on family functions. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this photo and can’t wait to share (it) with the family.”

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

PHOTO CAPTION: Village Green resident Phyllis Brown smiles for the camera in front of a decorative backdrop that was donated to the home before Christmas. Village Green took photos of residents in front of the festive backdrop and sent the pictures to their family members in time for the holidays.

Creative staff turned Village Green into a jungle and pirate ship this year

Creativity is one of OMNI Health Care’s core values, and it’s a value the Village Green team embraced in 2021, resulting in fun, memorable programs for residents.

In April, Village Green residents were treated to an African safari that included a tour where they spotted different animals and learned about several creatures that live in a jungle habitat.

The life enrichment team and Griffin Newton, a co-op placement student at the time, led residents through the Greater Napanee long-term care home on a safari to search out the variety of “animals” that were made from pieces of cardboard cut into the shapes of different creatures and then painted by Griffin and his family.

The animals were created with “amazing” detail, Village Green life enrichment co-ordinator Ulana Orrick noted.

Residents and their safari guides walked through Village Green looking for tigers, gazelles and other animals that one may spot on a safari.

Ulana said the activities from Safari Day met residents’ needs on many levels. Aside from being fun and educational for residents, the day also had social aspects and also proved to be a way to get people exercising.

“Walking in the halls, they were exercising without even realizing it,” Ulana said.

In September, team members once again changed the home’s ambiance, this time turning the activity room into a pirate ship and marking it with the jolly roger flag for High Seas Adventure Day.

Team members dressed up in pirate costumes and residents could put on a pirate hat embossed with the skull and crossbones to have their photos taken.

Residents were treated to a variety of pirate-themed activities throughout the day that included an educational session on the history of pirates, a game of pirate bingo and even digging for hidden treasure.

There was also a high seas-themed exercise class many residents participated in. Residents were even “certified” as pirates for the day, Ulana said.

“Residents were given a pirate name and an honorary pirate certificate,” she said.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

Two OMNI homes win prizes for videos highlighting the Residents’ Bill of Rights

Burnbrae Gardens and Village Green will receive $50 Tim Hortons gift cards from the OARC

Two OMNI Health Care long-term care homes have won prize draws for videos they created highlighting the 27 rights listed in the Residents’ Bill of Rights as part of a contest organized by the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils (OARC).

Burnbrae Gardens and Village Green will be receiving $50 Tim Hortons gift cards which both homes will be using to host doughnut parties for residents.

A third OMNI home, West Lake Terrace, received an honourable mention on the OARC website for the video residents and team members submitted.

The OARC challenged Ontario long-term care homes to work with residents to create videos to teach others about the Residents’ Bill of Rights during Residents’ Council Week, which ran Sept. 13-19.

In the video submitted by Burnbrae Gardens, residents are wearing T-shirts listing the 27 rights. Each T-shirt is embossed with two residents’ rights – one on the front and one on the back. Residents had their photos taken wearing the T-shirts, and the photos were made into a slideshow accompanied by music.

Resident Jeannine LeClerc, who is fluent in French, provided a translation in the video for every resident right.

“Residents were super excited to know that they will receive a Tim Hortons recognition party for all their hard work in putting this video together,” Burnbrae Gardens administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) April Faux tells The OMNIway.

April says the prize is a bonus for a project everyone found rewarding to create.

“To be honest, we had so much fun as a group making this video that the gift card we received was just an extra little reward on top of the fun and laughter we had putting it all together,” she says.

The video created by Village Green features the Greater Napanee long-term care home’s residents and team members reading the residents’ rights.

In some segments, Village Green residents and staff members act out residents’ rights so viewers can see examples of residents’ rights in action.

Village Green LEC Ulana Orrick says residents were overjoyed when they learned they would be having a doughnut party thanks to their work on the video.

Ulana says when she asked residents how they felt about being recognized for their work, the most common reply was “I feel proud.”

“Our residents were thrilled to be one of the winning homes, and we will be having a party soon to celebrate with our Tim Hortons Gift card,” she says.

“This was such a great way for residents to express themselves and to feel some ownership of their home.”

The video created by West Lake Terrace, called Through Our Eyes Bringing the Residents’ Bill of Rights Alive, features a slideshow of residents and team members holding cards with each residents’ right explained as a rendition of the Beatles’ In My Life plays.

Click here to watch the Burnbrae Gardens video.

Click here to watch the Village Green video.

Click here to watch the West Lake Terrace video.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

Pirate-themed activities engage Village Green residents in fun, education and exercise

High Seas Adventure Day proves to be engaging on many levels

Well, shiver me timbers!

Village Green residents were recently treated to a pirate-themed day at the Greater Napanee long-term care home that creatively combined fun, education and exercise.

On Sept. 23, the Village Green life enrichment team organized High Seas Adventure Day for residents that began with residents finding a message in a bottle on their tables at breakfast.

“Ahoy! Today be a special day at Village Green,” the message read. “Today we sail the seven seas in search of pirate treasure! Join us in the Galley (the activity room) to get your pirate name and start your adventure!”

Team members dressed up in pirate costumes and residents could put on a pirate hat embossed with the famous symbol of pirates, the skull and crossbones, to have their photo taken.

From there, residents were treated to a variety of pirate-themed activities throughout the day that included an educational session on the history of pirates, a game of pirate bingo and even digging for hidden treasure, explains Ulana Orrick, Village Green’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

There was also a high seas-themed exercise class many residents participated in, she adds.

Residents were even “certified” as pirates for the day.

“Residents were given a pirate name and an honorary pirate certificate,” Ulana says.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)axiomnews.com.