Community connections flourish at OMNI homes in 2021

Creating strong community connections is a focus for OMNI Health Care’s 18 long-term care homes, and throughout 2021 we saw many examples of how these important relationships enhance quality of life for residents.

At the beginning of the year, Forest Hill life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Craig Forrest received an e-mail from Grade 8 student Ethan Fletcher who was looking to connect with a resident to participate with him in Zoom-call book readings.

Craig found the perfect resident to connect with Ethan – Barbara Brownhill. The two proved to be a great fit for this one-to-one intergenerational program. Ethan is a student who enjoys reading, and Barbara, who also enjoys books, is a retired teacher.

“For Ethan, he’s helping Barbara, and Barbara gets to go back to being in a teacher role where she helps him with his reading, so it’s a big success,” Craig said.

Another community connection that grew in 2021 was between Country Terrace and Gateway Church.

The Komoka, Ont. long-term care home and the local church have had a long-standing connection. As part of its Gateway Cares outreach program, the church contacted the home this past summer to offer support for residents and staff to help lift spirits during the COVID-19 pandemic.

After some discussions between Country Terrace and Gateway Church, members of the church’s outreach program decided to donate five iPads to residents.

The iPads have helped residents connect with family and friends as well as providing entertainment. Residents are also attending virtual church services by watching them on the iPads.

Springdale Country Manor also rekindled a favourite community connection in 2021.

In August, members of Senior Cruises stopped by Springdale for two hours with more than 20 classic cars and trucks for residents to see during the Yesterday Memories car show.

The Seniors Cruises car club, which hosts car shows at long-term care and retirement homes across the Peterborough area, visits Springdale Country Manor most years.

Residents had a chance to look at the hot rods and chat with car club members about their vehicles. This brought back fond memories for many, said Springdale LEC Sonia Murney.

“The residents had so much fun, reminiscing and touring around the cars,” she said.

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