Education, reminiscing and fun mark recent programs at OMNI homes

Education, reminiscing and fun – these are some of the themes the life enrichment departments in OMNI Health Care long-term care homes have focused on recently during their quality programming.

At Garden Terrace in Kanata, Ont., residents acknowledged Earth Day on April 22 and were provided with an educational session, courtesy of life enrichment aide Sarah Vierra, that focused on the issues the global environment is facing today and how scientists are working to find solutions to those issues.

“We looked at videos that talked about how in the past certain species were very prominent, that all the rainforests were still there, but deforestation happened and pushed them out,” explains Garden Terrace life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Rachael King.

“As a result, today’s world has changed, and that was interesting for the residents to learn about.”

At Springdale Country Manor near Peterborough, residents got to celebrate the spirit of the Olympics with the Springdale Spring Fling, a two-week series of events that harnessed OMNI’s core value of fun and laughter.

Team members created a series of events for residents that included discus throwing, paper airplane flying, bull’s-eye shooting, a beanbag toss and bowling.

Each event had a first-, second- and third-place winner, explains life enrichment aide Nikki English, who says residents showed a strong spirit of camaraderie during the events.

Medals were also handed out to the top overall resident who achieved the most standings as well as a medal for the resident who participated in the most events.

“There was a lot of enthusiasm and encouragement among the residents,” Nikki says. “They would each cheer each other on after each turn. … The residents really enjoyed the events and the excitement of seeing how well they could do.”

Meanwhile, at Frost Manor in Lindsay, residents got to step back to the 1980s for a day of fun that celebrated big hair, skinny ties and bright pastel colours.

The April 28 event began with 1980s trivia for the residents. This proved to be a great way to spark reminiscing about famous names from the decade and bring out laughter about the trends of the time, says LEC Amy Whitehead.

The life enrichment team also set up a whiteboard in the home’s main lounge where residents and staff members could write down their favourite 1980s memory or trend.

“Some of the answers included: big hair, bright colours, roller skates, Top Gun, and many more,” Amy says.

In the afternoon, residents enjoyed entertainment courtesy of musician Don Van Halteren, whom Amy describes as “a home favourite,” who played the accordion, including a few songs from the 1980s in his set.

“It’s always great to have these spirited days where lots of fun is had,” Amy says.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Frost Manor residents and staff are pictured here during the home’s April 28 ’80s theme day.