‘This was a positive experience and has marked a positive feeling forever in everyone’s mind who witnessed this scene,’ says interim administrator John Donzil
The COVID-19 pandemic is not only challenging for long-term-care home residents and staff members, it has also been a trying time for family members, who are unable to visit their loved ones while ministry protocols are in effect restricting visitation.
So when Forest Hill resident Hertha Davidson’s birthday came around on March 18, her two daughters turned up in the parking lot with a creative way to help their mother celebrate.
Forest Hill, along with OMNI Health Care’s other 17 long-term care homes, is closed to everyone but essential visitors to protect residents and team members during the COVID-19 crisis.
From the parking lot, Hertha’s daughters held up a colourful banner that read “Happy birthday” for her to see from her room on the fourth floor of the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home.
Staff members on the fourth floor made sure Hertha could see what her daughters were doing for her, and they were “touched by the love and affection these daughters have shown to their parent when they cannot be with their mother on her birthday,” says interim administrator John Donzil.
When John learned what Hertha’s daughters were doing, he grabbed his mobile phone and began taking a video from his office window. He has posted the video on the Forest Hill YouTube channel.
Team member Kenneth Gagnon, who is in charge of screening at Forest Hill’s front entry, took photographs of Hertha’s daughters in the parking lot.
“I wanted the daughters of this resident to have fond memories of how they celebrated their mother’s birthday,” John tells The OMNIway.
“I value family members like these during this time who use their creative ideas … to connect with their loved ones (while) being mindful of the wellness of the vulnerable residents and the staff at Forest Hill.”
John underscores the impact Hertha’s daughters made on Hertha and the Forest Hill team.
“This was a positive experience and has marked a positive feeling forever in everyone’s mind who witnessed this scene,” he says.
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