Friday barbecues, special breakfasts and modified activities keeping spirits high at West Lake

Staff members are tapping into their creativity to keep the quality of life high during the pandemic

West Lake Terrace staff members have been coming up with ideas, such as offering special meals and modifying activities to meet safety requirements, to keep residents’ spirits high during the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic.

West Lake Terrace, 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 pandemic and group programming has been put on hold.

But staff members have been able to keep morale up by offering the Prince Edward County long-term care home’s residents meals from the barbecue on Fridays as well as special breakfasts delivered to their rooms, says clinical care co-ordinator Neil Peterson.

This has been successful, he notes.

“The special meals and the special breakfasts are helping to keep the residents engaged,” he tells The OMNIway.

Mealtimes are important to maintaining high quality of life in long-term care homes, and residents are enjoying their Friday barbecues, Neil says.

Fridays always featured resident-choice meals, but to take it up a notch the nutritional care team is offering residents a choice of what they want from the barbecue on Fridays.

“It’s summer now, and this gives the residents something they enjoy,” Neil says.

Neil adds that the life enrichment department has also been working hard to keep residents happy during the pandemic by modifying fan-favourite activities, like bingo, which is now played in the hallways while practising social distancing.

The Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care began permitting supervised outdoor visitation at Ontario long-term care homes on June 18.

Screening and social distancing requirements are still in effect, and residents’ family and friends who visit must provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test within the past 14 days.

“It has been going really well … families are understanding the rationale behind (the requirements)” and residents have been happy to see their loved ones again, Neil says.

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