Harnessing community connections is enhancing quality of life for residents

Pictured left to right, Frost Manor residents Michael Lane, Dorothy Burrows, Chrystol Broom, Sharon Arsenault and Sylvia Trumbull enjoying a Tablet Time session.

OMNI Health Care long-term care homes have recently been demonstrating the value of creating community partnerships to help enhance quality of life for their residents.

While team members working in each OMNI home bring a wide variety of know-how to the table when it comes to making the home experience enriching for residents, they also do not underestimate the range of options available outside their doors that add value to the work they do.

Frost Manor recently connected with an organization called Let’s Connect to train team members on how to teach residents to play tablet games. The Lindsay long-term care home has purchased 10 iPads that have been loaded with a variety of game apps that residents of all abilities can enjoy as part of a new program called Tablet Time.

With the help team members received from Let’s Connect, residents are now enjoying new gaming experiences.

Forest Hill resident Marilyn Orr holds a book she received through an outreach program run by the Beaverbrook branch of the Ottawa Public Library. Through the program, library employee Gregor Bertram (pictured at left) visits the Kanata long-term care home every month.

“We have started to show families that they, too, can use the iPads to play these videos to spark discussion and create meaningful visits with their loved ones,” life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Lyndsay Burton says.

Forest Hill LEC Craig Forrest says an outreach program the Kanata long-term care home has been accessing from the Beaverbrook branch of the Ottawa Public Library for two years has been successful at helping residents get books from their favourite authors.

If a resident is interested in a particular book, or if there is a genre or author Craig knows a resident is interested in, he will call library employee Gregor Bertram who will come to Forest Hill with a selection of books.

“We have a lot of residents who take advantage of this,” Craig says. “We have some residents who will take one or two books, and we have other residents who will take 15 to 18, and they will

Springdale Country Manor residents Jenny and Frank Coleman relax in front of a 1972 Dodge Challenger owned by their nephew, Gerry Little (pictured at far right), during the home’s annual car show.

read all of those in a month, and when Gregor comes back in a month he will bring 15 or 18 more.”

For several years now, the folks at Springdale Country Manor have been inviting members of the Seniors Cruises, a Peterborough car club, to display their hot rods for residents to enjoy. The event, which is held each July, brings many classic cars to the Springdale parking lot.

This year’s show featured a 1931 Model A, a 1965 Ford Mustang, a 1953 Chevy, a 1973 Plymouth Barracuda and a 1972 Dodge Challenger, which is owned by Gerry Little, a nephew of residents Frank and Jenny Coleman.

LEC Sonia Murney says Jenny was over the moon when she heard Gerry would be coming by with his car.

“When she found out she was going to have family here today she was so excited.”