Hot dog hat brings lunchtime fun and laughter to Burnbrae residents

Nutritional care aide Nikki McAleaney commended for her idea that made hot dog day even better for residents

Burnbrae Gardens nutritional care aide Nikki McAleaney had been looking for a chance to wear a hot dog hat she owns.

When hot dogs were on the lunchtime menu at the Campbellford, Ont. long-term care home recently, Nikki decided this was the perfect opportunity to provide residents with some mealtime fun and laughter.

With Nikki working in Burnbrae’s nutritional care department, her friends and family started giving her food-themed hats. Last Christmas, Nikki’s aunt gave her a turkey hat. A friend then gave her the hot dog hat.

When hot dog day at Burnbrae Gardens was approaching, she got the idea to wear the hot dog hat over her hairnet to serve residents.

“With me working in the dietary department, I just thought it would be a really cute idea and bring some laughter to the residents by wearing a hot dog hat on hot dog day,” Nikki tells The OMNIway.

Her plan worked.

“It brought them lots of laughter,” she says. “It felt really good to make residents so happy.”

Burnbrae Gardens administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator April Faux says Nikki’s idea to wear a hot dog hat while serving residents hot dogs is a great example of a team member’s strong resident focus.

Residents have been dealing with a lot of changes for the past 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Nikki thinking outside the box to deliver some extra fun to the home was meaningful, April says.

“It’s a great example of fun and laughter that has been incorporated into a tough year,” she says. “The residents had a really great time.”

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