Kentwood Park ‘tree’ is honouring residents – past and present

Pictured above, a tree designed by Kentwood Park life enrichment aides is honouring residents, both past and present, and enhancing the Picton long-term care home’s family atmosphere.

Life enrichment aides’ idea falls in line with two areas of OMNI’s focus: quality and mindfulness

Kentwood Park’s residents and life enrichment team have created a way to celebrate people living at the Picton long-term care home as well as honouring past residents.

There is now a large painting of a tree in the home filled with paper cut-out leaves bearing the names of each of the 45 people who call Kentwood Park home.

When a new resident moves into Kentwood Park, their name is added to the tree and there is a gathering around the tree to officially welcome them.

If a resident passes away, there is a gathering of residents around the tree to remove the resident’s leaf and say a short prayer for them.

The idea, which came from life enrichment aides (LEAs) Brandy Courtney and Darlene VanVlack, was originally to provide closure for residents when someone passes away. Life enrichment co-ordinator Lisa Mills added the idea of using the tree to welcome new residents.

Lisa says the LEAs’ idea falls in line with two areas of OMNI Health Care’s focus on resident care: quality and mindfulness.

“Because Kentwood Park is such a small home, everybody feels like they’re family, and because everyone feels like they’re family we want new residents to feel welcome to this family,” Lisa tells The OMNIway.

“And we don’t always have closure when somebody leaves, and we were thinking that with the tree we could do a celebration of life after someone passes away.”

Since the tree was first put up in autumn, the team decided to use leaves to represent residents. With Halloween approaching, the leaves have been replaced with pumpkins. After Halloween, the pumpkins will be replaced with snowmen, followed perhaps by Christmas trees or snowflakes.

Lisa notes the tree has received high marks from residents.

“They love it,” she says. “It’s nice for them to see their names up on the tree.”

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