‘I fell in love with the garden here during my interview,’ says Ulana Orrick
When Ulana Orrick was interviewing for the position of life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) at Village Green, one of the first things she noticed was the Greater Napanee long-term care home’s garden.
“I fell in love with the garden here during my interview,” Ulana, who became Village Green’s LEC on March 30, tells The OMNIway.
“They gave me a little tour and I saw the potential for that garden. The walking path is lovely, the flowers, there’s ample seating, it’s just such a pretty place for our residents to enjoy the outdoors in a safe way.”
The global COVID-19 pandemic, which began shortly before Ulana started her LEC position, resulted in group programming at long-term care homes being put on hold to keep residents safe.
When the weather became warmer and provincial restrictions started to relax, Ulana began taking small numbers of residents outside for activities in the garden, which they enjoyed.
“Since the weather has been warm, if a program can be run outside (we will) take it outside,” she says.
Once protocols were relaxed to allow residents outdoor visits with one family member at a time, Ulana says Village Green’s garden was used as the venue, with the garden’s chain-link fence serving as a barrier to keep residents and their loved ones at a safe distance.
During this time, residents could sit on one side of the fence with their family members on the other side.
Village Green’s residents also enjoy live entertainment. Restrictions in place have meant that entertainers have not been able to perform inside the home; however, on June 30 residents were treated to a live outdoor performance from local band Breaking Chains.
Keeping in line with safety protocols, residents watched the group’s performance from the garden while observing social distancing requirements from inside the chain-link fence. The band played from the other side of the fence.
“People were smiling for days,” Ulana says. “There was a buzz in the dining room at mealtimes; the residents were all talking about it, asking each other if they had been at the concert.”
This is Part 2 of a two-part story.
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