Life enrichment teams’ creativity keeping spirits high

Keeping spirits high for long-term-care home residents during such challenging times is important to maintaining quality of life, and life enrichment team members in OMNI Health Care homes have been proving they have what it takes to develop meaningful, creative programming.

Willows Estate recently started its baking program again, much to the delight of residents who enjoy making pies and other sweets. Recently, residents at the Aurora long-term care home got to bake apple pies that were served at a tea social.

Aside from the residents’ work resulting in delicious apple pies for everyone to enjoy, baking also brought back many fond memories for the residents, says life enrichment aide (LEA) Azaria Kanda.

“It is such a delight to watch these ladies fully immersed in this activity, for we know how much this has a positive effect on people,” he says.

“You can feel the exhilaration and pure joy as one is in charge of peeling the apples, while one is working on the dough and the other is helping set up the trays in preparation for the baking.”

At Kentwood Park in Picton, LEA Brandy Courtney recently created a safe, autumn-themed craft program for residents to participate in during the pandemic and to celebrate the changing of seasons.

Residents were provided with a paper template drawing of a tree with leafless branches. The goal of the activity was for residents to paint fall leaf colours – yellow, orange, red and brown – on the trees.

A small group of residents was provided with paint and a special tool to dab colours on the trees: broccoli.

Dabbing pieces of the vegetable into the paint to stamp on the tree branches created a realistic pattern of vibrant autumn colours, Brandy says.

“Making these colourful fall trees with the residents and using a healthy snack to do it, well, you can’t get any better than that,” Brandy says.

At Frost Manor in Lindsay, LEA Sarah Thayer recently revamped a painting program that was first led by LEA Kim Williams – who is now life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) at Pleasant Meadow Manor – and was popular with residents.

The program starts with Sarah creating a drawing that serves as a model, and the residents create their own painting based on that drawing.

The first time Sarah led the program for residents she painted a birch tree. For October, the model will be a silhouette of a cat sitting on a tree branch. November will feature a Remembrance Day poppy.

“The great thing is we can do this socially distanced, which works out really well,” says Frost Manor LEC Lyndsay Burton, adding the program has been “going over really well.”

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