OMNI gifting a merry little Christmas


Open house, Christmas choir, presents part of the celebrations

OMNI Health Care is spreading tidings of comfort and joy to all residents of its 18 long-term care homes in Ontario.

‘Tis the season for love, family and friends and one that brings OMNI’s values of fun and laughter to life.
Pleasant Meadow Manor in Norwood is striving to make Christmas merry and bright for all of its residents.

After raising $1,450 at a recent fundraising event, Pleasant Meadow is able to give each of the long-term care home’s 61 residents a Christmas present.

“Every resident is getting something they can use, and everything is already wrapped and ready to go,” Chris Garden, Pleasant Meadow life enrichment co-ordinator, told The OMNIway.

This was made possible through the donations from family members and two local businesses, which were raffled in a silent auction and 50-50 draw.

Residents will find an array of high-quality gifts when they open their presents Christmas Day. Some of the gifts Garden and life enrichment aide Sheila Fleury bought on their shopping spree for residents include movie passes, a bookshelf, Christmas decorations and duffle bags.

In Komoka, Country Terrace held its first holiday open house recently.

When Country Terrace staff saw dwindling numbers of vendors and community attendance at its Christmas bazaar in 2014, the life enrichment team decided to change the format to maximize the annual event, which raises money for the home’s residents’ council.

The team decided to create an open house, complete with a bake sale, a Salvation Army band playing Christmas songs, and refreshments offered in a tea room set up in the home.

“It was well received by residents and families,” life enrichment co-ordinator Christie Patterson says about the open house.

“We wanted to (continue with an event where) the residents could purchase some small gifts for family and friends, (and) enjoy some good music and Christmas cheer.”

By having the Salvation Army band come to the home and by keeping it a tight-knit occasion, Country Terrace was able to make the most of the event. All money raised from the open house goes to the home’s residents’ council, which uses the money to fund outings and in-home entertainment.

Meanwhile in Springville, the long-term care home is alive with the sound of music.
Springdale Country Manor has a resident choir.

“It’s a communal activity; it draws us together,” says Trish Mills, Springdale life enrichment aide, who leads the choir.

“Some of us can hit some notes and others of us can hit other notes. … But the great thing about a choir is we cover for each other and support each other.”

Music can reach a deep place in each one of us, the life enrichment aide says. This can especially be the case when a group is singing well-loved songs, like familiar Christmas carols.

Even as all that people have lost is brought to mind during the holidays, music can both be a moment of brightness and a reminder of what there is still to celebrate.

“It’s a lovely bond we have.”

The Springdale Christmas choir was set to perform Dec. 15 at a Christmas service and family gathering held at the home.

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