OMNI homes make summer of 2018 memorable

Resident Helen Knowlton is pictured here giving a kiss to a baby goat that was at Springfield Country Manor Aug. 24 along with several other animals from Woolley Wonderland Farm.

Bonfires, boat cruise, petting zoo among highlights

From hugging a goat to taking a Lift Lock boat cruise, the summer of 2018 will be one to remember for residents of several OMNI long-term care homes.

Life enrichment staff members worked creatively to give residents unique and treasured experiences, embracing the OMNIway hallmark of providing fun and laughter in long-term care.

For instance, Springdale Country Manor residents recently had a memorable visit from some furry and feathery friends when animals from Woolley Wonderland Farm in Lakehurst stopped by the Peterborough-area long-term care home with their owners.

Goats, lambs, sheep, potbellied pigs, newborn bunnies, ducks, geese and several breeds of chickens turned the courtyard into a petting zoo Aug. 24, and 49 of the home’s 68 residents came outside to meet them, some pausing to get in a hug with the animals, Springdale Country Manor life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Sonia Murney recently told The OMNIway.

“The residents really loved it,” Sonia says.

The visit from the hobby farm also attracted family members, and several staff members stopped by on their day off to meet with the animals and spend time with residents, she adds.

“We truly wanted to bring the farm to the home, but we couldn’t, so we brought the animals to the home, which was the next best thing,” Sonia says.

Streamway Villa residents show off their big smiles as they make their way down the Otonabee River towards the Peterborough Lift Lock.

Meanwhile, Streamway Villa residents and staff members went on the famed Peterborough Lift Lock cruise Sept. 11. The outing was a new experience for some residents, while others found themselves reminiscing about times they had spent on the water.

Seventeen of the Cobourg long-term care home’s residents, accompanied by staff members, took the tour through the Otonabee River section of the Trent-Severn Waterway.

The tour took the group down the Otonabee River to the lift lock, which is located in the east end of Peterborough. At 65 feet, the Peterborough Lift Lock is the tallest hydraulic boat lift in the world.

“It was an amazing day,” says Streamway Villa LEC Christina Doughty. “Even with the sun not shining and the weather being kind of chilly, the residents still enjoyed it.”

Without leaving the comfort of home, Frost Manor residents partook in one of the signature activities of summer – having bonfires.

How to toast the perfect marshmallow was just one discussion sparked by the biweekly campfire programs the Lindsay long-term care home hosted this summer.

Frost Manor resident Mike Lane toasts a marshmallow during one of the Lindsay long-term care home’s biweekly campfire nights.

Team members set up a propane fire pit in Frost Manor’s therapeutic garden to host the campfires every other Friday evening. Residents toasted marshmallows, made s’mores and cooked hot dogs.

While the campfires have been excellent forums to take advantage of warm summer evenings, they’ve also proven to be the perfect tool to engage residents in reminiscing.

Residents had conversations about sitting around campfires with their families, Frost Manor LEC Lyndsay Irwin says.

“The residents also enjoy hearing campfire songs and ghost stories,” Lyndsay says. “This program has really stood out for me because right from the moment the fire is lit the residents start telling their stories.”

The campfires have become popular with residents, and there has been a high attendance rate.

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