Programming departments underscore value of creativity

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Music, butterflies and regular barbecues at the centre of homes’ programs

OMNI Health Care life enrichment departments have been demonstrating their innovative strengths this summer with a variety of resident-focused programs that underscore the organization’s core value of creativity.

Music is an important part of most people’s lives. With this idea in mind, Country Terrace’s life enrichment department has used funding from the Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) initiative, which is aimed at enhancing quality of life for residents with cognitive impairment, to train staff members in the Java Music Club.

The Java Music Club centres on playing tunes residents enjoy and then encouraging them to engage in discussions about the music. Residents will choose a theme for each session and music related to the theme will be played. Photographs are included with each musical theme and discussions related to the music and photographs are hosted afterwards.

“The residents can talk about the songs and what they meant to them; what they liked, what they didn’t like, so (the program) is great that way,” life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Christie Patterson says.

As a testament to the program’s value, the Java Music Club’s attendance has grown from nine residents in May to 63 in July.

Another great programming idea comes from Woodland Villa. In June, the Cornwall-area long-term care home brought in a butterfly habitat, which consists of butterfly larvae and netting. For the next several weeks, residents watched over the 12 chrysalises – the shells that form over the larvae – until the first butterflies hatched on June 4.

After they hatched, residents cared for the butterflies and fed them with sugar-water-soaked cotton balls. On June 18, the butterflies were released.

“There was so much benefit to this program,” LEC Lisa Doran says. “Every day the residents would go into the room to make sure the butterflies had enough food and to see how they were doing. It was such a wonderful all-around experience for them.”

For Maplewood’s 49 residents, summertime means barbecue time, so the home’s nutritional care team has been giving residents the food they’re craving.

In fact, three to six times each week residents have been served such summer favourites as chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs, all fresh off the grill.

“(Barbecuing) has become a regular, small-group activity that our residents love; the smells of the barbecue fill the air around Maplewood,” says Rachel Corkery, the Brighton long-term care home’s administrator and LEC, adding that regular meals from the barbecue are an example of how “Maplewood is a great place to call home.”

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