Royal memories, a chip truck visit and residents’ council week mark a busy month at OMNI homes

September was a busy month at OMNI Health Care homes, and team members did an amazing job of organizing meaningful events for residents.

The big news across the globe was the Sept. 8 passing of Queen Elizabeth II, who served as head of state to the United Kingdom and 14 Commonwealth realms – including Canada – for 70 years.

At Forest Hill, residents and staff members spent the week of Sept. 19 to Sept. 25 paying homage to Her Majesty with a variety of events, beginning with watching the Queen’s funeral on TV live from Westminster Abbey.

Residents were also engaged in a variety of TV programs and documentaries about Queen Elizabeth II. A favourite activity amongst residents was watching a YouTube video featuring a virtual tour of Buckingham Palace, the reigning monarch’s official residence in London.

Life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Craig Forrest said the week meant a lot to the residents.

“Many residents are from a generation where the monarchy was really important, and they were happy for us to honour the Queen,” he said.

Summer may have turned to autumn on Sept. 22, but there was still enough sunny weather on Sept. 23 for a chip truck to swing by Streamway Villa and dish up portions of poutine, the favourite Canadian snack consisting of fries, gravy and cheese curd.

After the residents got their poutine from the Personal Touch Catering chip truck, they joined their loved ones and the Cobourg long-term care home’s team members in the scenic courtyard to enjoy the afternoon.

The idea for the chip truck visit came from LEC Laurie Kracht, and members of the residents’ council voted to fund the event.

“We haven’t been able to go anywhere, and I wanted to do something to also include the staff,” Laurie said. “I spoke with the residents’ council, and the residents’ council gave the OK to us to splurge on them, so that’s what we did.”

Residents’ Council Week was Sept. 12-18, and Willows Estate marked the week by hosting a variety of activities that were both fun and informative.

The week, organized each year by the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils (OARC), aims to raise awareness about the important role residents’ councils play in long-term care homes.

Among the activities team members organized to celebrate the week were a tea party, a photo booth and trivia about residents’ councils. Team members created a display wall that offered information about Residents’ Council Week.

LEC Teddy Mazzuca said that although Willows Estate celebrates Residents’ Council Week every year, this year’s event had a great presence, a fact she attributes to pandemic restrictions easing this year.

“I think we focused more on Residents’ Council Week this year, just because we’re trying to get back into the swing of things,” she said.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Forest Hill residents are pictured here at a high tea that was hosted Sept. 23 during a week that honoured Queen Elizabeth II.