Autumn-themed craft helps keep spirits high at Kentwood Park

Residents recently created colourful tree paintings which are now on display for all to enjoy

Kentwood Park life enrichment aide (LEA) Brandy Courtney recently created a safe, autumn-themed craft to help support residents of the Picton, Ont. long-term care home during the COVID-19 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,” she tells The OMNIway.

Brandy explains her inspiration for creating the activity for residents.

“I saw this craft online and automatically thought of my residents at Kentwood Park, and how much fun this would be to do together,” she says.

The trees have been placed on Kentwood Park’s large activity board for all residents and staff members to enjoy, Brandy says.

Brandy adds that activities like this are important to residents during the pandemic.

“It’s important to do the very best we can to keep all residents’ spirits high during this difficult time,” she says. “The residents and I had a blast making these trees, and we look forward to other pandemic-friendly crafts that I will come up with next.”

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)

Self-directed art program at Kentwood Park also has therapeutic benefits

A self-directed art program at Kentwood Park has proven to be an ideal program for residents to be creative, expressive and to have a fulfilling activity in a safe environment.

Many of the Picton, Ont. long-term care home’s residents participate in the program, which encourages them to paint or draw whatever comes to mind.

The program has been especially popular since the global COVID-19 pandemic began in March because it’s an activity residents can do independently in their rooms.

Residents are set up with everything they need to be creative: paper, paint, brushes, pens and pencils, explains life enrichment co-ordinator and environmental services manager Lisa Mills.

“Whatever they make is a big surprise for us in the end,” she tells The OMNIway. “We never know what they’re going to paint.”

One of the key benefits of this program is that the paintings or drawings residents create can be a window into how they’re feeling, Lisa says.

“It’s an expressive thing for them; whatever their emotion is for the day is what you will see (in their art),” she says. “If they’re happy, it will be a happy picture, if they’re not happy that will come through.”

Lisa says if a resident paints a picture that’s sad in nature, staff members will talk with the resident about how they’re feeling, so there’s a strong therapeutic value to the program, she says.

“It’s a very emotional program for them,” she says.

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)

If you have feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)

Artist Lynn Melbourne honours Almonte Country Haven residents by sketching their portraits

Peppy Mocko holds a portrait of his mother that was sketched by artist Lynn Melbourne (left).

‘She has no affiliation with the home, and the fact that she just reached out of compassion and kindness and concern, it was such a beautiful gesture’

Before the COVID-19 pandemic began in March, Lynn Melbourne, an artist from Almonte, Ont., was inspired to sketch portraits of people living in long-term care homes. Read more

Village Green LE team harnesses resident’s talents for painting and teaching

Village Green

Village Green

‘As soon as she sits down and starts doing it, it’s like there’s a switch that flicks, and there’s a bright, shining person with all this knowledge to share’

By encouraging one woman’s passion for painting, the Village Green life enrichment team has been able to enhance quality of life for both the resident artist and several other people living at the Greater Napanee long-term care home. Read more

Sign-making fundraiser brings in $180 for Frost Manor’s residents’ council

Paint night events at other OMNI homes inspire LEC to host similar event

Recent articles in The OMNIway about “paint night” events at Pleasant Meadow Manor and Maplewood inspired Frost Manor life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Lyndsay Irwin to organize a similar fundraising activity at the Lindsay long-term care home. Read more

Diversion doors are preventing exit-seeking behaviours at Garden Terrace

Bookshelf murals on 3 doors are having a positive impact, say staff and families

Since three “diversion doors” were painted at Garden Terrace 16 months ago, agitation caused by exit-seeking has been reduced in residents with cognitive impairment who are living at the Ottawa-area long-term care home, say staff members. Read more

Art program instilling a sense of creative pride in Village Green residents

Village Green residents are seen here painting away in the home’s Art with Martha program, which is overseen by volunteer Martha de Bruyn.

Residents will soon see their paintings adorning the halls

An art program at Village Green has instilled a sense of creative pride among residents at the Greater Napanee long-term care home, while encouraging people to try their hand at something new. Read more

Streamway LEA comes up with ‘picture perfect’ idea for Mother’s Day

Streamway Villa resident Jean Ogden (left) and life enrichment aide Tracey Neville hold two picture frames Jean created in a program just before for Mother’s Day.

Resident mothers created decorative picture frames … but they were surprised with what happened next

A new member of Streamway Villa’s life enrichment team came up with what could be called a “picture perfect” idea to help the Cobourg long-term care home’s residents celebrate Mother’s Day. Read more