’Tis the season for ugly Christmas sweaters, pass the present game at Willows Estate

Aurora long-term care home’s nutritional care manager plans elaborate meal for Dec. 25

With staff donning “ugly Christmas sweaters” and residents playing “pass the present”, the holiday season is underway at Willows Estate.

To residents’ delight, the 84-bed Aurora long-term care home recently hosted an ugly sweater contest for staff.

Employees donned their ugliest apparel, and a winner and runner-up were named. Staff also enjoyed a luncheon following the contest, notes Teddy Mazzuca, the life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) at Willows Estate.

“The residents did love (the ugly sweater contest),” Teddy says. “They enjoyed seeing the staff.”

Teddy says she’s looking forward to offering a new game for residents during the week of Christmas called pass the present.

Like the hot potato game, residents sit in a circle and pass the item around while music plays.

However, when the music stops, the resident holding the present gets to open and keep the gift – unlike hot potato during which the person left holding the potato when the music stops is out of the game.

“We’re hoping that most residents will get a small present,” Teddy says.

Meanwhile, in the nutritional care department, nutritional care manager (NCM) Jeffrey Peters and staff will be serving a special meal on Christmas Day.

“We’ll have your traditional roasted turkey with all of the trimmings,” Jeffrey tells The OMNIway.

Dinner will include turkey, pineapple-glazed ham, garlic mashed potatoes, Brussels sprouts with double-smoked bacon, mustard and honey roasted salmon, and herb and garlic oven-baked shrimp. Plum pudding with a crème caramel sauce, eggnog ice cream and seasonal fruit are on the menu for dessert.

“It’s pretty elaborate,” the NCM says.

“Part of it is also to say thank you to the staff too,” says Jeffrey, noting, there will be food for employees working Christmas Day.

Preparation for Dec. 25 will begin Christmas Eve and includes making the brine for the turkey, marinating the salmon, and prepping the vegetables. “Everything needs to be marinated in advance to optimize the best flavour possible,” the NCM notes.

“Then the day of … we just rock and roll.”

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Maplewood residents treated to in-home Christmas parade

The event went over so well, plans are in the works to host another parade next holiday season

Life enrichment aide Rosanne Blackburn and her colleagues at Maplewood are known for coming up with creative ideas to enhance the quality of life for residents at the Brighton, Ont. long-term care home, and just before Christmas they organized another engaging event that put smiles on lots of faces: an in-home Santa Claus parade.

On Dec. 23, Rosanne and the life enrichment team decorated an antique crib to look like a sleigh. Inside the sleigh was a Santa Claus figure with lights along with snowmen and wrapped gift boxes.

One resident, dressed in a Santa Claus outfit, walked behind the sleigh, while another resident, dressed as Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, led the procession in a motorized scooter that was fitted with Christmas lights.

The parade went down a hallway and into the dining room, just before lunch was served. Traditional Christmas band music was played as the parade made its way through the home. There were seven participants in the parade.

Rosanne says the sight of the Santa Claus parade drew lots of cheers from residents as they watched the procession.

“All the residents enjoyed the parade as they waved with smiles,” Rosanne tells The OMNIway, adding the parade was planned for lunchtime to ensure most residents could watch.

Rosanne says the parade went over so well with residents she plans to make the event a Christmas tradition at Maplewood.

“This was our first Christmas parade, and it was such a success that we will continue it next year,” she says.

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Local initiative brings Christmas presents to Streamway Villa residents

For the fourth straight Christmas, the Stuff a Stocking for a Senior project partnered with Cobourg LTC homes. When funds fell short this year, a local florist stepped in to help

For the fourth straight year, the Stuff a Stocking for a Senior project helped ensure all residents of Streamway Villa woke up on Christmas morning to find presents to unwrap.

The Stuff a Stocking for a Senior project was launched by friends Vicky Davis of Cobourg and Lynn Stewart of Orangeville in 2017.

The project normally sends stockings stuffed with presents to long-term care homes, retirement homes and Community Living Ontario residences to bring Christmas cheer.

However, this year homes in the Cobourg area received money to purchase gifts for people.

Vicky, who oversees the project in Cobourg, had a goal of raising $7,000 this past Christmas season to buy presents for homes in the area, but by mid-December, she had only raised $2,000.

Then a Cobourg florist, Quinn’s Blooms & Greenery, donated $4,000 to the Stuff a Stocking for a Senior project, which was a huge boost for the project, explains Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht.

Vicky was then able to go to all the long-term care and retirement homes in the area and share the donations so staff members could buy presents for residents.

Using money that was donated through the Stuff a Stocking for a Senior project, as well as funds provided by OMNI Health Care, Streamway life enrichment staff went shopping for presents to give each of the 50 residents living at Streamway Villa.

In 2018, Vicky told The OMNIway she was inspired to start the program while visiting her mother, who was living at a long-term care home. She says she noticed some residents were not getting family visits and saw an opportunity to make a difference.

She then contacted Lynn, who had many years’ experience organizing a Christmas hamper and stocking-stuffing program for Orangeville seniors, to suggest working together to extend the stocking-stuffing program to Cobourg.

Laurie says the gifts she and her colleagues bought for residents were all personalized.

“We looked at each resident, we looked at their needs, and we went and bought them each individual presents and we then wrapped them,” she says.

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LEC Christina Doughty experienced her first Christmas morning at Streamway Villa. She was amazed at what she saw

On Christmas morning, Streamway Villa residents Terry Staples and Mary Cove (pictured above with life enrichment aide Chelsea Tinney) dressed as Santa and Mrs. Claus to hand out presents to everyone at the Cobourg long-term care home.

‘It just brought tears to my eyes to see the joy and the excitement of these residents’

Christina Doughty has been the life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) at Streamway Villa for 10 years, and for 10 years she has been at the forefront of organizing Christmas for the 59 people living at the Cobourg long-term care home. Read more

‘One of the most successful’ Streamway Villa Christmas bazaars also had a positive impact on the local community

The event raised $1,298 for the home’s residents’ council, and Streamway also found a way to give back to the people of Cobourg

Streamway Villa held its annual Christmas bazaar in mid-November, and while the event was “one of the most successful” Christmas bazaars life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Christina Doughty has seen at the Cobourg long-term care home in terms of fundraising, it also helped make a positive impact in the local community, she says. Read more

Departments collaborate to host Christmas dinners for Riverview residents and families

Riverview Manor resident Patricia Fader is pictured here alongside her granddaughter, Sonia, who is sitting with Santa.

188 turkey dinners were prepared and served during two sittings

The Riverview Manor team served 188 Christmas dinners on Dec. 4 and Dec. 6 to the Peterborough long-term care home’s residents and family members.
Read more

Maplewood Christmas Bazaar nets $1,700

‘It was a huge success’

From handmade mincemeat pies to sparkly Christmas knick-knacks, the holiday season kicked off at Maplewood Nov. 24. Read more

Initiative to provide LTC residents with Christmas presents comes to Streamway Villa

Vicky Davis, right, and Lynn Stewart, left, are seen here with Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Christina Doughty, holding stockings they made and stuffed for the Cobourg long-term care home’s residents as part of their Stuff a Stocking for a Senior campaign.

Cobourg resident Vicky Davis launched Stuff a Stocking for a Senior project to ensure people living in local LTC homes received gifts Dec. 25

A project launched by two Ontario women to ensure residents at Cobourg long-term care homes receive Christmas presents touched Streamway Villa during the holiday season. Read more

Christmas season is in full swing at Garden Terrace

Garden Terrace resident Connie MacCallum is seen here with Santa and Mrs. Claus during the Ottawa-area long-term care home’s annual Light Up the Courtyard event.

Garden Terrace resident Connie MacCallum is seen here with Santa and Mrs. Claus during the Ottawa-area long-term care home’s annual Light Up the Courtyard event.

Residents, family members and staff celebrating the holidays together

The Christmas season is in high gear at Garden Terrace, where residents and staff members have embraced spirit of the holidays by decorating the Ottawa-area long-term care home and hosting its annual Christmas-light celebration. Read more

It was a ‘bazaar’ Saturday at Streamway Villa


More than $600 raised during annual Christmas sale; proceeds will support residents’ council

The success of Streamway Villa’s annual Christmas bazaar on Saturday, which raised more than $600 for the Cobourg long-term care home’s residents’ council, was the result of strong engagement from families, the community and staff members who came together to support a good cause, says Christina Verleysen. Read more