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Streamway Villa residents make new feathered friends

Two ducks meandered into the home’s garden to visit residents as they did spring yard work

A group of Streamway Villa residents recently discovered that doing yard work can be just “ducky.”

The OMNIway recently told you about residents and staff members working together to beautify the garden and courtyard outside the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home.

While residents and staff were raking leaves and setting up tables and chairs, two ducks ambled through the gate and into the garden from the small ravine outside the home.

The winged visitors made a nice day even better for residents, who named their new feathered friends Beatrice and Orville, says life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht.

“Literally, the two ducks just strolled in,” she tells The OMNIway. “They walked right up to us, not even afraid. … It was a nice moment for the staff and residents seeing the ducks.”

Beatrice and Orville stayed with residents in the garden for most of the day. They would walk around visiting residents, who could not have been more pleased, Laurie says.

When the day’s work was done and it was time for everyone to go back indoors, the ducks were still meandering around the yard.

Laurie guided them towards the gate so they wouldn’t be locked in.

“Then someone reminded me that ducks fly,” Laurie chuckles.

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

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Streamway Villa residents take a trip to ‘Margaritaville’

Residents and staff celebrate National Margarita Day

It may have been one of the coldest days this winter, but inside Streamway Villa residents were sipping margaritas on Feb. 22 to mark the drink’s special day.

On National Margarita Day, the life enrichment team at the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home served up icy-cold margaritas for residents to enjoy – complete with straws and cocktail umbrellas.

“Originally we were all going to dress up in vacation gear, but I have to say it was hard, due to it being in a snowstorm that day and the coldest day of the year,” explains Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht.

“But we did go through with the margaritas and a little dance party, of course. We played music like we were on vacation, such as Margaritaville, and then drank margaritas.”

For an added measure of fun, the life enrichment team asked residents to close their eyes and imagine they were walking along a warm, tropical beach, listening to the waves roll up to the shore.

“Some of the residents really engaged in the activity and started to tell me how hot the sand was on their toes and how they could hear birds in the distance,” Laurie says.

Margarita day was part of this year’s Spirit Days program at Streamway Villa. Spirit Days are themed programs aimed at ramping up fun and laughter during the colder months.

Streamway Villa hosted Spirit Days last year at this time, but the COVID-19 pandemic began shortly after and the program had to be put on hold.

“Lately it has been pretty gloomy with the winter, cold days, and the pandemic so we chose to try and lift everyone’s spirits,” Laurie says.

“The Spirit Days are meant to just cheer everyone up since we still aren’t able to do much recreation programming besides one-to-ones or very small group activities.”

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

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

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.

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

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LEC reflects on putting together a strong team amid pandemic

‘It has been an interesting roller coaster, but we seem to make it work’

Taking on a new managerial role in a long-term care home usually means taking on new challenges, and taking on a managerial role during a pandemic can multiply those challenges.

Fortunately, Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Laurie Kracht says she has a dedicated life enrichment team at the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home and that has helped the process run smoothly.

Laurie started working part-time at Streamway Villa in January and became the home’s LEC in July.

Aside from the usual training for her and her team, there were new rules and protocols in place due to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

“Getting everything together was difficult during that time, but we made it work,” Laurie tells The OMNIway.

“When I first started (as LEC), I needed to put together a team, so … having everyone fit together as a team was really amazing.”

Three life enrichment aides – Taylor Stacey, Devyn Sheppard and Kiana Gammage – were recent hires and students. While Kiana gave up her position to dedicate herself to her studies when the school year began, Taylor and Devyn have stayed on to work weekends.

Full-time life enrichment aide Lynette Sandercock has recently returned to Streamway Villa after taking a temporary leave.

What made things work was strong consistency through training, Laurie says. Having that consistency is important for a life enrichment team to thrive, she adds.

“You create consistency through training, you have processes and procedures in place for training and getting people on board – but during COVID-19 it’s all over the board and every day is a new day, but we did it as a team and I’m very pleased that I am keeping (Devyn and Taylor),” Laurie says.

“It has been an interesting roller coaster, but we seem to make it work, and I think we’ve kept the positivity and that was my goal.”

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

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

Working at Streamway this summer has opened student’s eyes to LTC

‘It has been really nice to meet so many new people and hear so many stories,’ says Kiana Gammage

While Kiana Gammage says she’s not sure what career path she will eventually choose, working at Streamway Villa this summer gave her valuable experience in long-term care that can help her make her decision someday.

Kiana, who will be entering Grade 10 this school year, still has lots of time to make up her mind, but she says she’s happy she’s had two months to experience life at the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home.

“That’s part of the reason why I came here; to see if (long-term care) would be something I would be interested in pursuing,” Kiana says.

“It has been really interesting because it’s so different from what most people my age are doing, so it was such a nice experience to gain knowledge in different areas like that.”

Kiana has been working in Streamway Villa’s life enrichment department since late June. Her last day is today (Sept. 2).

With indoor large-group programming currently on hold due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, Kiana has spent much of her time doing one-to-one programming with residents and helping with resident-family visits.

One of the things Kiana says she has liked best about working at Streamway Villa is that it’s a small home, and that has allowed her to get to know the 59 residents on a personal level.

“What I love about Streamway is that there are not too many residents, so I’ve really been able to get close with each person and get to know them personally,” she says.

“It has been really nice to meet so many new people and hear so many stories.”

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

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Local performer provides an ‘uplifting day’ for Streamway residents and staff

Don Owen played guitar and sang outside the garden fence on Aug. 5

Streamway Villa residents had their first outdoor musical performance from an outside entertainer in five months when Don Owen set up a wooden stage on the other side of the fence at the Cobourg long-term care home and played guitar and sang for everyone.

Residents sat socially distanced in the garden to watch Don’s Aug. 5 performance.

“It went really well; the sun was shining, the breeze was blowing, and the weather was really nice, and Don is a really good performer,” Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht tells The OMNIway.

Laurie says there was an energizing atmosphere among residents, who clapped and cheered with enthusiasm after each song.

Don has performed for Streamway Villa residents in the past so he was playing to an established fan base, Laurie says.

One of the residents even wanted to thank Don personally for his performance, Laurie notes.

“It was really an uplifting day, (and) I even had the staff take a moment to come outside and enjoy what we do here,” she says.

In July, Taylor Stacey, a high school student and temporary worker at Streamway Villa, showed up at the home to play violin and guitar for residents outside the fence in the garden, which was a big hit with everyone.

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

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New LEC says she’s found her calling at Streamway Villa

Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht, right, is pictured with resident Vera Haden in the photo from 2019.

‘I want to be an advocate for the seniors. I’m very passionate about that,’ says Laurie Kracht

As Streamway Villa’s new life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC), Laurie Kracht says she has found her calling. Read more

Splash party scores lots of laughter from Streamway residents

‘I have not seen some of the residents laugh like they did in a long time,’ LEC says

In an effort to beat the heat and have some outdoor fun, Streamway Villa organized a splash party for residents and staff members in the Cobourg long-term care home’s garden on July 22. Read more

Streamway Villa: a small but mightily friendly home, family says

Resident Mary Cove, dressed as Mrs. Claus, waves to the camera Christmas morning at Streamway Villa. Mary’s son, Doug, and daughter-in-law, Dawn, are praising the Cobourg long-term care home for loving environment staff members provide.

‘It’s a real team and a real happy bunch of people, I’ve never seen anything like it in my life’

Streamway Villa may be older than some other long-term care homes, but one couple says they wouldn’t have their loved one living anywhere else. Read more

Co-op student enjoyed her Streamway placement so much she’s decided to return to volunteer

Streamway Villa resident Betty Cole and co-op student Taylor Stacey share some time at the Cobourg long-term care home’s piano.

Taylor Stacey says Streamway Villa has also ‘more than confirmed’ her ambition to pursue a nursing career

Taylor Stacey wrapped up her four-month co-op placement at Streamway Villa on Jan. 22, but the Grade 11 Cobourg Collegiate student says she will soon be returning to volunteer. Read more