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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.”

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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.

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

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.

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

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

Retirement home delivers Christmas presents to Streamway residents

Pictured above, a group from Cobourg Retirement Residence stopped by Streamway Villa in December to drop off homemade presents they created for residents.

‘It was really nice to see seniors helping seniors’

Just before Christmas, Streamway Villa residents received some generous holiday cheer from people living at a retirement community just around the corner from the Cobourg long-term care home. Read more

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