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New LECs discuss the inspirations that set them on their career paths

Three OMNI LECs are new to their positions, they all had different motivators that led them to LTC, but they are united by a passion for their work

Three life enrichment co-ordinators (LECs) who are new to the position of managing and organizing programs at OMNI Health Care long-term care homes may have different experiences that led them on their career paths but they’re united by a passion for their work.

Ulana Orrick became Village Green’s LEC on March 30. Ulana, who has a solid background working in long-term care, says her supervisor at a previous job she had working in a life enrichment department at a long-term care home encouraged her to pursue a career in program management after seeing her potential as an interim manager.

“She said, ‘you found your inner leader, you should definitely pursue something,’ so I started looking around for another rural home – I really wanted that rural experience – and Village Green just happened to be looking (for an LEC) at the same time I was, so that’s what brought me here,” she says.

“I am absolutely loving it here, this is such a great little home.”

Laurie Kracht became Streamway Villa’s new LEC in early July, and she credits her late father for inspiring her to take the career path that brought her to the Cobourg long-term care home.

About five years ago, Laurie moved back home to help her mother care for her dad, who had been diagnosed with dementia.

Eventually, Laurie’s father needed hospital care, and, after spending several months in and out of hospital and waiting for a bed in a long-term care home, he moved into Streamway Villa. He passed away three weeks later.

But Laurie says during his time at Streamway her father was happy and was receiving excellent care.

Laurie saw the difference that people working at Streamway Villa made in her dad’s life.

“It was the first time I had seen my dad smile in a long time because he had been in and out of the hospital for a long time,” Laurie says.

Kim Williams had been working as a life enrichment aide at Frost Manor for about two years when she had a chance to mentor her peers, which she says ignited within her a desire to become a manager.

She brought that goal to fruition earlier in the spring when she joined Pleasant Meadow Manor as the Norwood long-term care home’s new LEC.

“I enjoy the staff, I enjoy the environment and I enjoy the residents — I’m making friends with the residents here like I did at Frost,” Kim says.

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.

OMNI team members know a good idea when they see one

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Creative, meaningful initiatives sparked by ideas from other places

The innovative initiatives introduced by team members at several OMNI Health Care homes this year have this in common: They came about because someone at the home recognized a good idea from somewhere else. Read more

Family member enlivens Kentwood Park with her go-getter spirit

LEAD Wreaths

Family member Barb Hogan with her mother, Irene, and one of the 60 blankets they made together. The wreaths pictured to the right are another project Barb had a hand in bringing into the long-term care home.

‘I just enjoy the interaction and seeing everyone have fun,’ says Barb Hogan

One evening Barb Hogan was visiting her mother who lives at Kentwood Park long-term care home in Picton. Nothing much was happening and there was nothing on TV, so she decided to “nab,” as she says, a few residents for a simple game of ring toss. Read more

Pleasant Meadow gentlemen’s club engaging male residents

Pleasant Meadow

Pleasant Meadow

‘They’re coming, they’re enjoying it, and they’re looking forward to the next time’

A program launched in January is proving to be a successful tool for engaging the men living at Pleasant Meadow Manor.

Finding meaningful programming for male residents is often a challenge for long-term care home life enrichment departments. The gentlemen’s club, which is the brainchild of life enrichment aide Leslie Rogers, is solving that challenge.

Prior to the gentleman’s club, Rogers led a woodworking program. However, many of the men involved with the woodworking program are no longer at the home and there was a lack of interest among others to join, so she had to come up with a new idea.

Between six and 10 men living at the Norwood long-term care home have attended the past three sessions. Getting the guys to come has been easy, Rogers says. Before each session she posts a notice in front of the activity room that reads, “Welcome to the gentlemen’s club.”

Each 30-minute session begins with a meet-and-greet where everyone introduces themselves. Rogers then hosts a trivia game focused on areas of interest for the men. The sessions also have a discussion component. Rogers will initiate the discussions by bringing something to the program that interests the men, such as a toolkit.

The March session featured a guest speaker. The gentleman had lived in Norwood all his life, and he spoke about his experiences living in the town, following up with a question-and-answer session.

“They’re coming, they’re enjoying it, and they’re looking forward to the next time,” Rogers tells The OMNIway, adding the program is suitable for residents of all cognitive abilities. “I’m trying to make each program as interesting as possible to keep them hyped up about it.”

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.com.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.com.

Holiday season in full swing at Maplewood

Brighton long-term care home involved with a variety of resident-focused events

Thursday, December 19, 2013 — Deron Hamel

Maplewood’s holiday season began the first week of December with the Brighton long-term care home’s annual Christmas party with 8 Wing Trenton and the local Royal Canadian Legion branch, and the momentum has been ongoing since.

For the eighth consecutive year, Maplewood, 8 Wing Trenton and Royal Canadian Legion, Brighton Branch 100, joined together to celebrate the holidays Dec. 5. There was food, live music and a Santa handing out presents, making the occasion “one of the most amazing afternoons experienced all year here at Maplewood,” says Maplewood life enrichment co-ordinator Rachel Corkery.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the Bernard Sisters pose for a photo during Maplewood's recent family Christmas party.

Mr. and Mrs. Claus and the Bernard Sisters pose for a photo during Maplewood’s recent family Christmas party.

Last weekend, Maplewood staff members celebrated the spirit of the season with residents and their families at the home’s annual family Christmas party. Musical entertainers Adrienne and Sharlene Bernard, better known as the Bernard Sisters, were special guests at the party, bringing their much-loved humour and talent to residents and their families.

“Even Santa and Mrs. Claus stopped in for a quick visit before heading back to the North Pole,” Corkery notes, adding that since Santa was on hand, families and residents had their photos taken with him.

And the festivities don’t stop there.

This weekend will see a new idea brought to Maplewood’s Christmas season — a children’s Christmas party. The party will include a resident and his wife playing Santa and Mrs. Claus — something the couple has been doing for many years.

Andy Forgie, a regular entertainer at Maplewood, will be singing and playing guitar at the event, and each child will get a present from Santa, made possible by the home’s residents’ council.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or email deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Fun and laughter complement new cruise experience

Six residents tour the Thousand Islands

The Pleasant Meadow Manor team changed things up for this year’s annual boat cruise last week by taking six residents to Gananoque to tour the Thousand Islands — a move that delighted those participants.

In past years the Norwood long-term care home took residents to Stony Lake for a boat cruise in summer. However, cruises at Stony Lake are unavailable this year, so the team decided to take residents more than two hours away to Gananoque, and both the cruise and the drive down presented opportunities for fun and laughter, says life enrichment co-ordinator Chris Garden.[wzslider info=”true”]

Garden packed a lunch of sandwiches, doughnuts and fruit for the six residents, four staff members and a volunteer who went on the cruise, which was a good time from start to finish, she says.

“We laughed and giggled all the way there on the long ride, and the residents enjoyed the boat cruise, even though it was a little overcast in some places,” Garden says.

Resident Helen Hogg, who has lived at Pleasant Meadow Manor since May, says it’s activities like the cruise that make life at the home special.

She says her favourite parts of the day were driving down to Gananoque in the OMNI van and seeing the boats on the water once they arrived at Lake Ontario.

“And it was a finger-licking good lunch,” Hogg laughs, adding this was her favourite outing to date.

Given that the group was not familiar with the trip between Norwood and Gananoque there was one small issue — they briefly got lost. But even that was fun for people, says Garden.

“We had a GPS, so we quickly found our way back to the correct route,” she chuckles.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.