Frost Manor residents ‘drumming up’ some fun in new program

DROM program combines music, exercise and meditation

Frost Manor residents have been “drumming up” some fun and exercise in recent months.

In March, Amy Whitehead, who was then a life enrichment aide, participated in an online training session with then-life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Lyndsay Burton to learn about the DROM program and bring it back to the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home’s residents.

The name DROM is derived from merging drumming techniques with the meditation chant called the “om”.

Each session starts with a focus on breathing to relax everyone and get participants ready. The second segment is the “energized portion” where multiple songs for the drumming session are performed by residents beating drumsticks on stability balls to the beat of songs Amy, who is now the Frost Manor LEC, plays for them. The final segment, the “calming portion”, focuses on positive affirmation and meditation.

Amy says the program, which is held in small groups to adhere to protocols in place to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, has been a big hit with residents.

“Everyone goes away feeling good and can carry on with their day on a positive note,” she tells The OMNIway.

Amy teaches residents different drumming patterns and techniques, and residents beat their drumsticks on the stability balls to the rhythm of songs.

“For one song, I got them to use their drumsticks (to the rhythm of) a song that had a trumpet session in it,” Amy says. “You can really get creative with all the different ways that you can drum.”

The timing of the program has been important, Amy says.

Before the pandemic was declared in March 2020, Frost Manor was hosting up to three live performances from local entertainers every week. Due to provincial restrictions, the home has not been able to have indoor entertainment since the pandemic began.

However, the music component of the DROM program is helping meet residents’ musical needs, Amy says.

“We really wanted to get something that we could do for them that would incorporate music because they’re really missing that,” she says.

“It was really great to be able to bring back some type of musical program for them, as well as an exercise program to get everyone moving. Everybody can laugh and have fun and, of course, this really amps up the positivity as well.”

The program is being held once every two weeks. Currently, Amy hosts the program, but two life enrichment aides have expressed interest in being trained to lead the activity. Once they are trained, Amy says she hopes to offer the program more often.

Given the DROM program’s success, Amy says she would recommend it to other long-term care homes.

“If you love music and you’re a fun and positive person, I absolutely recommend it to everybody.”

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Annual Tropical Day brings sunny atmosphere to Frost Manor

A Hawaiian dance from the environmental services team was the highlight of the day

Frost Manor hosted its annual Tropical Day on March 25, and in keeping with the spirit of the occasion, the environmental services team was inspired to bring a little bit of Hawaii to residents of the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home.

The environmental services team dressed in seashell-top bikinis, grass skirts and leis and did a Hawaiian dance through the dining rooms during breakfast, a gesture that received a round of applause from residents and their fellow staff members.

With restrictions in place to keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, the team wanted to bring some extra fun and laughter to everyone to keep spirits up, says Frost Manor environmental services and maintenance manager Rick Riel.

“There was much-needed laughter and funny comments,” he tells The OMNIway.

Tropical Day was part of Spirit Days, a string of themed days where residents and staff members participate in activities centred on fun ideas.

After their dance, the environmental services team posed for a photo, and Rick, who can be seen in the centre of the picture (see above top photo), appears to be tired out from watching staff perform many hours of high-intensity cleaning.

“Environmental services aides Robert Reynolds, Tanya Smith and Nathan Durham remained happy and upbeat about performing these tasks daily,” Rick jokes, adding his staff has done a “great job … keeping the home clean, safe and fun for all our residents.”

The life enrichment department ensured every resident was in the spirit of the day by offering pina coladas, and there was also a tropical-themed painting class where residents painted hibiscus flowers.

Lyndsay Burton, Frost Manor’s life enrichment co-ordinator, says events like this are crucial during this challenging time when large-group activities and outside entertainment are not possible.

“Spirit days such as these are so important during the pandemic, it is a time for us to have fun, let loose and be creative,” she says.

“We had so much fun bringing in the warm weather; since we can’t travel, we brought the vacation to Frost Manor this year.”

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Local businesses show support for Frost Manor Christmas fundraiser

‘We have had some awesome donations from the community’

Frost Manor’s annual Christmas crafts sale and fundraiser helps the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home’s residents’ council fund entertainment, programs and outings each year.

However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Frost Manor staff and family council members had to put their thinking caps on and come up with a different way to raise money for residents’ council this holiday season.

Meeting via Zoom video calls, they decided to host a gift-card raffle this year.

Fortunately, the local community has been supportive, and at the time of this writing, there has been about $400 worth of gift cards collected, says Frost Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Lyndsay Burton.

Raffle tickets will then be sold, the gift cards raffled off in a draw, and all money raised will once again be put into the residents’ council fund.

Some of the local businesses that have donated to the raffle include Canadian Tire, Food Basics, Garry’s Garden Gallery, Boston Pizza, Domino’s Pizza and Home Hardware.

Lyndsay says Frost Manor is grateful for the support the community has shown.

“We have had some awesome donations from the community,” she tells The OMNIway.

“It’s a very tight-knit community around here, and everybody is willing to help, so it wasn’t hard to get (businesses involved), that’s for sure.”

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Frost Manor looking ahead to maintain programing and visitation during colder months

Team members will ‘try to keep things as normal as possible’ while adhering to safety guidelines

With the start of winter less than a month away, Frost Manor team members have been looking at ways to maintain programming and visitation for residents during the colder months while adhering to important safety measures as the world continues to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lyndsay Burton, the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home’s life enrichment co-ordinator, says she and her team will “try to keep things as normal as possible” for residents in the coming months.

“We are still running programs with the usual social distancing (and with) the usual cleaning and sanitizing, so that does help that the residents can have some sense of normality going into the winter season,” she says.

Naturally, residents have been missing the in-house entertainment that’s normally a cornerstone of programing at Frost Manor.

Instead, Lyndsay says the team has been focusing on providing residents with Montessori-style activities, which she says have been especially fruitful for residents who normally don’t participate in programming.

Montessori activities include programs that tap into people’s strengths, such as colouring or sorting items.

“We have been focusing on that because a lot of our low-active residents did enjoy coming to music programs, so we want to make sure that their needs are still being met,” Lyndsay says.

Because visitation will continue to be important for residents and their families, especially during the holiday season, Frost Manor is working to create a new window-visiting location to provide families with some cover from the wind and the other elements, she adds.

Due to the uncertainty and changing rules surrounding visitation during the pandemic, the Frost Manor team is trying to stay ahead of the curve by always having window visits as an option for residents to connect with their loved ones, Lyndsay says.

“We want to still be able to offer window visits and still have the (outdoor visits) as well, so a lot of the visits are really working off of the guidelines created by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care,” she says.

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Frost Manor residents make special tree, enjoy turkey dinner to mark Thanksgiving

While it has been a challenging year, residents are still thankful for the important things

Although the global COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging for everyone for the past seven months, Frost Manor residents still feel blessed for many things and took time before the Thanksgiving holiday to reflect on what makes them most grateful.

The result was a paper “Thanksgiving tree” they made as a craft. Each of the leaves contains residents’ thankful thoughts.

“Some of the things they were thankful for were friends, family and thankful for the loving staff – it’s all about the people who are important to them,” Frost Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Lyndsay Burton tells The OMNIway.

Of course, no Thanksgiving would be complete without a traditional meal, so on Monday the nutritional care department served up a roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings, including mashed potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce and pumpkin pie.

As with all mealtimes since the pandemic began, residents were served Thanksgiving dinner in two seatings for safety. There are also Plexiglas dividers between residents so they can still share meals while adhering to social distancing requirements.

There was also a special Thanksgiving-style bingo where team members gave away treats as prizes. Residents played to win chocolate bars, potato chips, Cheezies, word search books or plastic jewelry.

“It was a different Thanksgiving this year, but the residents still enjoyed it,” Lyndsay says.

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Resident fortune teller gives Frost Manor carnival an added boost of fun and laughter

Heather Marshall was a ‘natural’ at playing the part during the home’s carnival-themed month, say staff

One of the key factors that made Frost Manor’s carnival-themed month in August so successful was the high degree of resident involvement, and resident Heather Marshall filling in as a fortune teller was a memorable part of the event, says Frost Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Lyndsay Burton.

The idea to have a fortune teller during the carnival came from residents’ council president Diane Hickman who was initially going to play the part.

However, Diane couldn’t be the fortune teller on the designated day, so Heather, who serves as the council’s treasurer, filled in and did a stellar job, Lyndsay says.

Working with life enrichment aide Amy Whitehead, Heather read Tarot cards and looked into a crystal ball to tell residents and staff members what the future had in store for them.

“Amy said that Heather was a ‘natural’ in the role and really embraced the spirit of fun and laughter to put on a fun resident-led program for her fellow residents,” Lyndsay tells The OMNIway.

“Amy noted there was lots of laughs and intrigue, as some of the fortunes told were hilariously accurate. We were so happy that Heather took on the role and had so much fun doing it.”

In February, Heather was crowned Miss Frost Manor during a pageant the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home hosted.

Lyndsay says Heather has done a great job fulfilling her duties as the home’s pageant queen.

“She really truly embraces the spirit of leadership and friendship that embodies the role as Miss Frost Manor,” Lyndsay says.

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Frost Manor becomes a ‘big-top tent’ in August

The ongoing pandemic has meant team members have had to tap into their creativity to develop fun, yet safe, activities for residents

Frost Manor has been transformed into a “big-top tent” throughout August and residents of the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home could not be happier.

The life enrichment team has decorated the main lounge and small dining room to look like a carnival. Staff members have decorated the walls with images of a ferris wheel, roller coasters and a merry-go-round.

“We have tried to make it look like a carnival in here,” life enrichment co-ordinator Lyndsay Burton says.

Every year the Frost Manor life enrichment team treats residents to a month-long themed event that embraces the OMNI Health Care core value of fun and laughter.

This year the life enrichment team elected to create a carnival atmosphere throughout August that includes a variety of activities the team has developed to engage residents.

There have been many games and events the team has created that have a carnival theme, and prizes – such as chocolate bars or Cheezies – have been a favourite part of the events for residents, Lyndsay says.

“For the whole month we’ve tried to gear towards having a lot of prizes for the residents to win, and after they win a prize the residents get to spin a prize wheel which will determine the prize they receive,” Lyndsay explains.

Lyndsay says creating the carnival-themed month has been a learning curve for the life enrichment team because of protocols in place due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, but everyone has adapted well.

She adds that the pandemic has also resulted in the team having to think outside the box in order to create meaningful, fun, yet safe, activities for residents.

“COVID has put a bit of a damper on entertainment, so we have really tried to pull together our creative side and make sure that they’re still able to have fun and exciting programs for the summer,” Lyndsay says.

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Student plans to use skills he’s learned during Frost Manor placement to land a summer job

Student Mack Dixon is pictured here working at Frost Manor. Mack is one of five students from St. Thomas Aquinas Secondary School doing a placement at the Lindsay long-term care home.

Mack Dixon says working with tools and learning how to change air filters are among the skills he can add to his resumé

LINDSAY, Ont. – Student Mack Dixon will be looking for a summer job after the school year finishes at the end of June, and thanks to his involvement in a partnership between St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School and Frost Manor, he has some new skills to add to his resumé. Read more

Generous donation from local church will support Frost Manor therapeutic music programs

Frost Manor

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church donates more than $1,100 to residents. Their first music program will be on Feb. 4

A generous donation from St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Lindsay is helping support music therapy programs at Frost Manor. Read more

Students get Frost Manor maintenance department ‘sorted’ out

St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Secondary School students Andrew Coons (left) and Nick Jeffrey (centre) sort through a box of nuts, bolts and other hardware at Frost Manor on June 13 as educational assistant Fred Hobbs looks on.

Nick Jeffrey and Andrew Coons have been organizing hardware, which is making maintenance department more efficient

A few weeks ago, the maintenance room at Frost Manor was overflowing with nuts, bolts, washers, nails and brackets, packed to the hilt in boxes and disorganized. Read more