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In-house entertainment returns to Riverview Manor with safety precautions in effect

‘Residents enjoy musical entertainment so much and are very excited that it has arrived back at Riverview’

Riverview Manor residents have been enjoying in-house entertainment at the Peterborough long-term care since September, and fan-favourite musicians have been playing to “many smiling faces,” says life enrichment aide Adam Wicklum.

On Sept. 7, singer Kathy Wiles was at Riverview to provide the first in-house entertainment residents have had since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020. Performer Art Lajambe played for residents on Sept. 26.

Strict safety precautions are in full effect at all performances. Entertainers perform at a safe distance from residents and there is a Plexiglas divider in front of them.

While entertainers may sing without a mask, they must wear one before and after performances. Performers must also go through screening and have a negative swab test before entering the home.

Given the success of the September shows, both Kathy and Art will continue regular performances at Riverview Manor, Adam says.

Kathy is booked for the first Tuesday of every month, while Art is performing on the fourth Tuesday of every month in the evenings.

The performers will rotate their shows for residents living on both sides of the home, Adam notes.

During her first performance, Kathy sang for the residents living on the north side of the home, with residents joyfully singing and clapping along.

Many residents personally thanked Kathy after her performance, Adam says.

“She was so excited to sing again for the residents and said she really missed seeing them,” Adam tells The OMNIway.

“She felt honoured to be the first entertainer of the home.”

Adam says Art drew a similar response from residents during his performance on the south side.

“Art also said he was so excited to be back singing and playing his guitar for the residents, as he missed them too,” Adam says.

“Residents enjoy musical entertainment so much and are very excited that it has arrived back at Riverview.”

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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Pleasant Meadow residents enjoy their own fall fair for second straight year

‘The residents really enjoyed the day and had a lot of laughs’

Pleasant Meadow Manor residents enjoyed the Norwood long-term care home’s second annual fall fair Oct. 12, and there were even more activities for everyone to enjoy this year.

Team members worked hard to create a fall-fair atmosphere for residents to enjoy. The activity room was decorated for the day, and there was a midway filled with games and stuffed animals – such as a pony, pig, “the world’s smallest rooster,” a turkey and a buffalo.

Residents could take a “pony ride” through one area set up to resemble a barn. After their tour looking at the animals, they could join in on the games being offered.

Life enrichment co-ordinator Kim Williams notes more games were offered this year. These included two new games – Leap Frog and Ping Bong. Bobbing for doughnuts, a favourite game from last year’s fall fair, once again proved to be a hit with residents.

After the games were finished, residents enjoyed refreshments and then took a stroll to the “entertainment building”.

In the entertainment building, performer Ted Smith sang some of the residents’ favourite tunes while they were served fall fair favourites that included pink lemonade and candy floss. The Norwood Sparks and Brownies donated Girl Guide cookies for residents to enjoy as well.

In the weeks prior to the fall fair, residents and staff members were busy making baked goods for the now-annual Peasant Meadow Manor fall fair bake-off.

The baking was divided into categories and votes were taken to decide the winners.

In the Favourite Cookie category, the winner was personal support worker (PSW) Karly Nelson. In the Squares category, reigning champion PSW Jeannette Davis once again took top honours. Screener Leslie Rogers won for both the Brownie and the Cupcake categories.

Kim says the fall fair was once again a huge hit with residents.

“The residents really enjoyed the day and had a lot of laughs,” she says. “We had residents who usually don’t enjoy going to programs come out and enjoy the afternoon.”

One memorable moment for Kim was a resident who had so much fun she couldn’t wait to let her loved ones know about the fair.

“One resident was excited to get back to her room after the entertainment finished so she could call her son and tell him all about the day,” 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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Too cold for ice cream? Never!

Garden Terrace embraces a favourite summer treat on a cold autumn day

Who thinks of paying a visit to an ice cream truck on a cold, brisk, autumn day?

The residents, families and staff members at Garden Terrace, that’s who.

People living and working at the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home recently proved that ice cream tastes great, no matter what the weather is like.

On Sept. 30, a Mr. Sundae ice cream truck turned up at Garden Terrace, and residents and staff members were quick to line up for ice cream cones and sundaes.

Ice creams were provided free to all residents and $3 each to family members and staff.

About 50 people in total turned up to get ice cream, says Garden Terrace life enrichment co-ordinator Rachael King.

Rachael says one of the big benefits from the Mr. Sundae visit was the social aspect. She says ice cream proved to be a great tool to get residents chatting amongst themselves and meeting new people.

“It was really nice, we had some social time, I got to chat with a lot of the residents, and the residents got to mix and mingle, so it was great that they had time to chat with each other,” she tells The OMNIway.

A photo booth was set up by team members for the day; however, due to the cool weather, most people decided to enjoy their ice cream indoors.

And, of course, visiting an ice cream truck was one last chance to hold on to summer.

“Someone said it was too cold (for ice cream), but one of the residents said, ‘I’ll have ice cream any time of the year,’ ” Rachael says, noting she agrees with this sentiment.

“I think ice cream is something people can enjoy even in the coldest of weather.”

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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Riverview Manor among Peterborough LTC homes to receive additional funding to increase staffing, hours of care

Riverview Manor is one of five long-term care homes in the Peterborough-Kawartha riding to receive a portion of a $3.1-million investment from the Ontario government to boost staffing levels and increase direct care to residents for the remainder of the 2021-22 fiscal year.

Additionally, Riverview Manor will receive $2,116,320 annually more than the home currently receives in funding by 2024-25 as part of an investment package of $18,043,200 earmarked for the riding, Peterborough-Kawartha MPP Dave Smith said at an Oct. 20 announcement in Peterborough.

As a result of this funding, the province says the hours of direct care residents receive will increase from an average of two hours and 45 minutes per day to three hours for the remainder of this fiscal year.

By 2024-25, residents can expect an average of four hours of direct care per day, the province says.

Riverview Manor will receive $345,530 to enhance nursing and personal care for residents for the remainder of 2021-22. This, coupled with the funding the home will receive by 2024-25, will help enhance overall care at the home, says Riverview Manor administrator Mary Anne Greco.

Greco said Riverview Manor and OMNI Health Care are thankful to the Ontario government for this investment and that the funding will help bolster staffing levels and improve the care residents receive at the home.

“All of the funding is to be spent directly on nursing, personal care and programs, with any surplus returned to government,” she said.

Smith said the $18,043,200 long-term care homes in Peterborough-Kawartha will receive by 2024-25 “will hire thousands of new nurses, personal support workers, attendants and physiotherapists for homes across our community.

“Our seniors will see four hours of direct care every day by our hardworking health-care professionals,” he said.

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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Frost Manor LEAs’ creativity delivers a memorable Thanksgiving to residents

‘Thanksgiving was really a team event, and the LEAs did a great job’

Amy Whitehead is commending Frost Manor life enrichment aides (LEAs) for tapping into their creativity to help deliver a fun and engaging Thanksgiving to the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home’s residents.

Amy, Frost Manor’s life enrichment co-ordinator, says LEAs Sarah Thayer, Taylor Davies and Amanda Pendrith each brought their own talents to the table in the days leading up to the Thanksgiving weekend to create activities and programs that helped make the holiday memorable.

For instance, Sarah made a turkey out of construction paper and attached it to a wall where each month the life enrichment team creates a mural as part of a theme.

On Thanksgiving Day, Taylor encouraged residents to write something they are thankful for on the turkey’s feathers.

“The whole feathered area of the turkey now has all the things residents could think of that they are thankful for written on them, and some of them were really cute,” Amy tells The OMNIway.

“Some of them said bingo, and lots of them were about being here, having great food, and having great staff.”

In the days leading up to Thanksgiving, Amanda led an activity where residents made centrepieces. Each table had a centrepiece that was made by residents waiting for them when they sat down to enjoy their Thanksgiving dinner.

“Thanksgiving was really a team event, and the LEAs did a great job,” Amy 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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A thank-you to staff for vaccine campaign’s success

As we enter the final quarter of 2021, COVID-19 remains at the forefront of Canada’s collective mind, and we are now, by most estimations, in the fourth wave of the pandemic.

At OMNI Health Care, the good news is how well the pandemic has been managed by our 18 long-term care homes in 2021. This is largely due to the availability of vaccines since the start of the year and the exceptionally high rate of immunization amongst our resident population.

The people working on the front lines in OMNI homes have played an important part in this success. Their contributions to this year’s vaccine campaign cannot be understated.

When inoculations for COVID-19 became available to long-term-care home residents at the start of the year, staff members were educated about the vaccines and shared information about the science supporting their effectiveness with residents and their families.

This resulted in large-scale vaccine support and a 90-plus-per-cent vaccination rate in our homes, with many homes having nearly all eligible residents immunized against the highly contagious COVID-19 virus.

Staff members also worked tirelessly this year to organize in-house vaccine clinics, and they have collaborated with public health units to ensure seamless delivery of the vaccines to our homes.

Additionally, OMNI, along with a number of other Ontario long-term care operators, has made vaccinations mandatory for all staff members effective Oct. 15.

The Ontario government has subsequently issued a vaccine mandate for people working in all long-term care homes in the province.

Health-care experts across the board have stressed that vaccines are the best tool we have for preventing COVID-19 infection and for minimizing the impact of the virus in people who still become infected.

With a high vaccination rate amongst residents and staff, new directives from the Ministry of Long-Term Care and the hard work of team members working in OMNI long-term care homes, residents have continued to enjoy a high quality of life, despite the challenges that have come with the pandemic.

Keeping residents’ quality of life high is our greatest measure of success.

Still, we cannot lose sight of the fact the pandemic is not over, and we will remain diligent in keeping residents safe while keeping their quality of life high.

A huge thank-you to all staff members is in order for continuously maintaining this balance.

Local elementary school students make Thanksgiving gifts for Riverview residents

‘I am very proud of the students for their hard work and care they put into the project’

Riverview Manor residents were surprised to find gifts waiting for them at Thanksgiving, and what they received made the holiday extra special for them.

Grade 2 and 3 students at St. Joseph’s Catholic Elementary School in Douro created Thanksgiving artwork and letters that were sent to residents at the Peterborough long-term care home.

The artwork the children created had Thanksgiving motifs, such as cornucopias filled with harvested vegetables and, of course, turkeys. The artwork was accompanied by letters students wrote to residents.

The idea for the project came from Nick McIlwain, a personal support worker at Riverview Manor, and his wife.

Nick and his wife spoke with a teacher they know at St. Joseph’s about the project, and the teacher got on board with the idea.

The students created the artwork and wrote the letters as part of a segment of their religion program that focuses on doing charitable work and supporting social justice.

Nick has seen first hand the benefits children can bring to residents and the benefits residents can bring to children.

Up until the COVID-19 pandemic began in March 2020, Nick’s two children would visit Riverview Manor during special holidays, bringing cards with them they would make for residents.

Nick says the residents “really enjoyed seeing our children” and the experience was also rewarding to Nick’s son and daughter, “who have been taught the importance of building relationships based on kindness and respect,” Nick says.

Residents were so pleased with their gifts at Thanksgiving that residents’ council president Peter Bascan thanked Nick for his part in getting the project off the ground.

Nick hands credit to the students for their work.

“I am very proud of the students for their hard work and care they put into the project,” he says.

“The residents were very happy to receive picture boxes and little books from the children,” he 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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Garden Terrace Apple Fest proves to be a ‘fruitful’ way to start autumn

LEA Dakota Lynch created the program, which centred on apple pies and a fall-inspired craft

With summer coming to an end and autumn on the horizon, a Garden Terrace team member was recently inspired to create a fall-themed program to engage the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home’s residents.

Life enrichment aide Dakota Lynch came up with the idea to organize Apple Fest to celebrate the coming autumn season. She decided to focus the event on two things the fall season is known for: trees losing their leaves and apples.

On Sept. 8, the residents were treated to Apple Fest. The life enrichment team provided residents with apple pies and apple cider which everyone enjoyed.

Garden Terrace life enrichment co-ordinator Rachael King says Apple Fest proved to be the perfect way to launch the fall season.

“We wanted to kick off fall with apple pies and apple cider,” she tells The OMNIway.

After their apple pie and cider, about 15 residents broke into groups and made an autumn-themed craft: fall trees made from tissue paper.

Once the trees were complete, residents hung their creations on their doors as seasonal ornaments.

Rachael commends Dakota for coming up with a program idea that proved to be meaningful for residents.

“She thought it would be a cool idea to have Apple Fest for the residents, and the residents really enjoyed the day,” 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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West Lake Terrace becomes the Magic Kingdom for a day

Life enrichment team creates an engaging Disney-themed day for residents

You know you have a great job when you can engage your personal interests and hobbies at work.

That’s just what West Lake Terrace life enrichment co-ordinator Janie Denard discovered recently when she and the life enrichment team at the Prince Edward County long-term care home organized a Disney-themed day for residents.

Janie, who describes herself as “a huge Disney fan,” got to share her love of Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Buzz Lightyear and other Disney characters on Sept. 29 with residents and other staff members.

Janie and life enrichment aide Elaine Goheen came in early that day to decorate the dining room with Disney-themed decorations, movie posters and balloons.

Many staff members came to work dressed in Disney-themed costumes, and residents were given Mickey and Minnie Mouse ears to wear.

All the residents got into the spirit of the day, Janie says.

“Every single one of them walked around with the ears on all day,” she tells The OMNIway. “The staff were fantastic, too. The residents love seeing the staff dress up.”

Residents enjoyed a pizza lunch that was inspired by the Pizza Planet scene from Toy Story 3. There were also lots of conversations about Disney movies that “brought back lots of memories” for residents, Janie notes.

“They were talking about how they remembered taking their kids to the drive-in and seeing movies like The Fox and the Hound, or the first time they saw a Disney movie, so it was a good day,” Janie says.

In the afternoon, Janie set up a projector and screen to give residents a virtual tour of the Magic Kingdom at Disney World in Florida, a landmark she has visited many times.

Janie gave residents a presentation on Disney World and shared some little-known information about the famed international resort – like, for instance, how Walt Disney in the mid-1960s secretly bought the property where Disney World would eventually be built.

“The residents really enjoyed that,” Janie says.

As a result of Janie’s presentation, residents are now keen to take other virtual tours, so the life enrichment team is looking at other opportunities.

“Some residents wanted to see the Eiffel Tower and the pyramids of Egypt, so this has spawned ideas for different activities that residents would like to do, so I think we’re going to do some world travelling soon,” Janie 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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Oktoberfest was ‘wunderbar’ at Riverview Manor

Life enrichment team creates a 16-day event centred on German culture and Germany’s famous beer festival

Riverview Manor residents were treated to a 16-day Oktoberfest celebration that featured pub nights, engaging educational programs about Germany and a variety of games.

Since Oktoberfest is first and foremost a beer festival, the main attractions during the Peterborough long-term care home’s Oktoberfest celebration were pub nights held for both the north and south side neighbourhoods.

The north-side Oktoberfest pub night was Sept. 21 and was led by life enrichment aides (LEAs) Adam Wicklum and Trevor Davis. The south-side event was Sept. 29, with Adam and two other LEAs, Brigitte Byette and Rosemary Roseborough, hosting festivities.

The pub nights featured German snacks that included warm apple strudel, pretzel chips, hot apple cider with cinnamon and, of course, beer.

To create an authentic Oktoberfest experience for residents, lighting was dimmed and old polka records were played during the pub nights.

The life enrichment team decorated the activity room and south-side dining room with blue and white. The colours have significance, Adam explains.

“These colours signify the true spirit of any festival – namely harmony and peace, and (the colours) represent the German state of Bavaria (where Oktoberfest originated), its flag and coat-of-arms of the Wittelsbach family that ruled Bavaria for centuries,” he tells The OMNIway.

Adam printed out centrepieces with matching beer coasters as well as fold-ups of German men wearing lederhosen and women wearing dirndl dresses.

There were also white and blue napkins, balloons and plates, and there were coloured Oktoberfest photos around the rooms.

Before the pub nights, Adam and a friend made Alpine hats residents and staff members wore during the Riverview Manor Oktoberfest.

At the end of both pub nights, the Chicken Dance was played from Spotify, and the LEAs danced along.

During Oktoberfest, Adam provided residents with a virtual trip to Germany when he showed them a YouTube video of the 10 best places to visit in the country.

Adam visited Germany with his family in 2013 and had a lot of souvenirs and photos to show residents.

“Residents were very engaged in seeing the models of the many castles I visited and the cuckoo clock from Black Forest,” he says.

Other programs the life enrichment team created for residents included an Oktoberfest photo match-up memory game, a spin the Oktoberfest photo beanbag toss, crosswords, word games, a word search, and Oktoberfest and Germany trivia.

Adam says residents enjoyed the Oktoberfest event, which ran from Sept. 18 to Oct. 3.

“Residents had fun learning about German culture and a special pub night,” he says.

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