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Riverview Manor receives iPods to enhance residents’ quality of life

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New program aims to decrease agitation and behaviours through individualized music playlists

Riverview Manor recently received three iPod shuffles to help enhance quality of life for residents affected by cognitive impairment. Read more

Streamway Villa begins quality improvement huddles on each shift

Streamway Villa staff members are seen here gathering for a quality improvement huddle on Jan. 28.

Streamway Villa staff members are seen here gathering for a quality improvement huddle on Jan. 28.

Short meetings aimed at enhancing resident care, increasing staff engagement

The Streamway Villa team is dedicating five to seven minutes per shift on hosting huddles focused on areas of quality improvement and building staff morale and engagement.

The huddles, which are attended by every staff member from each department, began in early January. The huddles focus on one area of quality improvement each week, such as falls prevention, restraint reduction, eliminating antipsychotic usage and other quality indicators.

Discussions in the huddles are based around worksheets administrator Kylie Szczebonski has compiled from online sources.

The goal of the huddles is to improve quality care for residents while engaging all staff members in the importance of quality in a long-term care setting and valuing everyone’s input in the process.

The huddles also help Streamway Villa achieve the motto the Cobourg long-term care home has adopted for this year: “Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success,” a quote from American industrialist Henry Ford.

“We say it every week so that we can get people to start putting it in their heads that we’re working as a team,” Szczebonski tells The OMNIway.

The huddles also aim to underscore the value of being resident-focused. In other words, no matter what a staff member may have to do in a day in terms of paperwork, for example, caring for residents must always come first.

“We want people to realize that, yes, we have tasks to do, but we’re taking care of people, so people come first before the task,” Szczebonski says.

While the huddles have only been used for three weeks, they are already garnering positive results, Szczebonski says, adding the greatest outcome has been the discussions staff members are having.

“The other day we heard a housekeeper talking to another staff member about how they liked what we were doing in the huddles,” she says. “I’ve heard a couple of PSWs (personal support workers) say, ‘This is really awesome because now we’re getting some of the communication going.’”

Additionally, the huddles are engaging staff members who are sometimes not as connected with others on the front-line team, such as those working in the kitchen.

“I feel, as the administrator, that the huddles are bringing people together and it’s bringing a more positive approach to 2016, so I want to keep that trend going,” Szczebonski says.

“Quality improvement is something everyone has to pay attention to.”

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.

Almonte Country Haven has been a ‘homecoming’ for administrator

Garden Terrace administrator Carolyn Della Foresta hugging one of her buddies at the long-term care home.

Carolyn Della Foresta is seen here hugging a Garden Terrace resident. Della Foresta recently became administrator at Almonte Country Haven.

Carolyn Della Foresta returns to where her LTC career began

Carolyn Della Foresta has had ties to Almonte Country Haven since the Lanark County long-term care home opened its doors in the early 1980s. Read more

OMNI manager’s forum to feature an ‘Oscar awards night’ ambience this year

The OMNI manager’s forum is currently underway in Kingston. Previously, it has been held at Fern Resort in Orillia.

The OMNI manager’s forum is currently underway in Kingston. Previously, it has been held at Fern Resort in Orillia.

KINGSTON, Ont. and PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – The annual OMNI manager’s forum, currently underway in Kingston, includes an “Oscar awards night” ambience this year as the organization’s first-ever video challenge takes centre stage.

Over the past few months, each of the long-term care provider’s homes across Ontario have responded to the challenge to produce a brief video featuring the importance of one selected quality indicator.

Teams from the homes have gotten into the intended fun and creative spirit of the challenge, drawing in pop songs, classic cars and comedic bits among other elements.

The videos are being unveiled for the first time during the forum, taking place May 26-28. Participant voting will identify the winning entries.

Quality is a core theme of the 2015 manager’s forum, with an opening presentation centred on quality team leadership and another group session geared to building quality care teams.

In his address to managers, OMNI Health Care president and CEO Patrick McCarthy said the next step in OMNI’s quality focus will be on enhancing engagement of residents, families and front-line staff.

“Our quality program is the centre of our universe and what we’re all about,” McCarthy told managers. “Quality care is our single most important goal.”

The focus on quality is important at this time given that as of April 1, Ontario long-term care providers are mandated by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care to publicly report on several areas of quality improvement.

Additional topics of discussion during the forum include ethical issues, and equity and diversity in long-term care.

Watch for more stories on the forum soon!

– With files from Deron Hamel

Seven-year volunteer Jayne Philip reflects on experience at Willows Estate

Willows Estate volunteer Jayne Philip (left) is seen here with resident Sybil Bellmore during a knitting program at the Aurora long-term care home.

Willows Estate volunteer Jayne Philip (left) is seen here with resident Sybil Bellmore during a knitting program at the Aurora long-term care home.

‘I think the person that volunteers gets more out of it than the residents do’

AURORA, Ont. – Jayne Philip began volunteering at Willows Estate about seven years ago when she and a friend made a quilt for the Aurora long-term care home. Read more

Burnbrae Gardens’ office manager combining her skills in new position

Kathy Deline’s PSW and business admin training fits well in role

When the office manager position became vacant at Burnbrae Gardens in August, Kathy Deline saw this as an opportunity to combine her care skills with her business administration background. Read more

Panel emphasizes value of strong community relations in LTC

Panelists are seen here discussing the issue of public confidence in long-term care during the OLTCA/ORCA Together We Care convention and trade show.

Panelists are seen here discussing the issue of public confidence in long-term care during the OLTCA/ORCA Together We Care convention and trade show.

These healthy relationships are crucial for public confidence

Thursday, April 3, 2014 — Deron Hamel

TORONTO – A panel of media and communications experts underscored the importance of long-term-care home providers having robust relationships with news organizations, the public and residents’ families, during the Ontario Long Term Care Association/Ontario Retirement Communities Association 2014 Together We Care convention and trade show.

Speaking during an April 1 segment, the panel, which was moderated by author and journalist Steve Paikin, emphasized that having healthy relationships with these parties is especially important for long-term care homes in the wake of an adverse event.

Strong, healthy relationships with communities and local media can have a positive impact on public confidence if an adverse event happens in a long-term care home, the panel agreed.

“I would bring people in whenever you can. Have community events. It provides discipline,” said Toronto-based communications and stakeholder relations expert Robert Waite. “If you’re doing that constantly, you’re going to be paying a lot of attention to the little things from the perspective of families, relatives and even the media.”

Health-care consultant Tom Closson agreed, adding that by inviting journalists into a long-term care home to show them how it operates demonstrates transparency and provides the media with a context of understanding the issues homes, staff members and residents face.

“If you help (the media) do their job, they’ll help you do your job,” Closson said.

Globe and Mail health reporter and columnist André Picard has engaged with long-term care homes as a journalist and a family member. Picard, whose parents both lived in long-term care homes, said his experience as a family member was positive. Speaking as a journalist, Picard said by showcasing the quality care they deliver, homes can build a strong reputation and trust with communities and media.

“If you take care of every single one of your clients, you don’t have to worry about your reputation; it’s going to be solid,” he said. “And if something does go wrong, it’s not going to be a big deal, because the context will be there (and) people will know your values are good, your business is good, and it won’t be a big issue.”

The annual OLTCA/ORCA Together We Care convention and trade show, which ran March 31 to April 2, is Canada’s largest gathering of long-term care and retirement home professionals.

Keep reading the OMNIway for more stories about this panel discussion.

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.

Evacusleds could ‘save a lot of lives’ in emergencies: PSW

 

Willows Estate fire-safety team members prepare to move a volunteer on a mattress fitted with an Evacusled during a mock evacuation.

Willows Estate fire-safety team members prepare to move a volunteer on a mattress fitted with an Evacusled during a mock evacuation.

Willows fire-safety team member attests to value of new devices

Tuesday, March 11, 2014 — Deron Hamel

If a fire ever broke out in a long-term care home equipped with Evacusleds, the devices would “save a lot of lives,” says Willows Estate personal support worker (PSW) and fire-safety team member Hayley Barclay.

Barclay spoke to the OMNIway days after the Aurora long-term care home completed its first-ever vertical evacuation — bringing people down flights of stairs — during a fire drill on Feb. 28.

Evacusleds are devices with tiny wheels that fit under bed mattresses. In an emergency, staff members can rush into the rooms of residents who have Evacusleds, lift residents to the floor without getting them out of bed, and pull them across the floor to safety in short order.

“I think the value of the Evacusleds is priceless,” Barclay says, adding the team only had two weeks of training with the devices before the mock evacuation. “The (Evacusleds are) great; they’re easy to use and easy to explain to people.”

Not only did the fire-safety team safely “rescue” 42 resident and staff-member volunteers in an exercise that ran smoothly, they did it in only 26 minutes, a feat Central York Fire Services (CYFS) Capt. Ryan Schell says is “unheard-of.”

“That even blew my mind,” says Barclay of the team’s success. “I didn’t think we would be able to do it in that amount of time.”

Willows Estate is the first long-term care home in the Newmarket-Aurora region that CYFS has seen use Evacusleds, says Schell. Willows Estate recently bought 12 of the devices.

Before the alarm was sounded to start the evacuation, Barclay says she was feeling anxiety, but as soon as the drill began, she was focused and her fire-safety training kicked in. Having the Evacusleds made the exercise run smooth for the team, she adds.

Barclay says she recommends other long-term care homes invest in Evacusleds to enhance resident safety.

Aside from being excellent safety devices, Evacusleds are also comfortable, she adds. Even in the event of an emergency, residents whose beds are fitted with the devices would feel little disruption.

“I’ve been in an Evacusled and you don’t feel a thing, even going down stairs,” Barclay says.

Click here to watch a YouTube video of the evacuation.

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

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

Patient ombudsman announced by Ontario government

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Process already in place for complaints and concerns in long-term care homes

Monday, March 10, 2014 — Deron Hamel

TORONTO – OMNI Health Care is supportive of a section of accountability legislation announced at Queen’s Park March 6.

The province is proposing the establishment of a patient ombudsman to resolve complaints lodged against Ontario’s long-term care homes, hospitals and 14 Community Care Access Centres.

While long-term care homes have long had processes in place for reporting concerns and complaints to Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care inspectors, the new office will extend to some other parts of the health-care system that have not been subject to the same degree of inspection and oversight.

OMNI president and CEO Patrick McCarthy wants residents and family members to be clear that if they need to lodge a complaint against a home, there are processes that remain in place, whether communicating the concern directly to the home, through residents’ council or family council, OMNI head office, or directly to the ministry.

In each of OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes, residents and family members have access to information posted in common areas outlining toll-free telephone and mail contact information for the purpose of lodging complaints.

Additionally, there is existing protection in OMNI homes and under the Ontario Long-Term Care Homes Act for whistleblowers, which McCarthy says OMNI continues to support as an accountability measure in the sector.

If Premier Kathleen Wynne’s idea for a proposed patient ombudsman’s office is created, McCarthy says he hopes that it will broaden Long Term Care’s existing complaint processes, addressing resident and family concerns relating to system issues and transitions involving home care and hospital — an important element in a more integrated health-care system.

An office with oversight of community and acute-care providers, he adds, would be well placed to look at the broad issues affecting the greater health-care system.

“So long as the office has some power in looking at system and quality issues that are beyond the purview of providers alone, then that’s a positive development for residents and patients,” McCarthy says.

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

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

CYFS says Willows fire-safety team setting example for other LTC homes to follow

Willows Estate's fire-safety team (pictured above) impressed Central York Fire Services during a recent evacuation drill.

Willows Estate’s fire-safety team (pictured above) impressed Central York Fire Services during a recent evacuation drill.

Fire department wants to use video and Evacusleds in demonstrations

Wednesday, March 5, 2014 — Deron Hamel

AURORA, Ont. – Central York Fire Services (CYFS) personnel is so impressed with the Willows Estate fire-safety team’s recent evacuation drill they want to use a video of the exercise to demonstrate how long-term care homes should react in an emergency.

Willows Estate’s fire-safety team conducted its first-ever evacuation of the second floor during a fire drill at the Aurora long-term care home Feb. 28. The OMNIway filmed the exercise, which took 26 minutes for staff members to evacuate 42 volunteer residents and staff members from rooms.

The evacuation included safely moving people from the second floor down a stairwell.

“I’d like to showcase these people (Willows Estate’s fire-safety team) as an example of how to do this correctly,” CYFS fire prevention officer Ryan Schell tells the OMNIway. “(They) evacuated the second floor of a long-term care facility in 26 minutes — that’s unheard-of. The zone was evacuated in 10 minutes (which) well exceeds provincial standards.”

The evacuation was also unique because it was the first time Evacusleds were used in a fire-safety drill at the home. Evacusleds are devices with tiny wheels that fit under bed mattresses. In an emergency, staff members can rush into the rooms of residents who have Evacusleds, lift residents to the floor without getting them out of bed, and pull them across the floor to safety in short order.

The Evacusleds also played a major factor in the fire-safety team’s success, says Schell.

Willows Estate is the first long-term care home in the Newmarket-Aurora region that CYFS has seen use Evacusleds, says Schell. Willows Estate recently bought 12 of the devices.

In addition to using the video for training purposes, CYFS personnel also wants to show others the value Evacusleds bring to fire-safety teams. In fact, the fire department has borrowed one of the Evacusleds from Willows Estate for a month to use in demonstrations.

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

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