Burnbrae Gardens residents make educational video on Residents’ Bill of Rights

The video has been submitted to the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils as part of a contest during Residents’ Council Week

Burnbrae Gardens residents have submitted an educational video focused on the Residents’ Bill of Rights to a contest organized by the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils (OARC).

The OARC is challenging Ontario long-term care homes to work with residents to create videos to teach others about the Residents’ Bill of Rights. The contest is being held in conjunction with Residents’ Council Week, which runs Sept. 13-19.

Life enrichment aides Lauren Farnham and Shawna Booth, along with Burnbrae Gardens administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator April Faux, helped residents create the video. The video features residents explaining the 27 rights all people living in long-term care homes are guaranteed.

In the video, residents are wearing T-shirts listing the 27 rights. Each T-shirt is embossed with two residents’ rights – one on the front and one on the back. Residents had their photos taken wearing the T-shirts, and the photos were made into a slideshow accompanied by music.

The idea to make the video got immediate buy-in from residents, Lauren says.

“We thought it would be great for the residents to get involved with this,” she tells The OMNIway.

Lauren created the T-shirts on her own time using a Cricut, a computer-controlled cutting machine. The T-shirts were distributed to residents who “loved them,” she says.

The video includes a speech on the Residents’ Bill of Rights from Burnbrae Gardens residents’ council president Frank Trombley.

In his speech, Frank outlines why the Residents’ Bill of Rights is important to residents and staff members, and he commends the home’s staff members for upholding those rights.

Shawna notes that resident Jeannine LeClerc, who is fluent in French, provided a translation in the video for every resident right.

“We wanted to up the ante by asking a resident who speaks fluent French to provide a translation,” she explains. “We wanted to make it bilingual for both English and French-speaking people.”

All video submissions will be entered into a prize draw. Prizes include an iPad with a $50 Apple gift card and a Google Home device.

Contest winners will be announced Sept. 19.

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Vintage car show gets Garden Terrace residents reminiscing

Community connections helped make this memorable event possible

Garden Terrace residents were recently treated to a vintage car show at the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home, thanks to volunteers from two local car clubs who generously donated their time and hot rods.

On Sept. 7, members of the Ottawa MG Club and the Ottawa Car Club brought their vintage wheels to the Garden Terrace parking lot for residents to see.

There were 16 cars at the home that day, including classic MGs, Rolls Royce models and muscle cars.

“The idea behind the car show was to get the residents to reminisce, which a lot of them did,” Garden Terrace life enrichment co-ordinator Rachael King tells The OMNIway.

“Residents talked about how they used to sit in the old car seats back in the day. And it was also a way to get the residents outside and doing things – that was a big goal.”

Rachael says about 30 residents attended the event. The volunteers chatted with residents about their cars and answered any questions they had. Residents were also invited to sit inside the cars.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, protocols were in place to keep everyone safe. The car club members had all been fully vaccinated, everyone wore masks, and residents, staff members and the car owners were provided hand sanitizer.

Rachael came up with the idea for the car show. She connected with the car clubs, and the clubs contacted their members who volunteered their vehicles and time.

“Everyone who came out was really excited; they were all very kind and it was very nice of them to volunteer their time,” Rachael says.

“The residents got to chat with people in the community and reminisce together, which was great.”

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Pleasant Meadow starts Residents’ Council Week with a council meet-and-greet and info session

Residents made decisions on council elections and learned about the important role councils play in LTC homes

Pleasant Meadow Manor kicked off the second annual Residents’ Council Week with a meet-and-greet session with Gord Holliday, the Norwood, Ont. long-term care home’s residents’ council president, followed by a question period and information session.

The Sept. 13 event largely focused on residents discussing the positions that need to be filled on the council. During the session, a decision was made to hold council elections in November, with nominees campaigning throughout October, says life enrichment co-ordinator Kim Williams.

Kim says excitement was in the air about the upcoming council election, and plans are now underway to get the campaign ball rolling.

“The residents were fired up about the upcoming campaigning, so we plan to make election posters for each candidate,” Kim tells The OMNIway.

Every Ontario long-term care home is mandated to have a residents’ council. Residents’ councils meet regularly to discuss issues important to residents and to help homes achieve continuous quality improvement.

Over Tim Hortons coffee and Timbits, Pleasant Meadow team members explained the responsibilities of residents’ councils and why they are an important part of every long-term care home.

Every resident also received a copy of the Residents’ Bill of Rights booklet provided by Community Legal Education Ontario.

Pleasant Meadow team members also informed the residents about the communication board where they can find the latest residents’ council meeting minutes as well as communications from the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils (OARC), Family Councils Ontario and the Ontario Society of Senior Citizens Organizations.

Residents’ Council Week is Sept. 13-19.

The Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils (OARC) explains the crucial part councils play in the lives of long-term-care home residents.

“(Residents’ councils) bring residents together as peers to discuss issues of importance and to stay connected and engaged in home operations and decision-making,” the website states.

Click here to learn more about OARC.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Pleasant Meadow Manor residents’ council president Gord Holliday is seen here at the start of Residents’ Council Week at the Norwood, Ont., long-term care home.

Hot dog hat brings lunchtime fun and laughter to Burnbrae residents

Nutritional care aide Nikki McAleaney commended for her idea that made hot dog day even better for residents

Burnbrae Gardens nutritional care aide Nikki McAleaney had been looking for a chance to wear a hot dog hat she owns.

When hot dogs were on the lunchtime menu at the Campbellford, Ont. long-term care home recently, Nikki decided this was the perfect opportunity to provide residents with some mealtime fun and laughter.

With Nikki working in Burnbrae’s nutritional care department, her friends and family started giving her food-themed hats. Last Christmas, Nikki’s aunt gave her a turkey hat. A friend then gave her the hot dog hat.

When hot dog day at Burnbrae Gardens was approaching, she got the idea to wear the hot dog hat over her hairnet to serve residents.

“With me working in the dietary department, I just thought it would be a really cute idea and bring some laughter to the residents by wearing a hot dog hat on hot dog day,” Nikki tells The OMNIway.

Her plan worked.

“It brought them lots of laughter,” she says. “It felt really good to make residents so happy.”

Burnbrae Gardens administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator April Faux says Nikki’s idea to wear a hot dog hat while serving residents hot dogs is a great example of a team member’s strong resident focus.

Residents have been dealing with a lot of changes for the past 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Nikki thinking outside the box to deliver some extra fun to the home was meaningful, April says.

“It’s a great example of fun and laughter that has been incorporated into a tough year,” she says. “The residents had a really great time.”

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Fun and laughter with a splash

Water-slide day returns to Frost Manor

A tried and proven, fun-filled event that is a favourite with residents returned to Frost Manor this summer, once again creating a big splash.

On Aug. 19, team members at the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home set up a water slide next to the parking lot, and residents and staff members took turns zooming across the 50-foot slide in rubber tubes.

Residents sat in a plastic tube with straps attached at the sides and team members pulled them down the slide with the straps.

Frost Manor last hosted a water-slide day in summer 2019, and residents were happy to see it return, says Amy Whitehead, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

Amy says the water-slide day was the perfect way to keep everyone cool during the August heatwave. Team members also set up a hydration station to provide everyone with cold drinks.

Amy notes this year’s slide was “new and improved.”

“It was a 50-foot slide with inflatable bumpers,” she tells The OMNIway. “The day was a lot of fun. The residents had lots of laughs watching people go down the slide. We made an afternoon of it and everyone had a great time.”

Since the water slide day went over so well with everyone, Amy says residents can look forward to having their own water park again next year.

“We will do it again next summer; it’s definitely worth it,” she says.

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Garden Terrace and Tim Hortons partner to deliver residents a coffee-and-doughnut social

‘It was nice for them to be outside and feel like they were out and about in the community’

Thanks to creative thinking from the Garden Terrace life enrichment team and the generosity of a local Tim Hortons outlet, residents of the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home enjoyed an experience they’ve been missing – a trip to the Timmies drive-thru.

On Aug. 27 the life enrichment team set up a Tim Hortons drive-thru window in the home’s cafe, and residents lined up to order coffee and doughnuts a local Timmies donated.

The idea for the drive-thru was hatched by life enrichment co-ordinator Rachael King and the life enrichment staff.

Rachael had earlier contacted a local Tim Hortons and asked if the store would make a donation. The store manager, who happened to be looking for a community group to donate coffee and doughnuts to for August, agreed. The store sent 100 Timbits, 64 doughnuts and three carafes of coffee to Garden Terrace.

Life enrichment team members worked the drive-thru window wearing authentic Tim Hortons shirts and hats provided by a team member who was once an employee of the doughnut shop chain.

Residents and staff members picked up their coffee and doughnuts from the drive-thru, and then everyone went outside to the courtyard to enjoy the sunny weather and socialize.

Everyone, especially the residents, enjoyed the experience, Rachael says.

“There was a lot of participation, and it was a really nice day outside, so it was like having tea with a friend,” she tells The OMNIway.

“The residents got to eat outside and they got to socialize. It went really well.”

As much as residents enjoyed having their Tim Hortons coffee and doughnuts, the social aspect of the day also meant a lot to them, Rachael says.

“It was nice for them to be outside and feel like they were out and about in the community,” she says.

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Corn roast tradition returns to Forest Hill

With changes in place to ensure pandemic protocols were met, residents once again partook in a favourite end-of-summer event

The tradition of the end-of-summer corn roast returned to Forest Hill in late August.

Residents of the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home once again enjoyed fresh corn on the cob during the annual Forest Hill corn roast after skipping a year due to pandemic restrictions in place at the time.

With more flexibility this year, life enrichment co-ordinator Craig Forrest was eager to organize a corn roast this year.

“I didn’t want the residents to go without fresh corn this year,” he tells The OMNIway.

Normally, the corn roast attracts about 80 Forest Hill residents and their family members. Current safety protocols require family members to wear masks at all times while visiting the home. Because people need to remove their masks to eat, family members were unable to join residents at this year’s corn roast.

To ensure the corn roast could be held this year, adjustments were made and required safety protocols were followed. Rather than having residents living on all five floors of the home attend the corn roast at the same time, smaller corn roasts were held outdoors for each floor.

The first corn roast was for residents from the third floor on Aug. 30. Craig picked up 120 cobs of corn and barbecued pork riblets. Residents living on the third floor had their corn roast outside and entertainment was provided, with remaining cobs and riblets being served to residents inside the home.

Live music has been provided at each corn roast, with entertainers performing from a safe distance.

A major plus has been co-operation from mother nature during the corn roasts, Craig says.

“The weather has been fantastic, and, thankfully it hasn’t been too hot,” he says. “We have really lucked out with the weather.”

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PHOTO CAPTION: Forest Hill resident Phillip Bruce enjoys a corn cob during a recent corn roast at the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home.

West Lake Terrace staff has been by our side throughout the pandemic: family member

‘Things worked out very well because the staff were really helpful,’ says Wilf Durham

The husband of a West Lake Terrace resident is commending the home – and OMNI Health Care – for acting quickly to keep residents safe when the COVID-19 pandemic began and for providing important supports to residents and their families during the past 18 months.

Before the pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization in March 2020, Wilf Durham was visiting his wife, Marjorie, nearly every day at West Lake Terrace. When the pandemic began, “everything changed,” Wilf recalls.

After the pandemic was declared, long-term care homes across Ontario were immediately closed to non-essential visitors to keep everyone safe from the highly contagious COVID-19 virus.

While these protocols were necessary, residents and their loved ones were naturally missing each other. What made a difference, Wilf says, is the support the home provided residents and their families.

Wilf says the West Lake Terrace team went above and beyond to help facilitate video calls for residents and their family members, and that had a positive impact on everyone.

Wilf began communicating with Marjorie as often as he could through FaceTime, which, he says, “really helped.”

He adds that staff members helped Marjorie get comfortable with using the video conferencing platform, and their support made a difference.

“Things worked out very well because the staff were really helpful,” he says.

Wilf is also commending OMNI Health Care for the support the organization has shown West Lake Terrace during the pandemic. He says the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator, Janie Denard, has been quick to relay any information related to the pandemic to families.

“OMNI are doing a really good job,” he says. “They are getting all of this information through to Janie and she prints it out regularly and keeps (everyone) informed.”

Wilf is now an essential caregiver for Marjorie. Wilf visits Marjorie each morning and they are both benefiting from their time spent together, he says.

“It has been really good,” Wilf says. “We feel that we are having valuable time together.”

This is Part 2 of a two-part story. Click here to read Part 1.

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World Alzheimer’s Month is focusing on diagnosis and the importance of early detection

The Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s campaign is also working to erase the stigma surrounding dementia to help increase early diagnosis

Alzheimer’s Disease International (ADI) is focusing this year’s World Alzheimer’s Month campaign on diagnosis as well as helping people understand the warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia in an effort to spread knowledge about the importance of early detection.

September is World Alzheimer’s Month. ADI, a federation of Alzheimer associations across the globe, is working to raise awareness of the prevalence of the chronic neurodegenerative disease as well as trying to reduce its stigma.

In Canada, approximately 564,000 people are living with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementia, according to the Alzheimer Society of Canada. In less than 15 years, the number is expected to climb to 937,000.

This year’s awareness campaign is called Know Dementia, Know Alzheimer’s.

In a statement on the organization’s website, ADI emphasizes the importance of understanding the early warning signs of Alzheimer’s disease and dementia and how the continuing stigma surrounding dementia results in people being diagnosed in late stages.

“Receiving a diagnosis of dementia is often a challenging and difficult process and varies greatly around the world,” ADI says.

“To add to this, the stigma surrounding dementia means that many avoid seeking a diagnosis until the very late stages of the condition. We need to change this.”

To help raise awareness, ADI is asking people and organizations to get involved with this year’s campaign.

ADI is offering campaign resources and materials on its website to help people and organizations spread the word about World Alzheimer’s Month 2021.

ADI says one way to raise awareness is through social media platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook. The hashtags for this year’s campaign are #KnowDementia and #KnowAlzheimers.

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Streamway has kept quality of life high for residents throughout the pandemic. This made a lasting impact on a resident and his sister

Gladys Morris shares how staff members made Streamway Villa truly a home for her brother, Doug

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the Streamway Villa team has worked hard to keep the quality of life high for people living at the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home, says Gladys Morris, adding the care and compassion shown by staff had a positive impact on her brother, while he was a resident.

Gladys’s brother, Doug, lived at Streamway Villa from October 2018 until he passed away on Aug. 14. Gladys, who had been an essential caregiver for Doug, recalls how the home organized events for residents that helped keep quality of life high while staying within the boundaries of safety protocols.

For instance, entertainers have come to perform from outside the fence in the parking area for residents who gather safely in the courtyard.

“The residents would be out there dancing in their wheelchairs, and the looks on their faces was just wonderful,” Gladys says. “Some residents who stayed inside would open their windows so they could hear everything.”

In late July, Streamway hosted an Olympic-themed week. At the end of the week, team members organized a closing ceremony with a parade for residents.

Team members decorated residents’ wheelchairs and walkers as part of a contest. Doug, a retired farmer, had his wheelchair decorated as a Cub Cadet tractor by personal support worker (PSW) Linda Norton.

Doug took second place in the contest and was overjoyed, Gladys says.

“He wasn’t able to be up there very long, but he really enjoyed it,” she says.

Gladys recalls the moment when she realized how much Streamway Villa meant to her brother.

Shortly before he passed away, Doug was in hospital for treatment. Upon returning to Streamway, Doug was sedated. He suddenly heard the voice of one of the PSWs.

“When he heard the voice of the PSW, he lit right up and it was like he was living anew,” Gladys says.

“That was the first thing that really hit me, and I said, ‘Doug, are you where you want to be?’, and he said, ‘yes, this is my home.’ ”

– This is Part 2 of a two-part story. Click here to read Part 1.

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