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Horsing around at Pleasant Meadow

LEA commended for going ‘above and beyond’ to help bring two horses for a visit with residents

A Pleasant Meadow Manor life enrichment aide (LEA) is being praised for going “above and beyond” to help bring a pair of horses to the Norwood long-term care home to visit residents on a Sunday afternoon.

On Oct. 9, the horses stopped by the home with a representative from the Norwood Fair, whom LEA Emily Gerow had contacted to arrange the visit, explains life enrichment co-ordinator Kim Williams.

Emily had also organized a visit on Oct. 7 from fair organizers who shared information with residents about the baking and crafts contests the fair hosts (residents won two ribbons in the crafts contest. See Nov. 9 OMNIway story).

Kim says the work Emily did to bring the horses to the home, as well as her efforts to ensure residents entered crafts and baking in the fair’s contests, was “much appreciated.”

The horses were brought to the front of the home and residents spent part of the afternoon petting and interacting with them.

Kim is commending Emily for coming up with an idea she knew the residents would appreciate.

“Emily thought it would be a great idea for the residents to see the horses, and she was right,” Kim tells The OMNIway.

“That was above and beyond, and it was very thoughtful of Emily to arrange that.”

The Norwood Fall Fair returned this year for the first time since 2019. The event, which has been a highlight of autumn in Norwood since 1868, was cancelled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Riverview Remembrance Day service includes community members for first time since 2019

Riverview Manor residents and staff members honoured veterans of the Canadian Armed Forces on Nov. 9 with an early Remembrance Day service that included representatives from the Royal Canadian Legion and the local community.

This was the first time community members have participated in the Peterborough long-term care home’s annual Remembrance Day service since the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.

The home organized the event two days early due to participants having commitments at the city’s Remembrance Day service on Nov. 11, explains Riverview Manor life enrichment aide (LEA) Adam Wicklum.

This year’s service, which LEA Rosemary Roseborough organized, was also in honour of Canada’s late monarch, Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away Sept. 8.

Rosemary has organized the home’s Remembrance Day services for 21 years.

Representing Riverview Manor residents at the service were Joan Brownson, who served in the Women’s Auxiliary Territory Service, a branch of the British Army, during the Second World War; and Frank Lindsay, a veteran of the Royal Canadian Air Force. Joan and Frank laid a poppy wreath during the service.

Guests included Verne and Collette Kish from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 52, Pastor Ben Denhood of Gilmour Memorial Baptist Church, bagpiper Brandon McDermott, bugler Sgt. James McLaren of the Royal Canadian Air Cadets 534 Raider Squadron, and Sgt. McLaren’s father, who was one of the poetry readers.

Riverview Manor LEAs who helped Rosemary this year included Adam, who served as photographer and video player; Marilyn Price, one of the readers; and Tina Hutchinson, who operated the CD player.

A highlight of the service was the bagpipe and bugle music, Adam says.

“The musicians performed amazingly, and this was their first time participating in our service,” he says.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Riverview Manor residents Joan Brownson and Frank Lindsay are pictured here laying a wreath during the Peterborough long-term care home’s Remembrance Day service as Pastor Ben Denhood of Gilmour Memorial Baptist Church looks on.

LEA is taking Woodland Villa residents around the world

Armchair travel program uses videos, slideshows and music to help residents experience other cultures

A Woodland Villa life enrichment aide (LEA) is being commended for a program he’s created that’s taking residents to far-away places while remaining in the comfort of the Long Sault, Ont. long-term care home.

Every month, Nicholas Merizzi dedicates a whole day to his armchair travel program, which engages residents in the cultures of countries across the world.

Residents look forward to the globetrotting program, which features props such as videos, slideshows and music to give residents a feel for the featured country of the day.

For many residents, the program brings back fond memories of their travels; for others, it’s a way to learn about countries and their people.

“(The program) goes over really well with the residents, especially the ones who have done lots of travelling,” says Woodland Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Lisa Doran.

“Nicholas starts off in the morning, and he might do something like trivia. In the afternoon they will sing and have slideshows. There is a whole bunch of stuff that is involved with it.”

While Nicholas spearheads the program and organizes the events, other life enrichment team members provide support.

Lisa says Nicholas will let her know what’s needed for an armchair travel day, and she and other team members will help with backdrops and decorations.

Lisa says Woodland Villa residents enjoy programs where they can learn about other cultures and experience the sights, sounds and tastes of other countries.

“We did Oktoberfest last month; the residents really enjoyed that, with the German music and the decorations and the different types of German beers – that was a huge success as well,” she says.

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Pleasant Meadow residents win two ribbons in Norwood fair craft contests

‘The residents were pretty proud of themselves’

Pleasant Meadow Manor residents and team members were hoping to pull off a big win with their crafts entries at this year’s Norwood Fall Fair, and for their hard work, they earned two ribbons.

A terracotta pot and a basket that were decorated by residents both earned second-place honours at the fair, which ran over the Thanksgiving weekend.

Pleasant Meadow life enrichment co-ordinator Kim Williams says residents look forward every autumn to entering crafts and baked goods in the fair’s contests, so winning ribbons for their entries is always a big deal for them.

Other items residents entered in the fair’s contests included wall decorations, door decorations, a Pleasant Meadow Manor scrapbook and homemade fudge.

The Norwood Fall Fair returned this year for the first time since 2019. The event, which has been a highlight of autumn in Norwood since 1868, was cancelled for the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Every September, residents get to work making crafts and preparing baked goods to enter in the fair’s contests. Residents win prizes for their crafts and baking entries almost every year, Kim says.

Fall Fair organizers supply the home with a list of crafts and baking that residents can enter. The Pleasant Meadow Manor life enrichment team presents the list to residents for them to decide what they would like to work on for entries.

About 12 residents worked on crafts and baking for the fair this year, and lots of hard work was put into the entries which made the wins even sweeter, Kim says.

“The residents were pretty proud of themselves,” she says.

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Woodland Villa residents couldn’t go to a pumpkin festival, so a pumpkin festival was brought to residents

The local community came together to help the home host its own version of Pumpkinferno

When an outbreak at Woodland Villa prevented residents of the Long Sault, Ont. long-term care home from taking a much-anticipated trip to see hand-carved pumpkins on display at a Halloween festival, family members, staff and the local community came together to bring a festival to residents.

Residents had been looking forward to attending Pumpkinferno, an annual festival at Upper Canada Village with more than 7,000 hand-carved pumpkins on display, so they were saddened to learn they wouldn’t be able to make it this year.

Then a family member had an idea to host a similar event at Woodland Villa so residents wouldn’t miss out. And that’s how the “Woodland Villa Inferno” was born, says Lisa Doran, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

The Woodland Villa team reached out to the community for support and got a “tremendous” response, Lisa says.

Generous local farmers donated 168 pumpkins. Local elementary and high-school students joined family members, staff and residents to help carve jack-o’-lanterns.

When the work was done, carved pumpkins and decorations adorned Woodland Villa’s two new courtyards, and about 30 residents got to see the spectacle on the evening of Oct. 28.

Residents who couldn’t make it outside still got to enjoy the view by looking out their windows onto the courtyard, Lisa says.

“We had a bunch of decorations outside and we had music playing and we brought the residents out so they got to see all the pumpkins and the decorations and get the full effect – and they absolutely loved it,” she tells The OMNIway.

“This was an amazing idea from a family member, and so we ran with it.”

Lisa says the community support the home received to make the pumpkin display possible was inspiring.

“This was the first time we have really worked with the community since COVID started,” she says. “We were really impressed with the feedback we got and with the people who wanted to help out to make this happen.”

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Village Green residents spend a day talking like pirates

For the second straight year, residents and team members celebrate International Talk Like a Pirate Day

It may be an unusual day, but International Talk Like a Pirate Day has become a part of the culture at Village Green.

For the second straight year, the Selby, Ont. long-term care home has celebrated International Talk Like a Pirate Day with pirate-themed activities and by encouraging everyone to talk with their best pirate accent.

While International Talk Like a Pirate Day is Sept. 19, the event was postponed until Sept. 26 so residents and staff members could honour Queen Elizabeth II on the day of her funeral, notes Village Green life enrichment co-ordinator Ulana Orrick.

Between phrases that may have included things like “shiver me timbers!” and “weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen!” residents enjoyed dressing up in pirate apparel and visiting a tattoo parlour that had been set up.

A popular event of the day was a “minute to win it” digging-for-gold game, Ulana adds.

There was also an educational component to the day, with residents learning about the history of pirates and competing in pirate trivia.

According to several online sources, International Talk Like a Pirate Day was conceived by friends John Baur and Mark Summers of Oregon, USA, in 1995 during racquetball game.

As the story goes, one of the men let out a loud, pirate-like “aarrr!” after sustaining an injury on the court, and from that, an idea was born.

Ulana says one of the benefits of the day was that it engaged residents of all abilities in an entertaining program that generated lots of excitement.

“The residents all had a lot of fun,” she says.

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OMNI’s exceptional food quality and team members’ love for their work shine through during March Madness contest

Between March and September, The OMNIway showcased examples of the amazing food residents in OMNI Health Care’s long-term care homes enjoy, prepared by dedicated team members who are committed to their art.

The March Madness recipe challenge encouraged nutritional care team members to choose their favourite recipes and enter them in the bracket contest, which was similar to sports playoffs.

During the contest, nutritional care managers and cooks prepared their favourite meals, plated them and took photos that were sent to OMNI head office. The photos were accompanied by the name of each meal and its recipe.

Eighteen recipes were submitted, and team members had fun showcasing their talents, which was exactly what Chris Weber, OMNI’s operations manager of nutrition and food service, was aiming for when he created the contest.

Once the photos and recipes were posted online, OMNIway readers and OMNI team members voted for their favourite recipes. The contest ran each week until early May.

The winning recipe was a Mediterranean omelette created by Country Terrace nutritional care team member Josephine Goddard. The omelette is a medley of spinach, eggplant, red pepper, mushrooms, onions, feta cheese and garlic.

What truly shone through during this six-month story series was how much nutritional care team members enjoy their work and how they marry their love of food with their dedication to residents.

Team members shared how they were inspired to create the recipes they entered, and there were some interesting stories behind these meals.

One team member shared a childhood memory of the meatball stew her mother would make; another was inspired to submit the recipe for the roast turkey he often makes for Sunday lunch.

What stood out during the March Madness contest was how team members wanted to share their favourite food memories with the residents they serve.

That’s a special kind of commitment.

Police engage Streamway residents in fraud prevention

The Cobourg Police Service hosted an information session to raise awareness of a spike in phone scams

A representative from the Cobourg Police Service (CPS) recently led an information session at Streamway Villa to raise awareness about a rise in telephone scams aimed at seniors in the area and to help protect residents from becoming victims.

Knowing many long-term-care home residents have their own phone lines, the police department reached out to Streamway Villa in September to offer this service, explains Laurie Kracht, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

Acting detective James Egas explained how so-called “grandparent scams” are committed by fraudsters who play on people’s emotional vulnerabilities in order to get their financial information.

Most often, fraudsters pose as family members in trouble and needing money; some will pretend to be police officers or lawyers telling the potential victim that a loved one is ill, injured or in jail and needs money, he explained.

Residents were told the best defence against becoming telephone fraud victims is to never give out any personal or financial information over the phone.

Some residents explained they have received such calls, but because they were aware of the scam they hung up, which is the correct action, Det. Egas explained.

Laurie says there was a large turnout for the presentation, and residents paid close attention throughout the session, asking Det. Egas questions afterward.

Aside from being a valuable educational session for residents, the presentation also opened the door for future community partnerships with the CPS, Laurie says.

“This was a perfect opportunity to get back into the community and bring (the police) in,” she says. “Moving forward, they would love to come back to the home in the future.”

Laurie says any long-term-care home staff looking to offer a fraud-prevention session to their residents can contact their local police service for information.

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CPSW 2022 focusing on continuously improving safety for older adults through dialogue and action

The 18th annual campaign runs Oct. 24-28

Canadian Patient Safety Week (CPSW) kicks off today (Oct. 24), and this year’s campaign is emphasizing the importance of continuously improving safety for older adults through dialogue and action.

On its website, CPSW organizer Healthcare Excellence Canada states that conversation is the catalyst for creating a stronger safety culture across the greater health-care continuum, which is why the theme “Press Play on Safety Conversations” was chosen for CPSW 2022.

“When we have safety conversations, it changes the way we think about safety,” the Healthcare Excellence Canada website says. “Ask questions, listen and act.”

While Canadian long-term care homes, hospitals and other health-care providers place safety as a top priority, the COVID-19 pandemic, which began in March 2020, has added another layer of safety challenges, Healthcare Excellence Canada says.

To help overcome these challenges and get safety conversations started, Healthcare Excellence Canada has created a free toolkit for health-care stakeholders to use to engage people.

The toolkit includes tips on how to provide safe spaces and initiate discussions about safety in order to work towards positive outcomes as well as a list of webinars and other virtual events care providers can use to learn more about continuous quality improvement as it relates to safety.

Given the additional strain Canadian health-care providers are experiencing today due to the pandemic, Healthcare Excellence Canada says it’s crucial to get more safety-centred conversations started to mitigate risks.

“Now more than ever, we need to focus on patient and healthcare provider safety,” the organization says. “Together we can create safety, eliminate incidents of unintended harm, as well as act on and learn from errors.”

Now in its 18th year, CPSW is an annual campaign aimed at encouraging stakeholders across the greater health-care sector to focus on safety.

Click here to learn more about Canadian Patient Safety Week.

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Contest win nets Village Green residents’ council new info boards

An $800 gift certificate will help make the boards more eye-catching

Village Green’s residents’ council will be getting new, state-of-the-art information boards to help share important news and updates after being named one of the winners of the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils’ (OARC’s) Show Us Your Boards contest.

The Selby, Ont. long-term care home won an $800 gift certificate to improve its residents’ council boards during a draw that was held by the OARC at the end of Residents’ Council Week.

Before Residents’ Council Week, which was Sept. 12-18, the OARC asked Ontario long-term care homes to submit photos of their residents’ council information boards along with a description of improvements residents’ council members would like to see made to their boards.

In their submission, Village Green residents’ council members stated the current boards have too much white space and the lettering needs to be larger.

“There is so much great information, but it needs to be more eye-catching,” noted one council member.

Among items included on residents’ council information boards are the monthly program and events calendar, council meeting minutes, important notices from home management and residents’ council pamphlets.

Village Green life enrichment co-ordinator Ulana Orrick says the boards are important to residents, and while the new boards will be more eye-catching, the information will be the same.

“When asked what they like about our bulletin boards here at Village Green, almost all residents said that they like that the information is up to date and complete,” Ulana says.

“They can always rely on the bulletin boards as a source of information, and they are a great way to plan their day and week.”

With their gift certificate, Village Green will create standout information boards that will continue to post the information residents want but in a more striking way, just as residents have requested, Ulana says.

Ulana says the contest helped Village Green in its continuous quality improvement journey, adding the home would have made the changes residents requested even if they didn’t win a prize.

“I am so glad that OARC came up with this contest,” she says. “It sparked a great conversation with our residents’ council about the boards, and we have some plans on how to improve them.”

Residents’ Council Week is organized each year by OARC and aims to raise awareness about the important role residents’ councils play in long-term care homes.

Residents’ councils are mandated by the Ministry of Long-Term Care and serve to empower residents and help them make the most of their experience living in long-term care homes.

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