An appearance from ‘Scuba Steve’ made everyone’s day at Pleasant Meadow

‘With just a little masking tape and some construction paper, I’m telling you, we can have lots of fun’

Pleasant Meadow Manor registered nurse Shelly Vandenberg and life enrichment co-ordinator Kim Williams recently tapped into two of OMNI Health Care’s core values — creativity and fun and laughter – to help keep the winter blues away.

Inspired by a pair of safety goggles she was wearing, Shelly decided to dress up like Scuba Steve, a character and toy from the 1999 Adam Sandler comedy film Big Daddy.

Once Kim heard about Shelly’s idea, she fashioned a pair of swim fins out of yellow construction paper for Shelly to wear on her feet. A homemade snorkel completed the outfit.

The residents responded exactly the way Shelly had hoped: they all had a good laugh, Kim says.

“Some of the residents wanted to splash water on her because she had scuba gear on, and another resident tried to encourage her to get into the bathtub,” she tells The OMNIway.

Kim says one of the funnier moments came when Shelly tried walking with her new swim fins. She found she had to make the same “flip-floppy” motions with her feet as if they were an authentic pair of fins.

With Christmas over and Ontario under a provincewide shutdown to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus, Shelly’s idea brought some much-needed humour to everyone at the Norwood long-term care home, Kim says.

And the best part, she says, is how easy this was to accomplish.

“With just a little masking tape and some construction paper, I’m telling you, we can have lots of fun.”

If you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at deron(at)

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at deron(at)

Almonte Country Haven receives Workplace of the Year award from OLTCA

Almonte Country Haven team members are seen here after the Lanark County long-term care home received the OLTCA’s Workplace of the Year award.

Award recognizes outstanding LTC homes for commitment to staff engagement, staff recognition and workplace culture

Almonte Country Haven has been named the Ontario Long Term Care Association’s (OLTCA’s) Workplace of the Year for its commitment to staff engagement, staff recognition and workplace culture. Read more

Streamway Villa receives OLTCA award for success with OMNI’s diabetes program

Streamway Villa administrator and director of care Kylie Szczebonski (left) and RAI co-ordinator Kerrie Chapple (right) are seen here accepting a Clinical Protocol Excellence Award during the OLTCA’s This is Long Term Care conference in Toronto Nov. 29.

Daily huddles, where staff talk about diabetes issues, have helped keep hypoglycemic events at near nil

Streamway Villa is one of the recipients of the Ontario Long Term Care Association’s (OLTCA’s) Clinical Protocol Excellence Award for its success with OMNI Health Care’s diabetes protocol. Read more

Frost Manor wins prize in OLTCA letter-writing campaign

Home collects 535 messages in support of better care

In its quest to raise awareness about the need for “Better Seniors’ Care,” Frost Manor has netted a prize for its residents’ council from the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA). Read more

Provincial advocacy campaign to improve resident care underway at OMNI homes


Residents, family members and staff asked to sign letters asking gov’t for more LTC funding

Ontario long-term care homes are once again being encouraged to join an annual letter-writing campaign to underscore to MPPs the need for additional funding to enhance resident care. Read more