On Fridays, West Lake Terrace turns into a cinema

Friday afternoon matinees have become a favourite program for residents during the pandemic

On Friday afternoons, West Lake Terrace takes on the atmosphere of a cinema, complete with a movie playing for residents and the aroma of freshly popped popcorn wafting through the halls.

The idea for the Prince Edward County long-term care home to start offering Friday movie matinees came from the residents, who were yearning to watch more of their favourite films.

The home bought an authentic movie theatre popcorn machine, which makes the experience even better for residents, says Janie Denard, West Lake Terrace’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

When Fridays come around, life enrichment staff members ask a resident to choose a movie from the home’s collection of videos. A different resident is asked to select a film each week to ensure variety.

“It’s always a different movie and the residents get to decide what they watch,” Janie tells The OMNIway.

With safety protocols in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic, large-group programming has been on hold at West Lake Terrace and other long-term care homes, so activities like the Friday movie matinees have helped meet residents’ programming needs, Janie says.

As well as offering different movies on Fridays, staff members provide different refreshments to go with residents’ popcorn, such as milkshakes or Shirley Temples.

This program has made Fridays a favourite day at the home, Janie says.

“They absolutely love it; they look forward to watching their movies,” she says.

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Internal promotion shows OMNI’s commitment to team members: administrator

Neil MacDonald is one of four Frost Manor managers to be promoted from within the organization

Neil MacDonald says one of the great things about working for OMNI Health Care is that the organization values its employees and demonstrates commitment to staff members by promoting people from within.

This is something he’s experienced first-hand.

After spending much of his career working at OMNI homes as a dietary aide, cook and nutritional care manager, Neil became the administrator at Frost Manor in Lindsay on April 8.

Promoting employees from within the organization and investing in its people are hallmarks of the commitment OMNI has for the people working in its 18 long-term care homes, Neil says.

“I think it’s critical,” Neil says of internal promotion. “First of all, as employees of the company, it’s something that really helps provide you with a positive outlook in your career; to know that you could go from a dietary aide or a PSW (personal support worker) up to a top position within a home or within the company.”

Neil notes that several members of the Frost Manor management team have been promoted from within.

Brittney Sharpe, before becoming Frost Manor’s director of care, was a volunteer, PSW and a nurse at the home.

Sarah Wokral started at Frost Manor as a registered practical nurse and then became RAI co-ordinator.

Amy Whitehead, who started at Frost Manor as a life enrichment aide, recently became life enrichment co-ordinator.

“Four members of our management team were promotions from within, and that’s great for employees and for retention, but also for the quality of care that we can provide because we are groomed into the OMNIway and the quality of care that we strive to provide,” Neil says.

“We have that extra time spent learning (the OMNI) values and practising those values, and then being put into a position to lead people towards those values, I think is very advantageous for the care that we provide.”

– Part 3 of a three-part story

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Streamway Villa residents celebrate Chocolate Ice Cream Day

‘We ate chocolate everything’

Would you like a cone or bowl?

That was the big question Streamway Villa residents were faced with on June 7, which happened to be Chocolate Ice Cream Day.

The Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home’s residents were treated to generous helpings of the world’s second-most popular ice-cream flavour (after vanilla) to celebrate the occasion.

“We ate chocolate everything,” Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht says.

According to the UK website for Carpigiani, an Italian company that manufactures ice cream and gelato machines, the history of chocolate ice cream dates back to 1692, when the first known recipe was recorded.

The Carpigiani website states that from its earliest days, ice cream was fashioned from popular drinks of the time, including coffee, tea and, of course, hot chocolate.

That’s not to say that the chocolate ice cream we enjoy today tastes the same as it did in the late 17th century.

“The first chocolate (ice cream) recipe, published in Naples, was quite different to the chocolate ice cream that we know and love today,” the website says. “It was based on a popular drinking chocolate that was regularly mixed with spices such as cinnamon and anise.”

The origins of Chocolate Ice Cream Day are foggy – The OMNIway could not find any sources detailing when the first Chocolate Ice Cream Day was held – but the important thing is Streamway Villa residents got to celebrate the day and even learn new things about the popular dessert.

“We talked about the fun facts of chocolate and ice cream,” Laurie says, adding, “did you know it takes 50 licks to get through one ice-cream cone?”

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Streamway mothers offer some motherly advice

Mother’s Day activity encouraged residents to share their thoughts and have some fun

Streamway Villa marked Mother’s Day on May 9 with an afternoon tea and an activity that gave the resident moms a chance to share some of their motherly advice.

The resident mothers wrote their advice on a small whiteboard and had their photos taken along with the advice they wanted to share. Some residents wore their favourite hats for the photos.

Some examples of the motherly advice residents had included, “Always say please and thank you”, “Do as I say, not as I do” and “Always be honest”.

Given restrictions in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Mother’s Day could not be the festive occasion it normally is with lots of family and friends visiting residents, but team members at the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home used their creativity to make it a special day.

Life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht says even with social distancing and carefully arranged seating in place there was still a good turnout for Mother’s Day.

“(We) had a lovely afternoon tea with scones, cookies and butter tarts,” she tells The OMNIway.

“Some tulips were picked from the garden and placed on the tables and, of course, we couldn’t forget the fancy hats.”

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2021 Nutrition Month campaign focusing on how healthy eating is different for everyone

When it comes to healthy eating, there is no one-size-fits-all approach because everyone is different.

That’s the key message behind this year’s Nutrition Month, which is acknowledged across Canada throughout March. The theme for this year’s Nutrition Month is “Good for you – dietitians help you find your healthy.”

The campaign, which is organized by Dietitians of Canada, looks at how culture, health conditions and personal circumstances all come into play when it comes to individual meal plans.

Nutrition Month is focusing this year on how healthy eating can be incorporated into everyone’s life while adhering to cultural traditions, health plans and personal circumstances.

Long-term care homes, for instance, are reflective of society at large, since every resident’s nutritional needs and preferences are different.

In a section of this year’s Nutrition Month activity guide focused on long-term care residents, registered dietitian Christine Francis notes how promoting quality of life is at the centre of the work long-term care homes do – and quality mealtimes are a top priority for residents.

Residents living in many long-term care homes, including OMNI Health Care homes, have menu choices at every mealtime that meet daily nutritional requirements. Offering these options is important to residents, both on a personal level and a nutritional level, writes Francis, who has experience working with residents of long-term care homes.

“Having a choice between menu options and entrees creates a sense of belonging and autonomy for the residents, while allowing them to still feel involved in their care and decision making.”

The activity guide recommends several ways stakeholders can get involved with Nutrition Month. These include using social media, trying new recipes and having conversations about nutrition.

You can look out for the hashtags #NutritionMonth and #FindYourHealthy on social media to learn the latest news on this year’s campaign.

For more information on this year’s Nutrition Month campaign, click here to access the 2021 activity guide.

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