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Pleasant Meadow residents receive first COVID-19 vaccination, second dose coming

Immunizations bring ‘a sense of relief and hope’ to residents and staff

Most of the residents of Pleasant Meadow Manor have received their first dose of the vaccine to protect them from the COVID-19 virus, and they are expected to get the booster immunization in the coming days.

On Jan. 28, paramedics from Peterborough Public Health were at the Norwood, Ont. long-term care home to work with front-line staff members to immunize all residents who had given consent to receive the vaccine.

The paramedics are expected to return to Pleasant Meadow Manor this week to administer the booster shot, says Sandra Tucker, the home’s administrator and director of care.

With the first round of resident vaccinations complete and the second immunizations coming soon, Sandra says there’s “a sense of relief and hope” amongst residents and staff members that the global pandemic’s end is on the horizon.

All municipalities covered by Peterborough Public Health, including Norwood, are currently in the yellow zone of the Ontario government’s colour-coded reopening framework. Municipalities in yellow zones are under “strengthened measures” and are expected to focus on protection.

Keeping in line with safety protocols, there are no large-group activities at Pleasant Meadow Manor at the moment, but residents are receiving one-to-one and small-group programming involving five or fewer people, with social distancing and other safety measures in effect.

The Government of Ontario says on its website that vaccinations will be crucial to curbing COVID-19 infection.

“(Vaccines) will be an important tool to help stop the spread of the virus and allow individuals, families and workers to safely resume normal life,” the website states.

“The coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine does not cause a coronavirus infection. It helps to build up your immunity to the virus, so your body will fight it off more easily if it affects you.”

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Vaccination clinics begin at OMNI homes

Residents of most homes have received their first COVID-19 vaccination and some have now received the second dose

Since January, most of OMNI Health Care’s 18 long-term care homes have hosted clinics to administer the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination to residents, and residents of some homes have now received the vaccine’s required second dose.

The World Health Organization declared the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020. Since then, people working in the long-term care sector have put tireless efforts into keeping residents and their co-workers safe, and infection, prevention and control protocols have been ramped up.

While the pandemic continues to be a major concern and safety protocols remain top of mind, the vaccination clinics that have been held in OMNI homes have brought the first sign of life starting to return to normal, say staff members.

Although the vaccine is a major step forward in keeping residents safe from the highly contagious COVID-19 virus, homes will continue to exercise precautions for some time.

Located in Kanata, Ont., Forest Hill was one of the first OMNI long-term care homes to have residents receive a primary dose of the vaccine. Paramedics from the local public health unit administered the vaccine to residents on Jan. 14.

“We are still going to have months (of the pandemic) ahead of us, but at least you can see the light at the end of the tunnel,” Forest Hill life enrichment co-ordinator Craig Forrest recently told The OMNIway.

All residents of Almonte Country Haven in Lanark County have also received the first dose of the Moderna vaccine. On Jan. 28, a team from the Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit was at the home to administer the vaccine with the help of Almonte Country Haven staff.

After each resident received the vaccination, they were given a special badge to wear that read, “I Got My COVID-19 Vaccine,” and were then brought to the front of the home where a public health unit nurse was standing by to ensure they were experiencing no side effects.

“It was all hands on deck and all of our staff were involved in supporting the recommended half-hour observation period to ensure that any possible reaction was swiftly identified and dealt with,” Almonte Country Haven administrator Carolyn Della Foresta said in an e-mail sent the day of the vaccinations.

The Ontario government is aiming to immunize all long-term-care home residents who have given consent as soon as possible. Initially, the province set a Feb. 5 deadline to have all long-term-care home residents vaccinated; however, that target could not be met due to delays in supply lines, so the deadline has been extended into February.

The Government of Ontario says on its website that vaccinations will be crucial to curbing COVID-19 infection.

“(Vaccines) will be an important tool to help stop the spread of the virus and allow individuals, families and workers to safely resume normal life,” the website states.

Students help make Valentine’s Day even more special at Streamway Villa

Grade 2 and 3 students from Notre Dame Catholic Elementary School send artwork to residents

Students at a local primary school helped ensure Streamway Villa residents had an extra-special Valentine’s Day.

The week before Valentine’s Day (Feb. 14), the Grade 2 and Grade 3 classes at nearby Notre Dame Catholic Elementary School made some creative Valentine’s Day artwork they sent to the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home’s residents.

The small posters the students made feature photos of them blowing on an extended hand and sending a flurry of hearts into the air as a Valentine’s Day message.

“We have a relationship with (Notre Dame Catholic Elementary School); they always make cards for our seniors, this time they did an art project of them blowing hearts – it was so cute,” says Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht.

Most importantly, Laurie says the students’ efforts were well-received by residents, who appreciated the time they took to create these unique pieces of art.

“The artwork put a huge smile on our residents’ faces,” she says. “It’s always special when we get stuff sent over from (the school).”

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West Lake team hosts a ‘deer hunt’ for residents with great success

‘We haven’t had this much fun and laughter in our home since this pandemic started’

The West Lake Terrace team recently hosted a “deer hunt” that brought residents and staff members together for an engaging activity that resulted in lots of fun and laughter for all.

Team members gathered the Christmas trees that were set up around West Lake Terrace during the holidays and brought them to the dining room to create a makeshift forest.

Donning reindeer hats, team members began milling about through “the woods” as residents patiently sat looking through the sights of the Nerf guns they’d been given.

When a “deer” came into view, residents pulled their triggers, sending a volley of Nerf darts at them. Residents then tagged their “deer”.

Life enrichment co-ordinator Janie Denard says she and other team members at the Prince Edward County long-term care home were inspired to create the activity after reading an article about a home on Manitoulin Island that organized a similar activity with great success.

With the holiday season over and restrictions in place due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, Janie says this activity was exactly what residents and staff members needed to fend off the winter blues.

“We haven’t had this much fun and laughter in our home since this pandemic started,” Janie tells The OMNIway, adding that even residents who often don’t participate in activities joined in on the fun.

“This was just what residents and staff needed; it was an eruption of laughter for a good 20 minutes. Some of the residents were asking when we could do this again.”

To accommodate the residents’ wishes, the life enrichment team is planning to host another similar activity in the near future, Janie says.

“We’re going to have the residents shoot at tin cans and have more games with the Nerf guns,” she says.

“This was a great activity and it was much needed for everybody in the home.”

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2020 hasn’t been easy, but we’ve learned a lot

There’s no softer way to say it, 2020 has been a challenging year.

For the first time in a century, the world has been dealing with a large-scale pandemic that has changed the way we live, work and spend our free time.

For those working in the greater health-care sector, 2020 has been especially challenging. Front-line workers have had to adapt like no one else in the workforce to keep the coronavirus in check.

Work life and family life have been greatly impacted for health-care workers, who have had to adapt to the changing circumstances the COVID-19 pandemic has brought.

We have seen this first-hand at OMNI Health Care’s 18 long-term care homes, and we are grateful for the sacrifices team members have made – both personal and professional.

But for all the challenges and anxieties this year has brought, there has also been a lot we have learned as a collective team.

When the pandemic was declared in March, we learned how much local communities value our long-term care homes when kind letters, cards and complimentary meals began showing up for our teams.

Being physically distanced from those we care about is never easy, but we learned how supportive and understanding family members were when they could not visit their loved ones due to safety restrictions in place at long-term care homes for the first three months of the pandemic.

Providing residents in our long-term care homes with a high quality of life is the most important part of our work. Throughout 2020, we learned how creative and innovative our team members are – even under the most challenging of circumstances – when it came to providing residents meaningful programs, meals they enjoy and the care they expect.

And despite the staffing shortages affecting the Ontario long-term care sector at large, we learned how well we come together when our residents need us most.

We are still living through the pandemic, and there will be more challenges ahead. The good news is we are on the right path. We have proven that time and time again throughout 2020.

Province approves Village Green rebuild that will add 62 beds

Once completed, the new Village Green will benefit residents, staff and the community, says administrator Linda Pierce

The Ontario government announced Nov. 20 that approval has been granted to build a new 128-bed Village Green in Greater Napanee, a move the home’s administrator, Linda Pierce, says will benefit residents, staff members and the community.

Once completed, the new Village Green will have an additional 62 beds, nearly twice as many as the current home, which has 66.

“We are really excited about it,” Pierce tells The OMNIway. “This is such a complement to everybody: the team, the community (and) the people we serve.”

While there is no confirmation on when construction on the new Village Green will start or be completed, Pierce says a tentative site for the home is being considered on the west side of Lennox and Addington County Road 41.

Once completed, the rebuilt Village Green will be a Class A long-term care home with modern amenities, such as wider hallways and more home-like dining areas, and privacy will be enhanced by limiting all rooms to no more than one or two beds.

Pierce says eliminating three- and four-bed wards is crucial to ensuring high quality of life for people living in long-term care homes because lack of privacy can agitate residents.

By limiting rooms to no more than two beds, Pierce says residents will have increased privacy and a more home-like living experience.

“From bathing to dining experiences, everything will be enhanced,” Pierce says.

“Everything, in my opinion, will be more favourable to resident care and to the quality of life of the resident and the quality of life of the worker.”

Pierce also says the redeveloped Village Green will be a community asset because the additional 62 beds will help minimize waiting times for people in the region requiring long-term care.

Village Green is the latest OMNI Health Care long-term care home to receive approval for redevelopment. In 2018, approval was granted to build a new 160-bed Riverview Manor in Peterborough. The province recently announced approval for an additional 32 beds to be added to Riverview Manor, bringing the total to 192 beds.

Pleasant Meadow Manor, Almonte Country Haven, Woodland Villa and Country Terrace received approvals in 2018 for redevelopment projects to expand those homes.

Construction has started on the expansions to Pleasant Meadow Manor, Almonte Country Haven and Woodland Villa.

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Construction begins on Pleasant Meadow Manor redevelopment project

OMNI representatives were joined by local MPP and mayor at Nov. 16 ground-breaking ceremony

From left to right, OMNI president and CEO Patrick McCarthy, Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini, Pleasant Meadow Manor residents’ council president Gord Holliday, Asphodel-Norwood Township Mayor Rodger Bonneau and Pleasant Meadow Manor administrator Sandra Tucker pose with shovels at a Nov. 16 ground-breaking ceremony marking the start of Pleasant Meadow Manor’s redevelopment project.

NORWOOD, Ont. – Construction has begun on a $25-million redevelopment and expansion project at Pleasant Meadow Manor that will increase the size of the Norwood long-term care home from 61 beds to 96, eliminate three- and four-bed wards and provide a wide range of amenities to enhance quality of life for residents.

The redevelopment project, which will add 34,000 square feet to Pleasant Meadow Manor, is expected to be complete by December 2022.

At a Nov. 16 ground-breaking ceremony at the home, OMNI Health Care president and CEO Patrick McCarthy, Pleasant Meadow Manor administrator Sandra Tucker and Pleasant Meadow Manor residents’ council president Gord Holliday were joined by Asphodel-Norwood Township Mayor Rodger Bonneau and Northumberland-Peterborough South MPP David Piccini to celebrate the start of the project.

“We are really happy to be underway and we are looking forward to the new Pleasant Meadow Manor meeting the needs of residents in accommodations that offer greater privacy and meet updated design standards,” McCarthy said.

“We acknowledge and express appreciation for the support of the Province of Ontario and the Township of Asphodel-Norwood in moving this redevelopment forward.”

Once redeveloped, Pleasant Meadow Manor will have a two-storey addition on the south side of the existing 61-bed home that will house 35 more residents. Residents will live in three spacious neighbourhoods, each housing dining, lounge and activity spaces.

The new design will enhance privacy by eliminating three- and four-bed rooms. Once complete, 60 per cent of Pleasant Meadow Manor’s rooms will be private and 40 per cent semi-private.

Pleasant Meadow Manor’s new design will also accommodate a courtyard, gardens and outdoor space, and include a whole-home gathering area and chapel space.

During the design phases, Toronto-based G Architects presented preliminary plans to residents, families and staff to obtain feedback.

Addressing media at the ceremony, Piccini underscored the value long-term care homes bring to the residents they serve, adding the redeveloped Pleasant Meadow Manor will increase that value.

“I’d like to thank OMNI for the great work that you’re doing, and I’d like to thank the staff here for the work they’re doing to care for our loved ones,” he said.

In addition to providing great value to residents, Bonneau said the redeveloped Pleasant Meadow Manor will help the community economically.

“The timing is perfect; there’s lots of building going on around town, so … (for) the people looking for jobs, this will be the place to come,” he said.

“Long-term care is where it’s going to be at.”

– More to come

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