Springdale resident and dedicated Blue Jays fan Grace Long turns 104

Team members organize a surprise birthday party in her honour

Springdale Country Manor resident and dedicated Toronto Blue Jays fan Grace Long celebrated her 104th birthday June 28, and residents and team members were on hand to help Grace make the most of her special day.

Grace is known around the Peterborough-area long-term care home for her love of her favourite baseball team and tries to never miss watching a game in her room, says life enrichment co-ordinator Sonia Murney.

To honour Grace on her big day, Springdale team members organized a surprise birthday party for her that began with everyone gathering around to sing Happy Birthday and send their best wishes.

Grace was touched by all the attention, Sonia says.

“Grace felt so blessed and happy with her surprise birthday and was able to stand up and thank all who came to her celebration,” Sonia tells The OMNIway.

In addition to her party, Grace received e-mails and photos from family and friends, Sonia adds.

Aside from her beloved Toronto Blue Jays, Grace also has a lifelong passion for horses. She grew up on a farm near Woodstock, Ont., and this rural setting nurtured her affection for horses, which she used to ride through the trails in the region.

Grace, who raised six children, told Springdale residents and staff that one of her favourite birthday memories was visiting her grandson in the Bahamas and going horseback riding when she turned 90.

Springdale Country Manor team members asked Grace to share her secret for longevity.

“To live each day,” she said.

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Garden Terrace residents enjoy first outdoor entertainment of 2022

Jumpin’ Jimmy Leroux wows everyone with his performance

Garden Terrace residents enjoyed their first outdoor entertainment of the year on June 16 when Jumpin’ Jimmy Leroux made an appearance at the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home.

Jumpin’ Jimmy has made several appearances at Garden Terrace over the years and is a fan-favourite musical guest who gets residents singing and clapping, says Rachael King, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

“It was really nice to see a bunch of people outside enjoying themselves, and the residents were certainly happy to be outside again utilizing the space,” Rachael tells The OMNIway.

“Everyone loves Jimmy, so it was really nice.”

While musical entertainment is always popular at Garden Terrace, residents particularly enjoy it when the performances are held outdoors, Rachael says.

“They definitely prefer the outdoor shows, especially when it’s a nice day, and there is also more room for them,” she says.

About 35 residents were able to attend the event, which was hosted in the Garden Terrace courtyard, Rachael says. Several residents’ family members were also able to attend the event, she adds.

One reason Jumpin’ Jimmy is so popular with residents is that he plays a wide variety of music, Rachael says. Some of the musical genres in his repertoire include modern rock, country and golden oldies.

“He is a very good performer, and he frequents other OMNI homes as well,” Rachael says.

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Sunday tradition inspires Pleasant Meadow cook’s favourite recipe

Dean Smith serves up his turkey roast dinner for March Madness recipe challenge

Pleasant Meadow Manor cook Dean Smith found inspiration in a Sunday tradition when he decided to enter OMNI Health Care’s March Madness recipe challenge.

No meal says “Sunday” quite like a roast dinner, and Dean’s favourite type of roast is turkey. And a roast turkey dinner on Sundays is also a fan favourite with residents of the Norwood, Ont. long-term care home, Dean says.

“I have chosen this meal and recipe because it is, by far, my most favourite dish in the home to create,” Dean explains.

“(It is also) the residents’ most chosen meal for residents’ choice meals, (and) it’s one that hit home for me because I also like it a lot.”

Dean’s turkey dinner features sliced, juicy roast turkey accompanied by mashed potatoes, mashed turnip, sage stuffing and gravy.

The meat, mashed vegetables and stuffing are all layered on the plates to provide an eye-appealing look.

Dean says he’s happy to be able to provide Pleasant Meadow Manor residents with one of his own favourite meals – and having a roast dinner makes for a perfect Sunday for the home’s residents, he says.

“I live in a large family myself – and a gorgeous turkey dinner with all of the fixings always goes down easy with friends and family on a Sunday afternoon because nothing unites us more than delicious comfort food,” he says.

Chris Weber, OMNI’s operations manager of nutrition and food service, says the March Madness contest, which saw 16 recipes compete in a bracket contest where votes were cast each week between April 14 and May 6, was close.

The winning entry was a Mediterranean omelette that was created by Country Terrace team member Josephine Goddard.

OMNI launched the March Madness recipe challenge in March in recognition of Nutrition Month in Canada.

Chris came up with the idea to encourage nutritional care managers and cooks to showcase their most-loved recipes and to highlight the high-quality meals served in OMNI homes.

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

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Montessori interventions spark new optimism for Riverview resident

Quick action from the BSO team helps enhance resident’s quality of life

A resident who recently moved into Riverview Manor was having a challenging time adjusting to their new home and was convinced they were at Riverview “by accident.” But after being assessed by the Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team and receiving appropriate interventions, the resident’s outlook on life at the Peterborough long-term care home has become more optimistic, team members say.

When the resident first moved into the home they complained of boredom, said they “hated” being at Riverview, and didn’t “know how to live” at the home, says personal support worker and BSO team member Karlie Phillips.

Karlie discovered that what was making the resident unhappy was a lack of programs that suited their interests, so she completed a Montessori assessment with the resident to explore ideas for activities that fit with the resident’s interests.

Montessori programs in long-term care homes are done individually or in small groups and include activities that build upon residents’ strengths and interests.

Karlie created several activities that met the resident’s needs and interests. These included button sorting, sock sorting, and cutlery matching, where the resident wraps knives and forks into napkins to help the dietary team.

The resident is also helping others, Karlie notes.

There is one resident who believes they need to pay for the food they eat at the home. Karlie has given the resident she’s working with a payroll stamp that says “paid.”

When the second resident wants to pay for their food, the first resident stamps a piece of paper with the “paid” stamp for them.

Karlie says these activities have made the resident much happier with life at Riverview Manor.

“The resident is very pleased with these activities and just wants to (keep their) hands busy and keep going; (the resident) doesn’t want to be in one spot,” she tells The OMNIway.

The resident was also interested in the smartwatches staff members wore. The resident wanted to learn more about the watches, which perform a variety of functions.

One of the staff members explained what the watches were and showed the resident that the watch can be used to count the number of steps people take in a day.

The resident, who is an active walker, was interested in keeping track of their steps, so Karlie gave the resident an extra smartwatch she had and showed the resident how to use it.

Karlie then provided the resident with daily walking goals.

“Now the resident is walking up and down in our service hallway trying to reach those goals,” she says.

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Library staff member thanked for years of service to Country Haven

Margo Hay-Goodings spent many years researching and handpicking every book delivered to home through partnership

Almonte Country Haven is wishing Margo Hay-Goodings a happy retirement and thanking the library assistant for her years of service to residents of the Lanark County long-term care home.

Country Haven has partnered with the Almonte branch of the Mississippi Mills Public Library to bring reading material to the home’s residents on a monthly basis for about 13 years.

Margo researched and handpicked every book that was dropped off at the home each month, Almonte Country Haven states on the home’s Facebook page.

The partnership between Almonte Country Haven and the library has brought a meaningful service to residents that is appreciated by all, the home says.

“It’s always an exciting day when the two blue bins would arrive and the new books would be looked at, chosen, and given a new home for a few weeks,” Country Haven says.

“It’s very comforting to see residents reading quietly and contentedly in their rooms or tucked into a quiet corner of one of our common areas.

“ ’Reading a good book is almost like spending time with a good friend,’ we say. There’s always a book or two for group reading or for going room to room to read to residents who enjoy being read to.”

Margo tells the Almonte Country Haven team that she’s going to use her retirement to spend time with family and friends as well as tend to her gardens.

“Happy retirement, Margo! Sending lots of love, gratitude, and good wishes from all of us here at the Haven,” the home says on Facebook.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Margo Hay-Goodings (left) of Mississippi Mills Public Library is pictured here with Almonte Country Haven life enrichment aide Anna Chapman.

Springdale turns into the ‘home on the range’ for an afternoon

Miniature horse makes a visit to the home’s courtyard where she was greeted by curious residents

SPRINGVILLE, Ont. – Red, a miniature horse, made an appearance at Springdale Country Manor on June 14 to spend time with residents and wander through the courtyard of the Peterborough-area long-term care home.

When Red and her owner, Patricia Sheppard, made their entry into the courtyard, about 20 residents who were sitting in the shade greeted them with big smiles and lots of curiosity.

The first thing Red did was head straight to the lush, manicured grass in the courtyard for a quick afternoon snack, which brought an immediate round of laughter from residents.

Red, who is 22 years old, went from resident to resident to spend a few moments getting pets and cuddles. Patricia answered any questions residents had about Red, and some residents even shared stories of their own experiences with horses.

Several residents asked to have their photo taken with Red, who happily obliged.

Patricia, who owns a horse farm in Omemee called Small Hooves, Big Hearts, says she brings Red and the other horses she owns to many long-term care homes in the area.

No matter which home they’re at, there is always a similar reaction, Patricia says, noting she has been to Springdale Country Manor two other times with her horses.

“It really opens up a lot of dialogue; I’ve heard some really interesting things,” she tells The OMNIway.

Since many of the homes Patricia and her horses visit are in rural areas, most residents will have had some experience with horses, so these visits bring positive reminiscing for residents, Patricia says.

“In a lot of the homes (the horses) start the farmers talking,” she says.

“But pretty much everyone has some kind of connection to a horse, no matter where they’re from in the world, so bringing a horse (to homes) really starts those conversations.”

You can learn more about Small Hooves, Big Hearts by visiting the farm’s website.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Resident Lillian Smith shares a moment with miniature horse Red in the Springdale Country Manor courtyard.

Picnic marks first outdoor outing of 2022 for Streamway Villa residents

‘It was a perfect day’ spent at Cobourg’s Victoria Park

With sunny skies and the mercury staying around a comfortable 22 C, 11 Streamway Villa residents, their family members, volunteers and staff were able to enjoy their first picnic in a long time on June 8.

Everyone made their way down to nearby Victoria Park in downtown Cobourg to enjoy the day with their friends and families in the afternoon.

Once at the park, the group tucked into sandwiches for lunch and then part of the afternoon was spent playing games, says Streamway Villa life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht.

One of the benefits Streamway Villa enjoys is being located in the heart of Cobourg, close to many of the city’s restaurants, shops and, of course, Victoria Park and its adjoining beach.

This convenience goes a long way in helping Streamway Villa life enrichment team members organize outings for residents.

It had been a while since residents were able to enjoy such an outing, due to pandemic restrictions in place for the past two years, but Laurie says everything went to plan.

“Everything went smoothly,” she tells The OMNIway.

In addition to having lunch and playing games, the group walked down to the beach that’s nestled along the shore of Lake Ontario and went along the footpath to enjoy the scenery.

“That’s how we ended the picnic, with one final walk by the water, but we got to stay (at the park) for more than three hours,” Laurie says.

“It was a perfect day.”

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Garden Terrace residents now enjoying rabbit therapy

Home has adopted two rabbits that are having a positive impact

Two rabbits have found a home at Garden Terrace, where they now play leading roles in a new pet therapy program.

The rabbits – named Thunder and Coco – came to Garden Terrace from a farm owned by the family of Christine Ritchie, the home’s director of care.

The Garden Terrace team got the idea to adopt the rabbits after learning their sister home in Kanata, Forest Hill, welcomed three guinea pigs in March.

“They have guinea pigs, so we thought we would get some bunnies,” says Garden Terrace life enrichment co-ordinator Rachael King.

Garden Terrace residents had their first rabbit therapy session on June 9. Rachael says the program went well and that being around the small animals brought back fond memories for many.

“The residents really, really enjoyed it,” she says. “Some had bunnies and other animals growing up, and even if they didn’t, a lot of them are animal lovers in general.”

Rachael says having pets living at the home fills an important emotional need for residents.

When residents were engaging with the rabbits, “you could see the compassion and the care and the happiness light up in their eyes because they get to be with an animal again.”

One of the big questions residents were asking was, “when do we have to give them back?” Rachael says.

“It was exciting for them to realize that they have their own animals in the home now.”

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Community kindness: Local students build garden boxes for Country Haven residents

The students also planted vegetables and herbs that residents will tend to throughout summer

Almonte Country Haven residents were on the receiving end of an act of community kindness June 8 when a group of students from Almonte District High School (ADHS) turned up to build two raised garden boxes for them.

The eight students also filled the garden boxes with soil and planted a variety of vegetables and herbs that residents will care for throughout summer.

At the end of summer, the veggies and herbs will be harvested and used as ingredients in meals.

The project was spearheaded by two ADHS teachers, mathematics teacher Mrs. Megan Masterson and English teacher Mrs. Caitlin Coffin.

Students in Mrs. Masterson’s math class researched and designed the garden boxes, and students in Mrs. Coffin’s class wrote the project proposal.

After the proposal was accepted, students secured the funds needed to make the project a reality and then brought the materials to Almonte Country Haven to get to work.

The students spent the day putting the garden boxes together. During breaks, the students chatted with the Lanark County long-term care home’s residents and staff members.

Almonte Country Haven residents enjoy spending time in the home’s garden, and the new garden boxes will make that time even more enjoyable, Almonte Country Haven says in a post on the home’s Facebook page.

“Whether spending time out in the garden or looking at it from their windows, our residents are so happy to know that they will soon be reaping the fruits of your labour,” the post says, adding a thank-you to the students and teachers for their hard work and community spirit.

“Each one of you should be very proud of your work and your kindness. Well done – we know and hope good things will come back to you.”

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Canadians encouraged to pledge to be elder abuse prevention champions

Everyone can do something to prevent elder abuse, say WEAAD organizers

World Elder Abuse Awareness Day (WEAAD) was June 15, and Canadian organizers are asking people, organizations and policymakers across the country to make a pledge this year to become champions of elder abuse prevention.

Individuals can work towards ending elder abuse by educating themselves on what elder abuse is, what the symptoms are and how they can prevent it from happening. People can also work with their communities to make elder abuse prevention a top priority, the WEAAD website states.

Organizations, the website says, can adopt ageism prevention into their equity, diversity and inclusion practices.

The WEAAD website also says elected officials and policymakers can take steps to make their communities age-friendly and invest in elder abuse prevention strategies.

“We all have a role to play in protecting the rights of older people,” the WEAAD website states. “No matter where you live in Canada, you can be part of this shared journey to create a safe and supportive society.”

To help Canadians get involved in the effort to prevent elder abuse, Elder Abuse Prevention Ontario and the Canadian Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse have collaborated to create a document called Future Us: Roadmap to Elder Abuse Prevention.

This toolkit has three goals: to prioritize elder abuse prevention in every community; to establish elder abuse prevention networks at local, regional and national levels; and to educate people on recognizing what elder abuse is and how to prevent it.

The Future Us roadmap is aimed at engaging people who want to work towards the common goal of preventing elder abuse across Canada.

WEAAD was first marked on June 15, 2006, by the International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse and the World Health Organization at the United Nations.

Since then, WEAAD events and activities have been held worldwide to bring attention to the issue of elder abuse. Organizations and communities have been encouraged to host awareness days and lead discussions about the prevention of elder abuse.

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