Woodland weightlifting program is engaging men in fitness

‘It has become a really big hit here’

A weightlifting program at Woodland Villa is encouraging the men living at the home to participate in activities while promoting physical fitness.

One of the challenges many long-term care homes face is creating programming that’s attractive to male residents, but this activity is proving to be a winner with the gentlemen living at the Long Sault, Ont. long-term care home, says life enrichment co-ordinator Lisa Doran.

At the moment, about 10 residents regularly participate in the program each week, Lisa says.

Often, the men living at Woodland Villa prefer their own activity groups, and the weightlifting program is aimed at the men for this reason.

“It has become a really big hit here,” Lisa tells The OMNIway.

Lisa notes this program has also created a new pastime for residents, since none were active weightlifters in the past.

The men involved with the program are also showing positive results, she says, adding that the more they work out with the equipment the more weight they need to use to increase resistance.

“They start to find the weights too light, so it has been really good at helping them build their strength,” she says.

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 contact the newsroom at deron(at)

‘Choc’ up another win for the Country Terrace nutritional care team

A chocolate fondue fountain proved to be the perfect way to bring everyone together

Anyone walking into the Country Terrace dining room on Nov. 25 could easily have mistaken it for a five-star hotel restaurant when they were met at the entrance with a cascading chocolate fondue fountain and an array of fruits and cookies.

This sweet setup was the brainchild of Alex Achillini, the Komoka, Ont. long-term care home’s nutritional care manager, who knew from experience a chocolate fondue fountain would be a huge hit with residents.

Due to the redevelopment project Country Terrace has been undergoing since September 2021 to add 50,518 square feet and eight beds to the home, the nutritional care team has not been able to host many special events for residents because of reduced space during construction, Alex says.

But with space opening up again, Alex says he wanted to celebrate with something special for residents, and a chocolate fondue fountain was the perfect way, since residents have enjoyed past fondues.

“It was great; all the residents participated, and I asked staff to participate as well to make it even more of a family environment, to have everyone together to enjoy a chocolate fondue,” Alex tells The OMNIway.

Country Terrace has owned a fondue fountain for several years, and Alex has used the device in the past with great success which, he says, prompted him to bring it out again.

Residents were offered pineapple, strawberries, shortbread cookies and vanilla wafers to dip in the chocolate fondue. Alex laid out the fountain, fruit and cookies in extravagant style.

Alex says the uniqueness of having a chocolate fondue fountain is what he thinks the residents enjoyed most.

“It’s something different that you don’t see very often,” he says.

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 contact the newsroom at deron(at)

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.

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 contact the newsroom at deron(at)

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.

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)

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.

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

If you have any feedback on this story, please e-mail deron(at)

Fall Prevention Month organizers urging people and organizations to generate ideas to reduce fall risk

Falls are the No. 1 cause of hospitalization resulting from injury amongst Canadians aged 65 and older

November is Fall Prevention Month, an annual Canadian campaign aimed at raising awareness of the impact fall-related injury has on the greater health-care sector and generating ideas to prevent falls from happening.

As part of the month, people and health-care organizations are urged to focus on raising awareness of the importance of fall prevention by promoting fall prevention in the workplace as well as on social media by sharing successful best practices.

On its website, the Government of Canada says falls are the No. 1 cause of hospitalization resulting from injury amongst Canadians aged 65 and older.

The website also notes that falls have an adverse effect on seniors’ quality of life as well as a negative impact on the greater health-care system.

In 2018, the direct cost of falls resulting in injury amongst Canadians 65 and older was $5.6 billion, the government says.

OMNI Health Care long-term care homes have a strong focus on fall prevention. Physiotherapy, exercise programs, toileting regimens, family education and ensuring home areas are properly lit are among the initiatives homes take to mitigate falls.

Physiotherapy and exercise programs help enhance mobility. Assisting residents with regular toileting helps decrease the risk of a person trying to stand up on their own to make their way to the washroom. Making sure areas are well-lit helps people see where they’re going.

The Fall Prevention Month website is asking people and organizations to collaborate to promote fall prevention awareness and share ideas.

“Together we can raise the profile of fall prevention and encourage everyone to see their role in preventing falls and fall-related injuries across the lifespan,” the website says.

Click here to learn more about Fall Prevention Month.

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

If you have any feedback on this story, please e-mail deron(at)

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.”

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

If you have any feedback on this story, please e-mail deron(at)

Leafs lose season opener, but the day was still a big win at Streamway Villa

Residents and team members celebrate all things hockey during annual event

There’s nothing like a hockey game to bring Canadians together, and there’s no day during the regular NHL season that gets fans more revved up than opening day.

The Streamway Villa life enrichment team tapped into that enthusiasm on Oct. 12.

As has become a tradition at the Cobourg, Ont. long-term care home, residents and staff dedicated the Toronto Maple Leafs’ opening game to all things hockey.

During the day, residents and team members wore their favourite hockey jerseys, T-shirts and caps. Residents were treated to beer and popcorn and got to play hockey trivia, explains life enrichment co-ordinator Laurie Kracht.

In the evening, everyone gathered to watch the Leafs play the Montreal Canadiens.

It’s NHL tradition that the Maple Leafs – who were clearly the crowd favourite at Streamway – and Canadiens play their first game of the year against each other.

This year’s opener, which was played in Montreal, saw the Habs beat the Leafs 4-3.

Last year residents and team members also got together to watch the opening game of the season. The Leafs beat the Habs 2-1 in that contest.

While most of the residents and team members are Maple Leafs fans, Laurie says there were a couple of Habs fans in the crowd.

One resident Habs fan staged a mock hockey fight with life enrichment aide Chelsea Tinney, a Leafs fan, for fun, which added another layer of entertainment to the evening.

“(The Habs fan) was our jokester for the evening; he used to live in Montreal, so that was pretty funny,” Laurie says.

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 contact the newsroom at deron(at)

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.

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 contact the newsroom at deron(at)

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.