Seniors Cruises returns to Springdale for car show

Car club members bring back fond memories of classic cars for residents

A local car club returned to Springdale Country Manor Aug. 31 to display their wheels to the Peterborough-area long-term care home’s residents and bring back some fond memories for everyone.

Members of Seniors Cruises stopped by Springdale for two hours with more than 20 classic cars and trucks for residents to see during the Yesterday Memories car show.

The Seniors Cruises car club, which hosts car shows at long-term care and retirement homes across the Peterborough area, visits Springdale Country Manor most years.

Residents had a chance to look at the hot rods and chat with car club members about their vehicles. This brought back fond memories for many, says Springdale life enrichment co-ordinator Sonia Murney.

“The residents had so much fun, reminiscing and touring around the cars,” she tells The OMNIway.

“The weather was wonderful and the residents loved being outside, and they even had a chance to watch some planes fly over, as we are close to the Peterborough airport.”

The club members had some interesting stories, Sonia says, adding one member brought the 1947 Mercury he has been driving for 40 years.

In addition to the cars, Seniors Cruises supplied music – golden oldies, of course – for residents and community members to enjoy during the show.

To keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, safety precautions, such as mask-wearing and social distancing, were in effect.

Sonia notes some residents’ family members brought their classic cars to the show and combined the car show with an outdoor visit with their loved ones.

“We had two families participate in the group with their cars, and they made it great for a visit as well,” she says.

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Frost Manor residents enjoy first live, outdoor entertainment since the pandemic began

Keith Kirkpatrick’s one-man show delivered an engaging performance the residents enjoyed

After a year and a half without live music at Frost Manor, residents were overjoyed when Keith Kirkpatrick brought his one-man show to the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home for an Aug. 5 outdoor performance.

Keith is a long-standing favourite entertainer among residents, so it was fitting he would be the first live entertainer to perform at an outdoor show since the pandemic began, says Frost Manor life enrichment co-ordinator Amy Whitehead.

“He had reached out to us and I thought he would be a great (performer) to try our outdoor entertainment with,” she tells The OMNIway.

To keep everyone safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, Keith performed from the Frost Manor parking lot while residents sat socially distanced on the patio.

Keith performed two 45-minute sets for separate groups of residents in order to keep the gathering small. He had a microphone and speakers so everyone could hear, Amy notes.

The show was all residents had hoped it would be, Amy says, adding Keith always plays the songs residents want to hear.

“Keith has a really good mix (of music), and he tailors his act to the crowd,” she says. “We have residents who love Elvis, so he threw some Elvis in there, and we have residents who love Charley Pride, so he did some Charley Pride songs.”

Keith is also an engaging performer, Amy says. He has a large repertoire of songs, and he always tries to keep the music upbeat and will play numbers residents recognize so they can sing along, she says.

“He does a good mix of everything and he knows what the residents like.”

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Groundbreaking ceremony marks the start of Country Terrace redevelopment project

Renovations will add 50,518 square feet and eight beds to the Komoka, Ont. LTC home

A groundbreaking ceremony was held at Country Terrace Sept. 17 to mark the start of a redevelopment project to add 50,518 square feet and eight beds to the Komoka, Ont. long-term care home.

Construction began in August on the project that includes replacing a wing at the rear of Country Terrace with a three-storey addition and renovating the remainder of the 120-bed home.

The $32-million redevelopment and expansion will be completed in phases and is expected to be finished by June 2024.

Patrick McCarthy, OMNI Health Care’s president and CEO, says the redevelopment project, once complete, will enhance quality of life for residents and improve the working environment for staff members.

Once renovations are complete, Country Terrace will house four spacious, 32-bed neighbourhoods for residents. The project will replace all three- and four-bed wards with one- and two-bed rooms. The more spacious home will also improve capacity for infection prevention and control, McCarthy says.

Each neighbourhood will include its own dining room, lounge and activity space. Outside, the renovated Country Terrace will include gardens, a whole-home gathering area and a chapel.

“We are really happy to be underway, and we are looking forward to the new Country Terrace 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 Municipality of Middlesex Centre and the County of Middlesex in supporting this redevelopment.”

Lambton-Kent-Middlesex MPP Monte McNaughton could not attend the event, but he issued a statement praising the redevelopment project for the value it will deliver residents and the community.

“Congratulations to OMNI Health Care and Country Terrace on starting construction, the result of hard work and dedication by everyone involved,” McNaughton said.

Attending the event were Middlesex County Warden Cathy Burghardt-Jesson and Middlesex Centre Mayor Aina DeViet, who have also shown strong support for the Country Terrace redevelopment project.

In addition to Country Terrace, construction on redevelopment projects at three other OMNI long-term care homes – Almonte Country Haven, Pleasant Meadow Manor and Woodland Villa – is well underway.

OMNI has also received approval from the province to rebuild three of the organization’s other long-term care homes: Riverview Manor, Streamway Villa and Village Green.

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Burnbrae Gardens residents make educational video on Residents’ Bill of Rights

The video has been submitted to the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils as part of a contest during Residents’ Council Week

Burnbrae Gardens residents have submitted an educational video focused on the Residents’ Bill of Rights to a contest organized by the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils (OARC).

The OARC is challenging Ontario long-term care homes to work with residents to create videos to teach others about the Residents’ Bill of Rights. The contest is being held in conjunction with Residents’ Council Week, which runs Sept. 13-19.

Life enrichment aides Lauren Farnham and Shawna Booth, along with Burnbrae Gardens administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator April Faux, helped residents create the video. The video features residents explaining the 27 rights all people living in long-term care homes are guaranteed.

In the video, residents are wearing T-shirts listing the 27 rights. Each T-shirt is embossed with two residents’ rights – one on the front and one on the back. Residents had their photos taken wearing the T-shirts, and the photos were made into a slideshow accompanied by music.

The idea to make the video got immediate buy-in from residents, Lauren says.

“We thought it would be great for the residents to get involved with this,” she tells The OMNIway.

Lauren created the T-shirts on her own time using a Cricut, a computer-controlled cutting machine. The T-shirts were distributed to residents who “loved them,” she says.

The video includes a speech on the Residents’ Bill of Rights from Burnbrae Gardens residents’ council president Frank Trombley.

In his speech, Frank outlines why the Residents’ Bill of Rights is important to residents and staff members, and he commends the home’s staff members for upholding those rights.

Shawna notes that resident Jeannine LeClerc, who is fluent in French, provided a translation in the video for every resident right.

“We wanted to up the ante by asking a resident who speaks fluent French to provide a translation,” she explains. “We wanted to make it bilingual for both English and French-speaking people.”

All video submissions will be entered into a prize draw. Prizes include an iPad with a $50 Apple gift card and a Google Home device.

Contest winners will be announced Sept. 19.

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Vintage car show gets Garden Terrace residents reminiscing

Community connections helped make this memorable event possible

Garden Terrace residents were recently treated to a vintage car show at the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home, thanks to volunteers from two local car clubs who generously donated their time and hot rods.

On Sept. 7, members of the Ottawa MG Club and the Ottawa Car Club brought their vintage wheels to the Garden Terrace parking lot for residents to see.

There were 16 cars at the home that day, including classic MGs, Rolls Royce models and muscle cars.

“The idea behind the car show was to get the residents to reminisce, which a lot of them did,” Garden Terrace life enrichment co-ordinator Rachael King tells The OMNIway.

“Residents talked about how they used to sit in the old car seats back in the day. And it was also a way to get the residents outside and doing things – that was a big goal.”

Rachael says about 30 residents attended the event. The volunteers chatted with residents about their cars and answered any questions they had. Residents were also invited to sit inside the cars.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, protocols were in place to keep everyone safe. The car club members had all been fully vaccinated, everyone wore masks, and residents, staff members and the car owners were provided hand sanitizer.

Rachael came up with the idea for the car show. She connected with the car clubs, and the clubs contacted their members who volunteered their vehicles and time.

“Everyone who came out was really excited; they were all very kind and it was very nice of them to volunteer their time,” Rachael says.

“The residents got to chat with people in the community and reminisce together, which was great.”

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Pleasant Meadow starts Residents’ Council Week with a council meet-and-greet and info session

Residents made decisions on council elections and learned about the important role councils play in LTC homes

Pleasant Meadow Manor kicked off the second annual Residents’ Council Week with a meet-and-greet session with Gord Holliday, the Norwood, Ont. long-term care home’s residents’ council president, followed by a question period and information session.

The Sept. 13 event largely focused on residents discussing the positions that need to be filled on the council. During the session, a decision was made to hold council elections in November, with nominees campaigning throughout October, says life enrichment co-ordinator Kim Williams.

Kim says excitement was in the air about the upcoming council election, and plans are now underway to get the campaign ball rolling.

“The residents were fired up about the upcoming campaigning, so we plan to make election posters for each candidate,” Kim tells The OMNIway.

Every Ontario long-term care home is mandated to have a residents’ council. Residents’ councils meet regularly to discuss issues important to residents and to help homes achieve continuous quality improvement.

Over Tim Hortons coffee and Timbits, Pleasant Meadow team members explained the responsibilities of residents’ councils and why they are an important part of every long-term care home.

Every resident also received a copy of the Residents’ Bill of Rights booklet provided by Community Legal Education Ontario.

Pleasant Meadow team members also informed the residents about the communication board where they can find the latest residents’ council meeting minutes as well as communications from the Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils (OARC), Family Councils Ontario and the Ontario Society of Senior Citizens Organizations.

Residents’ Council Week is Sept. 13-19.

The Ontario Association of Residents’ Councils (OARC) explains the crucial part councils play in the lives of long-term-care home residents.

“(Residents’ councils) bring residents together as peers to discuss issues of importance and to stay connected and engaged in home operations and decision-making,” the website states.

Click here to learn more about OARC.

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PHOTO CAPTION: Pleasant Meadow Manor residents’ council president Gord Holliday is seen here at the start of Residents’ Council Week at the Norwood, Ont., long-term care home.

Hot dog hat brings lunchtime fun and laughter to Burnbrae residents

Nutritional care aide Nikki McAleaney commended for her idea that made hot dog day even better for residents

Burnbrae Gardens nutritional care aide Nikki McAleaney had been looking for a chance to wear a hot dog hat she owns.

When hot dogs were on the lunchtime menu at the Campbellford, Ont. long-term care home recently, Nikki decided this was the perfect opportunity to provide residents with some mealtime fun and laughter.

With Nikki working in Burnbrae’s nutritional care department, her friends and family started giving her food-themed hats. Last Christmas, Nikki’s aunt gave her a turkey hat. A friend then gave her the hot dog hat.

When hot dog day at Burnbrae Gardens was approaching, she got the idea to wear the hot dog hat over her hairnet to serve residents.

“With me working in the dietary department, I just thought it would be a really cute idea and bring some laughter to the residents by wearing a hot dog hat on hot dog day,” Nikki tells The OMNIway.

Her plan worked.

“It brought them lots of laughter,” she says. “It felt really good to make residents so happy.”

Burnbrae Gardens administrator and life enrichment co-ordinator April Faux says Nikki’s idea to wear a hot dog hat while serving residents hot dogs is a great example of a team member’s strong resident focus.

Residents have been dealing with a lot of changes for the past 18 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and Nikki thinking outside the box to deliver some extra fun to the home was meaningful, April says.

“It’s a great example of fun and laughter that has been incorporated into a tough year,” she says. “The residents had a really great time.”

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Fun and laughter with a splash

Water-slide day returns to Frost Manor

A tried and proven, fun-filled event that is a favourite with residents returned to Frost Manor this summer, once again creating a big splash.

On Aug. 19, team members at the Lindsay, Ont. long-term care home set up a water slide next to the parking lot, and residents and staff members took turns zooming across the 50-foot slide in rubber tubes.

Residents sat in a plastic tube with straps attached at the sides and team members pulled them down the slide with the straps.

Frost Manor last hosted a water-slide day in summer 2019, and residents were happy to see it return, says Amy Whitehead, the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator.

Amy says the water-slide day was the perfect way to keep everyone cool during the August heatwave. Team members also set up a hydration station to provide everyone with cold drinks.

Amy notes this year’s slide was “new and improved.”

“It was a 50-foot slide with inflatable bumpers,” she tells The OMNIway. “The day was a lot of fun. The residents had lots of laughs watching people go down the slide. We made an afternoon of it and everyone had a great time.”

Since the water slide day went over so well with everyone, Amy says residents can look forward to having their own water park again next year.

“We will do it again next summer; it’s definitely worth it,” she says.

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Garden Terrace and Tim Hortons partner to deliver residents a coffee-and-doughnut social

‘It was nice for them to be outside and feel like they were out and about in the community’

Thanks to creative thinking from the Garden Terrace life enrichment team and the generosity of a local Tim Hortons outlet, residents of the Kanata, Ont. long-term care home enjoyed an experience they’ve been missing – a trip to the Timmies drive-thru.

On Aug. 27 the life enrichment team set up a Tim Hortons drive-thru window in the home’s cafe, and residents lined up to order coffee and doughnuts a local Timmies donated.

The idea for the drive-thru was hatched by life enrichment co-ordinator Rachael King and the life enrichment staff.

Rachael had earlier contacted a local Tim Hortons and asked if the store would make a donation. The store manager, who happened to be looking for a community group to donate coffee and doughnuts to for August, agreed. The store sent 100 Timbits, 64 doughnuts and three carafes of coffee to Garden Terrace.

Life enrichment team members worked the drive-thru window wearing authentic Tim Hortons shirts and hats provided by a team member who was once an employee of the doughnut shop chain.

Residents and staff members picked up their coffee and doughnuts from the drive-thru, and then everyone went outside to the courtyard to enjoy the sunny weather and socialize.

Everyone, especially the residents, enjoyed the experience, Rachael says.

“There was a lot of participation, and it was a really nice day outside, so it was like having tea with a friend,” she tells The OMNIway.

“The residents got to eat outside and they got to socialize. It went really well.”

As much as residents enjoyed having their Tim Hortons coffee and doughnuts, the social aspect of the day also meant a lot to them, Rachael says.

“It was nice for them to be outside and feel like they were out and about in the community,” she says.

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West Lake Terrace staff has been by our side throughout the pandemic: family member

‘Things worked out very well because the staff were really helpful,’ says Wilf Durham

The husband of a West Lake Terrace resident is commending the home – and OMNI Health Care – for acting quickly to keep residents safe when the COVID-19 pandemic began and for providing important supports to residents and their families during the past 18 months.

Before the pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization in March 2020, Wilf Durham was visiting his wife, Marjorie, nearly every day at West Lake Terrace. When the pandemic began, “everything changed,” Wilf recalls.

After the pandemic was declared, long-term care homes across Ontario were immediately closed to non-essential visitors to keep everyone safe from the highly contagious COVID-19 virus.

While these protocols were necessary, residents and their loved ones were naturally missing each other. What made a difference, Wilf says, is the support the home provided residents and their families.

Wilf says the West Lake Terrace team went above and beyond to help facilitate video calls for residents and their family members, and that had a positive impact on everyone.

Wilf began communicating with Marjorie as often as he could through FaceTime, which, he says, “really helped.”

He adds that staff members helped Marjorie get comfortable with using the video conferencing platform, and their support made a difference.

“Things worked out very well because the staff were really helpful,” he says.

Wilf is also commending OMNI Health Care for the support the organization has shown West Lake Terrace during the pandemic. He says the home’s life enrichment co-ordinator, Janie Denard, has been quick to relay any information related to the pandemic to families.

“OMNI are doing a really good job,” he says. “They are getting all of this information through to Janie and she prints it out regularly and keeps (everyone) informed.”

Wilf is now an essential caregiver for Marjorie. Wilf visits Marjorie each morning and they are both benefiting from their time spent together, he says.

“It has been really good,” Wilf says. “We feel that we are having valuable time together.”

This is Part 2 of a two-part story. Click here to read Part 1.

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