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(VIDEO) Rosebridge, Pleasant Meadow skits use humour to underscore quality

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Rosebridge Manor and Pleasant Meadow Manor both used humour to underscore the importance of quality in the skits they produced at OMNI Health Care’s leadership forum. Read more

Riverview Manor receives iPods to enhance residents’ quality of life

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New program aims to decrease agitation and behaviours through individualized music playlists

Riverview Manor recently received three iPod shuffles to help enhance quality of life for residents affected by cognitive impairment. Read more

Seven-year volunteer Jayne Philip reflects on experience at Willows Estate

Willows Estate volunteer Jayne Philip (left) is seen here with resident Sybil Bellmore during a knitting program at the Aurora long-term care home.

Willows Estate volunteer Jayne Philip (left) is seen here with resident Sybil Bellmore during a knitting program at the Aurora long-term care home.

‘I think the person that volunteers gets more out of it than the residents do’

AURORA, Ont. – Jayne Philip began volunteering at Willows Estate about seven years ago when she and a friend made a quilt for the Aurora long-term care home. Read more

Riverview Manor Movember fundraiser surpasses goal

Riverview Manor PSW Nick Mcllwain (left) and life enrichment aide Adam Wicklum show off the moustaches they grew in support of the Movember fundraiser.

Riverview Manor PSW Nick Mcllwain (left) and life enrichment aide Adam Wicklum show off the moustaches they grew in support of the Movember fundraiser.

Home raises $1,600 for prostate cancer research, doubling last year’s total

Riverview Manor’s third Movember fundraiser for prostate cancer research brought in nearly twice the donations of last year. Movember team captain Adam Wicklum says he had a personal reason for ensuring this year’s fundraiser was such a success. Read more

Home’s salmon dish exemplifies LTC kitchens’ modern face

Garden Terrace culinary creation shows the high quality residents expect

Wednesday, June 4, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Garden Terrace nutritional care manager Dawn Cameron points to a salmon dish recently served to residents for dinner as an example of the fine cuisine prepared in the kitchen at the Ottawa-area long-term care home.

Cook Isioma Okolie plated the salmon with a Dijon mustard and orange glaze and an orange slice for garnish. The result was a dish that could have been served in a high-end restaurant.

Garden Terrace cook Isioma Okolie’s Dijon mustard-orange glazed salmon

Garden Terrace cook Isioma Okolie’s Dijon mustard-orange glazed salmon

“He layers all his food, so it’s not side-by-side; it’s got height,” Cameron explains, adding residents liked the presentation and enjoyed the meal. “It was really colourful.”

It’s this type of high-quality, from-scratch cooking that’s the modern face of long-term-care home cooking, she adds.

Cameron underscores the importance of food to people living in a long-term care home. For many residents, food is the one thing in their lives they have full control over — and they expect their dining experiences to be high quality.

“If the food isn’t appetizing, they’re not going to eat, which leads to other health problems,” Cameron explains. “So, it’s important to give the residents the food they want to eat while following the standards we need to follow and making the food appetizing for them.”

While long-term care chefs and cooks need to follow ministry standards when preparing meals, there are still opportunities for creativity, says Cameron, who began her career in hotel and restaurant management. She chose a career in long-term care because she enjoys working with seniors.

On a recent episode of Top Chef Canada, judges disparagingly remarked to two contestants who were being eliminated from the cooking reality show that their culinary creations resembled “nursing-home food.”

Chris Weber, OMNI Health Care’s operations manager of nutrition and food services, wants to show the world just what “nursing-home food” really is and how chefs and cooks working in the long-term care sector can produce top-quality dishes as good as anyone.

Using the hashtag #NursingHomeFood on social-media networks Twitter and Facebook, Weber and The OMNIway are collaborating in the coming weeks to showcase some of the top-notch food being prepared at OMNI’s 18 long-term care homes.

Cameron says she would like food experts to look at the kinds of foods being served outside the restaurant industry so they can see that there high standards throughout the food-service industry.

“I think they need to broaden their horizons to see what is going on in our field,” she says.

Do you have a story you would like to share with The OMNIway? If so, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have any feedback on this story, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Volunteer attests to the difference donating time makes

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Although her mother is no longer a Garden Terrace resident, Donna Getz continues to give her time

Wednesday, April 9, 2014 — Deron Hamel

Donna Getz began volunteering at Garden Terrace when her mother was a resident at the Ottawa-area long-term care home. When her mother passed away in 2010, she continued to donate her time to residents because of the difference she says volunteering makes.

And Getz is not alone; there’s a group of other family members of former residents who has continued to volunteer.

Initially, Getz and the other volunteers began coming to Garden Terrace on Saturdays. Together, the family members would create activities such as crafts or reading programs for residents. What all the family members noticed, she says, is how happy this made residents.

What’s more, volunteering made the family members feel good, Getz says.

“You’re making them feel good and they in turn make you feel good,” she says tells the OMNIway, adding volunteers learn a lot from the residents in the process. “It’s almost like a history lesson in some ways, but it’s something very special. Some people don’t have anyone, and it’s good to let them know that someone cares.”

Another perk to volunteering at Garden Terrace is that the home has always been supportive of volunteers, empowering them to create their own programming, Getz says.

“They’ve always been very open for us to go in to do what we wanted to do with the people,” she says.

Getz says if she was approached by someone interested in volunteering in a long-term care home, her suggestion would be to pay a visit to Garden Terrace.

“I would invite them to come and join us for an evening just to see what we do and what a difference it makes in their lives and ours,” she says.

April 6-12 is National Volunteer Week. The week is dedicated to recognizing Canada’s 13.3 million volunteers for their dedication to their communities. Click here for more information.

Keep reading the OMNIway for more stories about Garden Terrace volunteers as well as volunteers from across the organization.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Pleasant Meadow Manor gives kudos to volunteers

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Home hosts luncheon as part of National Volunteer Week

Tuesday, April 8, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

From sharing the joy of music to maintaining long-standing friendships, volunteers are an integral part of the fabric at Pleasant Meadow Manor.

The 61-bed Norwood long-term care home is grateful for its crew of 25 volunteers and is hosting an April 8 luncheon in honour of the men and women who give generously.

Resident Jerry Farrow, president of the home’s residents’ council, will speak at the event.
“I will welcome them and thank them for volunteering,” Farrow tells the OMNIway.

“It’s very good of them to volunteer their time.”
 
April 6-12 is National Volunteer Week. The week is set aside to “recognize, celebrate and thank Canada’s 13.3 million volunteers.”

At Pleasant Meadow Manor, residents enjoy numerous benefits from having volunteers in the home, says life enrichment co-ordinator Chris Garden. Volunteers run bible studies, help residents with Bingo, visit one-on-one and pitch in with special events ranging from outings to the home’s bazaar.

“They can be there for the residents when the staff can’t be,” Garden says, noting residents outnumber employees.

She says the home appreciates having extra hands helping with activities and people with different skill-sets present. For instance, one volunteer plays the piano for residents.

“We have other volunteers who have known the residents for a really long time. It’s a small community and this is their way of staying connected to friends who are now residents and vice versa.”

During the luncheon, resident Jack Pryne, a former official volunteer at the home who still pitches in, is being celebrated with the rest of the volunteers.

Garden is weaving a meeting into the luncheon and taking the opportunity to update the volunteer handbook that is part of the new life enrichment manual from home office.

The home will treat volunteers to lasagna, Caesar salad, garlic bread, fruit and cake.

“It’s nice to recognize them and say thank you,” Garden says. “We do appreciate them and recognize they’re doing this out of the goodness of their hearts.”
 
If you have feedback on this article or a story idea to share, please e-mail Natalie@axiomnews.ca or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051.

Journalist gives tips on how LTC homes should react to crisis

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From adverse events come opportunities to generate positive stories

Friday, April 4, 2014 — Deron Hamel

TORONTO – Opportunities often stem from a crisis and this is true for the long-term care sector, says André Picard. In fact, the Globe and Mail health reporter and columnist says long-term care homes and operators can use a crisis to promote the positive things they’re doing to bolster public confidence in the sector.

Picard was one of four panelists sharing thoughts on building public confidence in the long-term care sector as part of an April 1 session at the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA)/Ontario Retirement Communities Association (ORCA) 2014 Together We Care convention and trade show.

Generally speaking, the media will latch on to a story and keep “poking away” at it, Picard says. He cites the Jan. 23 fire at the Résidence du Havre in L’Isle-Verte, Que., which claimed more than 30 lives, as an example. The oldest area of the building was not equipped with sprinklers and the media has thrown the spotlight on the need for mandatory sprinkler systems in all long-term care and retirement homes.

In Ontario, privately owned long-term care homes are mandated to be equipped with sprinkler systems in the next five years, while public homes have until 2025. Still, many long-term care homes have installed sprinkler systems. Picard says in the wake of the L’Isle-Verte incident, long-term care providers who have sprinklers could have contacted media and invited reporters to their buildings to showcase their fire-safety systems.

“There was a great opportunity there to tell the story of (how) ‘our home has had sprinklers for 35 years and here’s why,’ ” Picard says.

Another incident that drew a lot of negative media attention was the beating death of a 72-year-old resident at a Scarborough long-term care home by another resident in March 2013.

In this case, Picard says long-term care providers could have invited reporters to their homes to explain the staff training programs they have to prevent resident aggression. Homes should also encourage reporters to talk with family members to hear about their positive experiences.

“Those are stories that people want to hear, because when (reporters) do these (negative) stories they’re depressing and you do want to tell the other side of them,” he says. “The biggest opportunity is to feed off the news.”

The annual OLTCA/ORCA Together We Care convention and trade show, which ran March 31 to April 2, is Canada’s largest gathering of long-term care and retirement home professionals.

Keep reading the OMNIway for more stories about this panel discussion.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Panel emphasizes value of strong community relations in LTC

Panelists are seen here discussing the issue of public confidence in long-term care during the OLTCA/ORCA Together We Care convention and trade show.

Panelists are seen here discussing the issue of public confidence in long-term care during the OLTCA/ORCA Together We Care convention and trade show.

These healthy relationships are crucial for public confidence

Thursday, April 3, 2014 — Deron Hamel

TORONTO – A panel of media and communications experts underscored the importance of long-term-care home providers having robust relationships with news organizations, the public and residents’ families, during the Ontario Long Term Care Association/Ontario Retirement Communities Association 2014 Together We Care convention and trade show.

Speaking during an April 1 segment, the panel, which was moderated by author and journalist Steve Paikin, emphasized that having healthy relationships with these parties is especially important for long-term care homes in the wake of an adverse event.

Strong, healthy relationships with communities and local media can have a positive impact on public confidence if an adverse event happens in a long-term care home, the panel agreed.

“I would bring people in whenever you can. Have community events. It provides discipline,” said Toronto-based communications and stakeholder relations expert Robert Waite. “If you’re doing that constantly, you’re going to be paying a lot of attention to the little things from the perspective of families, relatives and even the media.”

Health-care consultant Tom Closson agreed, adding that by inviting journalists into a long-term care home to show them how it operates demonstrates transparency and provides the media with a context of understanding the issues homes, staff members and residents face.

“If you help (the media) do their job, they’ll help you do your job,” Closson said.

Globe and Mail health reporter and columnist André Picard has engaged with long-term care homes as a journalist and a family member. Picard, whose parents both lived in long-term care homes, said his experience as a family member was positive. Speaking as a journalist, Picard said by showcasing the quality care they deliver, homes can build a strong reputation and trust with communities and media.

“If you take care of every single one of your clients, you don’t have to worry about your reputation; it’s going to be solid,” he said. “And if something does go wrong, it’s not going to be a big deal, because the context will be there (and) people will know your values are good, your business is good, and it won’t be a big issue.”

The annual OLTCA/ORCA Together We Care convention and trade show, which ran March 31 to April 2, is Canada’s largest gathering of long-term care and retirement home professionals.

Keep reading the OMNIway for more stories about this panel discussion.

If you have a story you would like to share with the OMNIway, please contact the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

If you have feedback on this story, please call the newsroom at 800-294-0051, ext. 23, or e-mail deron(at)axiomnews.ca.

Willows Estate residents host Easter

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Seniors baking, attending church luncheon to mark holiday

Wednesday, April 2, 2014 — Natalie Hamilton

Willows Estate residents will be keeping family close this Easter by inviting them home.

The Aurora long-term care home is hosting an Easter Sunday tea.

In the coming weeks, residents and life enrichment staff will be going out of their way to make the holiday an occasion to remember.

“Most of our residents aren’t able to go out to their families’ homes,” says life enrichment co-ordinator Teddy Mazzuca.

“This is their home so it’s just like them inviting family members over.”

Life enrichment staff and residents, as part of the home’s ongoing baking program, will make Easter-themed sweets the day before the event and serve their desserts to loved ones. “It’s a nice afternoon,” Mazzuca says, noting she anticipates a good turnout from residents and families alike.

In addition to baking for the luncheon, residents will be getting their hands sticky by making hot cross buns to enjoy on Good Friday.

To mark the religious aspect of Easter, a group of eight to 10 residents are heading to the Anglican church in Aurora for a service and luncheon April 9.

Since members of the church visit the home on a monthly basis, residents have become acquainted and developed friendships with people from the congregation, Mazzuca notes. “We always get invited to the Easter service and luncheon at the church.”

If you have feedback on this article or a story idea to share, please e-mail Natalie@axiomnews.ca or call the newsroom at 800-294-0051.