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Riverview Manor is celebrating St. Patrick’s Month

The life enrichment team has organized engaging Irish-themed programs for residents throughout March

Rather than paying homage to Irish culture only on St. Patrick’s Day, the Riverview Manor life enrichment team has been helping residents celebrate the Emerald Isle throughout March.

During “St. Patrick’s Month”, the Peterborough long-term care home’s life enrichment team has been organizing a wide variety of programs for residents that combine fun with learning.

One creative program the team delivered residents was a virtual tour of Ireland that was presented by streaming Internet videos through the large TVs in the two dining rooms. Residents also got to see a piece of Blarney Castle life enrichment aide Adam Wicklum brought.

Adam also showed residents a video about the town of Wicklow, on the east coast of Ireland. The town has a personal connection with Adam, whose ancestors hailed from Wicklow. In fact, Adam explained, his family’s surname was changed from “Wicklow” to “Wicklum” upon their arrival in Canada.

Irish-themed trivia and games, including an Irish-themed bingo, a “shamrock spin beanbag toss” and a “pot of gold coin toss”, have also been featured throughout March.

The life enrichment team tapped into web-based resources like Activity Connection to come up with ideas for programming that included a game where residents played a version of “name that tune” with an Irish song theme.

Additionally, there was an Irish blessing at a church service, and residents also watched Stella Days, a 2011 film set in rural Ireland.

On March 15 and 16, residents were treated to pub nights which have proven to be fan-favourite events, Adam says, adding these programs have had “residents and staff talking for days.”

Drinks served at the pub nights included green beer, pop and a rainbow punch made from sherbet, crushed ice and diet lemon-lime pop.

To help build up everyone’s thirst, residents were provided with snacks that included green-coloured sour cream and onion ring chips, mozzarella sticks and orange Cheezies. The colours of these snacks matched the tri-colour flag of the Republic of Ireland.

Adam often makes creative Jell-O desserts for special occasions at Riverview Manor, and he came through for the pub nights, preparing a tri-colour green, white and orange gelatin dessert over top of crushed pineapple symbolizing a pot of gold.

He made a separate Jell-O dessert for those who are not fans of pineapple.

Adam says he also got into the groove during pub nights.

“(I) tried to do a little Irish jig, then danced a little with some residents before ending the program,” he says.

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Riverview Manor residents celebrate Mardi Gras

With safety protocols in place, residents enjoyed a piece of New Orleans in the home

A little bit of New Orleans came to Riverview Manor in mid-February.

The Peterborough long-term care home hosted its own version of Mardi Gras, the famed carnival held every year in the Big Easy on Shrove Tuesday.

Residents living on the north side of Riverview Manor celebrated Mardi Gras with a pub night organized by the life enrichment team on Feb. 15 and those living on the south side celebrated on Feb. 16, which was Shrove Tuesday.

Mardi Gras, which translates to “Fat Tuesday,” gets its name from the tradition of Catholics eating rich, high-calorie foods the day before the start of Lent the next day, Ash Wednesday.

So, of course, there were plenty of snacks available for residents to enjoy, including mozzarella sticks, pigs in a blanket, sour cream ring chips and a special gelatin dessert life enrichment aide Adam Wicklum made with Jell-O featuring the three colours representing Mardi Gras, green, gold and purple.

For drinks, residents had a choice of Mardi Gras purple punch with cherry and pineapple ice cubes or beer and pop.

Each of the Mardi Gras colours carries significance. Green represents faith, gold stands for power and purple signifies justice. Adam also made a Mardi Gras backdrop using these three main colours.

Masks and beads are also part of Mardi Gras celebrations, and Adam attached Mardi Gras masks and beads to the colourful backdrop for added effect.

Mardi Gras beads are said to be protective and ward off evil spirits or spells, and they can also be good-luck charms, Adam explains.

Music is another important feature of any Mardi Gras celebration, and residents listened to Louisiana-flavoured music through Spotify during the events.

Due to the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic, social distancing was in effect and there were transparent barriers between people to ensure everyone kept safe.

“(During) other years, residents got Mardi Gras masks and beads (to wear), but because of COVID-19 they did not this year for their safety, but they had this year’s backdrop for decoration and (there were) photo sessions with some residents,” Adam says.

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Riverview resident Dorothy Bourne celebrates 101st birthday

The Riverview Manor team recently helped the Peterborough long-term care home’s most senior resident, Dorothy Bourne, celebrate her 101st birthday with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

On Dec. 1, the Riverview team organized a safe outdoor celebration to mark Dorothy’s birthday. Dorothy, who was warmly bundled up, and her family members, who all wore face masks, gathered under the gazebo in the home’s courtyard to celebrate.

Adam Wicklum, a life enrichment aide at Riverview Manor, says some of Dorothy’s family members had not seen her since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March.

“Two of her five children were there and they haven’t seen her since pre-COVID, so that was pretty special for them,” he says.

Once everyone was together, Dorothy’s family sang Happy Birthday and lit sparklers in her honour.

There was some additional fanfare for Dorothy as well, Adam notes.

“The family also had a big birthday sign on the lawn in front of her window,” he says.

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Riverview front-line team receiving care packages as thanks for work during pandemic

MaryEllen Hearns has been distributing gifts to Riverview Manor and other Peterborough LTC homes to show her support and gratitude

Riverview Manor front-line team members have been on the receiving end of some community kindness recently.

Peterborough resident MaryEllen Hearns has been putting together care packages for front-line staff members at Riverview Manor and other long-term care homes in the area to show support for the work they’re doing to keep residents safe during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

MaryEllen collects donations to create the care packages and puts the name of sponsors on each bag that gets dropped off at long-term care homes, explains Riverview Manor registered practical nurse Becky Dennie.

Inside the care packages are items that include popcorn, protein bars, bottles of premium water, energy drinks, vitamin C tablets, lotion and gift cards.

Inspired by a friend in northern Ontario who was putting together care packages for long-term care homes, MaryEllen called Riverview Manor in August and offered to put together care packages to bring to front-line staff members.

MaryEllen has been distributing care packages throughout the Peterborough area. At the time of this writing, she has distributed 56 care packages to Riverview Manor, and the home will be getting up to 90, Becky says.

As the care packages get dropped off at Riverview Manor, Becky distributes them to front-line staff members, starting with the personal support workers (PSWs).

“We are almost done distributing the care packages to the PSWs, so then I will start giving them out to the registered staff,” Becky says.

Becky says staff members have been overjoyed with the care packages and appreciative of what MaryEllen is doing.

“They think the care packages have been great – they really like the gifts that have been inside the packages,” she says.

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BSO interventions have enhanced quality of life for Riverview Manor residents during pandemic

Team members reflect on how they have helped residents through a challenging time

The global COVID-19 pandemic has been challenging to deal with for all people living in long-term care homes, but many residents who are also living with cognitive impairment have found the lack of family contact and physical restrictions the pandemic has brought to be especially challenging, say members of Riverview Manor’s Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team.

However, Karlie Phillips and Carly Kenny say the BSO team has applied interventions that have helped residents of the Peterborough long-term care home through this difficult time.

For example, one resident living with cognitive impairment who will sometimes wander was finding restrictions difficult to cope with during an isolation period, so BSO team members engaged her in activities she found interesting.

Of note, Karlie says the resident enjoys colouring and sorting activities, so team members would bring her colouring books and sorting games that would keep the resident busy and, most importantly, happy.

On those occasions when the resident wished to leave her room, Karlie says she would equip the resident with a mask and accompany her to the dining room where they could be alone.

Karlie would then provide one-to-one activities to safely give the resident the change of environment she needed.

Adapting to the resident’s needs worked well, Karlie says.

“The resident understood why (the restrictions were in place); we had to explain why things were different and why we have to wear masks, and eventually she would stay in her room,” Karlie explains.

Sometimes the resident would come to her doorway, but team members understood this was a cue the resident was looking for someone to spend time with, so team members would stay with the resident.

Carly notes that isolation can increase agitation for people living with dementia, but by using BSO interventions and working collaboratively with other staff members, the BSO team members can enhance quality of life for residents.

“We really want to make sure that we have interventions to make sure residents (maintain their quality of life) – it’s a process, but we’ve been successful,” she says.

BSO team lead Becky Dennie says BSO skills have been “very important” during the pandemic.

“It has been especially important to have the specially trained staff to work with people exhibiting behaviours because (the pandemic) does create new behaviours – loneliness being huge – and having those familiar faces popping in to see them throughout the day has helped,” she says.

BSO is a provincial initiative that’s enhancing quality of life for seniors affected by dementia and other conditions that can cause agitation. The funding, which is provided to long-term care homes through the province’s 14 Local Health Integration Networks, is largely put towards staff education.

– More to come

Pet-therapy sessions ‘Shine’ on outside Riverview Manor

Heidi Croal, her daughter, Alivia, and greyhound, Shine, are pictured here outside Riverview Manor on April 27.

Beloved greyhound and his owner get a warm reception while visiting residents through their windows

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – On a sunny spring morning, Shine, a happy, playful greyhound, stands next to his owner, Heidi Croal, and peeks through the window of a resident’s room at Riverview Manor. Read more

Riverview Manor BSO team trialling innovative chair to chart its impact preventing agitation

So far, 9 of 11 residents have experienced decreased agitation. The residents are also providing favourable feedback

The Riverview Manor Behavioural Supports Ontario (BSO) team is in the process of trialling an innovative chair to help prevent agitation in residents affected by cognitive impairment. Read more

Value of building empowering relationships with LTC residents is demonstrated in skit at Riverview

Trent University nursing students Dimitri Kulikov and Alana Mahoney, pictured above, created two workshops in the form of skits to demonstrate the value of two RNAO best practice guidelines to Riverview Manor staff members.

Based on one of the RNAO’s best practice guidelines, a simulation created by two nursing students underscores the importance of such relationships for Riverview Manor staff

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – Long-term-care home residents should never be part of a “to-do list” – rather, they should be engaged and empowered to help create their own care and making their own decisions. This is the central theme behind a case study two Trent University students have brought to life through a skit they created for Riverview Manor staff members. Read more

Riverview Manor residents treated to a piece of hockey history

Guelph Storm centreman Cedric Ralph holds the J. Ross Robertson Cup alongside Riverview Manor resident Owen Fallis.

Cedric Ralph, the son of staff member Brigitte Byette and a centreman for the Guelph Storm, stopped by the Peterborough home with the J. Ross Robertson Cup on Friday

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – Guelph Storm centreman Cedric Ralph stopped by Riverview Manor July 19 to show the Peterborough long-term care home’s residents and staff members the J. Ross Robertson Cup which his team won after beating the Ottawa 67’s in May to win the OHL championship and advance to the Memorial Cup series. Read more

Volunteer vowed to ‘give back’ to Riverview Manor all the LTC home gave his mother-in-law

Riverview Manor volunteer Mark Coady spends time with residents during a July 17 visit to the Peterborough long-term care home.

From pet therapy to religious services to helping with bingo, Mark Coady does it all

PETERBOROUGH, Ont. – Mark Coady first became acquainted with Riverview Manor about 10 years ago when his mother-in-law was living at the Peterborough long-term care home. Mark would often find himself helping residents when his wife was assisting her mother, and it seemed natural for him to progress to becoming a volunteer. Read more