Autumn-themed craft helps keep spirits high at Kentwood Park

Residents recently created colourful tree paintings which are now on display for all to enjoy

Kentwood Park life enrichment aide (LEA) Brandy Courtney recently created a safe, autumn-themed craft to help support residents of the Picton, Ont. long-term care home during the COVID-19 pandemic and to celebrate the changing of seasons.

Residents were provided with a paper template drawing of a tree with leafless branches. The goal of the activity was for residents to paint fall leaf colours – yellow, orange, red and brown – on the trees.

A small group of residents was provided with paint and a special tool to dab colours on the trees: broccoli.

Dabbing pieces of the vegetable into the paint to stamp on the tree branches created a realistic pattern of vibrant autumn colours, Brandy says.

“Making these colourful fall trees with the residents and using a healthy snack to do it, well, you can’t get any better than that,” she tells The OMNIway.

Brandy explains her inspiration for creating the activity for residents.

“I saw this craft online and automatically thought of my residents at Kentwood Park, and how much fun this would be to do together,” she says.

The trees have been placed on Kentwood Park’s large activity board for all residents and staff members to enjoy, Brandy says.

Brandy adds that activities like this are important to residents during the pandemic.

“It’s important to do the very best we can to keep all residents’ spirits high during this difficult time,” she says. “The residents and I had a blast making these trees, and we look forward to other pandemic-friendly crafts that I will come up with next.”

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YouTube proving to be a valuable source for resident entertainment at Kentwood Park

With restrictions in place on large-group indoor programming, including live entertainment, in Ontario long-term care homes due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Kentwood Park life enrichment team has been turning to YouTube for help.

The OMNIway recently told you about how the Picton, Ont. long-term care home was accessing YouTube to continue its drumming circle program.

Lisa Mills, Kentwood Park’s life enrichment co-ordinator, says the online video-sharing platform is also being accessed for entertainment purposes.

Some entertainers in the region are offering livestreamed performances for a small fee which Kentwood is accessing. There’s even a calendar that outlines which entertainers will be performing at what time.

“We open it up (on a computer) and it’s right there,” Lisa tells The OMNIway.

“We have just started doing this, and the residents are really enjoying it.”

Since the pandemic was declared by the World Health Organization in March, Kentwood Park and other long-term care homes have been restricted from having large-group indoor programming, and regular entertainers have not been able to perform indoors.

Like with other long-term care homes, Kentwood Park residents have been missing their usual entertainment, but being to access performances from entertainers they know via the Internet has been a game-changer, Lisa says.

“It’s still different, but it’s better than what it was before,” she says.

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Recent barbecue brings a welcome change at Kentwood Park

‘It was just a fabulous day all the way around’

Kentwood Park residents were treated to a backyard barbecue at the Picton, Ont. long-term care home in August, their first group event since March, and they couldn’t have been happier with the day, says Lisa Mills.

Lisa, Kentwood Park’s life enrichment co-ordinator and environmental services manager, says the outdoor event, which included entertainment from a husband-and-wife duo who performed outside the gates in the yard, attracted 39 of Kentwood Park’s 45 residents.

This included some residents who normally don’t attend programming, so this large number attests to the value the barbecue delivered, she adds.

“It was ecstatic for them because they hadn’t done anything like that in so long; they really enjoyed it,” Lisa says of the barbecue.

“Just getting outside to see something outside of the home was important for them.”

Due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, indoor large-group programming and entertainment have been on hold at Ontario long-term care homes since March, so residents have been missing social gatherings.

While indoor visits with family members with safety protocols in effect have been permitted by the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care since June, some residents don’t have families, so for these residents the barbecue was especially meaningful, Lisa says.

“It was an eye-opening for them all,” she says. “It was just a fabulous day all the way around.”

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New program drumming up excitement at West Lake Terrace

Ruth Dwight is seen here leading a drum circle at West Lake Terrace.

Biweekly drum circle engaging residents of all abilities

A biweekly drum circle program that was launched at West Lake Terrace in May continues to snowball in popularity with the Prince Edward County long-term care home’s residents, says life enrichment co-ordinator Janie Denard. Read more