Volunteer reflects on the positive outcome of her first meeting with Garden Terrace residents

Makeup artist Roxane Vezina hosted a spa day to help residents look and feel their best

Roxane Vezina has a talent for making people look and feel their best, and it’s a gift she wanted to bring to others.

So, in March, the professional makeup artist completed her first volunteer shift at Garden Terrace, where she helped residents choose and apply makeup to help them feel like they were getting ready for a night out on the town.

Roxane explains how she became a volunteer at the Ottawa-area long-term care home.

“I was looking for volunteering opportunities, but especially doing makeup and helping people feel better about themselves,” she tells The OMNIway.

“I found there were no opportunities in Ottawa to do that. So I contacted (Garden Terrace) and asked about providing services to them in a volunteering capacity.”

On her first volunteering day in March, shortly after pandemic restrictions relaxed, Roxane organized a spa day for residents. She provided a large makeup kit for residents to choose the colours and shades of makeup they wanted for their eyes, cheeks and lips.

She also provided skincare services and did residents’ nails.

Roxane says what made her most happy about her first volunteering shift was that she was able to provide residents with a service they had not had in a long time due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I was able to give (the residents) a bit of a transformation and helped make them feel more beautiful, more feminine and offered them something they perhaps haven’t had in a very long time,” she says.

Roxane also says she saw the difference her work made.

“The residents were very grateful for the opportunity, and I thought that was so sweet,” she says. “I think the best part of this process for the residents was really just to feel their best.”

After their makeup and nails were done, the residents were reflecting on their fond memories of getting dressed up to go out for the evening, and this had a positive impact on Roxane, she says.

“That made me feel great because they talked about what they were doing and what they would have done when they were all dolled up,” she says.

April 24-30 was National Volunteer Week. The week is marked by events nationwide that celebrate volunteers and all they do to enrich the lives of others. This year marks the 81st National Volunteer Week.

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Rosebridge Manor aims to boost its volunteer roster

People needed to provide one-to-one-support, help with outings

As provincial government restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic ease, many OMNI Health Care homes are welcoming family members and visitors once again.

Rosebridge Manor in Jasper is experiencing this return of entertainers and loved ones, much to the joy of its residents.

But as life enrichment co-ordinator (LEC) Kathy Barr looks ahead towards planning upcoming programs and activities, she’s coming up a bit short in terms of volunteers.

While Rosebridge Manor has typically had a healthy roster of volunteers, the number of people available to lend a helping hand has dwindled during the past two years amidst the pandemic.

Some volunteers are aging and are not up to coming into the home anymore, others are nervous about the coronavirus, and some have moved on with their lives in other areas.

“That’s going to be a work in progress – getting volunteers back in the home,” Kathy says.

“We need to work on building that back up because so many things have happened over the last two years — more than two years — that have impacted our volunteer program. We have to almost start from scratch again with the exception of one or two volunteers.”

While Kathy expects students to reach out to the home to complete their volunteer hours, she’s also looking for additional volunteers to spend time with residents.

People can help in many ways, Kathy says. They can assist with outings and activities and programs. Of particular need at the moment, are volunteers who can spend one-on-one time with individual residents, the LEC says.

Having conversations, sharing a short story, enjoying music, or playing a card game are just a few examples of one-to-one activities.

“That’s the first priority.”

As spring here, residents are also looking to enjoy the outdoors so that will be happening more often when warmer weather arrives.

Volunteers can play a role there too by accompanying residents on a stroll around the property or taking part in gardening. The summer also holds opportunities for volunteers to assist with barbecues and other outdoor events.

For more information about volunteering, call Kathy at 613-283-5471 and/or keep an eye on an upcoming edition of the home’s newsletter.

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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

Frost Manor’s ‘little in-house celebrity dog’ is providing quality visits with residents

Frost Manor resident Mike Lane visits with Tracker, a St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog.

Tracker’s owner, Bill Dopson, says they’re both enjoying their volunteer experience at the Lindsay LTC home

Tracker, a seven-year-old Basset hound, is not only a favourite visitor at Frost Manor, he’s also pretty well-known around Lindsay. Read more

Volunteers extend hand, paw at OMNI homes

Volunteers play a crucial role helping OMNI LTC homes enhance quality of life for residents

From two-legged to four, volunteers are an integral part of the culture at OMNI Health Care’s long-term care homes. Read more

Volunteering at Springdale has fulfilled a promise Lynda Rose made to herself

Pictured above, Springdale Country Manor volunteer Lynda Rose (seated) and life enrichment co-ordinator Sonia Murney.

‘I always said, if I had time, this is what I would do’

SPRINGVILLE, Ont. – Lynda Rose recalls how when her mother was living in a retirement home in North Bay she would make a monthly drive up to visit her. Lynda says she wished she could have spent more time with her mother, but she had a career and they lived far apart, so that was not always possible. Read more

Willows Estate toasts volunteers with roast beef dinner

Willows Estate nutritional care team member Charlene Robinson takes a break with desserts. She prepared a roast beef dinner recently to honour the Aurora long-term care home’s volunteers.

‘They’re helpful and they’re dedicated’

From the man who clears the dishes after a meal to the woman who hosts a small friendship circle, Willows Estate views its volunteers as integral members of the care team. Read more

Helene Waddell is a ‘natural volunteer’ at Frost Manor

Volunteer Helene Waddell (left) and life enrichment co-ordinator Lyndsay Burton are pictured here during Frost Manor’s annual volunteer appreciation luncheon April 5.

‘When she first came here, she burst in with energy and she just started helping – it was something she just didn’t think anything of’

When her father moved into Frost Manor in July, Helene Waddell says she immediately sensed the warmth and love that staff members at the Lindsay long-term care home have for residents. She also felt the need to help, so Helene quickly began visiting with other residents when she was at Frost to see her dad. Read more

Therapy dog Vezna is putting smiles on faces, one resident at a time

Forest Hill resident Shirley Grant pets Vezna, a schnauzer mix, who visits residents with her owner, Sharon MacDonald. Sharon and Vezna volunteer at Forest Hill through Ottawa Therapy Dogs.

For three years, Vezna and her owner, Sharon MacDonald, who are with Ottawa Therapy Dogs, have been volunteering at Forest Hill

For three years, a miniature schnauzer mix named Vezna has been volunteering at Forest Hill with her owner, Sharon MacDonald. Sharon and Vezna, who are with Ottawa Therapy Dogs, leave residents smiling after each visit. Read more

Volunteers a sweet asset for Maplewood

Brighton home hosts appreciation event

Volunteering is a sweet affair at Maplewood.

From jelly beans to Swedish berries, the Brighton long-term care home expressed its appreciation for its volunteers with a number of sugary treats and a special event recently. Read more