EDITORIAL: We do a great job creating communities, so let’s keep taking it up a notch

Judging by many of the stories The OMNIway has covered recently, it’s hard not to notice the spirit of community that flows through each of OMNI Health Care’s 18 long-term care homes.

It’s also hard not to notice how this deep feeling of connectedness has become embedded in the DNA of OMNI’s culture and how people working within the organization not only embrace its value, they demonstrate it every day.

We recently learned how two ladies who have been best friends for 76 years are now living at Pleasant Meadow Manor. Hazel Savary moved into the Norwood long-term care home in February, but her friend, Mary Elliott, has been a Pleasant Meadow resident for some time.

Hazel and Mary say it’s nice to be able to visit each other whenever they want and that being able to stay connected is enriching for both of them.

There’s also a strong spirit of community among OMNI staff members. Springdale Country Manor life enrichment aide Trish Mills saw this first-hand when she participated in mission work in Belize in February.

When Trish told her colleagues of her plan to travel to the Central American country to help schoolchildren and a church, her co-workers organized a chili sale and raised $182 that was donated to Trish’s mission.

Sherry MacDonald, a health-care aide who has worked at Village Green for 33 years, reflects on how Village Green is the only place outside of her home where she feels “at home.” Sherry says people working at Village Green consider each other family.

“We have had our kids together, we have raised them all together, we now have grandchildren together, and there isn’t anything we wouldn’t do for one another,” Sherry says.

There is a valuable benefit this strong sense of community has to the more than 1,400 people who live in OMNI long-term care homes as well as to staff members.

For residents, having this sense of community eases the transition into long-term care. If people are leaving one community, they want their next step to be in another community.

For staff members, the connectedness felt at OMNI homes creates a family atmosphere that makes jobs more rewarding.

As we move further into 2018, the theme of connectedness is worthwhile keeping top of mind. How can we strengthen our ties with each other? How can we strengthen our sense of community for residents?

We’re doing a great job already, let’s take increasing connectedness to the next level.