Celebrating Pride Month at Omni: A Commitment to Inclusivity

June marks Pride Month, a time to celebrate diversity, advocate for equality, and support the LGBTQ+ community. At Omni Quality Living, our commitment to inclusivity is deeply embedded in our values—not just during Pride, but year-round. In this special blog, we dive into the ways Omni supports the LGBTQ+ community, highlighting initiatives and the culture that makes inclusivity a cornerstone of what we do.

What Does Omni Do to Support the LGBTQ+ Community?

Omni’s approach to support extends beyond symbolic gestures. It’s about creating a safe, welcoming, and inclusive environment for all our residents and staff.

At Omni we welcome everyone’s uniqueness. The element of difference that can include but not exclusive to an individual‘s race, gender, age, ethnicity, sexual orientation and or physical abilities are all welcomed at Omni Quality Living. We strive daily in all our interactions to be inclusive and support diversity by making sure those voices are heard and respected.

Some of our homes will be flying the Pride Flag this month. As an organization we continue to do the work to educate and impart to staff, families and staff what our value inclusivity means to us. The work is on-going.

“The flying of the flag indicates that you have done the groundwork to create a safe space for all people.”

-Rick Gourlie, Retired LTC Administrator and Advocate

It’s not just about visibility; it’s about tangible actions and ongoing education to foster an inclusive culture. At Omni we embrace everyone’s contribution!

Highlights from Our Annual Managers’ Event

Each year, Omni hosts a managers’ event that focuses on various aspects of leadership and community support, including how to better support the LGBTQ+ community.  Last year the event included:

Worldview’s impact on EDI and how to explore a Plan to integrate EDI into everyday processes in our homes. At our Leadership forum in 2024, we will continue with education and impart how to implement purposeful steps in the workplace to promote and sustain the integration of EDI processes in the home with the aid of newly developed policies.

Supporting the LGBTQ+ Community Year-Round

At Omni, our support for the LGBTQ+ community is woven into the fabric of our daily operations. From training sessions to ensure our staff are allies in the truest sense, a formal process in our homes to support staff from harassment and discrimination to annual mandatory education for all staff on EDI to promote growth.

Community and Resident Stories

We are proud to share stories with our residents and staff about those who are part of the LGBTQ+ community or staunch allies. These narratives not only inspire but also shine a light on the real-life impact of our inclusivity efforts.

Looking Forward

As we continue to celebrate Pride Month and beyond, Omni is dedicated to enhancing our support and expanding our initiatives. We are always looking for ways to not just participate in Pride but to lead by example in the quest for equality and inclusion.

Join us in celebrating Pride Month at Omni, where every day is an opportunity to support and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community. Let’s continue to make every space one where everyone can feel truly at home. Let us continue together to do the work.

Understanding Death Cafés: A Space for Open Conversations about Death and Dying 

Death is a universal experience, yet it’s often a topic shrouded in silence and taboo. At Omni Quality Living, we believe in fostering open discussions about all aspects of life, including its end. That’s why our Mapleton Residence has partnered with Hospice Southeast New Brunswick to host a monthly Death Café, an initiative that has gained international recognition for its role in facilitating honest conversations about death in a respectful and confidential setting. 

What is a Death Café? 

A Death Café is a group-directed discussion of death with no agenda, objectives, or themes. It is not a grief support or counseling session but rather a safe space where individuals can talk openly about death and dying. These gatherings aim to increase awareness of death to help people make the most of their finite lives. 

The Mapleton Experience 

On the last Monday of each month, our Mapleton Residence hosts a Death Café, providing a unique opportunity for residents and community members to come together. These sessions are not somber affairs but are filled with life, laughter, and profound conversations. Participants share their thoughts, experiences, and curiosities about death in a supportive and open environment. 

The Benefits of Participating in a Death Café 

  • Demystifying Death: Talking openly about death helps demystify it and reduces anxiety about the unknown. It encourages participants to think about and discuss their wishes and any end-of-life plans openly. 
  • Fostering Connection: These conversations often lead to a strong sense of community and connectedness. Sharing thoughts and feelings about such a universal experience can bridge differences and deepen understanding among participants. 
  • Enhancing Appreciation of Life: By confronting and discussing death, many find a renewed focus on what is important, leading to a greater appreciation for life itself. 

Reframing the Concept of Death Cafés 

While the name ‘Death Café’ might initially seem daunting, the reality is far from it. These sessions are not about mourning but about reflection and sharing in a relaxed atmosphere, often accompanied by tea and cake. The aim is to provide a comforting space where talking about death is not morbid but a healthy, natural part of life. 

Join Us at Mapleton 

We invite you to join us at the next session at Mapleton Residence. Whether you are someone dealing with a terminal illness, caregiving for someone, have experienced a loss, or simply have thoughts about death you wish to explore, the Death Café is open to all. 

Learn more here: Death Café – Hospice SENB 

In embracing these conversations, Omni hopes to provide a pathway to not only understanding and accepting the role of death in our lives but also enriching our appreciation for the time we have. Through dialogue, we can all find common ground in our shared humanity, ultimately leading to a more compassionate community. 

For more information on our next session or to learn more about how participating in a Death Café can benefit you, please visit our website or contact Mapleton Residence directly. Let’s bring this conversation out of the shadows and into the light, together. 

For more information, visit: Death Café – Hospice SENB 

Death Cafe | Compassionate Alberta 

Celebrating Judy Keenan: A Pillar of Frost Manor’s Community 

At Omni Quality Living, we believe that our staff members are the heart and soul of our community. Today, we are thrilled to shine a spotlight on Judy Keenan, a dedicated team member whose commitment and passion have enriched our residents’ lives at Frost Manor for over two decades. 

A Journey of Dedication 

Judy’s journey with Frost Manor began back in 1998 when she joined us as a part-time dietary aide. With a background in food preparation, she was eager to make a difference. Over the years, her role evolved, and she transitioned to a full-time dietary aide and cook. Her daily responsibilities are extensive, including meal preparation, cooking, serving, and ensuring the dining room is spotless. Judy’s enthusiasm for her work is evident in every dish she prepares and every interaction she has with residents. 

Growing Together 

Over the years, Judy’s professional growth at Frost Manor has been remarkable. She has honed her skills as a team player and communicator, completed her food safety training, and embraced the philosophy that it takes a village to provide the highest quality of life for our residents.  

Her dedication was particularly evident during a major flood in the kitchen, where Judy and her team quickly adapted, cooking meals in the small dining room and ensuring that residents received their meals without any disruption. This experience highlighted the strong team dynamics at Frost Manor, where everyone supports each other to overcome challenges.  

Her approach to inclusivity extends to training new staff members, where she models and coaches them closely to ensure all team members feel welcomed and supported to deliver the best quality care to residents. 

Impacting Lives and Building Community 

Connecting with residents during mealtimes is one of Judy’s greatest joys and knowing her efforts bring joy to the residents makes each day brighter. She takes the time to learn the preferences of each resident and goes out of her way to accommodate special requests. For example, she makes sure that a resident who loves peanut butter and jam sandwiches has one ready every day at 2 PM.  

Judy’s story is a testament to the incredible difference one person can make, and we celebrate her journey with heartfelt appreciation. Her dedication to making mealtimes a highlight for residents has set a high standard for all of us at Frost Manor.  

As Judy looks forward to retirement, she leaves behind a legacy of compassion and excellence. We are deeply grateful for her years of service and the positive impact she has made on our community.  

Exciting News from the Kitchens of Omni’s New Brunswick Residences!

We are excited to announce that we are rolling out a brand-new menu across our New Brunswick residences. Beginning with Moncton Residence and Mapleton as the pilot homes, then later to Oasis Residence and Auberge du Soleil Residence. After a year of gathering valuable feedback from our residents and their families, in partnership with Registered Dietitians from our partner suppliers, we have designed a menu that is tailored to local tastes while ensuring balanced nutritional content.

Crafted with care and culinary flair by Chef Aviya Kohn, our talented Nutritional Care Manager has masterfully redesigned our offerings to enhance our residents’ dining experience. The new menu has been meticulously developed to cater to the diverse palates and dietary needs of our community, ensuring every meal is both delicious and nourishing.

“After more than a year in my role, engaging daily in discussions with our residents and their families and holding meetings to listen attentively to their requests, I have collected all the feedback to create a menu that reflects their desires. This menu is not only tailored to our local tastes but is also balanced nutritionally,” announced Aviya Kohn.

What’s Cooking?

Our dedicated kitchen staff underwent extensive training last week, perfecting the preparation of the new recipes. From homemade soups and comforting main courses to fresh salads and decadent desserts, the menu is designed to satisfy every taste bud. The culmination of this hard work was showcased during a special tasting session for our management and staff last Friday, turning them into passionate advocates for our new culinary direction.

A Peek at Your New Plates

We’re also excited to share a sneak peek of what’s coming! Here are a few highlights from our new menu. Whether you’re in the mood for something light and refreshing or a meal that feels like a warm hug, our new dishes have got you covered!  The menu includes a range of options that reflect the richness of our local cuisine and the familiar tastes of home cooking.

At Omni, we believe that dining is a key part of living well. Kitchens are the heart of any home, and we are proud to present this new, exciting menu to our residents in New Brunswick.

Bon Appétit!

Community Values at our Omni Residences

When transitioning into long-term care or retirement living, there can be a lot of unknowns. It is not uncommon for new residents to feel nervous or scared about making the move because it can feel unfamiliar. Opening yourself up to new experiences can be as fulfilling as it is scary. Omni residences aim to build a remarkable environment full of warmth and compassion that undoubtably feels like home. With an emphasize on empathy and investment into each individual resident and their joy and fulfillment, we have made Omni bright and bustling in all the best ways.

So, what signifies community values at our Omni residences? World-class standards of care and enriching amenities are some of our strongest assets, but it is our values and actions within the walls of our residences that build the beauty that we know and love. As mentioned in a recent blog post, Omni’s values include integrity, compassion, inclusivity, curiosity, and resilience. The everyday action of these values are why so many Canadians call Omni residences “home”.

Prioritizing empathy, compassion and respect in our daily interactions with residents and their families, we operate on the basis of each individual’s needs and preferences. Providing compassionate care to residents is a huge priority to our teams. Omni understands that every person has their own needs and preferences, which means personalizing moments of care to be as comfortable as they can be. Prioritizing personalized care ensures that all residents receive the best experience possible. This individualized care feeling extends throughout our staff and community to create a place where voices are heard and needs are met. You can be yourself and be supported at Omni.

Outside of the individuality that our residents get to enjoy, we come together as a community. At Omni, everyone is part of one big family. You aren’t simply moving into a new living space, but instead being welcomed into the presence of a team and community of compassionate individuals who view you as part of the family. We strive to foster a sense of belonging among all residents by offering a vibrant and engaging community for residents to connect with others and create new memories together. 

Omni is dedicated to providing a warm and welcoming atmosphere for residents to feel inspired and supported. This includes offering a range of amenities and services to make the long-term care and retirement living experience enjoyable to all residents. We empower residents of all ages and abilities to live life to the fullest and to leverage our community opportunities to fulfil their social, creative, and active needs.

To learn more about Omni’s community engagement initiatives, go to www.omniqualityliving.ca

Caregivers: How to Avoid Burnout 

Caring for a loved one is incredibly rewarding, but it comes with a list of demands that can be challenging for anyone to keep up with. Knowing how to prioritize your well-being throughout the process can have a positive impact on your health and ensure you’re in the best headspace to provide great care. 

As a caregiver, it’s important to make sure you’re taking the right steps to safeguard your physical and emotional well-being. Here are some tips to take better care of yourself while you’re looking after a loved one: 

  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself   

Taking care of someone isn’t always easy. Not only does the role of a caregiver come with a lot of responsibility, but having to witness a loved one’s decline in health can be devastating. With everything that you’re going through, it’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed at times. As you navigate through this difficult time, remember to cut yourself some slack.  

Your feelings are valid and despite the challenges you might be facing, there’s still plenty to be grateful for. A great way to keep yourself in good spirits? Jot down a list of things you’re grateful for and keep this list somewhere close to you so you can refer back to it when you find yourself in a negative headspace.  

  1. Organize your time 

When your to-do list seems never-ending, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed or stressed. However, creating a well-structured daily routine to effectively manage your time can help you feel more at ease and in control of your life. 

Take a close look at how you’re spending your time and try to come up with some sort of routine to follow. Don’t forget to pencil in some time for yourself to relax and unwind. Remember that the goal here isn’t to create a jam-packed schedule for yourself, but to manage your time better so you have more time to spare within each given day.  

  1. Commit to a healthy lifestyle  

Don’t underestimate the power of committing to a healthy lifestyle that ensures you get adequate nutrition, sleep, and exercise. Building a healthy routine for yourself will not only help improve your mental and physical well-being, but it can also help reduce stress and boost your energy levels.  

  1. Don’t be afraid to ask for help 

Don’t be afraid to lean on close friends or family members for support. Whether you need some extra help picking up groceries from the store or you’re just in need of some company, asking for help is okay.  

Maintaining strong connections with others and making the time to spend some quality time with your close ones can work wonders for uplifting you. However, if you’re having trouble managing your feelings and feel any sort of emotional distress, it’s also a good idea to speak with a health professional.  

Last, but not least: Make yourself a priority 

Taking on the role as a caregiver comes with several different responsibilities, but you want to make sure you’re not neglecting your own well-being in the process. Ultimately, making sure you’re prioritizing yourself, and being more intentional in how you spend your time can make a world of a difference in helping you to better manage your stress.  

Keep in mind there are also several resources available if you need some assistance with providing care, such as home health aides or long-term care homes. For more information about our communities, please visit our residence page

6 Ways to Establish a Sense of Independence while Living at a Long-Term Care or Retirement Community 

Making the transition to long-term care or retirement living can invoke a wide range of emotions, which might include feeling a loss of independence. However, it’s important to know that you’re not alone in this process and many other people are going through the same thing. Most importantly, understand that long-term care or retirement residences are only there to support you in your journey and there are many different ways to maintain a strong sense of independence.  

Here are a few ways to feel more independent while making the transition to long-term care or retirement living: 

  1. Advocate for yourself 

Don’t forget that you are your biggest advocate throughout life, and this sentiment rings true even if you are making the transition to long-term care or retirement living. Ultimately, you can remain strong and steady in expressing your needs and wants, even in assisted living, long-term care, or retirement living. Most importantly, be vocal about communicating your needs, wants, and preferences to team members and providers who are involved in your care. Knowing how to express your needs and wants in a clear manner to all those around you will ensure that your experience is tailored to the life you wish to live.  

  1. Ask questions 

Get comfortable with the idea of asking for support when you need it. Ultimately, there will be a lot of change to settle into, and everyone is deserving of clarity and comfort in the places that they live. If you’re unsure about anything, don’t hesitate to ask for more clarity surrounding any rules and regulations that are in place at the residence, along with what types of services are available to you. Seeking clarification when needed will not only help ease anxiety over the things you’re uncertain about, but this will also set precedent for how you wish care providers to communicate with you.  

  1. Stay positive 

Being open-minded about all aspects of this process will help you see that there are a lot of things to be excited about within this new experience. For the most part, you can rest assured that there’s always a team of dedicated professionals working around the clock to ensure that you’re receiving the best care possible and having a good time at the residence. Most importantly, you won’t have to worry about many of the grueling activities that come with living on your own, such as cleaning, home maintenance, grocery shopping, meal preparation, and coordinating social activities.   

  1. Keep learning 

Taking the right steps to invest in personal growth and development can help promote feelings of self-sufficiency and independence. That said, learning new skills while living at a long-term care or retirement residence can be especially beneficial when it comes to feeling more empowered and in control of your life. More specifically, learning how to use new forms of technology or even social media can keep you entertained while helping you stay connected to your loved ones.  

  1. Get connected 

Finding ways to stay connected with your friends and family is very important when you’re making the transition to long-term care or retirement living. As you’re still adjusting to a new lifestyle, knowing how to effectively maintain connections with your loved ones can help foster a stronger sense of stability and belonging, while enhancing your emotional well-being. Not to mention, strengthening these relationships will help you feel more in control of the social aspects of your life. 

  1. Stay Social 

Practicing independence doesn’t have to happen alone. While living at a long-term care or retirement residence, you’re in the presence of a very diverse group of people – all of which, can probably relate to how you’re feeling. Participating in activities, engaging with others, and establishing a strong social circle (both within and outside of the residence) will help you feel more connected to your community and yourself. This feeling of belonging allows for a more secure sense of independence.  

A strong sense of independence is essential to making a healthy transition to long-term care and retirement living, and feeling this way can most certainly enrich your entire experience at the residence. Omni is dedicated to supporting our residents at any stage of life, and we strive to make this experience seamless and enjoyable. Visit our Frequently Asked Questions for more information on residences, programming, and what life looks like at Omni. 

The Art of Spring Cleaning: Decluttering Tips for Residents 

Spring marks a season of renewal, an ideal time to refresh our living spaces. For some, decluttering can be more than just a cleaning task; it’s an opportunity to enhance daily living, boost emotional well-being, and even reduce stress. However, it’s crucial to approach this task safely and effectively.  

Here are some tailored tips to help residents declutter their living spaces this spring. 

  1. Safety First: Before diving into decluttering, ensure your safety. Have someone with you if you’re reaching high places or lifting heavy items. Use a sturdy step stool rather than a chair for better stability. 
  1. Start Small: Begin with a manageable area or category. This could be a single drawer, a closet, or even just your medicine cabinet. Completing small tasks provides a sense of accomplishment and motivation to continue. 
  1. Sort with Care: Create three categories for your items: keep, donate/sell, and throw away. Be honest about what you truly need and use. Sometimes, we hold onto things out of habit rather than necessity. 
  1. Digital Decluttering: Don’t forget about digital clutter. Organizing digital photos, emails, and documents can also bring a sense of order and relief. 
  1. Cherish Memories, Not Clutter: Often, we keep items because of the memories they hold. If parting with such items is hard, consider taking photos of them. This way, you can preserve the memory without keeping the physical clutter. 
  1. Ask for Help: Don’t hesitate to enlist the help of family, friends or other residents. Sometimes, having an outside perspective can help you make decisions more easily. 
  1. Make It Enjoyable: Put on your favorite music, audiobook, or podcast to make the time more enjoyable. Decluttering doesn’t have to feel like a chore. 
  1. Reflect on Your Space: After decluttering, take a moment to enjoy and reflect on your newly organized space. Consider how this process has made your daily life easier and more pleasant. 
  1. Maintain the Clarity: Finally, create a simple routine to keep your space decluttered. Regularly reviewing what you have can prevent clutter from building up again. 

Decluttering is a powerful way for residents to take control of their environment, leading to a safer, more comfortable living space. It’s also a chance to reflect on what’s truly important and can significantly contribute to emotional well-being and stress reduction. By taking it one step at a time and prioritizing safety, residents can transform their homes into havens of peace and clarity this spring! 

To learn more about life at Omni, contact us or learn more here: Overview – Omni Quality Living

Village Green Construction Update: Progress on New 128-Bed Long-Term Care Home in Napanee 

NAPANEE, ONTARIO / April 8, 2024, Omni Quality Living is excited to provide an update on the construction of Village Green, a state-of-the-art long-term care home located north of the 401 in Napanee, Ontario. Scheduled to open its doors to residents in late 2025, Village Green is rapidly taking shape, with the structural steel and concrete work progressing well. 

This new 128-bed facility is part of Omni’s ongoing commitment to expand its portfolio of long-term care and retirement properties across Canada. Village Green is designed to offer a blend of modern amenities and homelike comfort to its future residents, ensuring they receive the best possible care in a welcoming environment. 

“We are thrilled to see the progress of Village Green and are eagerly looking forward to the day we can welcome residents to their new home,” said Raheem Hirji, President and CEO at Omni Quality Living. “This project is a testament to our commitment to expanding access to quality care and enriching the lives of seniors in Ontario.” 

Construction Milestones: 

Perimeter grading, Village Green

            Courtyard foundation, Village Green

Courtyard drainage, Village Green

            Courtyard footing, Village Green

Concrete laid, Village Green      

            Structural steel, Village Green

Looking Ahead: 

With construction on track, Village Green is on its way to become a key addition to the Napanee area, contributing to Omni’s mission of providing exceptional care and living options for seniors. The team behind Village Green is working diligently to ensure that every detail of the residence meets Omni’s high standards of quality and resident satisfaction. 

Community Impact: 

The opening of Village Green is eagerly anticipated by the Napanee community, promising not only top-tier long-term care services but also new job opportunities and community engagement initiatives. Omni looks forward to becoming an integral part of the local community, fostering strong connections with residents, families, and local partners. 

For more information on Village Green and to keep up to date with the latest construction updates, please visit: Village Green – Omni Quality Living

About Omni Quality Living 

At Omni Quality Living, our passion is people. Established in 1975, OMNI is one of the more prominent and trusted operators of long-term care and retirement homes in Canada, with 22 residences across Ontario and New Brunswick. Visit www.omniqualityliving.ca for more information. 

Country Terrace Redevelopment Update: Completion of Phase 1 and Commencement of Phase 2 

KOMOKA, ONTARIO / April 8, 2024, Omni Quality Living is excited to announce the completion of Phase 1 and commencement of Phase 2 of the redevelopment of Country Terrace, a premier long-term care home located amidst the serene evergreens on 9.44 acres in Komoka, Ontario, a short 15-minute drive from London, Ontario. On February 5th, residents were welcomed into their new and improved residence, marking a significant milestone in the ongoing expansion project. 

Phase 1 of the redevelopment included the construction of a brand new 96 bed building, seamlessly connected to the existing home, offering residents state-of-the-art living facilities. This first step has not only expanded our capacity but also modernized our space to better serve our residents. 

With the successful completion of Phase 1, the redevelopment of the existing home marks the beginning of Phase 2, which is currently underway. This next phase promises to further enhance the living experience for our residents, with ongoing updates to amenities and the integration of the latest care practices. 

The entire redevelopment effort aims to increase the home’s capacity to 128 beds and update its amenities, thereby providing high-quality long-term and specialized care for individuals. With a commitment to integrating the latest in care practices and facilities design, Country Terrace is setting a new standard for long-term care in the region. 

“We are incredibly happy to have completed Phase 1 at Country Terrace and reached this significant milestone. It represents not only the expansion of our communities but also our steadfast dedication to giving our clients enhanced resident spaces. Raheem Hirji, President and CEO of Omni Quality Living, stated, “As we enter Phase 2, our focus remains on creating a nurturing environment that our residents can truly call home.” 

Phase 1 Redevelopment Being Prepped for Occupancy:

Dining Room


Entrance Offices 

Phase 2 Redevelopment Renderings: 


Aerial of Exterior 

Amenity Room 

Amenity Room 


Once completed, Country Terrace will not only offer increased capacity but also a range of upgraded facilities and services tailored to meet the diverse needs of its residents: 

  • Enhanced Care: Specialized care for residents with dementia or Alzheimer’s disease, supported by ongoing staff education and a Supportive Measures Specialist. 
  • Amenities Upgrade: An expansion to include a country atmosphere with outdoor deck and patio areas, an accredited facility by Accreditation Canada, and improved social and recreational programs. 

What to Expect: 

Residents and visitors alike can look forward to enjoying the expanded amenities, including: 

  • Private, semi-private, and basic accommodations, totaling 128 beds post-expansion. 
  • Active social and recreation program ensuring residents remain engaged and fulfilled. 
  • On-site social worker, foot care, and hairdressing services. 
  • Inviting outdoor spaces for relaxation and socialization on the deck/patio, alongside comfortable lounges and spacious dining areas. 

For more information on Country Terrace and to keep up to date with the latest redevelopment updates, please visit: Country Terrace – Omni Quality Living

About Omni Quality Living 

At Omni Quality Living, our passion is people. Established in 1975, OMNI is one of the more prominent and trusted operators of long-term care and retirement homes in Canada, with 22 residences across Ontario and New Brunswick. Visit www.omniqualityliving.ca for more information. 

The Positive Impacts of Community on Our Residents 

We cannot stress the importance of community enough. Community is what brings us together and helps us thrive as individuals. 

At Omni, we are dedicated to ensuring our residents have a sense of belonging and feel included while residing at our facility. The community feel at Omni is what makes our residents so strong and resilient.  

Social Connections 

Humans are social creatures. We need to remain social at all stages in life. However, social isolation can have an even bigger impact on older adults. 

According to Generations American Society on Aging, loneliness and lack of socialization can lead to both cognitive and physical decline. Older adults in this category are at a particular huge increase of developing Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, stroke, and various viral infections. 

Based on the latter information, it only makes sense to give our residents plenty of time for socialization and bond-forming. Our friendly staff host various activities and events to bring joy, energy, and good memories into our facility. Strong social connections and regular interactions make happy residents with a greater sense of wellbeing. 

Mental Health 

Mental health and a sense of community play hand in hand. Without one, the other suffers and vice versa. 

A 2023 study found that those with a negative sense of community are more likely to develop mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, or stress. On the other hand, a strong sense of community can reduce pre-existing symptoms of mental health problems and/or prevent future onset of such. 

We work tirelessly to create a warm, inclusive environment by creating opportunities for socialization. Not only do our residents have shared living spaces where they always have the opportunity to connect, but we make an effort to actively involve the residents’ family members.  

We are firm believers that a big part of living in a healthy environment is keeping old connections while also fostering new ones. “Make new friends but keep the old. One is silver, and the other is gold.” 

Safety & Security 

A foundation of safety and security is of utmost importance. Imagine moving into a facility for the first time and feeling scared and overwhelmed as you try to feel comfortable in a strange environment with unfamiliar faces. This is the last thing we’d want for anyone under our long-term care. 

A sense of community provides a solid basis for safety and security. Residents who create connections with other residents and staff members develop more trust in the people around them. Strong bonds also encourage residents to look out for one another and collaborate as a team if a problem arises. 

Closeness to other residents and staff brings a sense of safety and security like no other. After all, feeling safe in one’s environment goes way beyond simply being told that the members in their community are safe. Rather, they need to interact with those people to truly trust that they are safe and will contribute to a secure environment. 

Omni is committed to cultivating a strong sense of community for our residents. By offering life enrichment programs designed to meet every need of our residents, we’re able to successfully meet this goal. 

Resident Spotlight: Happy Birthday 101st Kathleen! 

Celebrating a birthday with any of our residents or staff members always brings us so much joy and excitement. From the decorations and cake to the presents and special activities planned, we all have such a great time coming together to thoughtfully coordinate every little detail to ensure the birthday person feels extra special on this day.  

On February 22nd, we had the honour of celebrating a very special milestone with one of our residents at Forest Hill, Kathleen Richardson or “Kay”, who turned 101 years old! It was a day filled with love, laugher, and celebration, and we’re so grateful to have had the opportunity to be a part of this special occasion.  

About Kathleen: 

Kathleen “Kay” Richardson was born in Saskatchewan but spent most of her life with her family in Nova Scotia. Kay’s professional journey was diverse and fulfilling; at different times, she managed a restaurant, ran a camp group, she even worked as a bookkeeper and a supply teacher at school.   

Beyond her work endeavors, Kay was extraordinarily talented in knitting, crocheting, and quilt making. Each of her grandchildren, whom she absolutely adores, are lucky enough to own a quilt hand sown by Kay. 

Kay was deeply involved in her community through her active participation in various church groups. She also held a membership with the Daughters of the Nile, an affiliate organization of the Shriners, where she volunteered with their philanthropic efforts and community service initiatives.  

Kay’s life is a life rich of experiences, family and purpose. Join as we with Kathleen a very happy 101st birthday! Here’s to many more! 

Engaging Ice-Breaker Activities for Getting to Know the Other Residents 

Omni believes that socialization is the key to properly acclimating into a retirement home and, ultimately, thriving. But as a new resident, things might feel awkward or even scary at first. 

Fortunately, ice-breaker activities can help reduce the feeling of uncomfortableness, help residents adjust quicker, and encourage new friendships. 

Two Truths and a Lie 

What we think we know about a person and what’s actually true are two completely different things. It isn’t until we learn more about a person that we realize who they truly are. That becomes apparent when playing a game of Two Truths and a Lie. 

Each player will name off three things about themselves with one of those things being made up. Residents will have to try to pick which of the three “facts” they believe is a lie. 

This game can be quite silly and even a little challenging at times. However, residents will find that they learn a lot about other residents in a short period of time by playing this ice-breaker activity. 

Group Nature Walks 

Kill two birds with one stone by going on a nature walk as a group. This ice-breaker is not only great for one’s physical health but their social health too. 

Going on a walk in a group setting gives residents a chance to strike up conversations with others. Conversations may start as small talk pertaining to the walk itself, like, “What beautiful weather we’re having today,” or “Look at that bird over there.” 

As residents get comfortable with each other on the walk, the conversation may turn into something more personal, creating a stronger bond between two or more residents. 

Sharing Childhood Photos 

As one gets older, it’s imperative to continue making plans towards the future. However, it’s also critical to look back at the past, cherishing every memory and change that made you who you are today. 

A fun way for long-term care residents to connect is to share photos of themselves from their childhood. To spice up this fun activity, each resident will provide one childhood photo of themselves. Each photo will be laid out, and residents will have to guess which childhood photo belongs to which resident. 

Think Fast 

One of the quickest and easiest ways to learn more about other residents is by playing a game of Think Fast. 

Players will be given 30 seconds to write down 10 adjectives about themselves. When the timer runs out, each resident one-by-one will read off their list outloud. Residents can learn a lot about other residents simply by hearing their traits and what each person thinks about themselves. 

Starting a Book Club 

For residents who consider themselves to be bookworms, starting a book club can be a great activity to engage in as an ice-breaker. 

Residents can become more comfortable interacting with one another as they discuss a book they’ve read. Book club members are also encouraged to share opinions, foreshadow, or form any real-life connections they have with the book, with each other. 

Not only is reading a great way to promote cognitive health, but social skills can also be sharpened when involved in a book club setting. Not to mention, sharing an interest with others is symbiotic and helps build relationships with others. 

Want to learn more about how we offer life enrichment at our long-term care facility? Visit our website, or contact Omni directly for more information. 

Embracing Technology: How Seniors Can Stay Connected in 2024 

We’re in the Golden Era of Modern Communication 

It’s 2024 and there are more ways than ever for seniors to stay connected digitally with loved ones. Of course, we can still pick up the phone and make a call, but we are in a golden era for those in their golden years to communicate digitally. Let’s look at a few classic and clever ways for seniors to stay engaged with friends and family. 

Picking the Right Communication Channel 

Luckily, seniors and their families are spoiled for choice in terms of different methods of communication. Picking the right communication method depends on your level of familiarity with devices or apps as well as your communication preferences. Are you a big talker, or do you prefer to let pictures do the talking?  

  1. Calling and Texting: 
  • The Reliable Classics: These tried-and-true methods of chatting with loved ones aren’t going anywhere! These are likely the most familiar methods of communication for seniors and the most accessible.  
  • Versatility: Calling or texting from a cell phone is also the most reliable source of digital communication as it doesn’t require a Wi-Fi connection. Calling and texting can even be done across multiple internet connected devices, making it easier than ever to keep up with conversations. 
  1. Video Calling: 
  • Face-to-Face Interaction: There is nothing like calling to catch up with your grandkids and being able to see their sweet faces. The prevalence and quality of video calling options has grown exponentially in the past few years due to the pandemic. Video calling is most easily done via FaceTime for Apple users or using the video calling feature on Android devices. Most social media apps like Facebook and Instagram also have their own versions of the video call. One-on-one video calling solutions are super user friendly as the call can be initiated by one party and all the other party must do is answer the call. 
  • Group Calls: Free apps like Zoom and Google Meetings are the most popular video calling options if you want to add multiple people to a call and only require the user to set up an account.  
  1. Social Media Apps: 
  • Stay Updated: If you want to keep track of all your loved ones in between the visits and video calls, social media apps like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok allow users to post status updates, send messages, and upload images and video. You can post your own pictures and video to let loved ones know what’s going on in your life or interact with posts from ‘friends.’  
  • Community Engagement: Social media networks are a wonderful way to stay connected with many people, especially those you don’t see regularly. Posting content on social media can also be a fun way to bond with peers and meet new people in a long-term care and retirement community. Seniors are going viral on apps like TikTok by posting funny or sweet videos of themselves doing the things they love like dancing, cooking, and cheering on their favorite sports teams. 
  1. Email 
  • The Versatile Messenger: Of course, this list wouldn’t be complete without including email! Email is a communication channel that allows users to send messages to multiple people at the same time and has virtually no limits on message length.  
  • Safety First: Email use is ubiquitous for personal and business communications these days, and seniors will likely already be familiar with the tool. However, email can also be the source of annoying computer viruses or dangerous phishing schemes. It’s important to teach your loved ones not to open or click on suspicious emails and to be careful when giving out personal information. 

Devices and Accessibility 

Choosing the right device (or devices) is just as important as picking your communication channel.  

  • Customizable Gadgets: Today’s cell phones and tablets have accessibility settings that allow users to adjust simple things like font size as well as more advanced features like voice activated tasks or getting your phone to read what is on the screen.  
  • Senior-Friendly Devices: There are also phones, tablets and laptops that are designed specifically to make inputting text and navigation easy for seniors. These devices feature simplified operating systems, larger icons, and larger text to make navigating and using all the important apps a breeze.  

Tips for Technology Adoption 

Regardless of the device that you choose, getting familiar with the device and having help nearby are the keys to success.  

  • Practice and Support: If you are helping a senior adopt a new technology, make sure to practice anything they may not be comfortable with before it’s time to use their devices.  
  • Instructional Aids: Consider leaving written instructions or a visual aid behind to help your loved one through the learning curve.  

Staying Connected in Retirement Communities 

For seniors living in a retirement community, it’s now easier than ever to stay connected with friends and family. With so many communication channels and accessible devices available to seniors, the options are endless to maintain strong relationships with loved ones between visits. For more information about what resources are available to help your loved ones adapt to helpful new technology or to get to know what life at Omni looks like, contact us today!  

Valentine’s Day Celebrations at Omni Quality Living

Valentine’s Day is not just about romantic love, but also about the deep bonds of compassion and community that we share with one another. At Omni Quality Living, love is not limited to just one day, but rather a daily practice that enriches our lives and creates a warm and welcoming environment for all.

However, this Valentine’s Day we had a great time celebrating at each of our residences. From our residents participating in special arts and crafts sessions to staff members going above and beyond to show kindness, the spirit of love and connection permeated our residences. We’re were also so grateful to witness the lovely couples in our residences celebrating their love for one another in unique ways.

Here are some of the special moments shared at Omni this Valentine’s Day:

Residence Activities

Residence: Almonte Country Haven

Residents enjoyed pre-Valentine’s events doing crafts and taste testing chocolate covered strawberries and pineapple. Mexican hot chocolate was a hit!

Residence: Almonte Country Haven

Celebrating Valentine’s Day with Residents participating in crafts, lots of sweet treats and dancing the afternoon away to musical entertainment.

Couple Highlights

Residence: Forest Hill

Margo Nowosad and  Clayton Fulford were married on August 31, 1957 at the First United Church on Golden Avenue in Ottawa. They were introduced at a Valentine’s Day dance by their good friends Shirley and Eddy LeSage who remained life long friends. They started a family, having 2 daughters and remained in the west end of Ottawa until their retirement when they moved to Middleville Ontario (30 km west of Almonte). Health issues made them decide to move into ‘town’ (Almonte), which they thoroughly enjoyed until they moved into Forest Hills.

They loved to travel and one of Margo’s greatest memories was all the beautiful gardens and flowers in Amsterdam. Family was very important to them and some of their fondest memories were of having a hosting a full house of family during holidays. Clayton stated that the first thing that stood out to him about Margo was her kind smile. 

Residence: Rosebridge Manor

This picture was taken at Rosebridge Manor, in our beautiful main lobby. The gentleman in the picture is David Scott, along with devoted Personal Care Assistant, Patti Rathwell. David’s wife is away at this time and this picture is being sent as a special “I Love You” for Valentine’s Day.

Residence: Rosebridge Manor

Married just 4 years ago, John and Joan Fyke knew each other since they were teenagers. They met early on but fell in love later in life.

New Year, New Beginnings: Tips for Transitioning to Adult-Style Living in 2024 

Introduction to Transitioning to Adult-Style Living 

The new year is a natural time of transition. Some of us have vowed to return to the gym, eat healthier, or focus on improving finances. For some, this year will bring a transition from independent living to a long-term care or retirement community. Such a major life change can be challenging, but there are several reasons to be excited.   

Health and Wellness in Adult-Style Living 

  • Professional Medical Care: Long-term care and retirement living facilities have a highly skilled team of professionals who are well-equipped to care for residents with a wide variety of medical needs. These communities also have access to the right medical equipment and medical professionals to help manage specialized healthcare services for residents in need.  
  • Nutritional Meals and Exercise Programs: These communities also focus on keeping residents healthy by serving nutritional meals, encouraging body strength through exercise programs 
  • Mental Stimulation: Individual and group activities are also organized that prioritize brain health and keeping minds sharp.  

Hassle-Free Living 

Resident’s will spend more time living their best life and less time worrying about the details in long-term care and retirement living communities. 

  • Onsite Services:  Many of the daily tasks that may have required extra help or coordination like grocery shopping, sending mail, visiting the gym, managing utilities, and doing chores around the house are all services that are either located onsite or managed by staff in  long-term care and retirement living communities. No more dish duty, no more home maintenance surprises, and no more worrying about driving or finding a ride to run errands.  

Living in Community 

Arguably the most valuable benefit of moving into long-term care and retirement living is the supportive and active community.  

  • Building New Relationships: As we age, it can be difficult to make new friends and maintain a close-knit group of peers. Living in a long-term care orretirement community is ideal for meeting new people who are at the same stage of life and enjoy the same types of activities. 
  • Variety of Social Activities: There are a number of social activities like art classes, baking classes, group excursions, and movie nights that are specifically programmed to encourage residents to build a strong community.  
  • Community Interaction: Friendly chats in the elevator, sitting with friends in the dining hall, and nights filled with music and dance are a few of the little things that make life in long-term care and retirement living communities an excellent social experience. 

Tips for Transitioning into Adult-Style Living 

Despite the many benefits we discussed above, moving into a long-term care or retirement community is a big transition and there are steps that can be taken to make it a smooth one.  

  1. Plan Ahead!  
  • Early Preparation: Planning is key to making a transition into long-term care and retirement facilities a success. Ideally, you’ll want to start planning well ahead of your loved one’s transition. Planning ahead will preserve a sense of control for those transitioning into long-term care and retirement living and will help identify the right timing for the transition.  
  • Health and Physical Ability Assessment: Taking an inventory of any health conditions, considering their physical abilities, and anticipating future healthcare needs can help identify their best option for long-term care and retirement living.  
  • Financial Planning: It’s also important to understand the full financial picture in terms of what your transition will cost, what you can afford, and what your options are for long-term care insurance. It’s important for those making the transition and their caregivers to communicate openly about plans and discuss finances so that everyone is on the same page when it’s time to transition. 
  1. Create a Sense of Familiarity 
  • Personal Belongings: During a transition, with so many sudden changes happening, it can be very helpful to create a sense of continuity by making sure residents are surrounded by pictures, furniture, keepsakes or art from their previous environment. It seems like a no-brainer, but it’s important not to forget about the power of our belongings in transitioning into a new space.  
  • Entertainment Access: In addition to décor, making sure a resident has access to their favorite TV programs, movies, and other electronic devices can ease the transition and help them feel at home.  
  1. Open Lines of Communication 
  • Stay Connected: For residents transitioning into adult-style living, easy access to friends and loved ones through email, phone and social media is crucial. 
  • Regular Dialog with Staff:  If you are a family member or caregiver that is assisting a resident with a transition into adult-style living, opening regular dialog with staff will ensure that everyone is on the same page in terms of making sure a resident’s needs are being met. 
  1. Get Involved 
  • Social Integration: It’s important for those making the transition to join clubs, introduce themselves to neighbors, and get to know staff. Meeting people that have already gone through the transition or knowing who to go to when you need something will help them feel more comfortable in their new space.  
  • Establish New Relationships: If you are helping a resident transition, make sure you stay involved and encourage your resident to be active, make an effort to establish new relationships, and make sure they know you are always reachable. 

Embracing the Change 

Transitioning into adult-style living is a big change for those making the transition and for the families who support them. But, there are many benefits to living with others who are in the same stage of life, and the transition doesn’t have to be a difficult one. Have any questions about life in a long-term care or retirement community and how to prepare for a transition? We’re here to help. Contact us for more information about one of our residences. 

How to make your loved ones feel included during the winter months

Winter can bring a lot of challenges for residents of a long-term care or retirement home. The cold weather comes with health and safety risks. Outdoor activities, out-of-home excursions and socializing can drastically slow down. Friends and family members of residents can make their loved ones feel more included during the winter months by putting in extra effort to let them know they’re loved. This can look like a lot of different opportunities to reach out and spend time. Especially over the holidays, it can be easy to feel a sense of loneliness when the rest of the world is husting and bustling, so residents rely on their support systems to keep their spirits up. Interactions mean so much more over the holidays, and quality time can make a huge difference in the overall enjoyment of a resident experience.  

Here at Omni, we encourage strong family bonds, active social plans, and opportunities to expand life beyond the resident community. This comes in many forms and can be facilitated by those closest to a long-term care or retirement resident.  

Plan extended in-person visits 

In-person visits are an integral part of keeping families and friends connected over the winter. It can be challenging to find varying activities when limited to a certain space, but we love seeing residents and their families and friends get creative! One suggestion is to plan extended visits. Rather than popping in for an hour, visitors can plan to spend an entire day at a home with their loved ones. This provides an opportunity to reconnect while also giving the friends and family members a glimpse into the everyday life of their loved one living as a resident.  

You want to ensure that this time is engaging and well-spent. Keep in mind what your loved one enjoys doing throughout their day and try to make your plans around their schedule and needs. Engaging activities can include bringing different board games or puzzles for some down time, or activities like drawing or crafts. For some more personal ways to spend time, you can bring in old photo albums or home videos to reminisce on and tell stories about. One of our favourite suggestions is for the families and friends of residents to join their loved ones in resident activities, such as sitting down for coffee with their friends within the home or joining them for dinner alongside their neighbours. This provides a warmth that a quick visit doesn’t, bringing you into their everyday lives and giving them the opportunity to show you their favourite parts of their home and the friends and community they live amongst.  

Plan virtual activities  

If in-person visits are hard to make happen or you live too far away from your loved ones to visit often, virtual activities have made it so that people can still provide love and support from afar. We often see family and friends scheduling a video call for when people are all together to include their loved ones in the family holidays and traditions — grandkids facetiming Grandma while they’re at Thanksgiving dinner, friends calling to catch up on a birthday, etc. Virtual visits, although not quite the same, show that you care to take the time during a busy life to spend your energy and love on the resident you’re visiting with. This fulfillment from family and friends can bring so much joy and love into the lives of a long-term care or retirement resident and is imperative during the winter months to maintain a sense of community and family. 

At Omni, we empower residents to live life to its fullest potential.  

Go to https://omniqualityliving.ca/life-at-omni/life-enrichment-programs/ 

To learn more about our life enrichment programs and how residents are experiencing their joyful retirement and long-term care living.  

Celebrating diversity at Omni

At Omni, we believe that diversity is beautiful, and inclusion is key. We recognize that our residents come from all walks of life and our main priority is cultivating a warm, supportive environment where everyone can feel right at “home.” 

For someone who’s considering making the transition to long-term care and retirement living, it’s not uncommon to have some questions or concerns about entering a new community and establishing a sense of belonging within it. Some of the questions we often hear is will the home have the expertise and compassion to fully support my needs? Will I fit in with the rest of the resident community? Will my independence be jeopardized by moving into a residence?  

While making this big life decision, these are all very valid concerns and the community at Omni works diligently to ensure ease and comfort throughout this transition. Our community is designed to support our residents’ physical, emotional, and social well-being. This includes being committed to building a community where everyone feels valued and respected, and always finding new opportunities to celebrate the vibrancy of our differences.  

Residents and team members are part of one big family, and the love and warmth within the walls can be felt right when you enter one of our residences. The bonds formed here are akin to best friends and family members, where sharing spaces and making new memories is all part of the liveliness of this experience. Our team members are trained in EDI (equity, diversity, and inclusion) and practice these values daily. 

We value the unique experiences of our residents and team members, which provides a beautiful mosaic of rich perspectives within each residence. Individualized care is the standard at Omni, so team members are equipped to understand the diversity of our residents and the uniqueness of their needs and preferences. Diversity and inclusion are at the heart of every decision made, and the voices of all residents and team members are heard and appreciated. 

Integrity, compassion, and inclusiveness are some our key values and we strive to uphold them in each decision we make. These words are the guiding light of everything we do at Omni and it’s reflected in our daily work. For more information about our values, visit https://www.omniqualityliving.ca/about-omni/corporate-values/.  

Omni Quality Living Acquires Wildwood Care Centre in St. Mary’s, Ontario, the Second Major Property Acquisition in the Past 12 Months

  • Wildwood Care Centre is now part of Omni’s growing portfolio of Long-Term Care and Retirement properties in Canada

Peterborough, ON / February 2, 2024Omni Quality Living (“Omni”) is pleased to announce the acquisition of the Wildwood Care Centre (“Wildwood”) in St. Mary’s, Ontario, effective February 1st. The acquisition is part of Omni’s growth strategy and marks its second significant acquisition in the past 12 months, following the acquisition of Bear Creek Terrace (formerly Fiddick’s Nursing Home on March 31, 2023), a class A long-term care and retirement home located in Petrolia, Ontario.

The Wildwood Care Centre, renowned for its dedicated service to its community, offering both long-term care and retirement living options to seniors. Omni has been involved in the operational management of Wildwood Care Centre, partnering with the Walsh family for over a decade. This operational collaboration has been instrumental in shaping Wildwood’s success to date.

As Omni steps up to acquire the property, Scott Walsh will remain involved with Omni as part of the management team. The addition of Scott to the Omni team guarantees a seamless transition for the operational staff at Wildwood, and continuity in the high standards of care the residents have grown accustomed to, and that Wildwood is known for.

“We are thrilled to officially welcome the residents and staff of Wildwood Care Centre to the Omni family,” said Raheem Hirji, President and CEO at Omni Quality Living. “This acquisition is a welcomed expansion of our portfolio, reinforcing our commitment to building a portfolio of properties that provide exceptional care, and a warm, welcoming environment for our long-term care and retirement home residents.”

Scott commented on the new partnership between himself and Omni, stating, “Joining forces with Omni is a significant milestone for myself and the Wildwood Care Centre. I am excited to continue with a team that shares the same vision for enhancing the quality of life of our residents, and I look forward to contributing to Omni’s renowned reputation of excellence in care.”

Michael Doner, Managing Director at the Hillcore Group, and a key figure in facilitating Omni’s growth strategy, expressed his enthusiasm for this recent acquisition. “The inclusion of the Wildwood Care Centre in our network signifies Omni’s thoughtful approach towards both portfolio growth and continuing excellence in resident care in the long-term care sector.”

About Omni Quality Living 

At Omni Quality Living, our passion is people. Established in 1975, Omni is one of the more prominent and trusted operators of long-term care and retirement homes in Canada, with 22 residences across Ontario and New Brunswick. Visit www.omniqualityliving.ca for more information. 


Alyssa Barry 
Media Relations 
[email protected]

Team Member Spotlight: Doneath Stewart on nurturing diversity, equity, and inclusion

At Omni, “respect, always” is not only one of our policies, but also our guiding light for how we operate as a business and how everyone who comes through our doors should be treated. The “respect, always” policy is just one aspect of how Omni prioritizes DEI.

Doneath Stewart, Director of Operations at Omni, champions this policy and all diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) initiatives across the organization.  

How did Doneath arrive in her current role as Director of Operations?

Doneath completed her Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing at Ryerson University (now Toronto Metropolitan University). Subsequently, she pursued a Master’s in Health Studies with a focus on Leadership at Athabasca University, graduating in December 2020. Doneath has been part of the Omni family for eight years, starting as a Director of Care and working her way through various areas of the business before arriving in her current position as Director of Operations. Her diverse portfolio encompasses overseeing operations for four long-term homes, managing emergency preparedness, educating team members on behavioral support, and leading initiatives in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI).

How did DEI become a core business priority at Omni?

During the COVID-19 pandemic the Omni leadership team noted a surge in negative expressions from homes and staff related to allegations of discrimination. Fueling this surge was the current staffing environment in long-term care, increased agency use, as well as residents and families refusing care from care staff with unfounded prejudice.

Omni’s existing “respect, always” policy was exercised, with every complaint taken seriously. However, staff expressions of their ongoing concerns, prompted the realization that a change was needed from the top down This feedback led to a deeper initiative to explore the current state of DEI within the organization and how Omni could embed this deeply into the organization.

How did Omni determine where to start?

To understand the existing perceptions around DEI, Omni conducted a survey among staff, families, and residents. Although respondents were familiar with DEI concepts. Recognizing the importance of education, Omni started a journey that involved continuous learning. Doneath and various team members became highly engaged in Ontario Centres for Learning, Research, and Innovation (CLRI) in Long-Term Care , a critical resource for learning and education. She engaged in community care practices, webinars, and seeking information to bridge gaps in understanding. The initiative aimed to address unconscious bias and began with the powerful notion that inclusion starts with “I.”

How did Omni ensure the DEI initiatives would be fully integrated into the organization?

Omni first engaged a development consultant to review the face of the organization and reshape Omni’s mission, vision, and values to ensure that DEI was represented in Omni’s Strategic Plan. A two-day session with administrators and the Omni leadership team then laid the foundation, and a working group, including Doneath, ensured processes were in place to implement the embedding of ‘inclusiveness’ in the strategic plan effectively.

How did Omni ensure diverse voices were heard in the organization?

To gauge the perspectives of both leadership and staff on DEI, Omni conducted an additional survey prior to the annual leadership forum. The results revealed perceived disparities in perceptions of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The leadership forum featured a presentation comparing these perspectives, emphasizing that diversity extends beyond ethnicity to encompass age, disability, sexuality, and more.

Omni has also participated in an educational pilot program with CLRI for Cultural Humility in Healthcare, involving five Omni long-term care homes. Policies are being developed to guide homes in DEI efforts, with a dedicated DEI committee at the home office assisting in implementation and the set-up of additional residence-specific committees.

How is Omni fostering a culture of respect and inclusiveness in its long-term care homes?

Omni’s “respect, always” policy underscores our passion for people, recognizing and celebrating individual uniqueness. By focusing on inclusivity and embracing differences, Omni encourages staff and residents to carry their uniqueness throughout their journey with the organization.

In conclusion, Omni’s commitment to DEI is not just a policy but a cultural transformation, spearheaded by individuals like Doneath, who have dedicated their efforts to create an inclusive and respectful environment in long-term care and retirement homes.

Winterizing mobility aids

Colder weather brings the ice and snow, which starts to limit outdoor access for many people. People who use daily mobility aids are especially affected by the changing of seasons, as mobility is already limited, and safety risks rise with the unsturdy surfaces.

At long-term care and retirement residences, mobility aids are a popular way for residents to maintain autonomy and freedom of movement while staying safe and working with their physical limitations. When the snow falls, these mobility aids can still be helpful for outdoor adventures but need some extra care and caution to remain safe. Outdoor excursions don’t have to stop just because of the snow, but here are some things to keep in mind when it comes to winterizing your mobility aids.

Walkers and canes

Walkers and canes are mobility devices that do not require power to operate. They are often lightweight and manual, offering more stability to those who use them. Canes and walkers are recommended for people who struggle to stay balanced and can be great companions in the winter for outdoor walks to add additional support and balance. When maintaining your cane or walker during the winter, it is important to keep an eye on the wear and tear of the feet/bottom of the device. For canes, the rubber cap at the bottom can be easily damaged by ice and snow. These can be replaced easily and often. Canes can also have additional interchangeable tips that act as ice grips for creating further friction through the snow. Just be sure to change or remove these before you move back inside! For walkers, some folks opt for a heavy-duty wheel to help move over the snow, but anything with operating wheels will struggle with the uneven ground. Try your best to make sure that your walking path is clear and salted and wipe down your mobility device when you get indoors to prevent salt damage.

Wheelchairs and motorized devices

Canadian winters can be especially rough on those who rely on wheelchairs to get around. Sidewalks are often unattended and pose serious hurdles for folks who are reliant on wheelchairs. Many long-term care and retirement homes prioritize sidewalk maintenance within the residence so that those who use wheelchairs can enjoy the snowy season safely. Motorized wheelchairs and scooters are better for snowy sidewalks because of the extra power. Be mindful that the wheelchair wheels are waterproof and safe for the outdoors, and make sure that you thoroughly dry the wheels and undercarriage when returning indoors to avoid damage.


Footwear isn’t necessarily a mobility device, but it sure is a safety aid in the winter. Wearing proper footwear can prevent slips and falls and make walking feel more stable and safer. Wearing winter boots that keep your feet warm and dry is important for weather safety to avoid getting too cold. Shoes with additional traction or snow spikes are even better, because they will provide extra protection from imbalance and uneven ground.

Storing your mobility devices

When you’re all done with your time outside, caring for your mobility devices will help with their safety and longevity. Storing your mobility aids in a dry, warm space is the best way to prevent damage. If your device is motorized, remove the batteries and store them separately while being mindful of replacing them in a timely manner. With your mobility aids well cared-for, they can be used or donated and help you or others navigate outdoor adventures in the snow for years to come.

If you are unsure about what mobility aid is right for you, speak to a medical professional to get guidance on your options. Safety is the priority, and enjoying the winter weather to the best of your abilities comes in as a close second.

To learn more about Omni residences and activities, go to https://omniqualityliving.ca/.

Riverview Manor Residents Receive Heartwarming Christmas Keepsakes

Residents in the Passport program at Riverview Manor in Peterborough, Ontario received a very special Christmas present this year from their Passport Support Worker, Darlene Storey. Darlene gifted residents with personalized photo albums highlighting their trips and activities over the past couple years.

The Passport program from the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services aims to help adults with developmental disability live independent and full lives by funding caregiving services and community participation activities.

There are currently eight residents in the Passport program at Riverview Manor, and Darlene has been the Support Worker for six of those residents since 2021. Darlene works with each resident to find out what types of activities are of interest and develops a monthly calendar of in-house activities and outings for the group.

Residents have taken part in an impressive list of outings over the past couple of years. Darlene has organized several everyday activities like going to a coffee shop, catching a movie at the theater, playing billiards, and shopping. Residents have also participated in a number of special events like visiting the Riverview Park & Zoo, going to the Peterborough Music Fest, taking part in the Under the Locks Fishing Derby, enjoying the Liftlock boat cruise, and watching the St. Patrick’s Day and Canada Day parades. Recent in-house activities include crafts, listening to music, participating in discussions, and watching movies.

Darlene was diligent about taking photos of these activities and outings, and made each resident a photo album documenting all the fun residents have had over the past couple years. Darlene’s sweet, thoughtful gift is a phenomenal example of the lengths our support team will go to ensure our Passport program residents are living fulfilling and joyful lives.   

Winter gardening 101: Keep your passion alive 

Gardening enthusiasts don’t need to stop sewing and growing just because of the snow! Canadian winters can be harsh for a budding outdoor garden. That said, there are plenty of ways for seniors to continue with their craft during the winter months. Those who are comfortable with the snow can build a hearty, winter-proofed garden with cold-weather plants, and those who prefer the indoors can continue to watch their favourite florals bloom.  

There are plenty of ways to keep flexing your green thumb throughout the winter. Omni’s long-term care and retirement homes have options to support year-round gardening so residents can keep up with this soulful hobby. Gardening is also an activity that can be accessible to all. Whether you prefer to get your hands dirty in nature or sit back and enjoy the views, gardening can be loved by people of all ages and abilities. It is important to make this hobby accessible to Omni residents year-round, so we have come up with a list of ways to keep your gardening passions alive while staying safe and warm. 

Plant winter veggies 

If you’re keen on continuing to garden outside, there are plenty of hearty winter veggies and shrubs that will keep your garden going strong through the snow. Many vegetables, such as kale, cabbage, and brussels sprouts, do well when exposed to frost. You can still yield little home-grown gems for your dinner table (isn’t that just the best feeling ever?) while ensuring they can withstand the chilly weather. If veggies are too much work, try planting simple shrubs to keep your garden looking full without much maintenance. 

Surround yourself with wildlife 

Gardening doesn’t have to be all about the plants! In the summer, wildflowers and fruits bring the birds and the bees. You don’t have to give up these nature sightings just because the snow is falling. We love watching winter wildlife as they enjoy the Omni residences. Tall bird feeders bring colourful friends to the garden, creating a source of entertainment and enjoyment for residents of all ages and abilities. Hanging out near our stand feeders is the best way to get the birds to come to you. 

Start planning for next year 

Take a little break from getting your hands dirty and start thinking about your spring gardening dreams. Planning for next year can include chatting with pals about your ideas and shared gardening tasks within the home, or ordering seeds and bulbs so that you’re ready when the snow melts. Some folks also like to take this downtime to learn more about gardening through books, podcasts, and television shows. This might help you come up with new ideas for your garden next year! 

Plant indoors 

If you want to keep your gardening hobby going throughout the winter but don’t feel comfortable or safe maintaining a space outside, you can always transition to indoor gardening. Herb gardens are a great indoor garden idea because they take up minimal space and can withstand indoor climates (especially heartier herbs such as sage, rosemary, and thyme). For those who prefer a garden to admire, knowing your blooms can help create a beautiful floral garden that flourishes indoors. Florals such as poinsettias and orchids do well inside during the winter months. 

At Omni, we believe it’s important to continue making space for fulfilling activities and recreational time, no matter the weather. We love watching residents and their loved ones find new ways to enjoy gardening throughout the winter. We’d like to thank our residents for sharing their creative tips and tricks for keeping their love of gardening alive throughout year-round. For more information about Omni residences, go to https://omniqualityliving.ca 

Omni Quality Living’s Woodland Villa Celebrates Grand Opening of Long-Term Care Home

Woodland Villa’s 128-bed residence opens following the addition of 17 new beds and 111 upgraded beds

SOUTH STORMONT, ONTARIO, December 18, 2023: Omni Quality Living (“Omni”) today celebrated the grand opening of Woodland Villa, a long-term care residence providing 128 beds in Long Sault, Ontario. Woodland Villa has re-opened following the renovation and retrofit of the residence, which includes 111 upgraded Class C beds and seventeen new beds, along with several other renovations. Woodland Villa welcomed its first resident on November 20, 2023, following approval from the Ministry of Long-Term Care.

In addition to supporting the demand for new and upgraded beds, Omni prioritized creating additional resident-centric spaces that align with today’s design standards. Originally constructed in 1985, Woodland Villa now features additional outdoor spaces, dining and activity areas, and among other enhancements. 

Left to right: Janna Goulding, Administrator, Omni Quality Living; Nolan Quinn, MPP, Stormont, Dundas and South Glengarry; Susan Bell, Director of Operations, Omni Quality Living; Sarah Ferguson-McLaren, VP, Omni Quality Living; and Stan Cho, Minister of Long Term Care.

“It has been an honor to live at Woodland Villa during the construction and opening of the new home,” said Jill Watt, a Woodland Resident since April 2020, just one month after the COVID-19 pandemic was declared. “The transition has been smooth and comfortable, and it is wonderful to have new space and enjoy many activities and events in the home. I am now an active member of the Residents Council and a passionate advocate for the residents.”

This initiative is part of the Long-Term Care Development Program, the Ontario government’s $6.4 billion commitment to build more than 30,000 new beds by 2028 and upgrade 28,000 existing long-term care beds across the province. Woodland Villa currently has a waiting list of over 100 people.

“Congratulations to Woodland Villa as we celebrate the opening of an upgraded long-term care home for the United Counties of Stormont, Dundas, and Glengarry. Our government is committed to fixing long-term care and ensuring we build homes for seniors in the communities they helped build,” said Stan Cho, Minister of Long-Term Care. “This redeveloped home is a significant milestone for Long Sault. Woodland Villa means 128 residents now have a modern and comfortable place to call home.”

This project was completed by Omni’s construction partner, Bourgon Construction. With the essential support of this program, Omni currently has four other active construction projects underway, resulting in the addition of 450 new and upgraded beds.

“This is a great accomplishment for the Omni team and a significant first step towards completing Omni’s ambitious redevelopment program. The team is continuing to press forward with four other active projects, with two more set to be completed in 2024 and another two in 2025. These redeveloped homes allow Omni to continue its strong tradition of delivering on its mission, vision, and values to the Omni community,” said Michael Doner, Managing Director & Chief Operating Officer at Hillcore.

This redevelopment project will serve to support provincial priorities, including:

  • Improving the healthcare experience through an integrated and patient-centered continuum of care;
  • Collaborating with partners towards the achievement of an accountable, high-performing healthcare system;
  • Eliminating the need for hallway medicine; and
  • Achieving better patient outcomes through more equitable access to quality care.

“Omni has a deep history operating long-term care in Ontario, but we are also highly invested in its future,” said Raheem Hirji, President and CEO at Omni Quality Living. “Woodland Villa, alongside our other active projects, marks a significant stride towards meeting the needs of our community, offering upgraded amenities to uphold the highest standards of care for decades to come.”

For more information on Woodland Villa, visit https://omniqualityliving.ca/community/woodland-villa/.

About Omni Quality Living

At Omni Quality Living, our passion is people. Established in 1975, OMNI is one of the more prominent and trusted operators of long-term care and retirement homes in Canada, with 22 residences across Ontario and New Brunswick. Visit www.omniqualityliving.ca for more information.

Alyssa Barry
Media Relations
[email protected]

Winter nutrition for seniors

Residents of long-term care and retirement homes need to always be mindful of their bodies, including their physical abilities, specific health care needs, and any other care requirements. A balanced diet means different things for different people. For one person, it may be known that excess salt is a potential health risk. Others may still be discovering what food fuels them best. Regardless of your personal dietary needs, a balanced diet is critical during the winter months. This is because it can be more difficult to exercise and get outside in unsavoury weather. Not only that, but a lack of sunshine can influence mood and energy, which can be supported with additional vitamins and minerals.

Here are a few ways you can meet your nutritional needs this winter:

Focus on vitamin and nutrient rich foods

It’s always important to maintain your fruit and veggie intake in the winter, which is why we plan ahead so meal plans can be built using in-season produce. Foods that are rich in vitamins and nutrients can boost immunity and energy levels. In the winter, seniors can take advantage of seasonal root vegetables like yams, beet, and carrots. These vegetables keep for longer than greens and fruits and are high in fiber and carbohydrates, perfect for fuelling your body and keeping the winter blues away! These vegetables also freeze well, both before and after they’re cooked. This means that meal prep doesn’t go to waste, and any scraps and leftovers can be salvaged for soups and stews later.

For those who go on regular shopping trips, we recommend doing some shared shopping with your neighbours and friends within the community. A full bag of sweet potatoes might be hard to get through on your own before they rot, but if you split the bag with some neighbours and trade for some hearty carrots or beets in return, you can have a variety of fresh produce without having to worry about eating it before they expire.

Pack in extra citrus

Another key element to proper nutrition during the winter is citrus. Packed with vitamin C, citrus is helpful for your immune system during cold and flu season. It is also “in season” and fresher than berries and other fruits. Don’t worry, if you’re still a big fan of summer fruits, frozen options make a great replacement in baking, oatmeal, pancakes, and other recipes. Doing what you can to maintain a healthy balance of fruit and vegetable intake, even when you have to be a bit creative, will maintain your healthy immune system and give you the necessary energy to get through the colder and darker months.

Consider supplementing your vitamin D

It is important to have a thorough understanding of your body and its needs to effectively stay on top of your nutrition and health. During the winter months, vitamin D supplements can be a great way to maintain your physical and mental health with less sunlight and outdoor time. You should consult your physician for a more detailed approach to supplements, but consider them a great option to fortify your nutrition and vitamin intake and give your body the best chance at an active and healthy winter.

For more information about the experience of long-term care and retirement residences during the winter, and how to stay safe and active, go to https://omniqualityliving.ca/page/news/

Omni’s holiday gift guide for residents

There are plenty of occasions where someone might be receiving a gift from you, and we love a good excuse to make someone feel loved. Gift giving is such a joyful act of kindness and love and can be fulfilling for everyone involved in the winter holiday season. When folks are in long-term care or retirement homes, these acts of kindness and thoughtful moments help to remind them of their value and community support. Buying gifts for residents can be a tricky art due to accessibility, space, and necessity limitations. Knowing your gift recipient well and understanding what little things might bring them joy is a great place to start.

When shopping for a resident of a long-term care or retirement home, being mindful of their individual circumstances will set you up for success. Items that are practical tend to be the most common, like an activity or hobby that keeps residents’ bodies and minds active.

When you’re picking out the perfect gift, the options feel endless. Knowing your recipient well will help you find something that you know they could use or enjoy. If you’re gifting to someone you aren’t as acquainted with, you can opt for something more general and all-encompassing.

If you’re unsure of what to get for your loved ones, we’ve got some go-to ideas:

Digital photo frame

A digital photo frame allows residents to display and relive cherished moments, fostering a sense of nostalgia and emotional connection. These are designed to be user-friendly, often with simple interfaces, easy uploading and remote controls. Family members can digitally upload images that will show up right away, similar to a social media feed with new posts incoming. This is a wonderful way of staying connected and sharing updates with loved ones.


Layering clothing pieces are useful for all seasons. If you’re gifting summer clothing, ensure that it is made of lightweight and breathable materials. For heavier layers, avoid stiff and itchy fabrics, and make sure that they are easy to put on and take off. For example, someone with physical limitations might struggle with buttons, so opt for a zipper instead.


A journal is versatile and can be used for hobbies, note taking, journaling, keeping phone numbers and addresses, and more. Since long-term care and retirement residences often have big communities, getting a journal embossed or designed with their name or initials on it is not only a beautiful, customized touch, but will also prevent them losing their belongings around the community.


Books are a great way to pass the time, spark invigorating conversations, and keep minds sharp. Gifting your favourite book to someone is a great way to have more topics for conversation. You could also opt for a book series to provide a few opportunities to get through books and a way to pass plenty of time. Book gifts could also be crosswords, word finds or sudoku, as alternative ways to keep minds moving and hobbies fruitful.

Comfy blanket

Gifts for the home often go unused because they can be too specific. Blankets offer a perfect pop of colour and cozy feeling without anticipating someone’s needs for a gift. Everyone has use for a cozy blanket. To personalize a gift like this, try to be mindful about the resident’s favourite colours or patterns or whether it will match well with the rest of their room décor.


Anti-slip shoes are a great gift for the active people in our lives. Helping prevent falls and keeping them safe, a good pair of shoes with ample traction can make a big difference in balance and safety. Alternatively, we love hard-soled slippers with foot support and structure. These are more likely used around the home, but provide the same safety, security, and comfort.

Care package

If you’re not sure exactly what somebody might want, a care package might be the best option. These can be filled with day-to-day items such as a mug, tea, reusable water bottle, and other personal favorites. Add in a few of their go-to snacks or fun pictures to reminisce on and you’ve got a full experience in one single gift. Check with the residence to see what policies are in place when it comes to bringing in outside food.

When picking out the perfect gift for a long-term care or retirement resident, keep in mind that it’s the thought that counts. When we share a life with someone in any capacity, having the opportunity to show them that they are loved, appreciated and thought of is an act of true kindness. Putting thought into what will make them feel loved and understood is a step above, providing a true sense of companionship to those on the receiving end of your gift-giving.

To learn more about each Omni residence or respective rules and regulations pertaining to visiting and/or bringing gifted items, go to www.omniqualityliving.ca or contact us here. For more inspiration, you can also read our blog about how to make a loved one feel more at home. Happy holidays!

Tips for planning your holiday celebrations

As the holidays approach, it’s time to start thinking about how you want to celebrate. Throughout the fall and winter, Canada celebrates a myriad of holidays from different cultures and religions, making for a beautiful time of celebration and love. For residents of a long-term care or retirement home, the holidays can look a bit different. Sometimes, scheduling outings and plans with family becomes more difficult because the resident’s loved ones have busier schedules during the holidays. That makes it even more important to be intentional about your plans so you can spend more time with your loved ones and enjoy this time of year together.

The holidays are all about sharing a festive and joyful experience with those you love, but sometimes there are barriers. Canada’s holiday season can come with cold weather and dangerous roads, making it important to find ways to celebrate that are safe and accessible. Holiday celebrations can be shared amongst residents and their loved ones, giving everyone something joyful to look forward. The plans can be big or small, but most importantly, the plans should bring cheer. Here are some of our favourite ways that we’ve seen our residents celebrate and make the most of the holiday season:

Get social

Holiday celebrations don’t have to be fancy to feel fulfilling. Sharing the joy with other people can be one of the best parts of the holidays, so start by making plans to socialize and spend quality time. Make plans with other residents to share conversation over a meal or coffee, or an invite extended to loved ones to spend some time reconnecting.


The winter months bring a cozy feeling to your indoor spaces. Warm up by the fire and sip a hot chocolate on your own or with friends or watch a holiday movie (we love a throwback!). The holidays can be a great time to slow down and unwind, with opportunities to relax celebrate around every corner. With the hustle and bustle of the world during this busy season of the year, it’s important to carve out time to rest and relax.

Make it a party

Holiday plans can be shared with pals no matter the activity. If you’re making hot chocolate, invite your friends to join you for a mug! If you’re baking cookies, plan a cookie swap. If you’re watching a movie, ask your friends to bring a snack and join you. We love it when residents share joyful experiences with one another. Planned activities can be added to your social calendar to share in the joy of the holidays with your neighbours and friends.

Involve your family

Sharing the joy of the holidays with your nearest and dearest can fill your cup in ways that sparkly decorations and holiday sweets just can’t. Invite your family and friends who don’t live in your residence to join you for holiday festivities. We’ve seen grandkids come for a cookie baking day, best friends stop by for a holiday movie party, and everything in between. What’s most important is that you make time for your family to celebrate alongside you and enjoy your residence with you.

Get crafty

Holiday crafts are a wonderful way to decorate your space, showcase your holiday spirit, and spend time doing something fun and creative. Some folks paint their own holiday cards and others make table or tree decorations. Crafts can vary in difficulty and accessibility and are a great way for people of different cultures, ages, personalities, and abilities to work together on something fun and festive.

Share the joy

They call it the season of giving! The holidays are a time to show your love in extra little ways. Through gifts, cards, and quality time, you can share your joy and seasonal festivities with the people around you. This can be in the form of thoughtful gifts or hand-written cards, or simply sharing your favourite movie to watch or your family’s famous cookie recipe. Giving is a joyous way to celebrate the season with the people around you, and a fun way to show people just how much you care.

There is no one way to celebrate the holidays correctly, and we encourage our residents to share their holiday traditions and joys with others to create the fullest and most vibrant holiday season within our homes. For more information about Omni residences and activities, go to https://omniqualityliving.ca/

Team Member Spotlight: Jonathon Krieger, Regional General Manager 

At Omni, we pride ourselves on having a diverse and dedicated team that works tirelessly to provide exceptional care and service to our residents. Today, we shine the spotlight on Jonathon Krieger, our Regional General Manager, who plays a pivotal role in ensuring that all our homes in New Brunswick run smoothly and efficiently. With 14 months under his belt at Omni, Jonathon brings a wealth of experience, having been in the industry since 2010. 

A day in the life at Omni 

Jonathon’s role as a Regional General Manager is no small feat. He oversees various aspects of our operations, from culinary and sales departments to maintenance and care services. What makes his job truly exciting is that no two days are ever the same. In Jonathon’s words, the dynamic nature of his role is what keeps him engaged and passionate about his work. Omni is not just a care home; it’s many operations under one roof. Jonathon’s responsibility is to tie all departments together, ensuring a seamless experience for both residents and his team. 

One of the things he values most is having an outstanding team that excel in their roles and shares the same dedication to Omni’s mission and values. Having a team that believes in the organization’s mission is essential for Jonathon to be efficient in his role.  

Biggest accomplishments 

Jonathon takes immense pride in building a strong, cohesive team. He acknowledges that his success isn’t solely attributed to him but to the exceptional individuals he has the pleasure of working with.  

Jonathon has been able to provide crucial support to Omni’s nursing team, filling gaps in their experience and helping them become more efficient. By identifying areas where support was needed, Jonathon and his team have made significant strides in improving the quality of care provided to residents. Omni’s yearly retreat further strengthened the bonds within the team, emphasizing inclusivity and the importance of every team member’s unique contributions. 

What inspires Jonathon in his professional work? 

For Jonathon, the inspiration comes from the seniors Omni serves. Despite his shift from a maintenance role, where he was celebrated as a hero for every lightbulb change, to his current position, where he deals with challenging issues, Jonathon’s commitment to seniors remains unwavering. He sees his role as an advocate for seniors, ensuring that their resources are used efficiently and their best interests are at the forefront of every decision. 

Jonathon’s work extends beyond the residents to include partnerships with community organizations like the New Brunswick Special Care Home Association, which exemplifies his commitment to building a strong network and fostering inclusivity. 

Resources and support at Omni 

Omni provides Jonathon with a wealth of resources and support, from the CEO down to the management team. He values the collaborative approach of the leadership team, which promotes problem-solving and knowledge sharing across departments. With team members like Shawn Riel, Chief Operating Officer, who have decades of experience, Jonathon and his team have access to a vast pool of knowledge that helps in making informed decisions. 

Omni’s history of long-tenured employees is a testament to its dedication to its team, and Jonathon believes that this wealth of experience is a vital resource that sets Omni apart. 

What makes Omni unique? 

One of the most unique aspects of working at Omni is the opportunity to be part of shaping its future. With Omni’s recent entry into the New Brunswick market, Jonathon and his team have a blank canvas to work with. They can innovate and create without the constraints or roadblocks. This fresh start combined with the unwavering support of Omni’s leadership makes it a unique and exciting journey for Jonathon and his team. 

Professional growth at Omni 

Jonathon’s journey with Omni has been one of personal growth and rediscovery. He returned to the long-term care sector in New Brunswick with a renewed passion and sense of purpose. Omni has provided him with a platform to give back and mentor others while also deepening his sense of empathy and understanding. His role has allowed him to rediscover the love he always had for the industry, making each day at Omni a fulfilling experience. 

Jonathon Kreiger’s dedication, leadership, and passion for his work make him an invaluable member of the Omni team. We look forward to witnessing the continued positive impact he brings to our organization and the residents we serve. 

Fun fall activities for residents in long-term care and retirement living

As the colder weather approaches, residents of all ages will find themselves spending more time indoors. Although there are plenty of ways to have safe and mindful time outside in the cold, finding fulfilling activities indoors will help rid any winter blues and keep residents connected to their community and selves.  

Firstly, it is important to still get moments of fresh air and time outside if the weather is safe to do so. One of our most recommended fall activities is to have an outdoor walk as often as you can before it gets too cold. Fall is great weather for residents to go walking, as it isn’t too hot or sunny, but also isn’t snowy, icy and unsafe. For us Canadians, fall also means that the trees are colourful and the leaves are falling which makes for a great change of scenery and beautiful views.  

Otherwise, seasonal indoor activities can keep residents busy and happy while the weather cools down. Here are some of our favourite ways to enjoy the fall festivities and the company of other residents inside: 

Pumpkin decorating 

Making the most of the season’s harvest, pumpkin decorating is a creative way to get together with friends and other residents to celebrate the season. Although carving is the traditional way to do this, it can be difficult for those with mobility limitations. Decorating pumpkins can be creative and can be malleable for all types of physical abilities. You can use paint, stickers, pipe cleaners, googly-eyes, craft paper, and other materials to make your pumpkins pretty and festive.  

Seasonal food – cooking & tasting 

Fall is the season of apple picking, and cozy cooking. Sharing food with friends and residents is a wonderful way to connect and spend time together and can become a fun activity or even recurring event at your residence! Putting together a fall-themed event that includes everyone’s favourite treats will allow folks to gather and share in the joy of food. Things like apple cider, hot chocolate, pumpkin pie, and hearty soups can be shared amongst friends in big or small groups. 

Baking activities 

Working together to create sweet treats is such a wonderful way to spend time together. This can be an activity on your own, with your family, or a full-blown resident event. Baking together doesn’t have to be complicated and can involve easier alternatives for larger groups such as cookie or cupcake decorating. This could also be an opportunity for folks to share their favourite fall recipes of apple crumble or pumpkin pie, sharing in the joy of family recipes and good memories. The community can also work together on a bigger project, such as putting together cookie tins to give to residence staff or a friendly competition for who has the best apple pie.  

Movie night 

Tis’ the season for early sunsets and cozy evenings. Hosting a movie night for residents can be a low-impact way to spend quality time with your community indoors. To make it more personal, try having residents write down their top 3 favourite fall-themed movies and tally the submitted results for the winner! 

Arts and crafts 

Arts and crafts can be an accessible activity for many, with variations that include projects for people with limited mobility or cognitive considerations. This can be as simple as having fun festive stickers and paper, or include drawing, painting, clay sculpting, and more. Make sure to have enough materials for everyone attending your arts and crafts session and ask for ideas from other residents for new and exciting projects you can do together.  

Resident life at Omni is full and vibrant no matter what season. As the leaves begin to fall, we turn inwards to focus on safe and happy activities for every Omni resident.  

For more information about our residences, events and activities, go to https://omniqualityliving.ca 

How to establish strong social connections with other residents in long-term care and retirement residences

Staying social is sort of like exercising or eating well — it takes energy and effort but will pay off in the long-run. No matter your age, social connections are integral when living at a long-term care or retirement residence. Of course, your loved ones who live outside of the residence are just as important, but getting to know your neighbors at the residence and establishing these lifelong connections is part of the invigorating and unique long-term care or retirement resident experience.

Social connections are more valuable than we think. Especially when it comes to later stages of life, it can help reduce feelings of isolation and loneliness and make the experience in long-term care or retirement residences more enriching. Residents who are part of various communities will feel a stronger sense of belonging and fulfillment during the experience – and this in turn will enhance their quality of life. Not to mention, staying active can also have incredible positive effects on mental health, improving overall mood and helping to reduce cognitive decline. With mood increase typically comes healthier habits and a more positive outlook on life.

Here are some recommended ways to develop more meaningful connections with other residents:

1. Participate in more group activities

Most long-term care and retirement residences host a myriad of activities and events for residents to enjoy. Take a look at the activities schedule, or research what local events are happening in your area. It’s also a good idea to connect with other residents to see if they’d be open to forming a group where you can engage in shared interests or activities, such as meeting up at a regular time each week to go for a walk together or creating a book club.

2. Be open-minded about the experience

It can be hard to try new things, but these experiences will lead you towards establishing life-long connections with others and creating new memories together. Understand that many others are going through a similar experience, and making the transition into long-term care or retirement is something common. Being open-minded about the process and actively engaging in the community will make the process easier and you’ll get to meet many great people along the way.

3. Introduce yourself to other residents

Recognize that there’s plenty of opportunity within this experience to meet new people and form strong connections with others. Your breakfast table crew might become your favourite people to play cards with. The opportunities within this experience to establish strong friendships with others are endless, and it all starts by saying hi.

4. Have open and honest conversations with others

You and your neighbors share a community and a home. In addition to your shared experience as a resident of the community, there are many other areas of life in which you can connect on a deeper level. Even outside the walls of your long-term care or retirement residence, you’re likely to have many other experiences to share with one another.

5. Bond over similar interests

Activities arranged by the residence can be a great way to find like-minded people who share similar interests. Whether it’s simply conversational or you become activity buddies with other residents, similar interests can connect people like nothing else can.

Build your community

Expanding your network of friends and folks around you will help foster a strong sense of community within your experience living at a long-term care or retirement residence. Not to mention, connecting with others in a deep, meaningful way is one of life’s greatest joys and at the end of the day, community is what life is all about.

At Omni, we pride ourselves in being a part of building happy communities across Canada. Get to know what life at Omni looks like by contacting us or booking a tour to learn more about our residences and recreational programs.