Almonte Country Haven: Looking back on 2014 and ahead to 2015

ALMONTE COUNTRY HAVEN: an OMNI Home where ‘our passion is people’

Reviewing 2014 and anticipating 2015

Our highlights for this past year included implementation of the Montessori approach for residents with dementia. This person-centred care has made a significant difference to the quality of life of all residents as we continually strive to foster independence, self-esteem and an ongoing sense of contribution for our residents, especially those with dementia.

As well, we initiated our ‘90 plus club’ whereby we fostered inclusion of those residents in various Home activities and events. In this way, the residents feel that ACH is their own home. A picture of club members hangs in our main sitting room and will be updated every year in July. In addition, we were able to make the dreams of several residents come to fruition… within our “never too late… to realize your dream’ program. Our ‘Santa to a Senior..all year long’ program was also effective in ensuring that residents with few resources had their unique needs and wants met by staff.

Our accreditation experience with the national body, Accreditation Canada, was successful with a four year accreditation. As well, our annual site visit from the Ministry of Health (Resident Quality Inspection) resulted in very minor recommendations. We were commended by our inspectors on the quality of resident care provided by all stakeholders as well as the cleanliness and décor of the Home and the warmth and friendliness of staff.

Our palliative/end-of-life program has been enhanced to include ‘Memories and Moments’ café for family members subsequent to our closure service. In addition, a special placemat at the deceased resident’s place setting for meals assists both residents and staff to deal with their grief relative to the loss of a member of the ACH family. As well, our local quilters have provided a quilt embroidered with our Canadian flag which is draped over the resident as they leave the Home for the last time. The quilt is returned to our Serenity Room to indicate to all that life must go on.

Our veterans will always maintain a special place on our ‘Veterans Wall of Honour’ and are now included in all Royal Canadian Legion events including the Christmas luncheon, regardless of membership.

This past year we installed a coffee machine in the foyer as an on-site service for all stakeholders. Proceeds are utilized to support our pet therapy program with the residents’ own dog ‘Blue’.

We held our first major fundraiser at the Civitan Hall with proceeds directed toward the purchase of an ice cream freezer in 2015. In this way, our residents, families and staff can enjoy an ice cream cone in the foyer or out on the patio during fine weather. We thank our many community partners for their support of this successful fundraising event.

Anticipating 2015, we expect to:

  • further develop our program for dementia residents;
  • contribute to the public reporting of our Quality Improvement Plan. Key indicators relate to the safety and effectiveness of care as well as resident experience and integration/coordination of services with community-based programs;
  • provide enhanced resident services, ie., ice cream treats; additional resident outings; increase in intergenerational programs; pub nights;
  • continue to fundraise to support unique resident programs, ie., the 90 plus club;
  • enhance our psychogeriatric outreach program with the Royal Ottawa Health Centre;
  • enhance resident/family relations through quarterly townhall meetings and local media; and,
  • enhance quality of work life through the planning and organization of wellness programs and fun-filled events and through further development of our mentorship program.

Marilyn Colton, Administrator