Niagara has bonded together through the crisis of COVID-19 to show support for the community in many ways.
The staff and residents at NOTL's Niagara Long Term Care Residence (formerly Chartwell Niagara) are grateful to have received donations of flowers, coffee, hand sanitizer and gift bags as a show of support.
Niagara LTC Residence’s acting executive director Kim Widdicombe says there are “lots” of flowers in the residence now which, “brought a smile to all the residents faces, they loved that.”
“Hydrangeas sent by Upper Canada Animal Hospital went all over the home, into residents' rooms and into common areas – dining rooms and lounges,” Widdicombe said. “There were a few left over for staff to take and they were thrilled.”
Niagara LTC Residence wants to make sure the community knows how much the support it has received is appreciated. Donations have also been made by Tim Hortons, the Watering Can Flower Market, Dillion's Distillery and Prince of Wales Hotel.
Staff and residents being “recognized and remembered” is something they appreciate very much. Widdicombe said the support is “very heartwarming and it means a lot to our staff and residents.”
The residence is also finding interesting ways to incorporate the donations to support the fight against the coronavirus and show compassion for front line workers.
“We are giving our staff a little COVID-19 quiz to make sure everybody understands what the parameters are for social distancing outside the workplace, what the signs and symptoms are and what we do to prevent it,” Widdicombe said.
The quiz is a way of, “just making sure staff have really good information and are clear on the information,” she said.
Gift bags from Prince of Wales with self-care items were used as raffle prizes for staff upon completing a COVID-19 quiz.
Widdicombe recognizes that “there’s been a lot in the media about homes that are really struggling with staff and obviously more so if they do have some residents that are ill,” but commends the employees at Niagara LTC Residence for “doing everything they can and all going above and beyond.”
“I just want to say that (the staff) are so dedicated and they’re all showing up and doing whatever they can for our residents knowing that families can’t visit, and a lot of our services can’t be done,” Widdicombe said.
Staff at Niagara LTC Residence have even gone so far as to provide haircuts during this time while such services are unavailable to residents.
“Just having the coffee and flowers and everything means a lot for the staff,” Widdicombe said. The community outreach in Niagara has “helped make a challenging time in the lives of (Niagara LTC) residents and staff a little brighter.”