Blogs

A Duckworthy Story

A Mother Mallard Duck with her Ducklings at the Bay Haven Care Community Courtyard.

For the past three years, a mother Mallard Duck chooses to lay her eggs in Bay Haven’s central courtyard. The courtyard contains a gazebo, a pound, and a beautiful garden. With such a beautiful environment, we understand why she choose this spot to lay her eggs and raise her children. Bay Haven residents are very fortunate to be able to watch her ducklings roam the courtyard from their bedrooms. Bay Haven likes to consider this mother Mallard duck their official mascot, since she and her family bring so much joy to the staff and residents at Bay Haven.

Since we see these ducks daily, I wanted to do more research and find out more about them.

What is a Mallard Duck?

The Mallard is a common duck mostly found in North America, Europe, and Asia. The Mallard Duck is also found in Central America, Australia, and New Zealand. Mallard Ducks enjoy the water and usually are found near rivers, lakes, and ponds.

What do they look like?

Mallard Ducks will grow to about two feet long and weigh around 2 ½ pounds. The female Mallard has tan coloured feathers, which is the one that we currently have in our courtyard. They are a beautiful looking duck, and we are fortunate enough to watch her every day.

What do they eat?

Mallard Ducks are omnivores. This means they eat both plants and animals. They mostly feed off the surface of water in a lake or pond. They eat all kinds of seeds, small fish, insects, and fish eggs. They also enjoy eating some human foods as well, often eating grain from human crops, bread, or even French Fries.

Migration

These ducks join flocks and migrate from the north to the south for the winter and then back north for the summer. This way they are always where it is warm and where there is food available. These ducks are adaptable in other ways as well. They do well even when their natural habitats are taken over by humans. So far, they have not become endangered by human development over the years. Please do NOT destroy their habitat!

The Ducklings

Baby Mallards are called ducklings. A mother Mallard Duck will usually lay around 10 or more eggs. She tends the eggs by herself in a nest. Shortly after the ducklings hatch out of the eggs, the mother duck will lead them to the water. From that point on, they usually do not return to the nest. Baby ducklings are ready to go within a few hours after they hatch. They can swim, waddle, feed themselves, and find food right away. Their mother will watch over them and help protect them for the next few months. After around two months, the ducklings can fly and will become independent.

Witnessing the Mallard Ducks at Bay Haven Care Community made me realize how independent and protective a mother duck can be. She is responsible for the lives and safety of her ducklings. Her job is to protect and make sure her ducklings grow up healthy and safe. We are truly excited to see if this particular mother Mallard duck will come back to lay her eggs in our courtyard for a fourth year in 2020.

Bay Haven Care Community Celebrates Staff Appreciation Week

A resident mingles with some Bay Haven staff members during Staff Appreciation Week.

This year, Bay Haven Care Community celebrated Staff Appreciation Week from Friday, May 3rd to Friday, May 10th. Our staff provide activities of daily living in a professional and dignified manner. Bay Haven recognizes all of the tremendous hard work that come from the nurses, volunteers, dietary staff, recreation team, office workers, maintenance staff, and cleaners. Bay Haven wanted to celebrate Staff Appreciation Week by providing all staff members with Tim Hortons coffee, Timbits, fresh baked cookies and bagels from the dietary team, and a key chain!

The entire staff at Bay Haven Care Community works hard to make sure the entire home runs smoothly, properly, and safely. “Your hard work and dedication is appreciated and does not go unnoticed.” Scott says as he talks about Staff Appreciation Week, “Bay Haven recognizes staff throughout the year with BBQ’s, snacks, and other treats.” Later this year, Bay Haven will be hosting a Staff Appreciation barbeque lunch held by our dietary manager Donna. Donna prepares a variety of food for our Staff Appreciation barbeque, including hamburgers, sausages, salads, fruit, and more. The barbeque is normally from 11:00 AM — 1:00 PM to accommodate all staff members shifts. We will let you know more information closer to our selective date.

Once again, Bay Haven Care Community would like to thank all of their hard-working staff members for doing such an incredible job at making Bay Haven Care Community the best retirement and nursing home in Collingwood. It takes teamwork, dedication, and loyalty from staff members to come together to produce excellent results. Bay Haven does this, and we are proud.

“Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” — Helen Keller.

Marco Sanfilippo — Marketing Specialist/Recreation Assistant.

What is Snoezelen? A Breakdown of Snoezelen and Its Sensory Impact

Snoezelen is a form of non-directive therapy used for our sensory stimulation programs for residents who have cognitive dissonance. Discovered in the 1970’s by two Dutch therapists named Jan Hulsegge and Ad Verheul, their goal was to successfully increase enjoyment and relaxation by developing a new sensory experience for those with cognitive dissonance. The experiment was successful and received positive responses from both verbal and non-verbal patients.

The way to properly make a Snoezelen program work, a resident must be in a soothing and stimulating environment. The Snoezelen room is usually dark and contains lighting effects, colour, scent, sounds, texture, and music. Bay Haven has sensory equipment specifically designed to stimulate various senses to the residents. The residents at Bay Haven love our sensory music, videos, 1.5 metre Bubble Tube, and our cascade of fibre optics!

An advantage of Snoezelen therapy is that it does not rely heavily on verbal communication and it is extremely beneficial for people with autism, as well as others who are not so cognitive. The beautiful aspect of Snoezelen is that it provides stimulation to those that found it mentally impossible to reach before. Snoezelen allows residents to reach those previously unattainable goals.

The Snoezelen environment and various equipment are effective because they implement the relaxation process, reducing residents’ physical and emotional anxiety, and pain. It aims to maximize a person’s potential to focus on his or her own self and to engage a motivational stimulus through objects or activities, ultimately improving their communication, functioning, and learning capabilities. All these beneficial factors are extraordinarily healthy for the residents, and that is exactly what Bay Haven wants to strive for.

Some of the most rewarding aspects for implementing Snoezelen at Bay Haven is that we get to witness residents who are not cognitive improving their overall senses, touch, and attentiveness. It is always nice to see improvement with our residents because that is the kind of high-quality care that we practice daily.

Bay Haven’s sensory stimulation program offers a great amount of sensory resources for our residents, and in order to provide the best quality care possible, we will continue to practice and improve on Snoezelen in order to provide the most satisfying and healthy results for our residents.

Marco Sanfilippo — Marketing Specialist/Recreation Assistant

Bay Haven Care Community and Collingwood Nursing Home Are Merging For The Better

A business handshake to confirm the merge.

The newly announced project between Bay Haven Care Community and Collingwood Nursing Home opens opportunities for residents, staff, and the community. Scott Strandholt, administrator for Bay Haven, and Peter Zober, president of Collingwood Nursing Home, are working together after the Ontario government announced that it will be providing 40 additional new long-term beds for Collingwood.

Strandholt and Zober are working to build a new long-term care home that includes larger bedrooms, private washrooms, more common rooms, and a larger dinning room for their residents. Combining Bay Haven Care Community’s 60 beds with Collingwood Nursing Home’s 60 beds and adding the additional 40 beds the province has awarded, the new facility will have a total of 160 beds. Not only will this merge be beneficial for our current and future residents, it will also create more jobs and opportunities for registered nurses, PSW workers, dietary, recreation, marketing, volunteers, and management. “We want to see Collingwood grow for the better” Scott says as he envisions better quality of life for Collingwood’s senior citizens to have a comfortable and safe place to live as they age.

While Strandholt and Zober continue to discuss details about the future home, it is an exciting time to be part of the Bay Haven Care Community and Collingwood Nursing Home teams. Both homes will benefit from each other since they are both family-run and have been in the nursing/retirement home business for over 80 years combined. Collingwood’s lifestyle has always focused on families and community, and I believe that this is exactly the type of long-term care home Collingwood deserves.

With over 80 years of caring for Collingwood seniors, both family-run homes bring a lot of experience and knowledge to the table.

We will continue to update you on our progress as more development arises.

Marco Sanfilippo — Marketing Specialist/Recreation Assistant.

The 4 Things That I Learned On My First Week As A Recreation Assistant

A Recreation Assistant interacting with a resident.

I am always astonished to see how influential recreation activities can keep residents engaged. As someone who has recently joined the recreation team at Bay Haven Care Community, I am already beginning to see how activities such as Bingo, happy hour, musical performances, outings, and trivia games can enhance a resident’s overall experience at their retirement home. As a Recreation Assistant, it is my job to make residents happy and to enhance their quality of life as much as possible.

Here are 4 things I learned on my first week as a Recreation Assistant.

1. Interaction.

It is always important to keep this in mind as you provide your recreation activity. If you are providing a program for a group of 20 residents, it is important to always interact with each person individually as much as possible. You always want the residents to know that they are a crucial part of the activity that you are providing for them. The more interactive you are, the better.

2. Follow the 7 Dimensions of Well-being.

The seven dimensions of well-being is a holistic approach to programming that Bay Haven ensures to provide for their residents. The seven steps are:

  1. Emotional: Coping with challenges and behaving in a trustworthy and respectful way. This creates emotional wellness and helps counsel stress, management, humour/laughter and personal stories.
  2. Intellectual: Providing creative pursuits and intellectually stimulating activities is proven to keep minds alert and interested and it can slow down the process of Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
  3. Physical: If you provide a physical program throughout the day, residents will feel better emotionally, as they will be releasing “feel good” endorphins from their body.
  4. Vocational: It is important for everyone to have a purpose and feel needed with a specific goal in mind. This step is a great way for residents to be connected with the community!
  5. Social: Social interactions with family, friends, and co-residents can be valuable to maintain good health for the residents.
  6. Spiritual: Residents at Bay Haven can practice their own religious morals and faith. Living with a meaning and purpose of life is key to feeling a connection to the larger world.
  7. Environmental: It is important for everyone to get outside whenever possible. If the weather is bad, we will bring the environmental programs inside.

These seven steps are a crucial part of being a Recreation Assistant. In order to provide life enrichment to all of our residents, a Recreation Assistant must always keep these seven steps in mind.

3. Create a variety of programs.

It is important to provide a variety of programs for the retirement home you are working for. Repetitive programs will make the residents lose interest. A variety of creative and interactive programs will be beneficial for the overall experience as a Recreation Assistant. Doing this will also alter the experience for your residents, making them happier and more interested in their daily activities. Always remember, keep an open-mind, use your creativity, and have fun!

4. Have fun and be patient.

Two of the most important steps of becoming a great Recreation Assistant is to make sure you always have fun, and to be patient. The beautiful part of this job is that you get to have fun with the residents! The variety of games, performances, activities and events that you will be hosting for the residents are enjoyable! However, you must be patient as well. The number one rule that every Recreation Assistant must know is that the residents always come first. If they need to do something urgent in the middle of your program, simply allow them to go. This is their home and their life; always understand that.

These are 4 things that I learned on my first week as a Recreation Assistant.

Marco Sanfilippo — Recreation Assistant/Marketing Specialist