Manitoulin Lodge takes first place in Better Seniors Care contest

Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home in Gore Bay has won the Better Seniors Care contest in its category. The contest is organized by the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA). Celebrating the win in photo, back row, left, are Gloria Hall, activities coordinator at the Lodge, resident Gary Gibson. Front row, left, Lodge residents Ruby Noble, Mary Nixon, Jimmy Howard, Mel Wickett, Sue Farren, (administrator/director of care of the Lodge) and resident Margaret Lane.

Community praised for its support

TORONTO – The Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home has again won the Better Seniors Care contest in its category in the Ontario Long Term Care Association (OLTCA) contest.

“We won,” stated Susan Farren, administrator/director of care of the Lodge last week. “Absolutely it is because of the support we receive from the residents, staff and the community who helped out and supported us by writing letters in our campaign. 

Kim Lucchetta, senior manager of public affairs with the OLTCA, in a letter to Ms. Farren dated April 8 explained, “it is with great pleasure that I am writing today to confirm that Manitoulin Lodge has won first place in its category of 1-79 beds in our Better Seniors Care contest, with a total of 2,114 letters. Outstanding work!”

“This means that your home’s Residents’ Council will be awarded $700 to be used toward an item or service that will enhance the quality of life for your residents. We could not be prouder to issue prizes that will be used toward this goal,” wrote Ms. Luccetta. She explained, “the (OLTCA) has been advocating hard to make long-term care a priority (of the Ontario government). On behalf of everyone at the association, I want to thank you for your participation and dedication to helping us make change happen. We saw a great level of engagement from our homes and more than 80,500 letters were sent during the contest period. Once again, thank you for your continued support toward better seniors’ care.”

Gloria Hall, activities coordinator at the Manitoulin Lodge told the Recorder, “we have won in this category previously as well, with the postcard and petition campaigns, and this is the third year the letter writing campaign has taken place.”

Stephanie Barber, Jarlette Health Services community relations coordinator wrote, “each year Jarlette Health Services sets out to make an outstanding difference in both the lives of its residents and staff, but also the Long Term Care sector as a whole. With wait lists for senior care rising at a steady rate of 15 percent each year, it is paramount that we do our part to effectively reach our government and amplify our commitment to our province’s aging demographic. As part of our efforts, Jarlette Health Services has the esteemed privilege to work with the Ontario Long Term Care Association in executing the innovative Better Seniors’ Care Campaign.”

“Last year, Jarlette Health Services set a submission goal of 15,000 letters only to exceed it with a grand total of 21,055. This year, we were even more ambitious in our pursuits and collaboratively submitted a total of 29,256 letters advocating on behalf of Ontario’s elderly. Of those letters, the outstanding team at Manitoulin Lodge has counted for a whopping 2,114 submissions and were recognized as the Ontario-wide winners in the category of Long Term Care homes with 1-79 beds. Throughout the entire five-month campaign Manitoulin Lodge established themselves as a driving and inspiring force within the organization and proved that, although they may be small, they are undoubtedly mighty.”

“As an organization, we are incredibly proud of the efforts of each and every one of our 14 long term care homes across the province and want to acknowledge the residents, family members, community members and staff who helped support this outstanding cause. We look forward to participating in next year’s campaign!”

Following the landmark Better Seniors Care Campaign, which resulted in Ontarians writing more than 80,000 letters to their local MPPs, the OLTCA is committed to assisting with the province’s goal of ending hallway medicine.

In October the OLTCA revealed its recommendations to help the province in providing better care environments while also relieving pressure on hospitals and promoting cost savings. Some of the outlined recommendations include: hiring more staff for long-term care; changing the requirement for 24/7 registered nurse coverage to 24/7 registered staff coverage when appropriate; and ensure homes can utilize more flexible approaches to staffing; build and modernize long-term care homes; focus on adding the government’s promised 15,000 new beds to existing homes making them more economical to redevelop in the future; focus on care, not on unnecessary government paperwork. Conduct a legislative review of the Long-Term Care Homes Act to limit the unintended administrative burden care staff face on a daily basis.