Rainycrest to celebrate Resident Council Week from Sept. 12 to 18

By Ken Kellar
Staff writer

Residents at Rainycrest Long-Term Care Home will be enjoying a week of festivities beginning next Monday as the home celebrates its Resident Council Week.

Set to take place with a fun event each day, Resident Council Week is all about celebrating the residents of long-term care homes across the province, according to Rainycrest’s Resident Council Assistant and Restorative, Falls and Mobility coordinator Cynthia Hudson.

“This is the third Resident Council Week ever done in Ontario,” Hudson explained.

“It’s celebrated to talk about resident’s rights and their autonomy in the home; making decisions and being a part of major decisions that the home makes, based on what their needs are. It’s also to celebrate the volunteers and team members, family and friends and how they all raise awareness about the home’s residents council.”

The Residents Council meets monthly to discuss the goings on of the home and different departments or complaints residents may have, and is also involved in things around the home like special events and holiday planning

In order to celebrate the week, which runs from September 12 to 18, Hudson said each day will feature a different attraction or event for the home’s residents and their family to enjoy, ranging from a car show to sweet snacks.

“We’re have t-shirts and banners we’re decorating the halls with,” she said.

“We’re having Gerber’s Farm, and a show and shine vintage car show, which is from Jay Supinski and Fred Laverdure. We’re also having cotton candy from Amanda Dent, and that is sponsored by the Rainycrest Auxiliary. We’d also like to thank Bob Wepruk as well, who will be coming in for our happy hour.”

Due to many of the myriad COVID restrictions having been lifted in the province and at LTC homes across Ontario, Hudson said that the immediate family members of residents have been invited to take part in some of the events, with the major exception being food, and while there are still some regulations around coming into the home, she said the council is hoping for good weather, as a large number of the events are being planned for outside.

The mission of the Ontario Association of Resident Councils (OARC), according to their website, is to “empower Ontario long-term care residents to understand their rights, share their lived experience, and inspire a better tomorrow. We do this by working together with our partners to educate stakeholders, build a collective voice, and create positive culture change.”

Coming out of COVID and related lockdowns at the home, Hudson said this year’s Resident Council Week is a great opportunity for residents to really celebrate the year and the return to normalcy.

“We were in an outbreak for the last two months, so this is really like a coming out with a bang for getting through the last outbreak, hopefully, of this year on a happy,” Hudson said.

“Celebrating that we made it through, so it’s kind of that transitional change. We’re seeing that we’re able to do more things and it’s such a nice change for the residents. When we’re in outbreaks there are no activities, everyone has to be socially distanced, they can’t eat with other people from different wings, they never see their friends. Now we’re all able to reconvene together and do those things.”

Hudson said that, in addition to thanking the different vendors and event sponsors and organizers, more thanks goes to Peggy Landry, the Nutrition and Food Services Manager at Rainycrest, as well as to Calli Vandenbrand and her staff. Vandenbrand is the home’s Activation and Resident Experience coordinator and helps to plan and book events and all of the extra work and necessities for making those events a success.