Bird Watching Online

If you cannot or do not want to install feeders, there is an alternative. The ornithology laboratory of Cornell University in the USA has put a camera in front of its feeders so we can see different species of birds coming and going live (sometimes accompanied by a squirrel). . To the right of the screen, there is a service for identifying birds. You must register your email, then confirm and access is free. You must enter the place (in this case Ithaca, USA), what the bird was doing (it was in the feeder). We must then choose between 4 sizes, then the colors and a choice of answers is given with a photo and a description. Easy enough. Binoculars and bird guides are not necessary anymore.

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Ornithology: one of the most popular hobbies unsplash-logoDiane Helentjaris

Other cameras have been installed in a variety of locations. For example, a camera in Texas is filming hummingbirds on adapted feeders.

I wonder if this could be displayed on the screens of the common room, the entrance or on a resident’s television set programmed by the residence …

Vent over tea

On line or via the phone

Vent Over Tea is a free active listening service that pairs people who need to vent with a trained empathetic listener to chat. Normally, it is done in a local coffee shop; at the moment it can be held online or on the phone. Based in Montréal and founded in April 2015 by McGill psychology graduates, the goal is to provide a casual, confidential, and non-judgmental outlet for members of the community. 

Reservation is done online. Elders that must stay indoor could benefit from this service if they have access to the internet or if a member of their family or an employee of their residence could reserve for them.

Empathetic listening, Chat, non-judgment
Empathetic listening. Photo by Miryam León on Unsplash

Raging Grannies

Movies Granny Power and Two Raging Grannies

The Raging Grannies (or just “Raging Grannies”) are activist organizations in many cities and towns in Canada, the United States, and in other countries. They are social justice activists, all women old enough to be grandmothers, who dress up in clothes that mock stereotypes of older women, and sing songs at protests. They typically write the lyrics themselves, putting their political messages to the tunes of well-known songs. Their activism includes peace and environmental causes.

There Montreal Group has a website.

There are documentaries with Trailers entitled Granny Power from Magnus Isacssonand Two Raging Grannies from UpNorth films that could be presented in a residence.

The Raging Grannies I have met don’t live in a residence but they can visit residences to present their songs and their activities/campaigns.

choir, singing, concert, activism
The Elderly women take a stand.

World Water Day

Activity Kit and a Practical Guide

United Nations chose March 22th as the World Water Day.

Hand hygiene is essential to containing the spread of COVID-19, as well as other infectious diseases. 

And to wash our hands, we need water. Unfortunately, close to 3 billion people don’t have access to water to protect themselves against COVID-19.

UN logotype

Ecohabitation, a non-profit organization, has created an activity kit and a practical guide to make tenants in multi-unit buildings (for example residences) aware of the challenges of drinking water. It’s free and the links to the material are on their site. The documents are in french.

These could be useful to recreation technicians of residences.

Papillon monarque butinant sur une fleur

Garden for the Monarchs

Les résidences Soleil, Manoir St-Laurent won the award Prix Coup de coeur 2017 du Regroupement des résidences pour aînés du Québec  for the creation of a garden including milkweed and other pollinator plants. The project involving 8 residents was realized by an environmental group, Vert Cité. The garden became a partner of the Mission Monarque cause set up par Espace pour la vie Montréal.

This project helped residents socialize while contributing to the protection of butterflies which enhance the experience of residents in the courtyard.

Monarch, butterfly, milkweed, endangered
Monarch. Picture by Sean Stratton, Unsplash

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality, Equipment, Acessories, Headset
Virtual Reality Equipment. Picture by Stephan Sorkin-Unsplash

In 2018, Dr Éric Malbos, Rodolphe Oppenheimer and Pr Christophe Lançon published a book entitled Se libérer des troubles anxieux par la réalité virtuelle. Psychothérapie pour traiter les phobies, l’inquiétude chronique, les troubles obsessionnels compulsifs et la phobie sociale. The translation could be Freeing oneself from anxiety with virtual reality.

My question: Could this therapy help elders suffering from anxiety with an immersion in nature? Leave your comments.

Groupe Maurice, Ventas & CSR

Ventas Inc. bought 87% of 34 properties of  Le Groupe Maurice for 1,8 billion American dollars. LGM will continue to manage the residences. Since the mission of ResidenConsult is to implement sustainable development, the article will discuss this aspect of the transaction.

Like Welltower Inc., Ventas gives a detailed report of its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance.

Here is an example of what can be found in the report:

Compensation structure (primarily discretionary bonus incentive) is tied (in part) to successful implementation of energy reduction initiatives throughout the Ventas portfolio. Examples include, LED lighting upgrades and energy efficiency improvements to HVAC operations.

unsplash-logoAnastasia Zhenina
Compact Fluorescents Lights. Picture by Anastasis Zhenina

Any employee that supports the company’s efforts to manage climate change through the following types of activities may receive written and/or verbal recognition/praise from their managers, the Director of Sustainability and/or Ventas executives: a) Helps to improve consumption and emissions performance at the asset or corporate level b) Promotes efforts to reduce utility expenses via reduced consumption and improved, responsible purchasing efforts c) Identifies opportunities to actively invest capital in energy saving projects within the portfolio d) Assists in obtaining and/or maintaining ENERGY STAR certifications.

Employee Retention

A general rule of thumb is that the total cost of hiring a new employee is 1,5 her annual salary (interval between 70 % & 200 %).

To keep employees, the enterprise must also maintain a good reputation and good surroundings, which involve costs. Renovations permit to reduce those costs by increasing employee satisfaction towards the enterprise and the job.

Employee satisfaction increases when air quality increases and when the air temperature is more comfortable. With natural light, they see more clearly the task to accomplish and if windows allow them to have a nice view, they appreciate it

Results are obtained with standard energy efficiency measures. Examples include natural ventilation, skylights or additional windows, access to a view or to the outdoor environment.  

You can find this information in a Quebec French adaptation of an American guide  or read the original: How to calculate and present deep retrofit value, a guide for owner-occupants, published by the Rocky Mountain Institute in the US.

Préposée, rétention, recrutement, embauche, pénurie
A huge challenge: employee hiring and retention.

Palliative Care

Bird Watching

Cardinals, birdfeeder, birdwatching
A clean feeder attracts cardinals. Photo by Elvis Bueno, Unsplash

In 2018, a birdfeeder was installed in front of each room window of the palliative care residence, La Source Bleue. M. Pierre St-Onge, a volunteer, had this initiative; he fills the feeders with sunflower seeds twice a week. The equipment was donated by the Canadian Tire Foundation and the posters with bird pictures and names were donated by Nature Expert. The patients of this residence, located in Boucherville, Quebec, appreciate bird watching, which allows them to forget their sickness for a brief moment.

In this podcast, Marielle Savard interviews M. Pierre St-Onge. The content is not exactly the same as in the french interview.

Photo by Pierre St-Onge

Until you install feeders, you can watch the live cams of the Cornell University Ornithology Lab. We can see a variety of species along with a squirrel, at times.

Urban Agriculture

Life Cycle is an urban agriculture project of Entraide le Relais in Boisbriand, Quebec. This project allows elders to garden, cook and commercialize produce. In 2018, 28 gardening elevated containers were installed in 7 private and public institutions serving elders. 153 elders got involved. According to Ms. Tram Nguyen, Director of Manoir Royal in St-Eustache (Cogir), half the harvest is kept by residents and the other half is kept by the Relais for the food banks. Residents enjoy fresh produce, benefit from outdoor activity in a group and contribute to society. This is a turnkey project managed by the Relais.

Community gardens, elevated bins, urban agriculture.
Urban gardening by the elders. Picture by Markus Spiske – Unsplash

Utile? Intéressant? Parlez-en à vos collègues!