Families & Families- August, 2017

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Resources Available to Support Dementia The Dementia Resource Library, located in the neighborhood lounge, is open to staff and family members who are looking for more information about dementia or for ways to support their loved one(s) who live with it. In addition to pamphlets, we have books, articles, DVDs, and activity items to support elders with dementia as well as their families and staff. A binder with accessible resources and a list of all the available titles is in the library. Please contact Mimi DeVinney at 585-760-1294 for more information or to borrow a specific item.

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150 Highland Avenue Rochester, NY 14620

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Also follow us on: Editor Keaghlan Morrissey kmorrissey@stjohnsliving.org

Vice-President, Marketing Jennifer Lesinski jlesinski@stjohnsliving.org

Marketing Communications Manager Tom Harner tharner@stjohnsliving.org

President and CEO Charlie Runyon

Vice President, Skilled Services Rebecca Priest

Poetry Group Inspires Elders The Sunrise Poets Society began meeting this summer to read and review poetry, discuss meaning, and share writings. The creative outpour from this dynamic group has been an inspirational model to elders, shahbazim, and young adults alike. Kitty Jospe, an accomplished and authored poet from Brighton, leads the group discussion. The next session will be held on Saturday, August 19 at 10:00 a.m. in the sunrise room. For more information contact Rebecca Priest, vice president of skilled services at rpriest@stjohnsliving.org.

Families Friends

A Newsletter for St. John's Skilled Services August 2017

Left to right: Lamonda Robinson, Alicia Montvalo, Leslie Buzzell, Ed Keegan, Tanya Wendt, Tracy Koflanovich, Mandy Duritza, Kim Graca, AmySue Ras, Nicole Fernandez

A Meaningful Life Connective. Lively. Purposeful. Meaningful. These are some of the words that may come to mind when thinking of therapeutic recreation. For the team at St. John’s Home, recreation and social engagement are extremely important aspects for human growth and well-being, not only among elders, but for all of those with whom they connect. “Without opportunities to connect with others, or with our own identity, we are less whole as a person,” explains Tracy Koflanovich. Whether for concerts and picnics or parties and outings, chances are the therapeutic recreation staff is behind the scenes implementing these stimulating opportunities. “By providing a variety of structured and diversional activities, we help maintain and hopefully, improve their entire well-being,” states AmySue Ras. Even though activities are scheduled daily for elders, it is not always easy to encourage residents to attend. According to Ed Keegan, “slowing down the


“All of the human domains make up who we are and how we thrive.” Go to stjohnsliving.org/shareyourstory/ therapeutic-recreation to read the entire feature. pace for someone and truly engaging with them” makes all the difference. “People often just need the right kind of encouragement. Not forcefulness, but encouragement, to gently help them take a step out and embrace what is going on.” Building relationships fosters a sense of trust, and our understanding of the needs of each elder will in turn improve their well-being. The ability to live a meaningful life is a vital part of what the therapeutic recreation staff strives to do every day. “We work closely with the staff to educate them on what meaningful life is, what it means for the staff, and help shahbazim develop the ability to determine what is meaningful to each elder,” explains Alicia Montalvo. For Leslie Buzzell, therapeutic recreation is about the reward. “I love to see people benefit from fresh air, humor, music, an unexpected connection with a neighbor, and finding that they can participate in activities they thought only they could observe.”

Families Friends Embrace Living with Rebecca Priest True care partnership in long term care nursing is an art. It is a practice that requires a depth in knowledge and staff members who are compensated in a way that connotes the responsibility expected of them. It is the nuances of meal preferences, the daily leisure activities, the ability to help someone move through a moment of grief, and knowing what simple pleasures might bring a smile that make the difference. I know not everyone loves this idea; that nursing employees are trained and able to support a bigger breadth of needs for elders than in a traditional nursing home setting. I get it… and if filling the workforce was not such a difficult challenge for our industry, I could see arguments to preserve the skills of those nurses and CNAs for the clinical roles and bring in experienced “gap fillers” with credentials to do the “other stuff.” Truth be told, the “other stuff” is inseparable from a clinical experience and the needs of those who live here run so much deeper than medicine, data collection, or a trip to the restroom. This system needs something different and it starts with a skilled, recognizable, and powerful direct care workforce we call shahbazim. We are early on this path being one of the first organizations to embrace a fully universally trained direct care team. It is new to employees, to elders, and to the community. I am so grateful for the employees who are trying something different with us; so many of you are inspiring our community to examine our values and operational designs. Because of you, we can provide best in class training, compensation, and process improvement that results in a better system of support for you as direct care staff. You, St. John’s shahbazim, are making history. You are the leaders of this unique workforce and I hope you see how your connections with elders and their families are remarkable and revered. Keep working for your best house experience, best neighborhood results, and we will see the best long-term care experience ever seen.

Outings and Events Summer has been a busy time at St. John’s Home packed full of weekly concerts, local festivals, themed activities, and neighborhood picnics among other activities. Follow us on social media and visit the photo galleries at stjohnsliving.org/ st-johns-home/gallery to keep up with our elders!

Game Show Week

Lilac Festival

Courtyard Concerts

Rebecca Vice President of Skilled Services

Dog Days of Summer

at St. John's

Our exotic friends from WOWEE (World of Wildlife Educational Encounters) joined elders and staff at the courtyard for an exiting afternoon!

St. John’s Golf Tournament Benefits Elders With almost 150 golfers, volunteers, and friends in attendance, St. John’s 28th Annual Golf Tournament raised nearly $80,000! A net profit of $60,000 will benefit the elders in all of St. John’s communities throughout the coming year. A special thank you to the staff, leadership, and volunteers that helped make this a fun and memorable day. Congratulations to all of our raffle winners and to our tournament co-chairs, Sharon Brognia and Tom Donaloio, for a successful day.

“Scoop and serve” is not Jackie Zimmer’s philosophy when it comes to volunteering at St. John’s Home. If you ever find yourself at the ice cream shoppe on a Thursday afternoon, you will see that Jackie is not a “go-through-themotions” type of individual. Instead she takes the time to get to know elders on a personal level and, not surprisingly, knows most of them by name. As the primary caregiver for her father who had dementia, Jackie has great respect for elders. “They are true, genuine, and share a lot of wisdom,” explains Jackie. “They appreciate the simple things in life; just to have an ice cream is a simple pleasure that they really enjoy.” Outside of St. John’s Home, Jackie works as a massage therapist and enjoys spending time with her four dachshunds, three of which she has recently adopted. “I love them dearly, but I’ll never have four again,” she laughs. Interested in volunteering? Contact Sandy Ferguson, volunteer services coordinator, at 585-760-1293.

From left to right: Charlie Runyon, Anne Mc Kenna, Sharon Brognia, Tom Donaloio, Taylor Freitas, George Yeadon