A Newsletter for St. John's Skilled Services February 2018
“All my life I’ve looked at myself as a person without a group and I realize that I am now part of a group.”
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It’s Our Time: Now We Drum! If you find yourself near the auditorium at St. John’s Home on a Friday afternoon, chances are you will hear the undeniable sounds of hand drums, tambourines, shakers, wooden blocks and bells, among other instruments. Known by staff, residents, and family members alike, the Now We Drum! (NWD) group meets every Friday afternoon. Led by therapeutic recreation specialists, Ed Keegan and Alicia Montalvo, the group brings in anywhere from 30-40 residents depending on the week – and of course, anyone and everyone is welcome to join. The group started as a percussion ensemble in the music room and soon developed into a drumming group in 2016. With a decorated background in the music industry, Ed brought his music passion and 15 years of experience to St. John’s. “I love that we get to come here and be who we are and bring our passions. When you bring something you are passionate about, it lights a fire in the residents,” Ed states. Like Ed, Alicia is also musically gifted and brings her ability to incorporate sign language. “We’re really raising the bar,” Alicia says. “There are people from all
Read more stories at stjohnsliving.org/shareyourstory. different backgrounds - people who speak different languages, people living with various disabilities, people living with dementia - and they can all do the same thing together.” At the end of class, Ed and Alicia make a point to talk about how each member is feeling. “It makes me feel good. All my life I’ve looked at myself as a person without a group and I realize that I am now part of a group,” NWD member Reed Rhodes states. The benefits of this particular group seem to be endless and many members are willing to share the good news. For resident Bobbie Judge, it is all about the atmosphere and positive feelings. “I enjoy it very much and I can see that a lot of people do. We come down here and relax and make some music – it’s really good for us and it’s good to continue it.” Based on the feedback, the group does not appear to be going anywhere anytime soon, that is, unless they get famous in the meantime. Go to stjohnsliving.org/blog/2017/12/15/this-isour-time-now-we-drum to read the entire feature.
Families Friends Embrace Living with Rebecca Priest Dear Friends of St. John’s, Twelve years ago I walked into an organization that was leading the way to a new kind of experience for those who needed longterm care and for those who work in it. The opportunity to join that effort as a team member and leader will always be one of the best opportunities I’ve ever had. We have accomplished so much together, and there is so much more St. John’s can do for our community to continue to light the way. After much deep consideration, and in light of ongoing health issues, I cannot continue to lead this effort in my role as vice president of skilled nursing. This community deserves a focused and present full time leader, and at this time, I am unable to provide this. The board and executive leadership have been more than accommodating and willing to work with me to modify my role over the past 2 years, but this is not the right solution for St. John’s or for me in the longer term. After one of our best regulatory reviews in 5 years, a stable financial footing, and strong and connected leadership, I am confident this is the right time to pass the torch along on a firm foundation of 24 small homes (including Penfield) led by teams committed to listening to residents and maximizing the role and support of the shahbazim. This community of leaders, residents, and committed families deserve to be led consistently and clearly by someone who is able to fully meet the expectations of this role. On January 5, I transitioned out of the role of vice president of skilled nursing. I will participate in an interdisciplinary search committee for the next vice president of skilled nursing and Charlie Runyon will take on leadership of those who had reported to me. I will remain consulting for St. John’s until there is an onboarded new vice president who knows our story and is ready to continue the next chapter. In deepest gratitude, Rebecca Vice President of Skilled Nursing
A long time St. John’s volunteer, Marian Tuchrello, has lived her life around helping others. “My paying it forward is to just hear someone say thank you. I always want to help,” states Marian. A little over four years ago, Marian began volunteering at St. John’s Home. Volunteering 3 days per week, about 6-8 hours total, Marian can be found in the gift shop making sure residents and families are finding the items they need. “Sometimes people ask me where my cot is because they think I live here,” jokes Marian. Born and raised in Avon, Marian spent 25 years of her life as an EMT firefighter. “I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives,” Marian explains. In her spare time, Marian enjoys playing euchre and crocheting blankets for her nieces and nephews. “With the extra yarn, I make lap throws for cancer patients at Strong. I put out about 40 per year,” Marian states. Volunteering has been a part of Marian’s life for as long as she can remember. “You have to love to volunteer to make residents and family members feel like they are important. They are not just another bag going out the door.” Interested in volunteering? Contact Sandy Ferguson, volunteer services coordinator, at 585-760-1293.
2018 Road to Renovation
Big things are on the horizon for St. John’s Home. Construction on the ground floor of the Hastings building will begin this year. The finished renovations will include a “village square” that surrounds the outdoor courtyard. The space will be renovated into a flexible, multipurpose programming space where residents and families can play games, do puzzles, and watch movies among other activities. “It will be very visible, so that when residents see things, they will want to participate,” states Joanne Braeunle, corporate strategy officer. “We are continuing to refine renovation plans,” Joanne continues. “As resources become available, we will continue to move towards a complete small homes model throughout the campus.” The Reservoir building is almost completely renovated, with Hastings and South being next on the list. At the end of 2017, foyers, kitchens, and dining room renovations were complete on each floor in the Reservoir building. “It’s the simple things like having a foyer, which acts as a front porch bringing residents to engage with their neighbors,” says Joanne. Another plan is to update the Hastings building with an outdoor patio where family members and residents can spend time together and enjoy the afternoon sun during the summer months. Pending the Department of Health approval and financial resources, construction is tentatively set to begin this summer. “When you have a community of small homes, you need a way to maximize the interactions of a large group of people, and that’s the community center. If people have a reason to go someplace, such as a movie or the grocery store, they will come down off of their neighborhoods to do so. It gives families more opportunities to interact with their loved ones,” concludes Joanne.
Centenarian Luncheon Honors Nine Residents Nine residents were honored at our annual Centenarian Luncheon Celebration this past January. A three-course meal was served while residents enjoyed the company of family members, loved ones, and great music. Both Betty Lang and Theda Hayes were featured on multiple news channels as they gave advice on their secrets to longevity. You can read more about the event by going to http://bit.ly/2GIwSHZ.
“FROM A SMALL HOMES STANDPOINT, THE VILLAGE SQUARE IS ABOUT CREATING A COMMUNITY WHERE
RESIDENTS, FAMILIES, AND STAFF CAN GATHER TO SHARE STORIES, RELAX, AND VISIT WITH ONE ANOTHER.” - JOANNE BRAEUNLE
Warm Up Your Winter
Treats, recipe sharing, storytelling, and more! Cookbook author and blogger Amy Kritzer joins us to bake some of her favorite recipes, share culinary tips, and tell stories!
Monday, March 5 at 2 p.m. Brickstone by St. John’s Wintergarden 1325 Elmwood Avenue Bring a friend and you both receive St. John’s special rate of $8!
For more information go to: stjohnsliving.org/sweet-noshings
Almost Tee Time! Annual Golf Tournament Approaching Save the date for St. John’s 29th Annual Golf Tournament on Monday, July 16, 2018. Join us at beautiful Midvale Country Club for a fun way to benefit the residents of St. John’s. Supporting this year’s event as a sponsor, golfer, or contributor will help improve the lives of residents across St. John’s. Help us ensure that each resident, no matter the circumstance, can truly “embrace living.” For more information visit www.stjohnsliving.org/golf_ tournament or contact Taylor Freitas, development manager at 585-760-2464 for additional details.
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Our annual “Illumination of Love” event raised over $5,000 for residents here at St. John’s Home. These funds generated through the St. John’s Foundation help provide our residents with fun activities such as summer concerts and beauty shop visits.