Families & Friends -November, 2017

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Families Friends

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


“As a shahbaz, your job is to be that replacement family member.” Go to stjohnsliving.org/shareyourstory/kennyjohnson to read the entire feature. For Kenny Johnson working as a shahbaz is a role he has mastered not only at St. John’s Home, but in all aspects of his life. His title as a shahbaz, or “universal care worker,” extends beyond the walls of St. John’s Home. For over 10 years Kenny has worked in the customer service industry and understands the importance of serving others. As a father to twin one-year-old daughters, working as a night manager at Taco Bell, and serving as a fulltime shahbaz, Kenny has given new meaning to the definition of time management. “It’s just what I do,” Kenny says with a smile. Working on the lilac neighborhood, Kenny has witnessed St. John’s Home transition from an institutional nursing home model to a collection of small homes over the past two years. “We wear regular clothes and build relationships with residents. As a shahbaz, your job is to be that replacement family member.” According to Kenny, although the small homes model does include more work, such as planning activities, meal preparation, and laundry, the connective relationships between shahbazim and elders are truly remarkable. “This job can be taxing on the mind and body, but once

you get into a routine, it really is simple,” states Kenny. “Being a shahbaz at St. John’s Home is like being the nice family member who takes care of you,” Kenny continues, “it’s like being the cool aunt or uncle who you love spending time with.” It is this time spent with family members and loved ones that help a shahbaz like Kenny to gain insight and better understand the interests and needs of residents. “You can’t just put everyone in front of a T.V. and say watch the show,” Kenny explains. “I cater to the residents because that is my job.” In all aspects of his life Kenny focuses on how he can keep people happy. For Kenny the residents are his “biggest motivators” and he believes a person’s time on this earth is precious. “Forty years from now all of us that work here could be on this floor,” Kenny states. “No one thinks ahead that far. I try and do my job as best I can and treat the residents as I would want to be treated because there is going to come a point in time when I will no longer be able to live on my own.”

Families Friends Embrace Living with Rebecca Priest Every morning during the week I walk my daughters, Marleigh (9) and Magan (7), to school. Let’s not be disillusioned-mornings are rough. There are lunches to be made, violas and music to be collected, homework to be found (and sometimes finished), and of course, some sort of request to “dress like a...,” for which we never seem to have the needed item clean. As the three of us finish getting ready, we step outside into the neighborhood and in that moment, the calmness in the air seems to suspend time. As we walk, we talk, we laugh, and we sing together as if the epic war we just had about ‘which shoes are appropriate to wear’ never happened. We meet up with a friend or two along the way and sometimes they join us, or sometimes it’s just a neighborly hug. We always pass Jack, the 87-year-old crossing guard who took over after his wife passed away two years ago. We check and see how he is doing and what is on his agenda after he is done with his duties. Between Jack and his wife, they have been making sure kids cross safely to school for 23 years combined. These are the stories that matter to me, right here, right now. Though noise and distractions fill our lives (such as anxieties and thoughts about what will be), if we can focus on the stories that matter, we can move forward every day. The stories of veterans who have served for our country are being celebrated by our employees and residents with tearful gratitude. The stories of faithful families are bittersweet as they move into a season of gratitude for the days they’ve been given to connect, even though it may be a last one or a complex one. The stories of the “Now We Drum” group provide a sense of connection with soul rhythm. The stories of celebrations demonstrate the commitment of employees to St. John’s, some of whom have been here for 40 years! The stories of those living with dementia finding connections through art. These stories surpass the epic challenges of our daily routines. They are, just as my walk to school is, the stories that matter. Thank you for writing them with me. Rebecca Vice President of Skilled Services

Outings and Events

St. John’s Marches Onward

Check out all the fall fun we had at St. John’s Home these past few months. Follow us on social media and visit the photo galleries at stjohnsliving.org/stjohns-home/gallery to keep up with our residents!

Mounted Patrol The St. John’s Onward Marchers raised $9,730 for the Alzheimer’s Association, placing third as a top corporate sponsor fundraiser at the Walk to End Alzheimer’s event last month. It was great to see staff, family members, and even a few residents walking to end Alzheimer’s. Thank you to all who attended!

r u o t e Me Dementia Advocate Group

Food Truck Rodeo

Wine Tour From left to right: Luciana Rembert, Valerie McCall, Eloise Wiggins, Gena Ferrell, Tanya Henderson, Gloria Greggs, Marie Davila, Nicole Veitch, Kenny Johnson, Tim Hohman, Sonia Minter, Chris Schafer

Trick-or-Treating Subscribe to the St. John’s YouTube channel and view dozens of videos of the great people who live and work here.

Now in its second year, the Dementia Advocate Group meets quarterly to learn about best practices to help those living with dementia. Led by Mimi DeVinney, dementia specialist, the group consists of shahbazim from various neighborhoods at St. John’s Home who attend trainings and share insight with their peers. Though the group is currently full, employees who are interested are encouraged to apply. The program will last through fall of 2018 with hopes of having select staff from each neighborhood trained to better understand the ever-changing world of dementia.

If you have not seen Dave Barker helping transport residents yet, you probably will in the near future. Dave started volunteering this past summer after his mother passed away. “I saw a lot of really dedicated people here and it’s a tough part of life to go through. The staff and volunteers were always sensitive and helpful to both my mother and I.” Volunteering three to four days per week, Dave has formed strong relationships with a number of residents. “The residents are very appreciative,” explains Dave. Kathy Finn (pictured) is one of those residents who looks forward to seeing Dave. “Sometimes it’s just a small gesture or look or a couple of words -that’s all it takes,” states Dave. Outside of St. John’s Home, Dave enjoys cycling, skiing, and just about anything that has to do with being outdoors. He has one son who lives in the area. Interested in volunteering? Contact Sandy Ferguson, volunteer services coordinator, at 585-760-1293.





Sunday, December 3 6:30 p.m. Skalny Courtyard

Small light. Big difference.

Each year St. John’s Foundation brings family and friends together for a night of reflection to honor loved ones. By making a donation of $5 to illuminate a light on our celebration tree, you will be providing special amenities for St. John’s residents. Because of you our residents enjoy summer concerts, dental visits, ice cream socials, wheelchair repairs, beauty shop visits, shopping trips, and other great events and outings. For more information, visit stjohnsliving.org/donate-IOL or call Taylor Freitas, development manager, at 585-760-2464.

Non-Profit Org. U.S. Postage


Rochester, NY Permit #87

150 Highland Avenue Rochester, NY 14620

Families Friends

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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

New Service Available St John’s Home is pleased to have an additional on-site consultation service by Rochester Regional Health Mobile Surgical Services for the evaluation and treatment of complicated wounds, skin lesions, and abscesses. This service allows residents to be treated in place and avoid traveling to an outside office. Theresa Rose, a physician assistant, is the Advance Practice Provider who consults with residents at St John’s. She has extensive experience in primary care, dermatology, and in-office surgery. If the resident’s physician, nurse practitioner, or physician’s assistant feels a consult is needed, they can make a referral to Mobile Surgical Services.

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