by Roman Bloemke, Director of Operations
Day 2 of the conference focused on people. People who work for Welcome Home, people that call our communities home, their families and friends, and vendors who provide a quality product or service to help make the communities a great place to call home…it’s about everyone you work with on a daily basis.
One the comments that we heard on day 2 really makes a lot of sense. “To know the road ahead, ask the people coming back” The way I read the comment speaks to the residents that call the communities home. As I was hearing this statement, I recalled a story about Amy, our Lead Care Manager at Potter Ridge. Through our Resident Satisfaction Surveys, she read a comment about wrinkled sheets. Determined to find out how she could solve the problem, she stared asking questions to find out the root of the problem. Through that discovery process, she learned that the team wasn’t folding fitted sheets properly after they had been washed. Amy then set out to find a solution. She asked the residents to show her and the rest of the team how to fold the the sheets correctly. It may sound like something simple, but to those residents, the issues with laundry went away and they had a new found respect for the staff for taking their opinion and learning from them.
At Welcome Home, we try to honor that saying in many ways. The first is through our activities program called “A Part of You“. This activities program is designed so that our community life programs are designed around what the residents in the community enjoy doing. When I think of an example of how this program should work, I look at Manor House in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. Over the past several months, the ideas for activities and community life programs that have come from this community have been some of the most fun and innovative. A small sampling includes: intergenerational programs with one of the local day care programs; armchair yoga; Tune Up clinic to “tune up” wheel-chairs and walkers; to the anticipated Cane Hockey Championships! I don’t think there is a dull moment.
Another event that celebrates life for us is our Dreams Can Come True program. This program takes resident’s wishes and tries to make them a reality. Some are big and some are small, but either way, they are important to the resident and to us. The residents that call our communities home are like our family and we want to see their dreams come true almost as badly as they do. Some of the dreams that we’ve accomplished include: a former minor league pitcher that wanted to pitch again; a person who wanted a helicopter ride; someone who had been in the hospital as a young child and wanted the doll that she played with while she was there. So many of these dreams (100+ to date) have been made possible because of the team members at the community, the resident’s families and by so many volunteers. Because of the Dream Teams and the Community Life Coordinators and to all the team, because of you, residents are celebrating life every day!
Residents have an immense wisdom. Take the time to know residents on an individual level. So many of you have taken that to heart. Not only do we appreciate it, the residents that call our communities home appreciate it as well.