Beating the Holiday Blues/Changing Traditions

by Dr. Lisa May (excerpted from a recent Lunch and Learn at Juniper Village at Meadville)

What are the little things that you can do to get you through the stresses of the Holidays?  Dr. Lisa May, psychologist, presented as part of the Alive in All Seasons Programming at Juniper Village at Meadville; “Holiday Blues: Managing Loss and Changing Traditions.”  Her discussion focused on ways to overcome the winter blues and tricks to deal with traditions lost or changed over the years.

The holidays can be a difficult time of year. The expectation’s we build up can be much different from our current reality, or we may be grieving the loss of a loved one or a way of life that we can no longer experience. These changes feel even more dramatic around the holidays, when it seems everyone around us has family events to plan or attend, or are knee deep in their list of holiday traditions. The holiday blues can be short lived, and pass with the taking down of the decorations, or linger well into the New Year. If you find you continue to feel sad, are not enjoying yourself, have low energy, and feel uncomfortable around others well past the holidays, it may be time to talk to a professional. The most important thing to remember about this time of year is that you will survive it. As you make your way through this difficult time in life, you will grow stronger for the experience.  The following are some suggestions for managing loss, and creating new traditions during this time of year.

1.      Give yourself permission to just be.  It’s ok to feel however you feel. There is no way that you “have” to be.

2.      Be kind to yourself. Get the rest that you need.  If you want to be alone, that is ok.  If you want to be around others, that is ok too.

3.      Accept help (and ASK for it if needed).  Recognize that you are not a burden.  Others get joy out of helping others. It is ok to tell people what you need – to talk, to be alone, someone to sit with you quietly.

4.      Find support.  If your family is unable to provide the support that you need, find it.  Support group, community staff, psychologists can all be resources for you.

5.      Avoid making comparisons.  It’s easy to watch other couples or families and think about what they have that you do not.  This will only make you feel worse.  Try to think of good memories that you have had or of your loved one.

6.      Remember you will survive.  You may not like it, but a new day will dawn and you WILL be stronger for making it through this time.

7.      When ready, incorporate a new tradition.  Elements of an old tradition may be incorporated into your newly developed traditions.

Lisa May, PhD, provides psychological services at Juniper Village at Meadville twice per month. She is a Clinical Psychologist with a private practice in Erie, PA, and consults with many facilities in Mercer, Crawford and Erie County. Her office can be reached at 814-877-8013 if you are interested in services for yourself or a family member.

Jillian Lucero promoted to Director of Community Relations

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Juniper Village at Louisville is pleased to announce the promotion of Jillian Lucero to Director of Community Relations. Jillian began working for Juniper in February 2007 as a caregiver. Subsequently, after training and other positions, she moved on to become Director of the First Impressions program and now DCR.

“I like working in senior care – it has heart in it. I find the residents and their generation such a treasure to be around. They are from an era that was stunning and beautiful. They had simplicity in their life and humbleness,” expressed Jillian.

In her role as Director of Community Relations, Jillian Lucero will be in charge of community relations, all outgoing communications, strategic partnerships, represent Juniper at community and business gatherings, be the liaison to family members, and be in charge of bringing in new residents.

Jillian is a native of Louisville and the suburbs of Denver. Currently she resides in Frederick. “I have a wonderful husband to whom I have been married for 18 years; a daughter in college who is becoming a teacher; and a vivacious son,” she explained of her life outside of Juniper. She continued, “Family is a big deal for me, and all the residents at Juniper will now be part of that family too.”

Juniper Village at Louisville is located at 1078 S. 88th Street, Louisville, CO. Telephone 303-665-3722. www.junipercommunities.com.

Juniper Communities Appoints New Regional Director of Wellness and Wellbeing

by Jeanine Genauer

Juniper Communities announces that Melissa “Missy” Ebner has joined Juniper as Regional Director of Wellness and Wellbeing. Missy brings a wealth of experience in nursing care, especially with seniors to her position. From a clinical perspective, her role will be to oversee the entire portfolio of clinical care and support for the residents, provide clinical oversight, and staff training. She is a licensed Registered Nurse (RN) in every state where Juniper currently has communities.

“We are very excited to have Missy join the Juniper family,” expressed Lynne Katzmann, CEO of Juniper Communities. “She comes to Juniper with a wonderful background and deep experience in the clinical complainants of senior living. She will be a great resource for our community wellness teams and to the home office team in this changing healthcare environment.”

Missy’s interest in working with senior living communities is that they offer residents more freedom than skilled nursing settings. “The seniors can be taken care of in a homelike environment and you can become a friend, not seen as a nurse or caregiver,” she explained. “Juniper’s staff is wonderful at treating the residents as a parent or grandparent, this doesn’t always happen in institutional settings.”

Juniper Communities owns and operates Personal Care, Assisted Living, Memory-Care, Skilled Nursing and Independent Living communities in NJ, FL, CO and PA.

“Nobody is as forward thinking as Juniper. They are far ahead of the curve in the industry and where healthcare is going. The staff I’ve observed go above and beyond, always doing more even though no one is looking,” Missy described of her building level observations.

Missy Ebner has worked in the healthcare industry since 1987. She received her LPN from the James Martin School of Nursing in 1987 and her RN from Excelsior College in 2005. She is a resident of Willow Grove, PA and born and raised in Pennsylvania. She has been married to Henry Ebner for 26 years and has three children, Corey, Shane and Cassidy.  Something her family and friends know about her is that she loves to shop the Outlets, and loves a good bargain!

People Are the Key!

by Lynne Katzmann

I am a big believer in the Jim Collins adage that “having the right people in the right seats on the bus” is critical to success. I also know that if our people are happy, our customers will be happy.

As proof of this, see the following from Christopher Groening, an author of a new study from the University of Missouri: “We found that keeping your employees satisfied with their work experience, providing them with challenges and allowing them to have a sense of ownership in the business can have a tremendous effect on customer satisfaction and loyalty. The link between customer satisfaction and customer loyalty is almost twice as strong when you have high employee satisfaction compared to when they are not satisfied with their jobs.”

With that as a background, I am thrilled to announce the results of our recent Customer Satisfaction Survey. You may remember that we are now having an independent third party, The National Research Company, conduct this survey. National Research is recognized by Modern Healthcare as the largest resident satisfaction measurement firm in the US. By using this national firm, we are able to benchmark our results with others in our industry.

Juniper Communities received scores that were higher than our peers nationwide and were considerably better on scores for overall satisfaction and willingness to recommend Juniper as a place to work. In fact, at Juniper Village at Aurora in Colorado, the results were so good that National Research awarded the community their Excellence in Action Award recognizing the highest levels of satisfaction excellence as demonstrated by overall resident and associate satisfaction scores!

While we are thrilled with these results, satisfaction must be earned each and every day and as such, we know we are on a journey without end. Here’s to happy and safe travels!

Learn more about a fabulous Juniper Village community near you.

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