Connect4Life – Integrated Care in Seniors Housing

Integrated Care

Integrated Care

by Janet Wangler

In March the Directors of Wellness met to discuss the Importance of Integrated Care, which is the main stay of Juniper Communities’ Connect4Life program.  Statistics show when a Community provides three key components; onsite delivery of primary care, a “high-tech” foundation of shared data and a “high-touch” coordinator that facilitates a seamless provision of services, the customer truly benefits.  Juniper Communities study compared the population of customers residing in managed care communities and similar frail Medicare recipients.  The key results show hospitalizations were reduced by 50%, re-hospitalizations were reduced by over 80%.  Further study needs to be done, but these results suggest these positive outcomes are a result of a foundation of excellence and consistent quality of integrated care.

Pictured on top from left to right are some of our fabulous Directors of Community Relation: Kathryn Bainbridge, Brookline Senior Living; Katie Kensinger, Brookline Wellspring Memory Care; Brenda Dahlberg, Brookline Rehab and Skilled Care; Christine Heibel, Lebanon; and Bonnie Prisk, Forest Hills. Pictured on bottom from left to right are some of our wonderful Directors of Wellness: Susan Deitzler, Lebanon; Missy Ebner, Home Office; Katie Castro, Brookline Senior Living; Veronica Graham, Mount Joy; Muriel Myers, Forest Hills; and Dana Theis, Brookline Rehabilitation and Skilled Care.

Read more in the FREE White Paper!

National Nurses Week 2016: Thank You Wellness Associates!

National Nurses Week 2016

National Nurses Week 2016

by Diane Byrne

At Juniper Communities, we know that our phenomenal Wellness Associates truly make a difference in the lives of our residents.  Our Wellness Associates interact with our residents on a daily basis providing them love and comfort, taking care of their physical and emotional needs, and really getting to know them on a personal level. Be it making sure that a new resident feels welcomed and self-assured, to making sure that a resident who has been with us for years still feels right at home, our Wellness Associates are there for our residents every step of the way.

Our Wellness Associates are also, of course, responsible for the health and wellbeing of our residents. They are required to carefully chart medications and other health history notes in our industry-leading medical records programs which are fully integrated between all departments and aspects of our Juniper Village care communities. They are in charge of overseeing medication dispensation as well as ensuring that residents are adequately nourished and hydrated. They coordinate with physicians and family members to ensure that residents receive proper care, and they ensure that all of our Juniper Village communities are safe and provide a functional secure environment for our residents.

We have many programs that promote staff accountability and recognize staff achievement, from our Juniper University and Leadership Academies to our Juniper Spirit Awards. Still, given that this is the end of National Nurses Week 2016, we would be remiss not to take this opportunity to give a special shout out to our nurses who do so much. Thank you all! We really do appreciate you and all that you do!

Purpose

Purpose

Purpose

by Lynne Katzmann

My favorite quote is this one by Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of committed people can change the world. In fact, it is the only thing that ever has.”

I have always been driven by a desire to make the world a better place. In my professional life that has meant “doing well by doing good”. At Juniper, it means a strong and unabated commitment to helping individuals live a good life, their best life in any season. We seek Associates, team members with a similar passion and have built our corporate culture around that vision and the values that propel us forward to delivering on that promise.

For me, this is purpose. Purpose in life, whether in my personal or professional life, is a strong driver. Some say (and there is new, good research which supports this contention) that purpose is a more important driver of a successful life than money. I think that financial stability is necessary but not sufficient. For me, and I think for my colleagues at Juniper, purpose is critical. It is our foundation.

Think of it. What does our mission say? We aim to nurture the spirit of life… Without purpose, a dedication to service in support of an individual’s wellbeing, we couldn’t effectively deliver the programs that allow us to have active bodies, engaged minds and fulfilled spirits — our definition of a good life. And our people wouldn’t so easily collaborate — come together to do this important work which “takes a village”.

But there is more. Purpose is now known to be one of the most important drivers in tenure. We used to think we needed retention programs which often focused on a variety of incentives – monetary and otherwise – for people to stay. We needed engagement — we needed people to feel connected to the other people they worked with, especially their managers. While still important, we are now learning that it is purpose that is most positively correlated not only to tenure but to success and professional fulfillment.

At Juniper, we have always been, and will continue to be, purpose driven. After all, while nurturing others, we too need to be nurtured so that we can all be fully alive, engaged and fulfilled at any time in our lives.

Benefits of the Small House Model: the Gold Standard for Memory Care

Small House

Small House

by Cindy Longfellow

At Juniper Communities we have long subscribed to the belief that the keys to healthy aging include staying physically active and socially connected. For some of us, doing one or both can be more difficult over time.  This is particularly true of some individuals who are living with memory loss. Our job as caregivers and partners in caring is to facilitate new ways of helping residents to be connected to the community – their home – while at the same time fostering a sense of independence.

Environmental features are key in both keeping people physically active and connected with others. A 2011 study by Dr. Margaret Calkins, Ph.D., an internationally recognized leader in the field of environments for the elderly, especially those with Alzheimer’s or dementia,  found that people who lived in small group or cottage settings had less disruptive behaviors and greater socialization.  They (and their families and the staff who cared for them) were also more satisfied—happy.

Another study done in 2011 in the Netherlands by Hilde Verbeek titled Redesigning Dementia Care concurred.  Her research indicated that residents in small-scale living communities were significantly more socially engaged and displayed fewer physically non-aggressive behaviors, such as wandering, than residents in larger, traditional settings.  They experienced greater wellbeing and less stress—they were happier. The study also found that residents in this “person-environment model” developed an individually meaningful experience of choice, mastery and relationship.  They developed a feeling of “at-homeness” or happiness!

Understanding the Small House Model

Caroline Cantley in her 2002 book Put Yourself in My Place stated that there is broad agreement that desirable dementia care homes be small scale, which she defined as 6-14 residents.  Getting much larger, she and her colleagues said, is a distinct move away from a “family feel” towards something more institutional.  Different research provides other specific numbers, Dr. Calkins suggests between 9 and 24 residents, but they all are within this general range.  Larger communities may mitigate their size with their layout, such as linking several smaller houses together to achieve economies of scale.

Juniper has been well ahead of the trend as we have owned and operated two types of small house models for more than a decade.  Two of our small house models, Aurora and Louisville, both in Colorado, were purpose built by Juniper in 1999 and 2000 respectively, as part of our initiative to provide leading-edge care to residents living with memory impairments. These two communities include four small houses, each with 12 or 13 rooms, virtually all private, surrounding a town hall area. Each town hall provides destination locations consisting of multiple familiar spaces such as an office suite, game room, library, country store, and gymnasium, where residents from all houses can go for additional services or programs. In this model, where the houses are linked, all staff are readily available to assist if needed.

Juniper’s other three memory communities although not purpose built by Juniper, were acquired between 2006 and 2014, in part based on their similar design.  All three are based on a small house or cottage model.  For instance our community in Naples, Florida is a campus with six small cottages, each home to 15 residents in a combination of private and semi-private rooms, spread across lovely grounds connected by walking paths and gardens.  Another, acquired around the same time, has three neighborhoods of 12 residents each in a combination of private and semi-private rooms, which open onto a central common area.

In both models, residents at Juniper’s communities live within a short walk to the living room, kitchen and dining areas.  The environment is homelike; there are no nurses’ stations and no medication carts that block the hallways.  Staff wear polo shirts, not scrubs, and are trained to engage residents in activities of daily living, as well as social and recreational activities.  In both models, there are large, accessible and safe outdoor spaces surrounding the community.

Download the full white paper by finding our Wellspring Memory Care Community nearest you.