Journeys moved into a new building this past June. The day went so smoothly with all the help from staff, volunteers and families that we actually were done way ahead of schedule. We have now been in our new surroundings a little over three months. We have been amazed that the residents have adjusted so quickly which has made us confident the design of the building has had a lot do to with it.
With the open concept feel of the building, staff time is better utilized. Instead of spending time checking hallways for residents, they spend more time directly being involved with activities with the residents. This also makes the day less stressful for the residents. They often will come out of their room and naturally get drawn into an activity right away instead of heading off on their own.
The residents also really enjoy watching the cooking process for all meals and take part in them as they are able. There’s something about the smell of food cooking that feels like home and helps stimulate appetites and interest from them. The dietary staff and residents are able to get to know each other this way when they take part in the cooking activity. They are also able to bond over the fresh smell of baked cookies in the afternoon!
The open area has also proved to be beneficial in that items can be left that spark interest. These include shooting pool, doing puzzles, playing cards, winding yarn, sorting socks and coloring. There is also more opportunity for residents to help staff with household chores such as folding clothing, rolling silverware and wiping tables which gives them a sense of accomplishment and belonging.
Another special area that is utilized is our nook that is a dedicated worship space where the residents can use at any time during the day and evening hours. However, the chaplain does set times aside on Sunday mornings to hold a worship services specifically for the Journeys residents which includes singing the familiar hymns they enjoy to make it feel like a normal Sunday morning service.
We have also had families using the family room to have some special time with their loved ones, such as family meals or just getting some quiet time and privacy.
All in all we feel the move has and will continue to be a success to provide all that our residents deserve and we look forward to the future of this great facility.
Contributed by Karen Ebelsheiser, Activity Director