August 16, 2018

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It’s a beautiful day in Cedarfield’s Sunshine Plaza Neighborhood!

Recently on a lovely summer afternoon residents, family members and teammembers from across the Cedarfield community gathered to celebrate andcommission our first neighborhood – Sunshine Plaza. This festive occasion markedthe realization of a new vision for living at Cedarfield. From bricks and mortar todining services the assumptions around care for older adults at Cedarfield arechanging. The goal is for the spirit of home to pervade the environment creatingan atmosphere in which the resident experiences being loved and valued for whothey are. This new model of care is one more step that Cedarfield is making to    honor our mission of enriching life’s journey for older adults.

Cedarfield’s Executive Director, Michael Shaw notes, “In most U.S. nursing homes,and in many assisted living services, a very important element has been forgottenovertime: home.  Without it, our elders experience a loss of joy, purpose, andmeaning in their lives. In the Neighborhood/Household Model, Cedarfield isadopting a person-centered approach that shapes the physical environment,organizational structure, and interpersonal relationships in ways that create anatmosphere of genuine home, while providing elders with clear opportunities todirect their own lives.  We stand in admiration for those organizations who havepaved a path forward for us and humbled to join this inspiring world-widemovement of eliminating “institution” from our community.”    So, let’s take a closer look at what that means.

Physical Environment

The physical environment is designed to grow relationships and create warmth. Itis a more personal environment in which residents build strong connections witheach other and their team of caregivers. Our expansion project will reflect thelatest in household design with more intimate living spaces, kitchens, and diningareas to accommodate a smaller number of residents. Existing neighborhoodssuch as Sunshine Plaza, where our residents who have a primary diagnosis ofdementia reside, will be renovated adding more warmth and intimacy to the    functionality and design.

Organizational Structure

Administrators, housekeepers, nurses, social workers, chaplains, dining staff andgroundskeepers to name a few are continually learning how this can be a totaltransformation of our community. Team members are being taught how toproblem solve, strategize and invest themselves in ways that enhance the totalcommunity. Our vision is to always be seeking new ways to promote person-centered care, to continue to explore and put into practice what it means to be a    community that really does enrich the lives of older adults.

Interpersonal Relationships

Flexibility and adaptability are the keys to success as the team works to providecare that is more fluid and interdependent and allows residents more freedom tolive a lifestyle which honors food choices, sleep schedules, personal interests andnatural rhythms. From cooks, to home makers to neighborhood leaders andrecreation therapists the focus is meeting the needs of the residents in a moredynamic, holistic way. The institutional markers that traditionally havecompartmentalized staff roles and responsibilities are being eliminated, enablingresidents to have a higher level of confidence and trust in their caregivers,enhancing relationships and fostering a meaningful environment for those who    live and work here.

In the months to come as key team members continue to be identified andtrained to move into leadership roles, more neighborhoods and households willbe commissioned at Cedarfield including those in Secret Garden Villas (AssistedLiving) and Cedar Woods (Health Care). At the same time as our renovation andexpansion continues many of the existing physical spaces will be transformed into    accommodations that capture the spirit of home.

As Neighborhood Leader, EunSung Kim reminded us at the commissioning of    Sunshine Plaza we have much to celebrate at Cedarfield:

  • the gift of each other
  • the time, energy, and gift of presence of all the caregivers
  • meaningful work
  • being able to advocate and work with our residents and families
  • celebrating the faith traditions and journeys of each person
  • all the behind the scenes work and care for residents and families
  • good food, good conversations and our cooks that make it possible
  • clean and hospitable spaces and our home makers that make it possible
  • a neighborhood, where we can entrust and work with team members for the care of our loved ones
  • a place to call home – where residents are valued

What a joy it is to celebrate all we are today and the vision that guides us in the    days to come. It really is a beautiful day in the neighborhood at Cedarfield!