It’s a beautiful day in Cedarfield’s Sunshine Plaza Neighborhood!
Recently on a lovely summer afternoon residents, family members and team members from across the Cedarfield community gathered to celebrate and commission our first neighborhood - Sunshine Plaza. This festive occasion marked the realization of a new vision for living at Cedarfield. From bricks and mortar to dining services the assumptions around care for older adults at Cedarfield are changing. The goal is for the spirit of home to pervade the environment creating an atmosphere in which the resident experiences being loved and valued for who they 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 forgotten overtime: home. Without it, our elders experience a loss of joy, purpose, and meaning in their lives. In the Neighborhood/Household Model, Cedarfield is adopting a person-centered approach that shapes the physical environment, organizational structure, and interpersonal relationships in ways that create an atmosphere of genuine home, while providing elders with clear opportunities to direct their own lives. We stand in admiration for those organizations who have paved a path forward for us and humbled to join this inspiring world-wide movement of eliminating “institution” from our community.” So, let’s take a closer look at what that means.
The physical environment is designed to grow relationships and create warmth. It is a more personal environment in which residents build strong connections with each other and their team of caregivers. Our expansion project will reflect the latest in household design with more intimate living spaces, kitchens, and dining areas to accommodate a smaller number of residents. Existing neighborhoods such as Sunshine Plaza, where our residents who have a primary diagnosis of dementia reside, will be renovated adding more warmth and intimacy to the functionality and design.
Administrators, housekeepers, nurses, social workers, chaplains, dining staff and groundskeepers to name a few are continually learning how this can be a total transformation of our community. Team members are being taught how to problem solve, strategize and invest themselves in ways that enhance the total community. 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.
Flexibility and adaptability are the keys to success as the team works to provide care that is more fluid and interdependent and allows residents more freedom to live a lifestyle which honors food choices, sleep schedules, personal interests and natural rhythms. From cooks, to home makers to neighborhood leaders and recreation therapists the focus is meeting the needs of the residents in a more dynamic, holistic way. The institutional markers that traditionally have compartmentalized staff roles and responsibilities are being eliminated, enabling residents 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 and trained to move into leadership roles, more neighborhoods and households will be commissioned at Cedarfield including those in Secret Garden Villas (Assisted Living) and Cedar Woods (Health Care). At the same time as our renovation and expansion 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!