FANTASTIC STAFF AND PRINCIPLES
I think MRC The Crossings staff is the best. I read about the Eden Alternative and signed up to get their blog. In my opinion, The Crossings is already exemplifying many of the principles and actions/ behaviors that I read about on the Eden Alternative website.
COMPANIONSHIP, CONNECTION, JOY
As the pandemic continues, now into year two, the biggest fear I have for my mother is increased loneliness, helplessness and boredom. Many of her friends are not checking in with her as they are old and worried about the virus. Phone calls are increasingly difficult, as she often does not answer her phone, check her voicemail, or there is a bad connection and it is frustrating to talk (just got her a land line - hope that helps).
At MRC The Crossings, she has companionship both with staff and the friends she has made. From what I see, she has established a new identity there, and is connected with and loved by many. I hear about her eating dinner with her neighbors and the stories of their lives and views on various subjects. She shares with me who went to exercise class, and what a staff member said to her in the lobby. I enjoy hearing about residents swimming in the pool, along with other outside activities that she gets to see as her apartment faces the pool. Mom colorfully explains what Julie, the Lifestyles Director, wears to special events! These topics - particularly the special events, are way more interesting than hearing about a TV show or news she just watched.
SECURITY AND PEACE OF MIND
She has security at The Crossings that she did not have in her home. Not just security in terms of safety, fall prevention, locally provided Physical Therapy, etc., but there she can be who she wants to be as she is freed up of many of the mundane responsibilities of life in a house. I feel secure with her there. If I call her several times and no one answers, I am not concerned that she has fallen and can't get to the phone. It’s more likely that she is participating in a fun activity or visit with a friend.
A GENUINE CULTURE OF CARE
From her stories and my own experience with the staff, I see trust, respect and accountability that is embedded in the MRC culture. I realize there are difficult days, things don't always go as planned, and I am sure at times staff members are frustrated and disappointed with residents' behavior or demands. Even so, staff always cheerfully do what they can to help, and...genuinely are a friendly, interested, concerned face.
INDEPENDENCE AND GROWTH
Mom has a newfound autonomy. Although she has been frustrated since she lost her driver’s license several years ago as she is not able to get out at will, at The Crossings she can take the bus to the grocery store (or could before the pandemic restricted this).There are ( …were pre-pandemic) multiple outings organized which she enjoys. During the last year, I am amazed at all the activities the team has come up with that are in house! She has choices that enable her to maintain control - when to go to exercise class, dinner, or which activities to participate in. Going downstairs to the Bistro to get her favorite sandwich and talk to Theresa is an event! The Crossings provides opportunities for personal growth - an art class, lecture, travel talk by a fellow resident, or help setting up her sewing machine. There are opportunities to serve - help with assisted living activities, be on a committee, or take down the Christmas decorations.
TRUE JOY AND FUN
Most important, although she is slowing down (at 90 that is expected), I see more joy in her since she moved to MRC The Crossings. Thus, I am happier. I see the joy as staff like working with seniors and they’re not just putting on a happy face to get through the day. I see the LOVE at The Crossings. (Also, I like seeing the photos on Facebook - particularly when there is a dress up theme!)
As we start a New Year, and the pandemic continues to prevent me from visiting my mom more frequently, I want to say A BIG THANKS to everyone at MRC The Crossings for all you do for my mother.