Avera Morningside Heights Care Center Social Services Employee Kelly DeVlaeminck talking to residents during lunch.
The Avera Morningside Heights Care Center in Marshall, Minnesota is in the process of changing the typical nursing home setting into a new model of care called the "Neighborhood Concept".
The big dinning room lunch scene won't be seen for much longer at the Avera Morningside Heights Care Center in Marshall. Staff and Administrators are completing Phase 1 in the change to make the place homier. The 2 floors will be divided into 4 separate neighborhoods. By doing so, smaller groups of residents are living together. Each will have its own kitchen and dining area and they can eat and bake when they want. Of course, staff will be there to help.
Dodie Derynck is the VP of Resident Care Services. She says, "In most homes, the kitchen is the center of most activities and that's what we are gearing for. We are hoping spontaneous activities will be happening throughout the neighborhood. Not every resident wants to get up and have breakfast at 7:00 a.m. This way, if they want to have breakfast at 10:00, they can go to their neighborhood kitchen and make toast if they want, just like they would at home."
Administrators have already implemented cross-training amongst the staff. It's all hands-on-deck at meal time. Members of the nursing, laundry, activities, and housekeeping departments are helping the folks in dietary get lunch on the table and into the mouths of residents if they need help.
Derynck says, "That's one of the things we learned in our satisfaction surveys is responsiveness. If the resident needs help with something, everyone that's working in that neighborhood, can respond to immediately. Before, if they needed help getting to the bathroom they would need to call for a nurse. With this cross-training, every staff member will be certified as nurse's assistant."
Colleen Wreath, LPN says, "The new model just makes it more like family, more comfortable. Cozy you might say because we know these residents so well."
The new model of care is geared at making residents the center of everything. Something resident Lynn Lean appreciates.
Lean says, "I have to be here. I am a very brittle diabetic and I have to have constant care. It gets to be overwhelming. I like the rooms and all, but it's the people here that I really love."
Avera Morningside Heights wants folks to know when they move in here it will be a change of address, not a change of lifestyle.
Phase 2 construction is currently underway at the 76-bed facility in Marshall to remodel each neighborhood's lounge area into a kitchen area. By the way, each resident has their own room to decorate as they wish.