Posts Categorized: Skilled Care Center

Positive Approach to Care Champions at The Cedars

The Cedars would like to recognize and congratulate our first PAC (Positive Approach to Care) Champions. Pictured here are Jenna Perkins, Kelly Thumb, Tracy Fleck and Karen Cook. Each of these wonderful caregivers has completed The Cedars Positive Approach to Care Trainings – created by internationally regarded occupational therapist, Teepa Snow – and has demonstrated their new skills while working with our residents who are living with memory loss. Their care, patience, creativity, and positive attitudes all combine to make our residents’ daily lives more peaceful and connected. Working with each resident’s strengths, instead of focusing on their cognitive losses, translates to better days and more successful moments for people living with memory loss. As PAC Champions, each caregiver has signed an agreement to be a role model to their team in their Positive Approach to Care with our residents.   You can find each of these caregivers working...

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Music and Memory Gives the Gift of Music

“We experience a deeper connection to events in our lives that we associate with music,” says Nick Viti, OTR/L, Manager of Life Enrichment at The Cedars. “Certain songs conjure up very rich and specific memories. For anyone experiencing memory loss, music is a powerful tool.” Thanks to a generous new grant from the nonprofit group Music and MemorySM, The Cedars has exciting new ways to use the power of music to help residents preserve and protect their memory, calm or uplift their emotions and enrich their lives. The Cedars received the entire Music and MemorySM  program, an assortment of iPod shuffles, headphones and music downloads as part of the grant. Staff are working with families and loved ones to craft customized playlists for each resident, and to choose music connected with events in each resident’s life story. “Do you ever turn up the radio on your way to work...

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Skilled Care: Six Ways to Make the Most of Your Visits

          Melanie Desjardins, MSW, Household Coordinator on the Shapiro Neighborhood at The Cedars Personal visits can make a big difference for loved ones who live at The Cedars. Although our Life Enrichment Department offers several activities, arriving with a planned activity can make your visit more pleasant and meaningful for both you and your loved one. Here are some creative things to do while visiting: Bring photos of family and friends from days gone by and/or recent photos of their house or hometown. Help your loved one write letters or send cards to people. Together, start to create a photo album, framed photograph collection or a poster to hang in their room. Cook your favorite family meal together in our Life Enrichment kitchen. Create a life story to frame for all staff to see. Write about the great life of your loved one! Play word and...

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The People in the Neighborhood: Life Enrichment at The Cedars

“To make The Skilled Care Center truly feel like home, we have to know what ‘home’ means to each person … we want to recreate their world as mush as possible.” – Nick Viti THE CEDARS holistic approach to skilled care nurtures mental and spiritual well being, not just physical health. Embracing person-centered care and transforming nursing wings into close-knit, thriving “neighborhoods” is one way The Cedars achieves this level of holistic wellness. Our Life Enrichment programming is another. Our Life Enrichment team engages residents in rich and meaningful activities while fostering a true sense of community. Nick Viti, an occupational therapist, is thrilled to have the opportunity to lead it. As our new Manager of Life Enrichment, Nick provides one-on-one occupational therapy to residents while creating and customizing programming to reinforce and enhance that therapy. “Because I’m in the therapy gym with residents, I know their strengths and...

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The Cedars is Recognized for Arts Programming

Nick Viti (OMA Facilitator Class of 2015) has launched a highly successful OMA program at The Cedars in Portland, Maine. The facility has already begun their third OMA session. They partner with the University of Southern Maine and the University of New England, where students receive college credit to participate in the OMA program. The site had their first art show in June as a part of Portland’s First Friday Art Walk, a monthly community event. They also plan to exhibit at partnering universities. OMA Artists have an exhibit at USM in Lewiston, ME right now! Check out their video featuring an OMA session and the art show. “One of our elders said to her partner, ‘I’m not an artist,’ at the start of every session until the very last project when she finally said, ‘I am an artist!” Nick took the time to answer a few questions about what his experience has...

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Opening Minds through Art at The Cedars

What can an art therapy program for seniors with dementia teach all of us? All the participants in this Opening Minds through Art (OMA) class sing “You Are My Sunshine” as sunlight pours across worktables and paint is poured into palettes. Before the studio work begins, Pamela Moulton, artist in residence, sparks curiosity and delight with a performance art piece. “I want to wake us all up,” Pamela explains, showing off her vibrant hat and whimsical apron. “Intergenerational play infuses all my art. We all crave that joy.” It’s true. Smiles are everywhere as the artists, who are residents of The Cedars with dementia, confer with their personal facilitators, undergraduate students from the University of New England (UNE). While the seniors learn today’s art technique, the students learn about therapeutic work with seniors. And as the works progress, students express sincere admiration and help each artist choose a title...

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Kelly Yattaw Receives Excellence in Long Term Care Award

Kelly has been working at The Cedars for 10 years – as a Certified Nursing Assistant, Rehabilitation Aide and super valuable team member. She was recently honored with the Maine Ombudsman Program Excellence in Long Term Care Award. The Cedars is blessed to have Kelly in our community. Here are some of Kelly’s special characteristics that we highlighted when nominating her for the award: Understands the value of person-centered care and makes the residents her priority Cultivates excellence and strong leadership qualities Demonstrates sincere compassion and understanding of residents with dementia An inspiration to watch as she makes difficult situations appear easy Embraces a challenge Willing to assist staff, always States what is on her mind Infuses her incredible sense of humor with everyone she encounters Takes on the transition to the Household Model of care through Learning Circles with staff and residents, storytelling as a means of learning, numerous...

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Celebrating Our Heroes at The Cedars

Each month, The Cedars celebrates our Culture Change Heroes – those staff that stand out for their leadership and team work, while embracing person-centered care in their interactions with the older people living at The Cedars. Since December, we’ve had the chance to recognize the following heroes: Joe Gerardo in Environmental Services; Melissa Deering, Amber Schmidt, Connie Poole, Tracy Coburn in Nursing; and Amy Callison, Neighborhood Homemaker. Here is what makes these heroes standout, in the words of their peers: Going above and beyond to improve the quality of life and care for our residents. Through hard work with maintenance repairs and improving residents’ day to day experiences. Constantly striving for excellence, she helps to coach staff when they need it and constantly supports and encourages everyone she meets. Between taking extra shifts and orienting new staff, she tirelessly helps all of our residents and ensures all tasks are...

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The Cedars and MECA at Portland’s Art Walk

Starting in February, MECA students enrolled in the Art for Social Change course moved their classroom every Monday morning to The Cedars. The course goal was to bring the MECA students opportunities to learn about the history of what it means to directly create social and public change through a creative practice. Part of the course integrated the practice of socially engaged art where the students worked collaboratively with seniors from The Cedars in creating an engaging intergenerational and multicultural community-based art program. Students and seniors met at The Cedars weekly from February to April throughout the course and collaborated together on creating art. Throughout the months, relationships formed and insights developed – from both perspectives. Here are some quotes from the seniors: “I want you to teach me everything, just like I want to teach you everything.” –Senior artist “Art didn’t mean anything to me until older years...

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