Mennonite Home was chosen by the State of Oregon Seniors and People with Disabilities Services as one of three organizations in the state that have best practices regarding life enrichment.
“This award means so much to us, because we have worked hard on all levels of our organization to move from a traditional medical treatment model for our residents to a ‘resident centered care’ delivery model,” states Rob Hays, administrator of Mennonite Home.
The resident centered care model creates a social culture promoting
choice and options to enrich residents’ lives.
“Life enrichment permeates every aspect of how we care for our residents. Our facility provides a physical environment that enhances residents’ lives with landscaped grounds, aviaries, flower boxes and wooded pathways. We also offer activities to encourage our residents to grow, such as gardening, parties, and singing and being with children of all ages,” states Hays. He further explains, “We believe that life enrichment activities are not just activities in the activity room, but are any activity that makes a resident happy, and it is everyone’s job to provide these opportunities for residents.”
Mennonite Home promotes household living environments. Residents and staff are grouped into neighborhoods and operate like a family. Staff cooks, cleans and helps with medical assistance. Residents may sleep as late or early as they want to, and may eat when they want. Residents interact with the same staff. Residents and staff both have input into the environment they want in their neighborhood. All have choices.
Dining was indicated by residents as an important element in life enrichment. Three dining areas are offered at Mennonite Home. One dining area is a popular gathering place for residents and families where they can play cards, visit or have a cup of coffee. Another dining room hosts group activities that involve all the neighborhoods and operates more as a “wait on” restaurant style. The third dining area serves lunch buffet style and has a variety of snacks and beverages available throughout the morning and early afternoon, comparable to a small town café atmosphere. Family and friends are encouraged to come attend meals with residents.
“We start learning about residents’ daily routine, preferences and interests prior to coming to Mennonite Home,” explains Hays.” All staff from nursing assistants, managers, activities personnel, social services, chaplains, dining staff and beauticians is involved. We believe it is everyone’s (all staff) job and responsibility to promote each resident’s independence, freedom of choice, and mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual growth,” states Hays.
He exclaims, “What rewarding, enjoyable work it is to help a person grow and live at any age!”
Mennonite Home serves an average of 90 residents and has a 95 bed capacity. The Mennonite Home is one of the continuing care retirement services offered in the Mennonite Village community. Mennonite Village offers active living, congregate apartment living, assisted living, Alzheimer’s and dementia care, in‐home care as well as skilled nursing and rehabilitation care services.
The other two organizations chosen by the State of Oregon for best practices regarding life enrichment were Clatsop Care Center in Astoria and Emerson House in Portland.