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Category: Press

Dignity Committee Enhancing Person-Centered Care

Written by: Sydney Clevenger

One aspect of creating a home life for Cedar Sinai Park residents is respecting their apartments and suites when cleaning and organizing and providing care. Ways to tackle these tasks respectfully with residents’ preferences in mind was the focus of the organization’s Dignity Committee these past weeks.

“We all need reminders to respect people’s personal spaces when we are in them and to ask first if it’s okay to move items,” said committee chair and Director of Community Life Jennifer Felberg. “The simple act of asking makes people feel respected and more open to giving permission, and instills trust.

“For example, our committee discussed whether residents want their personal products out in the open or put away,” said Felberg. “There is a careful balance between what we think is dignity for the residents and what they feel is dignity. So, we determined that many of our elders like their items to always be in the same spot, while others have no preference, so the bottom line is that it’s important to ask or, when in doubt, just leave the items where they were originally.”

Felberg re-instituted the Dignity Committee at Cedar Sinai Park several months ago to reinforce person- centered care (care the resident wants, not what people think the resident wants). The group meets monthly to discuss ways to promote dignity on campus.

“The focus on respect in resident apartments was our topic for April,” said Felberg. “A group from our committee is now developing a flier for sharing with all staff on the topic.”

To kick off the May exercise Felberg re-created how a resident with vision/hearing loss and limited mobility might feel when presented with a meal (see photo with human resources coordinator Cara Balske (left) and Felberg).

“It’s good to put yourself in the shoes of someone else to see what they are dealing with on a daily basis,” said Felberg. “I think this is an important exercise to share with others in service so they understand that the people for which they are caring can’t always see or hear or move well, and that the care provided needs to be adjusted accordingly.”

The committee has also worked on ideas to ensure people’s names are known and used, and for May, will explore ways to let everyone know they make a difference in our community.

Said Felberg: “It’s important that we all take care of one another, and that’s what the Dignity Committee is here for, to enhance a culture where we are all a family.”

 

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Cedar Sinai Now Has Portland’s Only Positive Approach to Care (PAC) Certified Independent Trainer

Written by: Sydney Clevenger

Staff who have a question about caring for residents with dementia need to look no further than Heather Hess. The Interim Sinai In-Home Care Director is the only Positive Approach to Care (PAC) Certified Independent Trainers in the Portland-area, having recently completed the intensive certification process.

“The certification courses were really kind of awesome because I got a true understanding of the brain and why dementia is happening,” said Hess, 44, who joined Cedar Sinai Park nearly eight years ago as a caregiver in the Harold Schnitzer Center for Living. “You have pre-coursework before the certification classes, and then the coursework, and then lots of hands-on afterwards to put on a workshop for others about what you’ve learned. And I was working full-time on top of those responsibilities.

“To gain certification, I ended up training all of our caregivers for In-Home Care, so now all of our staff has advanced training in dementia care and they understand the expectations,” added Hess. “Our caregivers now have a level of education in dementia care that sets us apart from everyone else in the local senior living industry.

“The knowledge and skills our staff have are challenging to learn, but they said they now feel like they have a toolbox to work from and can handle clients with Alzheimer’s and behavioral issues much better. They get so excited and proud of themselves when the techniques they’ve learned work.”

PAC is an organization founded by nationally-recognized dementia expert Teepa Snow, who has developed a widely-respected person-centered and engagement-driven philosophy designed to support those living with brain change in a more positive and respectful way.

An estimated 6.2 million Americans age 65 and older were living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2021 and that number was projected to rise to almost 13 million by 2050. One in three seniors dies with Alzheimer’s or another dementia—more than breast and prostate cancer combined.

“Learning how the brain works and advancing your knowledge as the disease advances is so critical,” says Hess. “There is so much we still don’t know. There are more than 250 types of dementia! We need to be prepared and ready to handle the influx of people who will need care.

“I’m so excited that we now have a consistent tool for us to use.”

Hess wanted to be a caregiver from a young age. “I was in and out of foster care as a kid so I did not have a stable family. Family and taking care of people was the only way I could connect and give back for a loss that I was feeling growing up.”

She started out at age 15 as a hospital candy striper in Ukiah, California, through an ROTC program, changing bed pans and re-positioning catheters among other patient duties.

“Those positions don’t even exist anymore,” said Hess, with a laugh. “It was a very emotional job and it really impacted me at 15. I learned that what we do from when people get sick to when they die is what matters in life.”

Hess earned a bachelor of arts in early childhood development while pregnant with her first child, who is high-functioning autistic, desiring extra skills to help her daughter.

“And then my husband and I moved to Oregon to take care of my elderly in-laws, so caregiving professionally was already kind of naturally lining up with what I was doing at home.

“I did my homework and Cedar Sinai Park was the only place I could find where I knew I could grow in my career. Also, Cedar Sinai Park had a reputation for having long-term employees, which is really what you’re looking for in a company. When a place has a lot of long-term employees, that says something solid about the company, and that’s what led to my decision to start here.”

Hess was client caregiver for Sinai In-Home Care for several years, training all the new hires. Even as Interim Director of Sinai In-Home Care, she is out in the field conducting client intakes, and develops and updates care plans, troubleshoots, and has quarterly client monitoring visits. She also attends job fairs, handles paperwork, coordinates staff in-services, and sits on several Cedar Sinai committees. Some of her clients are residents at Rose Schnitzer Manor where she is remembered as the “Flower Lady” for the various colorful flowers stuck in her up-do.

“I think we have a higher level of respect here than you get in any other outside senior agency,” said Hess. “It’s easy to talk to anybody here. If you have an issue, it’s dealt with; you’re not stuck waiting for a solution because of the comfortability level amongst staff and supervisors.

“Our residents and clients are truly are so important to me because they are an extension of our loved ones,” said Hess. “We might not be blood-related, but they live here long enough that they are family, and I love them like family. I really do.”

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Lucy and Ethel Help in Rose Schnitzer Manor’s Newmark Dining Room

Written by: Sydney Clevenger

When the Newmark Dining Room is busy, there’s nothing like having extra hands!

To the amusement of Rose Schnitzer Manor residents and the gratitude of servers, two new robots in the dining room—dubbed Lucy and Ethel—are now carting food to tables, leaving servers to manage other essentials.

“They are very helpful, especially during breakfast and dinner when it’s busier,” said server Adam. One shift, Adam said, the team was down a team member, but with the addition of the robots, two servers were able to successfully help everyone.

Finding staff to fill server positions was difficult before the pandemic and Covid has made the labor shortage even more challenging, said Cedar Sinai Park Chief Executive Officer Kimberly Fuson.

“The idea of using robots as extra hands originated from team members in Life Enrichment and Culinary Services. Then, with support from Rose Schnitzer Manor Administrator Vivian Villegas, the team made it happen,” said Fuson. “We are actively seeking creative ways to face the challenges of Covid.”

Villegas agrees. “Lucy and Ethel have improved morale during a time when our staff was stretched thin. It is important for our staff to know we are willing to try anything to support them!”

Each robot has three tiers that can hold up to six plates, said Executive Chef/Director of Culinary Services Andy Staggs. Lucy and Ethel can also potentially be used for bussing tables.

“We are an early adopter of the robot technology in the senior living industry,” said Staggs. “I can only think of one other senior living facility in Oregon that uses them.”

Lucy and Ethel have their own name badges on the front and photos on the back to tell the robots apart. The photos depict television actresses Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance in uniform at a chocolate factory where they went to work, one of “I Love Lucy’s” funniest episodes.

Lucy and Ethel were named by an anonymous resident during a contest at Rose Schnitzer.

“I love it when they get to the doorway of the kitchen and then it looks like they might hit the door, and then they just barely miss,” said resident Gloria. “I enjoy watching them.”


Sew to Save donates 900+ handmade masks to CSP!

Written by: CSP-Admin

May 1, 2020

Watch our CEO, Kimberly Fuson, in a Fox 12 Oregon special feature showcasing the amazing generosity of Sew to Save Oregon! They donated nearly 1,000 hand-made cloth masks to our Cedar Sinai Park residents and caregivers! We feel so blessed by our wonderful community. Thank you Sew to Save Oregon for helping to keep our residents and staff safe!

To learn more about Sew to Save, visit www.sewtosave.org. Our appreciation goes out to Fox 12 Oregon for creating and sharing this wonderful video!


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