Category Archives: Celebrated Stories

Making Mealtime Easier

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Community: Chatham

Submitted by: Frank Pascale

Department: Dining

Nominee: Maxon Jeanty

While on a family call, the family member told me she witnessed an incident in the dining room involving Maxon. She told me that a resident, her mother, was having some difficulty with the particular item, so Max noticed and immediately told the resident he would be right back and took the plate. When he returned, the item had been altered to make it easier for the resident to eat. She was ecstatic. The result was that the family member and resident were very impressed with the level of service that Maxon had performed without being told. It is wonderful to know that your employees are going Above and Beyond. The Juniper Spirit!

Garden Therapy

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Community: Williamstown

Submitted by: Mary Jane Eicke

Department: Environmental Services

Nominee: Tyrone Beal, Carol Burg

A resident was anxious and upset because his family had not visited in quite a while. He was obviously upset and anxious. This was apparent to our Connections Director, and knowing he was an avid gardener, she suggested that he go out with our Environmental Services Director, with the permission of the resident’s family, to help pick out the plants for our courtyard garden. The resident was DELIGHTED!!!! He could not wait to look at all of the new spring and summer plantings at the local garden center. Upon his return, he was a new relaxed man. It is so nice to see our resident calm and at peace. He could not stop talking about what his plans were for our new plantings, and how good it made him feel to be a part of this endeavor.

Telephone is Not Just a Game

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Community: Forest Hills

Submitted by: Janet Wangler

Department: Environmental Services

Nominee: Mike Ruefle

Mike came in on his day off to assist a resident in getting a specialized text/reader telephone. She is hard of hearing and can now read a screen on the phone when someone calls her. Mike had to work with the telephone installer to ensure the system could handle this type of phone. The resident and the family were thoroughly happy and appreciative of the extra mile Mike went in assisting with this installation. She can now easily communicate and stay connected to her family and friends.

Great Acts of Love

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Community: Williamstown

Submitted by: Teasha McAllister

Department: Connections

Nominees: Mrs. A and Mr. B

One afternoon, as we were completing an activity, I observed one of my male residents and Military Heroes, Mr. B, go over to Mrs. A, one of our female residents, and give her a great big hug as he expressed his gratitude. I was curious as to why Mr. B was so thankful to Mrs. A, and what prompted this beautiful and touching display of love and appreciation!

As I sat down with them, they proceeded to tell me a story of how Mrs. A has been a seamstress all of her life and as she had developed a friendship with Mr. B, one of our Military Veterans, it became clear to her that some of his sweaters and slacks needed mending and a woman’s touch. Mr. B had lost his precious wife a few years prior to his residence with us. Mrs. A promptly offered her service to Mr. B, and she has been hemming his slacks and repairing and mending his sweaters and other items. Mr. B had been looking extremely dapper, so he cannot sing her praises enough of what a perfect and master seamstress Mrs. A is!  She cannot sing his praises enough of what a debt we all owe to our precious Military men who have sacrificed so very much and given us our very Freedom at no cost to us, but at a great and sometimes very grave cost to them and their families!

She reinforced for me the need to do whatever it is that is in our capacity to do for others at every moment we identify the need and most especially for our Military and Veterans!  I was moved to tears as these lovely residents are both well into their 90s and have both lived a life of service, yet they continue living a life of service with whatever abilities they still possess!

The result of this interaction was one of great love, appreciation, and admiration and a deepening friendship!  It also created an even greater motivation within my soul to not only continue this practice in my own life, but to teach this to the next generation. It is what our nation was built on, and what love, respect, and freedom are all about!

It moved my heart to tears, but they were tears of great joy and hope!  Yes, it is great to progress and move forward in all that is new, but it is also great to remember the foundational principles on which the great character within a human soul can develop, such as dignity, respect, honor, truth, faith, and service!

I thank Mrs. A & Mr. B for the great reminder and reinforcement of these great principals by which my own parents and grandparents have lived before me!  Of course, Mrs. A and Mr. B insisted that I keep their identities private, and I wouldn’t have expected otherwise of these two amazing fellow human beings!

David Inspires Us, Working With A Traumatic Brain Injury

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Community: Spearly Center

Submitted by: Susan Pappas

Department: Dining

Nominee: David Rivera

We hired David, a gentle soul just 20 years old who is a dining associate. When David was 12, he and his family were driving to California when their van was hit by a semi-truck. Killing his grandfather, David was severely injured as he was thrown from the vehicle 75 yards and initially pronounced dead at the scene. David was resuscitated during the Flight For Life ride to Children’s Hospital, though his family was informed by surgeons that he would likely never walk, talk, or function on any meaningful level again.

David was in a coma for three months following the accident, and struggled to relearn everything during the next 3 1/2 years of extensive therapy. David openly reveals the limitations the accident has left him with: blind in one eye, issues with his leg, a steel plate in his head, frequent headaches, and difficulty with his cognition. He was determined to “always move forward and never go back,” which he says drove him to recover well beyond the medical community’s expectations. David had to repeat a grade in school, and spent the remaining years of his education in special education programs; this David stated was extremely challenging and emotionally difficult. Working at The Spearly Center is David’s first “official” job of his life, and he says he likes it here because anytime he feels like giving up, his supervisor and the other workers support him, making him feel “good positive things in his life.” David admits he would rather listen during a conversation than talk, and he enjoys helping others to resolve their problems.

David’s journey emits many emotions for me. His gentle and kind demeanor is nice to be around. He truly inspires me with his persistence to overcome his challenges and to be positive every day. I am exceedingly proud of the dietary associates who strive to provide comfort, support, and mentoring to David to promote his personal and professional successes. I am honored to lead by example in the opportunities we provide to our associates, not just our residents.

David clearly touches everyone’s life in a positive manner which is evidenced by the nurturing exchanges he evokes from those around him. David provides a subtle and profound reminder to lead by example.

Nepal Earthquake Hits Home

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Community: Louisville

Submitted by: Patty Orlowski

Department: Wellness

Nominee: Kiran Adhikari

Kiran, one of our wonderful nurses, is a native of Nepal.  He had planned a vacation to Nepal to see his family prior to the devastating earthquakes. After the earthquakes, he was speaking to a Juniper resident family member and explained how he was planning to take supplies to help in the relief efforts. The resident family member was also planning a trip to Nepal at the same time for the sole purpose of helping in the relief efforts after the earthquakes. Kiran and his family invited the resident family member to their home in Nepal. Additionally, Kiran solicited help and supplies from a number of our other resident family members and our Partners in Caring. For instance, Kiran was able to get over 5000 pairs of gloves donated from one of our medical supply companies. Ultimately, Kiran and the family member worked together in the relief effort on-site in Nepal, where they were able to spread some needed care to those affected by the devastation, and even shared in celebration of the life still thriving in the face of suffering.

Sometimes the Worst Brings out the Best

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Community: Lebanon

Submitted by: Jon Davies

Department: Leadership

Nominees: Joan Marie Norman, Tanya Flemming, Paul Malgapo

Recently, a long-time friend of mine, Ricky Wildesin, suffered a fatal heart attack. He lived in one of the independent living apartments on our campus. My wife and I found our friend in pretty bad shape. Paul was on campus and when called, he responded immediately. It soon became clear to all that Rick had passed. I was very upset at the loss of my friend. I think Paul recognized this and stayed with me through the afternoon while the EMTs , the Coroner, and finally the Funeral Home took care of the remains. Upon hearing what had happened, Tanya and Joan Marie also responded. Tanya offered comfort to my wife and I, while she physically checked on me throughout the day.  Joan Marie took over my responsibilities for the remainder of the weekend, giving me time to take care of myself. She also advised and offered guidance through the maze of confusion of that day and the week to follow.

My wife and I could see that the response of these three people was genuine. They could feel our heartache. It made us proud to be part of the Lebanon team. Although heartbroken at the loss of my friend, I took comfort in the fact that these people would stop whatever they were doing that Saturday afternoon and genuinely care for my and my wife’s well-being. Again, they made me feel like part of a family. Each one was willing to carry my burden for a little while so that I could collect myself.

By submitting this, I am offering my gratitude to them. All too often these kinds of things go overlooked or are viewed as “just part of the Job.” They clearly went above and beyond. I’m not sure if this is the right outlet for this story but their actions touched me deeply. I have told this story often about the wonderful staff at Juniper Lebanon and will repeat it whenever the occasion allows.

Heartfelt Compassion

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Community:  Juniper Village at Lebanon

Submitted by: Jon Davies

Department:  Leadership Team

Nominees: Joan-Marie Norman, Tanya Flemming, Paul Malgapo

Recently, a long time friend of mine (Ricky Wildesin) suffered a fatal heart attack. He lived in one of the apartments on the Lebanon Campus. My wife and I found our friend in pretty bad shape. Paul, our Director of Wellness was on campus and when we called, he responded immediately. It was clear to all that Rick had passed. I was very upset at the loss of my friend… I think Paul recognized this and stayed with me through the afternoon while the EMT’s , the Coroner, and Funeral Home took care of the remains. Upon hearing what had happen, Tanya Flemming, our Connections Director and Joan-Marie, our Executive Director also responded.  Tanya offered comfort to my wife and I. Also physically checked on me through out the day. Joan-Marie took over my responsibilities for the remainder of the weekend giving me time to take care of myself. She also advised and offered guidance through the maze of confusion of that day and the week to follow.

My wife and I could see that the response of these three people was genuine. They could feel our heartache. It made me / us proud to be part of the Lebanon team.

Although heartbroken at the loss of my friend, I took comfort in the fact that these people would stop what ever they were doing that Saturday afternoon and genuinely care for my and my wife’s well being. Again, they made me feel like part of a family. each one was willing to carry my burden for a little while so that I could collect myself.

By submitting this… I am offering my feedback to them. All to often these kinds of things go overlooked or are viewed as part of the job. They clearly went above and beyond. I’m not sure if this is the right outlet for this story but there actions touched me deeply. I have told this story often about the wonderful staff at Juniper Lebanon and will repeat it when ever the occasion allows.

 

 

Move In Day!

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Community:  Mount Joy

Submitted by:  Debra Miller

Department:  Leadership

Nominee name:  Mary Main

As we all know moving can be a traumatic experience for anyone but especially if you lived in your  home for over 40 years. It took a lot for our one resident to get here last week. A lot of planning and a lot of talking her through what to bring and what not to bring.  Her son was calm through it all but what Lydia was most worried about is that she had food on moving day to feed her people from the church who were helping her move and how would they warm it up once they got there?  Mark her son was expecting the movers at 5:30pm which would put Lydia coming at about 7:30pm in the evening. I asked Mary if shewould call Mark and see if Lydia could come earlier since she was stressing. With that said Mary called and Mark was grateful that she could come sooner then later. He told Mary it would free him up to get things moving quicker.

So Mary picked up Lydia and helped her pack some of her personal belongings, she brought her to Juniper Village with her crockpot of beef bbq for her helpers. When they arrived Mary made sure Lydia had an appointment with the hairstylist, introduced her to some other ladies to have lunch with and set up a table in our lounge with the crockpot full of bbq to be served later to her helpers, which was MOST important! Lydia was just tickled pink with Mary and the whole team’s hospitality.

When I called Mark the next day to see how things were going he was so happy how everything turned out.   Mark told me his Mom is happy and her cat Snowball had a great first night as well.

 

The Spearly Team: We’re Moving On Up!

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Community: Spearly Center

Submitted by: Sue Pappas

Nominee Name: The Spearly Team

It was a crisp, fall morning and most Coloradoans were
just waking up to their morning coffee, but not the team at Juniper
Village The Spearly Center. Despite the early hour the team was
already busily working to pull off an unimaginable feat. This was the
day that residents from two different neighborhoods were switching
places. This was the day that came to be known as Transition Day.
Transition Day was over a year in the making, but there is no better
example of collaboration for the common good than the actual day of
the move.
The day began early with a full team on board, including paid staff,
family members, representatives from contracted and community
agencies, multiple volunteers, and eager residents. The
administrative associates were the thread of organization that assured
the move was cohesive throughout the day. The connections associates
had secured an off-site location for activities to occur. This helped
ease the transition for so many residents who have a difficult time
with change and commotion. The dietary team prepared refreshments and
meals to be available to those residents who chose to spend the day
away from home. They also made sure the team and residents who
assisted with the transition stayed well-nourished. One resident even
commented that it was comforting to see the Administrator throughout
the day as she made frequent visits with the refreshment cart and
provided comedic relief. Unbeknownst to many Transition Day was the
vision and hope of the Administrator for almost four years. The
nursing team worked to ensure that all treatments and medications
would be given on time, and they were integral in helping calm
residents as they moved to their new rooms. The environmental
services team was ready with extra cleaning supplies for each of the
rooms to be deep cleaned before the new residents arrived. They were
also there to help with important details like cable TV, room
furniture adjustments, and hanging beloved pictures in just the right
spot. The social services team welcomed residents home by spending
one-on-one time with them to unpack their clothing, find a place for
their special trinkets, and reassure them that they were doing a great
job through this transition. Most importantly the residents worked to
be positive, patient, and thankful for the opportunity to continue to
improve their home.
By the end of the day 86 residents had new rooms in new neighborhoods.
Each resident was fully unpacked and most of the environment was back
to normal. There is no question that true collaboration was the main
ingredient to success on that day. In fact, each day at Juniper
Village The Spearly Center we find ways to collaborate with our teams,
residents, families, and community to continue moving up and on to
bigger and better things in life.