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Sierra View Homes: A Retirement Community By Christy Griffith By Christy Griffith
Organizational Structure Sierra View Homes is a not-for-profit community founded by the First Mennonite Church in Reedley, CA designed for senior living There are three different levels of care on the same campus Independent Apartment Living Assisted Living Facility/Residential Care Skilled Nursing Facility
Community Context SVH is located in Reedley, CA Reedley is a small town of 4.5 square miles and 25,000 residents located right on the edge of Fresno County The surrounding community is known for its agriculture
Community Context The members of the Sierra View community are all retired seniors There are more females than males in each facility Most of the residents are English-speaking, Caucasian, and Christian Other ethnic backgrounds are also present (Asian, Hispanic, African American) but they are a small minority The demographics of the community reflect the larger demographic of Reedley, with the exception of age
Population-at-Risk Broadly speaking, this agency serves the elderly population. More specifically, they serve the seniors that reside on their campus in one of the three environments. . The elderly population is often abused and oppressed. Because they often have to rely on others for so many tasks in daily living, there are many opportunities for people to take advantage of them. SVH exists to provide quality care and Christian love to its residents. Source: http://www.ruralhealth.utas.edu.au/padv-package/module2-5.html
Another factor that makes this elderly population an at-risk group is their increased rate of depression and suicide.
About two-thirds of the residents in either assisted living or skilled nursing are on a psychotropic drug regimen Most of these prescriptions are antidepressants Some of the life situations that could compromise their quality of life and happiness include: Loss of independence Suffering from memory loss or other diseases and chronic illnesses Grieving for loved ones who have passed away Inability to do many of the activities they used to enjoy Loneliness
Agency Missions and Aims “Our mission is to maximize the quality and enjoyment of the lives we serve through the Christian ministry of healing, hospitality, and community created and maintained within the tradition of the First Mennonite Church of Reedley.” Lifestyle options for seniors at Sierra View Homes make it possible to have valued independence without the worry or fear of being alone Sierra View’s Activities and Social Service staff work hard to provide several different activities for residents of every level of functioning. These activities engage the residents physically, socially, mentally, and spiritually
Agency Practices Because SVH has three individual services available on one campus, the practices of the facility are varied. Common to all levels of care is a commitment to safety and quality of life Each level offers the highest degree of independence and self-determination that it can, without causing harm to the resident Source: http://wisdom.unu.edu/en/active-aging/
Agency Practices Apartment Living offers the most freedom and independence while allowing residents to remain free of many of the responsibilities of home ownership There are several different sizes and floor plan options for the apartments . The variety makes this lifestyle a viable option for seniors who are looking for affordable housing, and also for those who want a more spacious, modern living space.
Agency Practices Residents have access to the facility’s Wellness Center. The Wellness Center has exercise machines and a heated pool and spa. They offer water aerobics classes and the help of a trained instructor. Meal plans are also available for the residents. They are free to make their own meals if they live in the apartments, or they can sign up to come into the dining room and eat their meals there. Residents in Assisted Living or Skilled Nursing are all on a meal plan
Agency Practices Another great service that Sierra View provides is a program specifically for seniors with memory impairment. The Special Needs Program is for residents with late stage Alzheimer’s or other kind of dementia. People with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) have different needs than other seniors because they are usually easily confused and prone to wandering The Special Needs Program is a specific room in the Skilled Nursing facility where the memory impaired residents spend their days. People with AD benefit from a consistent daily routine and surroundings with limited distractions
Agency Practices SVH has an activities staff that takes a personal interest in the residents’ psychosocial well-being. Activities made available to the residents on a regular basis are movies and popcorn, reminiscing, Bible studies, church services, music programs, tabletop cooking, arts and crafts, Bingo, puzzles, and other games
Residents are encouraged, but not obligated, to come out of their rooms and participate
Significance Sierra View Homes offers services and opportunities for a vulnerable population of seniors. Residents of Sierra View are treated with dignity and worth, without regard to their age or level of functioning. Residents are made aware of their rights to privacy and self-determination when they are admitted. We strive to create an environment in which the residents can live in an active and joyful community with a staff that is conscientious of their age appropriate needs and concerns.
Understanding this hierarchy is important because if we strive to help our residents function at their highest level of functioning and quality of life, then we need to know that there are underlying conditions that must be met before we can see their self-esteem improve.
Significance Sierra View Homes understands and practices the social work value of the importance of human relationships This facility is run in a way that feels more like family than business The staff is encouraged to take the time to get to know each resident and not simply rush through the day The residents in assisted living and skilled nursing are cared for by the same nurses and staff every week. This consistency shows the commitment to building relationships