By Fern Marder
At Parker, we believe in celebrating successes and honoring achievements. Last month, we celebrated the fifth anniversary or a ground-breaking achievement that has begun to change society’s view of long-term nursing care — the construction and implementation of the “small home” model that we established at Parker at Monroe.
Five years ago, we opened the doors of Parker at Monroe, which was designed using the “small home” model, where 16 residents with similar needs live in each small home. It did not take us long to learn that if a resident begins to become withdrawn and reluctant to socialize with others, it was most likely a symptom that he may now longer be at the same level of cognition with other residents in the small home. But, when we move this elder to a small home for those living with mid- to later stage dementia, he feels more comfortable, begins socializing again and participates in group activities. It takes a close-knit group of employees to manage the processes and services of each small home, and we are proud that our staff worked so hard to embrace our vision of the small home model and implement it.
At the fifth anniversary celebration for the leaders and staff of Parker at Monroe, Roberto Muñiz, President and CEO, described this accomplishment: “From the start, we were transformational by designing this unique small home model of care. It is the opposite of traditional institutional long-term care practices and focuses more on person-directed living. We were transformational in how we envisioned the responsibilities of our care partners and in how the set-up of this home would look, with each small home having its own unique atmosphere. Yet, all the ideas were not successful until they were adopted and implemented by you – the team that made everything we had planned for years a reality.”
Beth Sparling, COO, added: “At your amazing holiday party, I had the opportunity to speak with many of your families and elders. A common theme that I heard was why they decided to move to Parker at Monroe. They say (it was) because of the relationships you have fostered with the elders, with each other, and their families. That’s a calling! That’s something that you accepted when you came to this field and why you have stayed here at Monroe. So, on behalf of Parker and the Board of Trustees, we thank you for accepting that calling and for continuing to remain committed in the future.”