“We want to thank you for the wonderful care given to our mother. The registered nurse connected with our mom in the most loving manner…(and) was a calming effect throughout.”
– Siblings Rick Friedberg and Georgian Glazer
Striving to better accommodate seniors is central to the service culture at Lifespace Communities. By continuously listening to feedback, Lifespace is able to enhance its current offerings and introduce new resources that are essential to residents’ well-being. Following this approach, the organization recently launched its care coordination program to provide holistic care management for Lifespace residents regardless of the level of care needed.
“The decision to launch our care coordination program was shaped by our understanding that wellness begins with a proactive approach to achieve successful aging,” noted Linda Humbert, national director of home health at Lifespace. “It’s important that we think outside the box and tie into our support of the spiritual, physical, intellectual and social wellbeing of residents.”
According to Humbert, standard care coordination services are typically task oriented. For instance, they might focus on helping a senior with their medication management, or some other facet of daily living, such as homemaking or showers. Lifespace’s care coordination approach differs by focusing on every aspect of daily living altogether, instead of the sum of its parts. Uses can range from acquiring a companion for an event in the greater community to simply having someone present to spend time and have conversations with. The options are endless.
“Think of it as having your son or daughter or best friend around, and the strong bond within that relationship,” said Humbert. “Our team members really get to know residents and understand their emotions, wants and needs, and how to best cater to them. They become part of the family.”
To ensure team members are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skill set to champion this new offering, Lifespace is encouraging its nurses to acquire Boston University’s Foundations in Aging & Disabilities Certification.
“We wanted to offer our nurses additional education and resources so they could be better advocates for seniors,” explained Humbert. “Having team members who are certified case managers in care coordination overcomes the barrier of having to outsource our geriatric care management.”
Since the launch of the care coordination program, several residents and their families have taken advantage of the service and their feedback has been stellar. One notable example is siblings Rick Friedberg and Georgian Glazer. Their mother, Gertrude Friedberg, was a long-time resident at Harbour’s Edge in Delray Beach, Fla. Friedberg and Glazer jointly shared their appreciation for the services their mother received from the Lifespace care coordination team.
“We want to thank you for the wonderful care given to our mother,” they wrote. “The registered nurse connected with our mom in the most loving manner. She not only bridged the gap between patient and health care professional, but was a calming effect throughout. Our family couldn’t be more grateful.”
Humbert noted Lifespace is receiving many positive testimonials, including several from residents who received support from Care Coordination professionals during Hurricane Irma.
She added, “There’s so much potential to what this can achieve in the long run. It’s driven by simply listening to our residents and their families, and we aim to shape its future with this exact approach.”
(In the top photo: The supportive relationship formed between Tudie-Ann Clarke, Care Coordinator at Abbey Delray South, and resident Marsha Balet has been described as loving, fun and sisterly.)