A Message from the President of Garden View Care Center
Hello, my name is Richard.
I grew up in a close knit family in St Louis. My mother and father lived close to my grandparents and we would frequently spent time together. After college my two siblings moved away to other parts of the country and when my dad passed in 1989 I was the only relative my mom had here in St Louis and I took on the responsibility of her welfare. Mom continued to live in the family home and apart from being a little eccentric. She remained in good health until her 86th birthday year when she suffered from a series of falls.
Having my mother fall alone in her home caused me to worry about her well-being and after some soul searching my brother and sister and I decided it would be best if our mother would go to Garden View Care center where she could live in a light filled garden view suite with the added benefit of 24 hour help on hand in case of any medical need.
My mother made the adjustment well and within a few weeks had settled in making friends with her new neighbors and was enjoying the company of other women and men her age. There were trips to the casino and local parks and she also was invited to walk the bases at a Cardinals game. As my mother approached her 90’s her health declined as she was suffering from dementia. My mother‘s appetite diminished and she found it difficult to talk. With the expert care that she received from the dedicated staff at Garden View Care center staff she eased into her remaining days with dignity.
She is sadly missed but through the experience of having my mother at Garden View Care Center I learned a lot, not only did I become an integrated family member of Garden View but I became a better President of Garden View.
Richard Winter's Message
Thank you for all you have done / are doing for Myra and Richard, and the members of the family. The thoughts expressed in this letter are from Myra (mostly Myra).
Almost every day someone provides for the needs of Myra. Examples of that care are below:
- A touch, hug or kiss
- A shower
- A get up and go assist
- A “Hello Myra” greeting
- Going to the toilet
- Cleaning a dirty bottom
- Dispensing the meds
- Patience when Myra doesn’t want to do something she needs to
- Staying up to date on Myra’s ever changing needs and providing for them
- Dealing with sadness and worry on the part of Myra and members of her family
- Doing all of the above while taking care of a number of other Garden View person with needs more serious than those of Myra
- Doing all of it with an “I’ll Help You” attitude, a smile and a hug.
Thank you to the total staff at Garden View. It takes all of you, all of the time, to make Garden View a special place for the residents, and especially for us. Some observations are below:
- The yard looks good and is inviting
- The inside is clean and smells good, most of the time
- The front room is pretty
- Repairs are made in a timely manner
- The food is good, most of the time
- Most of the helpers are patient and helpful as they do for others
- The receptionists set the tone and always have a sweet smile
- The nursing staff does it all
- The food service persons are patient as they deal with varied requests
- The helpers that serve the residents ever changing needs, demands, and requests are usually angels
- The other up front persons are always available and help make for a smooth everything
- The therapists know what they are doing, what to do, when to do it, and how much. They are common sense persons and advocates for Myra.
All the good happenings that we have described in this letter didn’t just happen.
It is like the “turtle on top of the fence post” story.
Whenever you see a turtle on top of a fence post, know that the turtle didn’t get there by itself.
Same with Garden View.
Myra and Richard
My husband has been a resident at Garden View Care of Chesterfield center since June 2009. He was diagnosed with Frontal Temporal Disintegration (FTD) earlier that year. FTD is a type of dementia characterized by personality changes, poor judgment/ reasoning, extreme inhibitions, inability to learn and retain information and or speech difficulties. Clearly, it was a devastating diagnosis for our family. His behaviors became unpredictable and in some cases dangerous to him and to us. Our choices were very limited: we could increase his medications to quell his behaviors (over medicate) or move him to a residential facility that would provide a safe and secure environment.
We choose to move him to Garden View because of the memory care focus and activity program. The staff worked tirelessly to make him feel safe as well as useful during the transition. Being one of the younger residents, the staff involved him in helping others, setting up activities, and leading the exercises. There is always something to be involved in – a game, singing, a craft or a cooking session. They schedule many special events throughout the year and appeal to the varied interests of the residents. As his abilities have diminished, they continue to accommodate and adjust activities to meet his needs.
The staff treats him with dignity and respect. Everyone – without exception – an activity manager, housekeeper, nurse, CMT, food server, housekeeper or administrator greets him as a friend. They appear genuinely happy to see him and his family as well. He is relaxed and comfortable and has developed good relations with other residents. They formed a community and watch out for each other. I’ve only had this one intense experience in a nursing home environment. No one wants to move a loved one to a protected environment. Garden View has changed my previous perception.
As we approach the end of service Garden View Care Center has provided to my mother, I wanted to take a few moments and share my appreciation for everything you and your caring staff have given.
With many seniors diagnosed with the Alzheimer’s disease, special care is needed to address the confusion, frustration and sometimes non-compliant protests to care. My mother was no exception. I experienced first hand the heart filled response your staff employed to meet her every need – not through challenging or commanding corrective action but by introducing conversation, guiding her response and redirection to leave her feeling safe and secure. Within weeks she regained the weight loss she had experience before coming to Garden View and was actively engaged with others in song, games and meals.
As the years continued, your staff remained unwavering in their commitment to total care. Regardless of the time, shift, weekday or weekend, my visits always found your staff engaging and attentive of not only her needs but also those of others. As her memory faded and she was unable to recognize family and friends, your staff never failed to acknowledge and reintroduce us, relying on the personal relationship and trust they had developed with her to provide words of comfort and assurances, allowing her the dignity to recognize and embrace our visits.
The care provided was not absent expert attention to her physical health. The frequent care plan meetings allowed me to gain the confidence and trust in the administration of care. The records retained and the openness to share those records was comforting. The follow-up phone calls to those timely notifications of unanticipated slips, trips or falls have been of great value.
I realize that once my mother leaves Garden View, my visits and conversations with you and your staff will come to an end. I couldn’t turn this chapter in our relationship without expressing my sincere gratitude for the professionalism, dedication, attention and affection you and your committed team have provided to her 24 hours a day… each and every weekday, weekend and holiday.
If I may ever be of service, please do not hesitate to call.