This week as part of our Getting-to-Know-You-series we would like to introduce you to our new Resident Council President, Joan McCarthy. Joan is a NYC girl, born and raised. After she graduated high school, Joan went to work for Con Edison and spent the majority of her 42 years there as a computer operator. Her extended family, a network of nieces and nephews, keeps her spirit young. Joan is 87 years old and this feisty woman has been resident of Sprain Brook Manor for almost fourteen years. She initially served as Vice President and when the top spot opened up, Joan stepped into the challenge. The Resident Council plays an important role here at Sprain Brook Manor and advocates for our patients and residents. Over the past several years, she’s seen many people come and go and has witnessed multiple changes. One of the benefits of serving on the council is that she can assure that her voice is heard. “I have a very good life here. I don’t have to worry about the doctor, dentist or the foot doc. Everything is here that I need. If it’s not here…I get very good help to get out there.” We love you, Joan and look forward to the next 14 years!
If there’s one quality at Sprain Brook Manor that we have an abundance of, it’s personality! One of those vibrant personalities belongs to Joni Campbell and if you’ve been to Sprain, then you must have met Joni. She is a feisty ball of energy who juggles multiple tasks and when you get to know her, it’s evident that hers is a labor of love.
Joni has been with Sprain Brook Manor for eight years. She arrived in healthcare after several years in retail. When she first came on board at Sprain, Joni started as a receptionist but quickly began taking on other responsibilities from the front desk. Whether it was helping residents with a special food order or aiding a family as they adjusted to their new reality, Joni was always willing to jump in and help. As she told me, “They couldn’t keep me in my seat any longer. So Ari came to me and said, ‘You will be client services now!’”
Her official title may be Client Services but she also helps plan many of our events, is the purchasing director for all non-clinical supplies for both Sprain and our sister facility, Adira at Riverside. As if that isn’t enough hats to wear, Joni also serves as the Administrative Assistant for the company CEO, Allen “Ari” Stein.
Nowadays, many people change jobs the way others change their socks, and eight years is a long time to remain at one company. So, I asked Joni what she loves so much about working at Sprain Brook.
“Our staff treats our residents as family and friends…We offer food to the visitors, this way they can have lunch or dinner with their family or friends. Plus, we have the best recreation here, and bring in entertainment all the time.”
To say that Joni loves her job would be an understatement but the job loves her too. We call her the ‘Google’ of Sprain Brook because if there is anything that you need to know about Sprain Brook Manor, then Joni probably has the answer and if she doesn’t, you can be sure she won’t rest until she gets it.
I asked Joni to give me three words that she feels are best to describe Sprain Brook Manor and she said, “Warm. Family. Outstanding.”
That warm family feeling, the one that many visitors attribute to our facility, comes directly from the people who work here and Joni is certainly at the heart of it. We are a 5 -star facility because of the outstanding people who work here, people like Joni!
Sprain Brook Manor recently received a 5- star rating from CMS.gov, the highest rating a facility can receive from the government. While we are obviously proud of this hard-earned accomplishment, it would not have been possible without all of the people who make our facility the special place that it is.
One of the outstanding individuals who serve our patients, residents and their families, is our Director of Social Services, Sherry Saturno.
When you meet Sherry, you immediately notice her bright smile, gentle demeanor and unmistakable warmth. Within moments of getting to know her, it’s clear that she operates from a place of compassion, understanding, and experience. All of these qualities are key components to her success as the Director of Social Services at Sprain Brook Manor.
Over the course of her highly successful and decorated career, Sherry has worked in various areas within her field. She’s helped at-risk youth and teen sex workers, clients in local housing authorities in New York City, worked as a direct care social worker, as a clinical director at a medical center, and as an executive director of a non-profit but her passion lies in helping seniors and their families.
When asked what she loves best about working with seniors, specifically here at Sprain Brook Manor, she said, “Seeing how seniors can still maintain a vibrant lifestyle…and have lots of friends here, lots of activities. Our nursing home and rehab center can be a place of support, a place of community. Where people are still learning and keeping up with current events.”
Sherry’s passion is evident not only in her day to day work here at Sprain but also in the diverse accomplishments outside the office, of which there are many. However, most families who sit down with Sherry may never know about the wide range of her professional achievements.
You see, Sherry doesn’t like to toot her own horn, so that’s why we’re tooting it for her.
Sherry is a national award-winning social worker with a multitude of degrees, and credits on her resume and this spring she’ll be adding another.
On April 14th, in Atlanta, Georgia, Sherry will be inducted as a Distinguished Fellow and Practitioner at the 2018 National Forum by the National Academies of Practice. NPA is a non-profit, inter-professional organization, comprised of 250 healthcare professionals who are carefully selected from all over the nation. NPA holds Healthcare Policy Forums, Membership Symposiums, Annual Conferences and Congressional Briefings.
Sprain Brook Manor is honored to be sponsoring Sherry’s upcoming trip to the NPA forumfor her induction. She’ll even be giving a speech while she’s there. Some people might feel nervous about taking on this high profile public speaking opportunity. Not our Sherry. Truth be told, it’s not a new experience for her because Sherry has given a TEDx Talk, Use Your Broken Heart to Find Your Greatness.
Wait. There’s more.
When she isn’t rocking amazing speeches, Sherry is busy being an award-winning filmmaker. Her short film, Human Investment, won the 2016 National Association of Social Workers Media Award for Best Documentary Film.
The list of Sherry’s professional accomplishments is seemingly endless and we are so proud to have her as an integral part of our Sprain Brook Manor team.
However, what rises above all the degrees and awards, is Sherry’s kindness and her dedication to the patients, residents, and families here at Sprain Brook.
Keep up the great work, Sherry! We are lucky to have you on our team.
With the arrival of Thanksgiving, the holiday season has officially begun. For many families, it is the time of year where they travel and see loved ones they may not have seen for several months. For other families, it may be the part of the year where they spend long stretches of time with their elderly family members. For children of aging adults, the holiday season is a cherished time they can spend with their elderly parents. However, it is also a time of year where children can better assess their elderly parents’ cognitive functioning. If you are going to be spending an extended period of time with an aging loved one it is important to look out for any red flags that may require more assessment or intervention.
Extreme Changes in weight: If you have noticed that your elderly loved ones have lost or gained a significant amount of weight since your last visit you may need to consult a medical professional to assess the potential causes of this change in weight. Extreme weight loss in the elderly could be due to cancer, dementia, heart failure, depression or other serious issues. Weight gain can also be caused by depression, heart disease, and medication. Significant changes in weight can be symptoms of a larger issue that need immediate intervention. In addition, significant weight changes can lead to increased medical problems such as type 2 diabetes.
Changes in Home Environment: If it has been awhile since you have visited your elderly loved one’s residence and noticed their once clean and organized home is a mess with overflowing piles of garbage and uncleaned laundry this could be a sign of declining functioning. Even if your aging loved one was never known to be the cleanest and most organized individual, having them live in a messy and dirty environment could put them at increased risk of falling or getting sick.
If upon visiting your aging loved one you realize that they may need further assessment by a medical expert it will be important to broach the topic carefully. The holiday season is stressful for everyone and adding a serious and important conversation about your aging adults weight, home environment or other concerns can lead them to feel attacked or judged. Therefore you may want to begin the conversation by reviewing with them their previous doctor visits and making a new appointment with their primary care physician where you can voice some of your concerns. If your concerns are very serious, you may have to look into long-term nursing home care with skilled nursing services.
This post is provided by Sprain Brook Manor Rehab which Provides unique opportunity to recover from medical procedures that result in true satisfying results. Getting you stronger and better every day. Contact Us today to receive more information.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this post in not intended to be construed as health advice, nor should it be considered a substitute for obtaining individual medical counsel or consulting your physician.
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