Advice from a family on visiting nursing homes

May family visits in the McLean gardens.     I’m often asked by families how to assess nursing homes for their loved one. Peter and Rebecca May offered to share their experience. They have been the caregivers for Peter’s mother for several years. She has lived in assisted living centers and two nursing homes. She is currently a resident at the McLean Home. When I asked Rebecca about their choice, she began to explain her mother-in-law’s first day. “The day she moved in, the dining staff made sure the other folks were to her right at her table so she could hear them.” That seems like a simple thing, but she told me it was never thought about in other places. “They also routinely do her nails and her hair.” Mrs. May held out her hands showing off the pretty light pink polish telling me that pink is her favorite color. Rebecca said that she had to care for Mrs. May’s nails and often her hair when she visited her in other places. Rebecca said this can be summed up in one word, “dignity.” It is easy to look at residents in homes and see if their nails are groomed, the ladies have jewelry on, and the men’s outfits fit and are fresh. I have heard from families that when they visit a parent in some assisted living and skilled nursing facilities they never know what they will be wearing and often they are not their own clothes. In person-centered organizations with consistent staff assignments, this attention to each person’s needs and wishes becomes possible.

McLean Auxiliary Art Galley Hosts Woodcraft Show

Pierre Bastien art exhibit in the McLean Auxiliary Gallery at the McLean Health Center.Monthly the McLean Auxiliary invites different artists to their display work in the art gallery in the McLean Health Center, 75 Great Pond Rd, Simsbury. Visitors, residents, and patients all enjoy the variety of mediums and subject matter. Pierre Bastien of Broad Brook is the July artist. His exhibit is wooden bowls, candle sticks and other pieces created on his lathe. Pierre loves to work with a wide variety of woods so the items are each very different and special. He seasons his own wood appreciating donations from his brother-in-law who manages the Quabbin Resevoir. McLean Home resident, Pam Yost, is an artist herself. She delighted in the many types of woods and patterns of Pierre’s pieces.

Flute Music Floats through McLean

Allison Mackenzie Hughes plays her flute in a hallway of the McLean Health Center.Allison Makenzie Hughes of Simsbury studies flute at Hartt College at the University of Hartford. She will spend much of her summer at performing arts centers but thought that spending three weeks with elders would be a great experience. The residents of the McLean Health Center have welcomed Allison with open arms. She reports that she is falling in love with many of them. Spending three to four hours a day playing for the residents is a great way to for her practice and a wonderful gift she is giving to others. She visits residents in their rooms and pays soothing music.

Weekly Resident Activity Schedule

June 2013 Best Life Newsletter

June 2013 Special Events Calendar

McLean Auxiliary Celebrates a Great Year at the Annual Meeting and Strawberry Festival

Lorraine Daigle, McLean Auxiliary Scholarship chair (left), awards Jenifer Wilkinson of Granby, a CNA at the McLean Health Center and full time LPN student, the 2013 Scholarship.The McLean Auxiliary held its Annual Meeting and Strawberry Festival on Monday, June 3rd.  For more than 45 years, the very dedicated members of the McLean Auxiliary have supported the programs, residents and staff at McLean. This was another wonderful year with dozens of volunteers running the gift shop, offering special programs, and hosting fundraising events, reported McLean Auxiliary President Alison Hampton Bigman.

The meeting opened with the presentation of the $1,500 Auxiliary scholarship by Lorraine Daigle, chair of the Scholarship Committee.  Mrs. Daigle said “It is my distinct pleasure to announce that Jennifer Wilkinson, a full time Certified Nursing Assistant at McLean, is the 2013 recipient. Jennifer, a resident of Granby, is a goal oriented, determined and intelligent young woman. Jennifer currently holds an AD from Asnuntuck Community College, and while working full time as a CNA is pursuing full time her LPN at A.I. Price Technical School. Additionally, Jennifer is the mother of two school aged children and, when time permits, volunteers with her church. Jennifer’s references describe her as “dedicated, hardworking, conscientious, and committed to giving excellent care to her patients.” They also told us she shows great potential to become a wonderful nurse.