Music therapy recliner will help

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Music therapy recliner will help provide relaxation to residents
Laura Berryman
Music Therapy Intern

Summer 2008

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A message from the administrator Center plans to start a family council

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ecause Good Samaritan Society – Stillwater is always searching for new activities and creative ways to incorporate wellness into residents’ lives, the center is raising funds to purchase a Somatron EZ Access Recliner. The recliner will help provide relaxation and tactile stimulation to residents. The center recently borrowed a Somatron mat from Good Samaritan Society-University Specialty Center for residents and staff members to try. The Somatron mat and Somatron recliner use vibroacoustic therapy, meaning that they vibrate so you can feel music when you lie on them. Any music CD can be used with the Somatron equipment. The Somatron company has been making vibroacoustic therapy products since 1985. According to its Web site, “Vibroacoustic therapy occurs when music is converted to tactile sensations, which permeate your whole body with stimulating and soothing sound vibrations.”

After trying the mat, residents have commented: “I felt better than I did before.” “I enjoyed it.” “This is interesting.” Staff members are saying: “I want one of these at home.” “I am just counting the people [residents] who would really be into this.” Because the mat is several inches thick and lies on top of an existing bed, residents have had difficulty transferring on and off the mat. For ease of use, the center will raise funds for a Somatron EZ Access Recliner. It will allow residents to stay safely on a reclining seat while they experience the vibroacoustic therapy. The arm of the chair moves away to provide easy transfer. It is wheelchair height, making it a safer solution when residents need to sit or stand up. With this product, residents can have a peaceful, relaxing experience without the disruption of transferring to and from the mat. Thank you to Good Samaritan Society-University Specialty Center for allowing us to borrow the Somatron mat. For more information or to make a donation toward the purchase of a Somatron EZ Access Recliner, please contact Pam Trudeau, director of community relations, at (651) 439-7180. V

Scholarship program updates Wish list

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Grace notes

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Gift shop offers gift certificates for therapy services Letter from a memory care resident Dietary department enhances services

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Center spotlight: Staff member recounts Hugo tornado

I n C h r i s t ’s L o v e E v e r y o n e I s S o m e o n e

A dministrator
from the

Scholarship program helps staff members

Broadway neighborhood changes

Nathan Pearson

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n the past, the Broadway Neighborhood at Good Samaritan Society – Stillwater has been a split unit with half transitional care (short-term rehabilitation) and half long-term care. It was also half private and half semi-private. Over the last six months, the center has focused on revamping the neighborhood by changing the entire unit to a transitional care format, where 21 of the 23 rooms will be private rooms. Each room has been painted and new furniture has been added. If you have been in our center, you may

remember that the north rooms of that unit are quite large since it was originally set up for three beds. These rooms will have additional furniture added to differentiate the living space from the sleeping space, giving the feeling of a studio apartment. I encourage you to stop by the center to check out these changes and ask for a guided presentation by one of our trained staff members. Anchored in Christ, Nathan Pearson, Administrator V

C enter plans to start a family council
Rebecca Marsnik
Director of Social Services

The employee scholarship program at Good Samaritan Society – Stillwater has surpassed expected participation levels. In 2007, the center had 26 participants who were awarded full scholarships for a variety of programs related to long-term care. So far, 14 participants in the program have received full scholarships in 2008. The recipients are enrolled in programs such as nursing, geriatrics, human resources, reflexology, massage therapy and pet-assisted therapy. By assisting staff members with the cost of their education, the center and its residents benefit from having skilled staff members who live in the community. Rachel Peréz, Human Resources Director V

Wish list

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he Good Samaritan Society – Stillwater is making many changes to keep up with the rapidly growing changes in long-term care to ensure the center is more homelike and focusing on person-centered care. One of those changes involves starting a family council. A family council is a self-led, selfdetermining group of relatives and friends of residents. It usually meets monthly and engages in a variety of activities. Family council groups are not led or directed by center staff members. Family councils give members opportunities to express concerns and to work for meaningful change in the center. Family councils provide orientation, support and information for families of new residents. They are also an informal

support group where families can share their feelings, process concerns and solve issues. Family councils benefit residents by providing family input into decisions and changes, organizing and sponsoring activities and events for residents and families, helping with fundraising to purchase items for residents or providing a needed service, such as visiting residents who do not have family members or friends who visit. Family councils benefit the center by providing two-way communication between the center and families. Not only are families able to express their concerns and ideas, but staff members are able to keep families informed of changes and needs within the center. Please call me at (651) 275-2629 if you are interested in being a part of our family council. V

The Good Samaritan Society – Stillwater seeks to continually enhance residents’ lives. The following are items that would benefit our residents: •	 Polar	fleece	yardage	for	residents to make blankets as part of the Giving Back program •	 Karaoke	machine	and	CDs	 •	 Wii	Fit	and	other	Wii	games •	 iPod	with	dock	and	speakers •	 Classic	movies	on	DVD •	 1940s,	1950s	and	1960s	music	 CDs •	 Somatron	recliner •	New	tubs	for	all	units •	 New	lifts Please call (651) 439-7180 if you would like to make a donation. V

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Summer 2008 January

G race notes
Valerie Snyder
Chaplain he days of my past year have been filled with utter chaos. There. I said it. As the new chaplain at Good Samaritan Society – Stillwater, I am still amazed at where I have ended up, considering where I was just one year ago. My husband, Mike, and I were deeply entrenched in the adoption process, and oh, what a process it was. We were waiting for one specific little boy in China by the name of Nian Ping Liu. When we received our first bit of information about him, he was 18 months old, and considered “special needs” since he was born with a cleft lip and palate. We said we wanted to adopt him, and then we waited…and waited…and waited. It was exciting at first, but excitement turned into impatience. We had been told we would travel to get him in February or March. We saw pictures of him, and our “baby” was turning into a toddler and then a little boy. And we were missing it. Emotionally, that took its toll on us. This was our first child, and I was already deeply attached. At the time, I worked at a nursing home as a recreation coordinator and as an on-call chaplain at Children’s Hospital. The folks at the nursing home gave me a baby shower on April 25, which was Liu’s second birthday. It was bittersweet. May and June arrived and we were still waiting. July was a hard month. I was getting really distressed, and I felt pushed almost beyond what I could bear. One day, I was jittery and confused. I put my shirt on inside out and backward. I was on my way somewhere and drove into a parked car. Shattered glass was all over my

Life brings peaks and valleys
van. As I sat on the curb emptying glass out of my shoe and waiting for my	husband,	I	said,	“OK	Lord,	I	get	 it. I have to turn it all over to you. I have absolutely no control over this thing and it’s driving me crazy.” A couple days later, we got “the call.” We picked up our son on July 25, 2007. We were led down the dark hallway of an office building. Our guide said, “The boy will come out first” (we were with another family that was adopting a girl), and in an instant, there he was, headed straight toward me with his arms outstretched. I said, “Wo sur! Ni da Mama,” which in Mandarin means, “I am your mama.” With little sweaty palms, he grabbed the animal crackers I had brought for him and gave us an impish little grin. Unfortunately, I got so sick in China, I ended up in the hospital. I took time off from my job, and just when I got “organized” at home, it was time to return to work. I had decided that although I had gone to school to become a chaplain, and had worked as one in Chicago a few years ago, perhaps this was a time to stop pursuing that dream for awhile. Then, I heard about a job opening at Good Samaritan Society – Stillwater, which seemed to come up at such an unusual time, and I happily accepted the chaplain position. This past year has been a time of many changes and, with them, several peaks and valleys. I suspect that many of you can relate to the feelings that are brought on by times of transition. There have been several changes in recent months at Good Samaritan Society – Stillwater: changes in staffing, construction in rooms and the addition of transitional care rooms, to name just a few. Changes are not always easy, even if they are

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Chaplain Valerie Snyder and her son, Liu.

meant to be good changes. Perhaps you are a family member of a resident who is noting the many ways in which your loved one is just “not the same.” Couple that with the changes that are faced by our residents on a daily basis, and it is easy to see how no two days are ever alike at the center. Going through peaks and valleys will help us to be more sensitive to residents who are enduring them as well. When residents come here, they have usually experienced a myriad of losses along the way. None of us need to go it alone. In fact, God would rather we experience community than “tough it out” on our own. God tells us to “bear one another’s burdens” (Galatians 6:2) and that we should take our worries to the Lord and he will “give us rest” (Matthew 11:29). This is a lesson I am still learning. I remind myself of the peace I felt when I admitted to God (and myself ) that I needed some relief from waiting for my son and that I was truly not in control. Once I admitted that, and shared my experiences with others, my load was immediately lightened. My hope for us all in the coming months is that we would remember that we are not alone — we are in this together. I hope we can use one another for support, and in doing so, we would meet with the Holy and living God in all of our peaks and valleys. V Summer 2008 January

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Dietary department enhances service

The dietary department at Good Samaritan Society – Stillwater has instituted a new five-week menu rotation with added variety for residents. A second hot food option also is being offered at each meal. Dietary staff members look forward to hearing feedback from residents and family members about these enhancements. Other changes the dietary department plans to make include redecorating the dining rooms and revamping some of the serving procedures to make the mealtime experience more comfortable and appealing for residents. Staff members say they are excited about the changes. Please contact Dietary Manager Connie Canopy, Matt Pilla or Alissa Dox with any questions or suggestions at (651) 439-7180. V

ift Shop offers Gtherapy services gift certificates for
he Peek-A-Boo Gift Shop at Good Samaritan Society – Stillwater has gift certificates available for residents for services offered in the therapeutic recreation department. The gift certificates are $30 and are good for a 30-minute massage or therapeutic body work session at the center. The massages and therapy services are offered by Pam Neuenfeldt. Pam works in the therapeutic recreation department and is a board certified reflexologist and a massage therapy professional. Pam offers sessions in: Swedish massage – which relaxes soft tissues and muscles of the body using the hands to apply varying pressure and movements. Reflexology – which applies specific pressure using thumbs, fingers and hand techniques to stimulate reflex areas on the hands, feet or ears that represent different zones that correspond with parts of the body. Acupressure – which uses fingers to

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press specific points on the surface of the skin to stimulate the body’s natural ability to bring it into balance. When these points are pressed, they help to release muscular tension and promote circulation. Connective tissue massage – which is a form of massage where the hand lightly brushes back and forth over joints that are inflamed, sore or otherwise restricted from normal range of motion. Reiki massage – which works with the energies of the body to create a greater level of health and wellness overall, while helping to balance body, mind and spirit. Aromatherapy - which provides therapeutic effects by using essential oils from plants and flowers in a room fragrance diffuser during a massage, or in a lotion used for massage or in a foot bath soak. For more information about services offered by the therapeutic recreation department, please call (651) 275-8372. V

L etter from a memory care resident
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he following letter, from the perspective of memory care residents, was written by Memory Care Programmer Elisabeth Samson-Lee, in response to common questions and concerns from family members. If these residents were able to fully express themselves, this is what they might say: Dear family member, This is not how I imagined my life would turn out, though the reality is that it has. I may seem like a different person on the outside, but on the inside I am the same person. I have always been the same person. I am here. I may not immediately recognize you or remember your name, and it’s true that I can’t always recall details about things we have shared in the past. Please try to remember that in those moments, you are experiencing the disease and not what I am truly feeling in my heart. It is a huge struggle for me to live in this confusion because I know how much I am hurting you when you don’t feel recognized and when you can’t feel the love I am feeling for you. It is very important to me that you know this: Everything about you that you think I have forgotten is imprinted in my heart and in my soul, at the very core of my being. I just don’t know how to express it anymore. These very thoughts and memories of you are what bring me comfort and joy as I live with this ruthless disease. My heart breaks every time I can’t verbalize how I am feeling, and when I feel that I have let you down and become a burden in your

life. I can be at peace knowing that you believe in my unconditional love for you. I know you love me, and I realize how much of a challenge all of this is for you. It can’t be easy to see me this way. I ask that you honor me by being the best person you can be, living life to its fullest, and getting the most out of each and every moment. Be happy. Bring joy to others. Set a good example. Take chances. Mend fences. Appreciate life. Do your best. Cherish the memories. Love life. Love me. And know that I love you, too — always have, always will. I am blessed to have you in my life and appreciate all that you do for me. With deep love and heartfelt gratitude, Your loved one V Summer 2008 January

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C enterS potlight
Staff member recounts Hugo tornado
T hose at Good Samaritan Society – Stillwater have heard many stories of those affected by the Hugo tornado. The following story, taken from the Stillwater Gazette on June 2, 2008, recounts what happened to the center’s own maintenance director, Troy Duncanson.
Staff member Troy Duncanson’s home was destroyed by the tornado that hit Hugo on May 25.

Steve Morris

Reprinted with permission from the Stillwater Gazette

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makeshift cross stands among the debris Wednesday in the wake of a tornado that swept through Hugo on Sunday evening. He was moments away from launching his boat on the St. Croix River — quality time with his daughters and their friend was around the corner. Then came the phone call that he will remember forever. “Oh my God. Oh my God,” his wife, Gina, screamed into his ear. “There goes the garage.” Troy Duncanson, director of maintenance at Good Samaritan Society – Stillwater, had just received a call from his frantic wife, who was in the middle of one of the worst tornados to hit Washington County in decades. “All I could hear was loud thunderous noises and then the phone went dead,” Duncanson said. (He later learned one of the noises was the rear window of his wife’s car blowing out.) The father of three raced to his home in Hugo, emergency flashers working overtime, to locate his wife, Gina, and 17-year-old son, Matt. On his way, Duncanson was

stopped by a train. He took the opportunity to bow his head, close his eyes and pray — it was the only thing he could do in his life’s darkest moment. “I didn’t know what had happened yet,” he said, fighting back tears. “I knew it was serious.” Duncanson reached Hugo just in time before officials set a perimeter and closed off the area. If he had arrived later, he may not have been allowed in without a permit. Once Duncanson reached his house, he located his wife, who is also a volunteer with the Hugo Fire Department. He found her in the pond nearby helping pull survivors out of the water. It was the same pond where 2-year-old Nathaniel Prindle — the only person to perish in the storm — died. The May 25 tornado, which was estimated to have winds in the 150 mile per hour range, shocked Duncanson with its unforgiving power. “My snowmobile trailer is hanging five feet in the air, dangling from some trees,” he said. He also noted two six-foot-long support beams from his deck were missing, tossed away like toothpicks flung across the dinner table. Like everyone else who witnessed the tornado’s aftermath,

Duncanson said he was proud of the community’s response to the disaster. “We are just so lucky to have so many people that cared so much,” he said. With his family of five alive and physically uninjured, Duncanson was left to face the reality of the storm. His dream home, valued at $340,000, was still standing — minus the garage — but that was about it. “The damage is so bad; it might as well be torn down,” Duncanson said. The front of the house was extensively damaged, all the windows were gone, the siding was destroyed and a third of the roof was missing. A week after the storm, the house was starting to smell like mold. With the world around him in shambles, sleeping at night has been a chore. The Duncanson family spent the first two days after the tornado at the Best Western Hotel in White Bear Lake and Wednesday and Thursday at a friend’s house in Lino Lakes. This morning, Duncanson said he was looking at renting a townhouse in Hugo that escaped the damage until things get figured out. He wants to stay in Hugo. V

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Summer 2008 January

NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE

PAID
ThE EvANGElIcAl lUThERAN GOOD SAmARITAN SOcIETy

Good Samaritan Society – Stillwater
1119 Owens St N Stillwater MN 55082-4399

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Leadership team
ur Mission
Executive Director Sharon St. Mary Administrator Nathan Pearson Director of Nursing Caroline Frascone, RN Medical Director Jeff Sikkink, MD Chaplain Valerie Snyder, M.Div. Business Office Manager Linda Otteson Dietary Manager Connie Canopy Director of Environmental Services Nancy Lee Director of Maintenance Troy Duncanson Director of Social Services Rebecca Marsnik, LSW Director of Therapeutic Recreation Laura Kramer, AC Health Information Coordinator Linda Otteson Human Resources Coordinator Rachel Perez Director of Community Relations Pam Trudeau

The mission of The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society is to share God’s love in word and deed by providing shelter and supportive services to older persons and others in need, believing that

Advisory board
Paula Hanley Erv Neff Mary McComber David Stepan Neil Tift Dr. Marie Witte

In Christ’s Love, Everyone Is Someone.

Good Samaritan Society – Stillwater
Phone: (651) 439-7180 Fax: (651) 439-4502 www.good-sam.com

The Good Samaritan Society – Stillwater is a not-for-profit organization that closely follows the Good Samaritan Society’s standards of excellence, Christ-centered mission and philosophy of caring for the whole person, body and soul. The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society provides housing and services to qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin or other protected statuses according to federal, state and local laws. All faiths or beliefs are welcome. © 2008 The Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society. All rights reserved. Volume 6 / Number 1

The Bridge

6

Summer 2008


				
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