New Family Takeout Meals for Lutheran Employees

With everyone’s nerves on high alert as the Novel Coronavirus continues to sweep through New York State, Senior Leadership at the Lutheran Campus in Jamestown have made sure to pay extra attention to the staff and their needs during this time of uncertainty. As a healthcare facility, nursing homes are considered an “essential business” so all staff report to work as usual, regardless of which department they work in.

“The COVID-19 public health crisis we’re facing as a society is unprecedented,” said Tom Holt, President and CEO for Lutheran. “Though our mission is to protect our residents from harm’s way at all times, we know there are some scary realities many of our staff are personally facing while not at work. Childcare, food access and meal planning, layoffs of loved ones, and other issues are plaguing our community and nation so we want to help them wherever we can,” said Holt.

Though recruitment of nursing staff remains a top priority, the Human Resources Department at Lutheran has become a hub of information on how employees can help their affected family members file for unemployment, find child care solutions in the community, information on Lutheran’s Employee Assistance Program and the SAFER program offered through The Resource Center, as well as other resources needed to supplement their altered daily life. To help ease the tension from a nutritional standpoint, Lutheran created a new program to help employees get access to meals for their families.

“We’ve all seen the store shelves and watched people hoard food during this time. It is putting a significant burden on our workers, especially those with young families. Many of them are putting in extra time to care for our residents and cannot make it to the store immediately after their shift. By then, many food supplies they need are gone,” said Holt. “As a company, we are fortunate enough to have access to food resources that others do not, so we’ve created Family Takeout Meals that our employees can sign up for regardless of position or income,” he said. The Family Takeout Meals are available free to all staff on Thursday of each week. The three-course meals feed up to four people and range from pasta and meatballs to roast turkey and stuffing. Lutheran’s Dietary Department created the new meal plan that over 175 employees took advantage of in week one. The program will continue until community workforce bans and travel restrictions are lifted.

From a wellness perspective, employees can also participate in Guided Meditation during their lunch breaks with the nursing home’s Music Therapist.

“Meditation and music is good for the body. It helps decrease stress and strengthens our immune systems,” said Elizabeth Dooher, NMT, MT-BC, Music Therapist at Lutheran. “In our short mindfulness sessions, we¬¬ scan areas of our body for discomfort, release any areas of tension, and allow the music to help us relax,” said Dooher. The sessions incorporate social distancing requirements where necessary. Dooher is also working to create Guided Meditation MP3 files for staff to listen to while not at work or who cannot make it during their break times.

“Our employees are the miracle workers here, going to extraordinary lengths for our residents and finding a sense of solidarity in the process. We have an obligation to protect them and their wellbeing just as much as our residents, and our entire leadership and management team is committed to doing that in the face of adversity,” said Holt.

Hultquist Place Holds St. Joseph’s Table

With chaos currently surrounding the daily lives of everyone in the country, the staff at the Hultquist Place Assisted Living Program in Jamestown have been making sure to provide a sense of normalcy for their residents whenever they can!

While still maintaining social distance and infection prevention measures, the staff of Hultquist Place held their annual St. Joseph’s Table luncheon for their residents on Wednesday afternoon. The treats, biblical stories, and laughs were a welcome distraction from everything going on around them. Chef Carm Vullo, the dietary department, clinical staff, and Pastor Dan Rumfelt helped make the annual event happen once again.

EDGEucation Series: Three Phases of Healing – March 18 CANCELLED

**THIS PROGRAM HAS BEEN CANCELLED AND WILL BE RESCHEDULED AT A LATER DATE.** (Updated 3/9/20)

The Edgewood Communities at Lutheran have announced a new series of educational programs open to the community at the Edgewood Commons beginning in March. The new “EDGEucation Series” will bring trusted leaders and professionals from around the community to one convenient location to share information on a wide range of fun and educational topics.

The first program in the series, “3 Phases of Healing”, will be held on Wednesday, March 18, at 6:00 pm. The program is free and open to the public but RSVP is required due to limited seating. The program’s run time is estimated to be 60 minutes.

“We’re excited to relaunch our free community programming and even more excited to host them in our brand new space at the Edgewood Commons,” said Edwin Rodriguez Jr., Director of Public Relations and Marketing for Lutheran. “This is a really great topic to start with and is something all age groups can benefit learning from,” said Rodriguez.

3 Phases of Healing is presented by Jennifer Merchant, an AADP Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Clinical Nutritionist working for Barkstrom Natural Health in Jamestown.

“To heal yourself, you have to understand how you got where you are in the first place,” said Merchant. “In our workshop, attendees will learn why the body starts breaking down and how they can reverse that process to regain energy, slow down the aging process, and heal naturally,” she said. Attendees are welcome to bring questions with them for after the program.

Jennifer Merchant, AADP Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Clinical Nutritionist

Senior Life Matters to Host Free Seminar on Medicare Special Enrollment Periods

Janell Sluga and Tiffany Erhard from the Senior Life Matters program at Lutheran will be hosting a free seminar in February on Medicare Special Enrollment Periods. The program, titled “Medicare Special Enrollment Periods: What is so special about them?” will be held on Thursday, February 13 from 3-5:00 pm at the new Edgewood Commons located at 737 Falconer Street.

“For people in the community with Medicare insurance, it can be difficult at times to know when it is ok to switch insurance products,” said Janell Sluga, Geriatric Care Manager with Senior Life Matters. “At this program, we will review and take questions from the attendees,” said Sluga. Other topics to be discussed at the seminar include Medicare Advantage Plan enrollment periods, Medicare Part B enrollment periods, and new Special Enrollment Periods available to Medicare subscribers in 2020.

To register for this free program or to learn more about Senior Life Matters, visit www.jamestowninternetmarketing.com/lss or call 716-665-8199.

Lutheran offers a continuum of care that supports an individual’s journey through life with compassion, dignity, and respect.

Supply Drive Benefits Our Local Blue Star Mothers

On December 4, our employees held a supply drive to benefit our local Blue Star Mothers Lake Erie Chapter. In exchange for a dress down day at work, employees brought in donations to be included in care packages that will be sent to soldiers overseas during the holidays. This is a small snapshot of the donations that came in… over 1,000 items in total were donated in one day! Blue Star Mothers are mothers who now have, or have had, children honorably serving in the military. The organization is a nonprofit 501c3 veterans service organization supporting military children while promoting patriotism. To learn how you too can participate and donate, call 716-499-6897.

Residents and Volunteers at Hultquist Place Donate to St. Susan Center

Resident Council members from the Hultquist Place Assisted Living Program at Lutheran hold various fundraising events for charity throughout the year. (From left) Margaret Ostrander, Pat Treharne, and volunteer Harris Goldstein recently presented a check for $150 to the St. Susan Center represented by Bonny Scott-Sleight, the center’s Executive Director (right). St. Susan Center was one of six local nonprofits to receive a donation which came from resident, employee, and visitors’ contributions. St. Susan Center is open year round offering meals, fellowship, dignity, and respect to all who come through their doors. With the holidays approaching, food and monetary donations are encouraged. Arrangements can be made by calling 716-664-2253.

Over 75 Children Attend Halloween Costume Parade at Lutheran

Over 75 children and grandchildren of residents and employees at Lutheran came to visit Hultquist Place Assisted Living Program and the Lutheran Home and Rehabilitation Center for a Halloween costume parade on Friday evening. The event, which traced through both buildings, allowed the children to trick-or-treat while residents passed out candy donated by Lutheran employees. The Halloween event is one of the most highly anticipated events each year. After the costume parade, the LHRC Activities Department hosts an event for families with cupcakes, cider, games, and crafts in Christ Chapel.

Lutheran Resident Councils Host Fundraiser for Breast Cancer

In the beginning of October, the Resident Councils from Hultquist Place Assisted Living Program and Lutheran Home and Rehabilitation Center hosted a sub sandwich fundraiser with the help of Tasta Pizza in Falconer to raise money for breast cancer awareness. The resident groups sold 60 sub sandwiches to staff, residents, and visitors with $200 being donated to the WCA Foundation in honor of the Links Pink 5K.

Hultquist Place Assisted Living Program at Lutheran Recognizes Employees of the Year

Employees at Hultquist Place Assisted Living Program on the Lutheran Campus in Jamestown celebrated National Assisted Living Week from September 8-14. During the festivities, Jenny Johnson, LPN, was recognized as Direct Care Employee of the Year and Stephanie Hetrick, Facility Coordinator, was recognized as Indirect Care Employee of the Year at a special luncheon surrounded by residents and colleagues.

“We’re blessed beyond belief to have such a compassionate and dedicated group of people working with our residents every day,” said Kathy Lynch, Administrator of Hultquist Place. “Jenny and Stephanie really stood out this year and we want to recognize them for going above and beyond,” said Lynch. Staff at Hultquist Place provide a wide range of services for their residents including meal preparation, housekeeping, grounds maintenance, nursing, social work, on-campus activities, off-campus field trips, and more.

Jenny Johnson, LPN, has worked at Hultquist Place since 2017. Jenny was recognized for her strong communication and leadership skills, flexibility with her schedule and duties performed, her assistance with medical clinics, and being a role model for other staff. Stephanie Hetrick has been with the organization since 2011. Originally beginning her career in housekeeping, Stephanie moved up into various roles and now helps with facility maintenance and coordination and is considered a wealth of information when it comes to buildings and systems. Both employees were nominated by their peers and selected by the residents themselves.

“National Assisted Living Week is the perfect time to hold this luncheon and honor these outstanding young women,” said Tom Holt, President and CEO of Lutheran. “Not only do we know our residents are cared and provided for properly, but these ladies’ coworkers admire them and their work as well,” said Holt.

Established by the National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) in 1995, National Assisted Living Week provides a unique opportunity for residents, their loved ones, staff, volunteers, and the surrounding communities to recognize the role of assisted living in caring for America’s seniors and individuals with disabilities. The annual observance encourages assisted living communities around the country to offer a variety of events and activities to celebrate the individuals they serve, as well as to help educate members of the public about this distinctive aspect of long term care. Designated as a true Assisted Living Program in New York State, Hultquist Place stands out from others in the region.

“Our facility is unique in that all services provided here are included for the residents who live with us. Our residents enjoy freedom and independence when they want it or a little extra help when they need it. Plus, we’re Medicaid eligible which helps with admission for lower income folks who need safe, comfortable surroundings,” said Lynch. “Our staff make their lives easier all-around and we’re always looking to build the team around us,” she said.

To learn more about career opportunities at Lutheran, visit www.lutherancareers.org. To learn more about Hultquist Place Assisted Living Program for yourself or a loved one, visit www.jamestowninternetmarketing.com/lss or call 716-720-9610.

Senior Life Matters to Host Medicare 2020 Open Enrollment Programs at the New Edgewood Commons

The Edgewood Communities have announced the dates of four community seminars in October that will highlight the changes coming to the Medicare program in 2020 during open enrollment. Janell Sluga and Tiffany Erhard from the Senior Life Matters program are hosting the informational events at the new Edgewood Commons which recently opened this summer on the Lutheran Campus in Jamestown.

The Medicare 2020 Open Enrollment Update seminars are scheduled for:

  • Monday, October 7, at 1:30 PM and 5:30 PM
  • Tuesday, October 8, at 3:30 PM
  • Wednesday, October 9, at 5:30 PM

All four seminars are free and open to the public, but seating is limited at each session so RSVP is required.

“We are always excited at the response these events get each year during Medicare open enrollment,” said Janell Sluga, Geriatric Care Manager at Lutheran. “It is a busy time for us, but these events are very important to get factual, time-sensitive information in the hands of those who need it,” said Sluga. The event was expanded from three to four events this year to accommodate more schedules and people.

A key component of the events hosted by Senior Life Matters is that attendees can come with their own questions and have them answered in an unbiased way either during or after the seminars.

“There are some other Medicare related events in the community, but many of them are hosted by third-party brokers who only represent one insurance product or another. If you have a question, you may not always get the appropriate answer at those places,” said Sluga. “At our events and in our office, we focus on the person in front of us and help them make the best decisions for their life situation regardless of which product or products they choose,” said Sluga.

To register for one of the Medicare 2020 Open Enrollment Update programs, please call 716-665-8199 or visit www.jamestowninternetmarketing.com/lss to register online. All four sessions will be held inside the Edgewood Commons at 737 Falconer Street in Jamestown. Light refreshments will be provided.

The Edgewood Communities are a part of Lutheran, a Christian organization that offers a continuum of care that supports an individual’s journey through life with compassion, dignity, and respect.