We have always treated residents not as patients or even residents, but as people, hence we refer to them as the "people who live here." They are human beings who have lived full lives and have more life to lead. We do not define people by their cognitive or physical limitations. We believe people are the same person inside as they have been their entire lives, but now have decades of experience and wisdom, as well as dealing with the challenges of aging.
Quality of life
We think a person's quality of life is as important as their quality of care. Many organizations focus mostly on a person's quality of care, as that is what is monitored by the state. We think a person's quality of life is equally important.
We take each person's mental health as seriously as their physical health. We have social workers who monitor their mental health just as we have nurses who monitor their physical health.
Superior Quality of Care
Just because we focus on each person's quality of life, it doesn't mean we lose focus on providing the highest quality of care for each person. We have an extensive training program for our Carefriends (caregivers) called the Carefriend Approach, which focuses on three main elements; a) giving each Carefriend enough time so each individual can do as much as they can possibly do for their own care; B) caring for each person in a most professional manner, with humanity, dignity, and respect; c) treating the caregiving moments as special moments, being an actual therapeutic experience during this intimate time. We also use the most up-to-date electronic medical records and software.
Do What You Want, When You Want
At Orion Oaks we have always focused our activity programming on helping people do what they want to do, when they want to do it. There is more to life than just the large group activities we may supply throughout the day. We have small group gatherings and people have their individual schedules as well. People go to sleep when they want, get up when they want, and eat when they want, just like they did at home. It's their life.
Senior communities do not have to be stagnant, out-of-the-way, non-dynamic places. They can be vibrant, stimulating, dynamic and an important part of the local community. We, like the Eden philosophy, do everything we can to help people overcome boredom, loneliness, and helplessness. We also believe that helping people maintain wonderful relationships, participate in activities they love, and continuing to do real life activities are essential components of helping people maintain a sense of well-being.
We are big believers in helping all the persons associated in our communities having truly meaningful relationships, not just superficial "acquaintance" relationships. Psychology and our own experiences tell us that having important relationships is a key to living vibrantly.
Along with meaningful relationships, having stimulating activity in one's life is also a key ingredient to well-being, doing things people are passionate about. Our communities have always been known to have robust Life Enrichment programs, based on what each person wants to do every day, not just what we want to offer.
We believe that one way in which senior communities stay vibrant is to be a part of real life. Some people enjoy being a part of the daily upkeep of the community, just as they would do at home. We want people use their talents and skills to continue making a contribution in any way they can, from giving someone else a hand, teaching a class, or even help painting a bench if they are interested and able! Continuing to give and contribute is an important aspect of maintaining a fulfilling life.