It was truly a packed house on Thursday when residents gathered in the Panorama Auditorium for a forum sponsored by the Health and Wellness Committee of the Resident Council. The topic: “Who cares for us at Panorama?” A panel of management personnel presented information about each of their departments as they pertain to the well being of Panorama residents. As this is understandably a very important topic for our residents, there was not a single seat left empty that morning.
As we all piled in, the scene on the stage was a panel of familiar faces, including the resident moderator who has been a Panorama resident for 12 years and has recently finished his term as President of the Resident Council. There are few people who would fit the position of moderator as well as he did for this particular forum. Sure his 12 years of experience living at Panorama and his work as Resident Council President are enough to qualify him. In addition, however, this gentleman is one who has seen the full spectrum of care to be had at Panorama, standing by his wife through long -term care and experiencing the support from several departments, such as social services and resident transportation. As moderator he introduced each speaker with a brief background and interjected a few of his own comments and recommendations, learned through personal experience.
We were welcomed by the Chair of the Health and Wellness Committee, the group responsible for forums like this, and the first speaker was introduced.
Marla LeFevre, our Director of Health Services for Independent and Assisted Living, is an experienced registered nurse who has been with Panorama since 2005. Her multifaceted role can be summarized as the support of resident needs to maintain the highest level of independence and quality of life. She began by touching on one responsibility of her job, which is to ensure new applicants who are intending to take residence at Panorama are appropriate for independent living. To that end, Marla meets with each person who is in the process of selecting a home at Panorama. The applicants’ needs are assessed and Marla addresses the ways in which Panorama can help residents meet these needs. Marla’s role extends in many areas outside of the new resident assessments. Recently, she has been updating Panorama’s disaster preparedness and coordinating with Panorama DART (resident Disaster Assistance Response Team) to review and adjust campus plans and procedures in the event of an emergency situation. As a leading management member, Marla has joined a group of Panorama directors and administrators, in conjunction with Providence, who are working towards a goal of transforming the Providence Clinic at Panorama into a geriatric center of excellence. By the end of her presentation, audience members got a clear view at just how busy a day in the life of Marla can be.
Next was Tim Templet, who wears many hats here at Panorama. Tim is the Resident Transportation Supervisor. This department provides off-campus transportation for residents who need it. This service is often used by residents who have doctor appointments outside of the local Lacey area; such as Seattle. Tim is also the Supervisor of Urgent Response, our team of First Aid and CPR trained nursing assistants who are on duty 24/7 responding to emergency alerts and requests. Urgent Response Aids perform resident well checks when requested by concerned family members, friends, or staff. They are also equipped to assist residents as needed in situations where 911 has been called and emergency responders are en route. In addition, Tim serves as the Resident Assistance Coordinator. Under this title, Tim assists residents in independent living with keeping individual emergency information and disaster plans up-to-date, coordinating moves within campus (i.e from a single family home to a smaller, more accessible apartment), as well as assessing questions, concerns, and general problem-solving.
Following Tim was a presentation by Adele Hadley, our Independent Living Social Services Coordinator. The purpose of the Independent Living Social Services department is to support residents in various aspects of life while they navigate Panorama’s continuum of care. Adele referred to her department as a “concierge” of sorts, helping residents to get what they need. The social workers work across lines with other professionals at Panorama and elsewhere to ensure residents have access to resources that will meet their needs. Adele explained not only the role of her department but also the big reason behind what we all do here at Panorama. Addressing the resident-filled audience, Adele proclaimed “You are the drive of what we do. You are our focus.” Throughout each presentation in this forum, this particular statement reflects the very purpose of each department and each position at Panorama. She went on to describe “independence” as a gray area. “We all need help from each other, no matter what age.” Because of the social workers in this department, Panorama residents are never far from an expert in resource finding who strives to be a helping hand for each and every resident on campus.
The Independent Living Social Services department facilitates several resident support groups on campus.
Caring for the Caregiver is a support group for those who are a primary caregiver for a loved one.
Life After Loss is a bereavement group for those who have lost a loved one recently or at any time.
Long-Term Care Support Group is for residents who have a loved one living permanently in a long-term care setting.
Living with Parkinson’s is for any resident coping with Parkinson’s Disease or other movement disorders.
Lunch Bunch is a no-host social luncheon group that meets in the Chambers House Restaurant.
They also facilitate forums and classes such as last year’s financial planning forum, the Living Well workshop that focuses on living proactively, hearing aide services, the mobility fair, and assistance with Medicare open enrollment. As Adele finished speaking, it was clear that the Independent Living Social Services Department covers a very broad range of topics and needs that we run into as we age, addressing the various issues of life in order to allow our residents to comfortably “age in place.”
As a bridge between independent living and long-term care, assisted living is an important aspect of our continuum that provides residents the assistance they need without losing the freedoms of a more independent setting. Kristin Scott, the manager of our Assisted Living department gave the audience an inside look at what goes on in her territory. Residents receive assistance with activities of daily living, as needed, and have access to activity programs that are brought right to their building, such as exercise classes, craft projects, and baking events. Kristin explained her desire to clear any misconceptions about assisted living. The department holds regular town hall style meetings where residents are asked to give constructive feedback for management to consider.
Stay tuned for a review of the last portion of “Who Cares for us at Panorama?” where we hear from the Vice President and CFO of the corporation.