Watch a video testimonial and learn how Botsford Commons is Creating the Fullness of Life.
NEW Parkinson’s Support Group!
Join us on the third Tuesday of the month at 7:00 pm in the Chapel at Botsford Commons – A Beaumont Community.
This group is for caregivers and those dealing with Parkinson’s Disease. For questions about this event, please contact Diane Zide at 248-426-6902.
This monthly event is free and open to the public
For much of the world, polio and its devastating effects are that of a bygone era. Thanks to vaccines that came into use in the mid-1950s and early 1960s, the virus that historically left millions dead or with some degree of paralysis has nearly been wiped from the face of the earth.
An upcoming event in Farmington Hills will highlight a major role a facility in the local community once had in treatment of those infected – and spread word about efforts to eliminate polio altogether.
The Farmington Rotary Club, in cooperation with Botsford Commons Senior Community, is hosting a free public open house of the historic “Sister Kenny Hospital,” 1-4 p.m. April 23.
Elizabeth Kenny was an Australian nun credited with developing and promoting hydrotherapy as a treatment for polio. In the 1920s, she spent a considerable amount of time working with young patients at the Michigan Hospital for Crippled Children – which eventually was renamed the Sister Kenny Hospital, explained Ginger Barrons, a Rotarian for the past 26 years and District 6380 polio co-chair. Designed by famed architect Albert Kahn, the building is now part of the Botsford Senior Living Center – which will open its doors to guided tours for the open house.
“It’s a really cool piece of Farmington history,” Barrons said. “The Farmington-Farmington Hills area served as a key place for the revolution of polio treatment worldwide. I don’t think many people in the community know about that, but they should.”
Impressive features of the former hospital include Kahn’s “stunning architecture,” she said, including red brick, arched doorways, slate roofs and limestone inlays of children playing.
“And in the basement, you can still see the original outskirts of the pool (where hydrotherapy took place),” she said.
Also, photos from the Sister Kenny Hospital time period will be on display, on loan from the Walter Reuther Historical Library collection.
Along with allowing a look inside a historic building that’s typically not open to the public, the April 23 event will “help build awareness and advocacy, and raise funds” for polio eradication, the “number one health goal of Rotarians,” Barrons added.
Thanks to efforts by Rotarians, as well as the World Health Organization and others, to vaccinate children across the globe, Pakistan and Afghanistan are the last two countries where new cases of the disease still emerge – but the numbers are dwindling, she said.
“We’re very, very close to eradication. Last year, just 21 new cases were reported,” she said.
Free-will donations will be accepted at the open house for the Rotarians’ Polio Eradication Fund.
The Botsford Senior Living Center is at 21400 Archwood Circle, off Tuck Road north of Eight Mile Road in Farmington Hills.
National Activity Professionals Week is an opportunity to honor activity professionals and the significant role they play in bringing joy and a fullness of life to seniors. This year, Botsford Commons Senior Community celebrated their staff, the Fullness of Life team, during the nationally celebrated week, Jan. 17-23.
Botsford Commons’ residents are the priority for the Fullness of Life team, including Suzanne Lipar, Barb Smith and Leslie Drielts. Each of these devoted activity professionals engage in person-centered activities and specially designed programing with their residents.
Botsford Commons is especially proud of their activities staff as all three have their National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (CTRS), the premier credentialing organization for the profession of Therapeutic Recreation.
• Barb Smith, Fullness of Life and Volunteer Services Coordinator for the independent community plans frequent trips all around Michigan, elaborate community meals and one-on-one time for those residents who have individual needs. Working with independent community residents keeps Smith busy and feeling grateful.
• Leslie Drielts, Fullness of Life coordinator for the assisted living community is gifted in creativity, exceptional arts and crafts skills and a sense of humor to turn any frown upside down. She has a strong background in working with residents moving through the aging process and her kind demeanor comforts residents and their families.
• Suzanne Lipar, Fullness of Life Manager for Botsford Continuing Care Center works with a wide variety of residents including physically challenged seniors to those with severe Alzheimer’s diseases. She understands the aging process and how to communicate with residents when they may need extra social interaction or a change in their day-to-day routine.
It is the different blend of gifts and talents all three of these professionals bring to the residents of Botsford Commons, allowing them to live the mission statement every day, “to create a fullness of life through the joy of relationships, the art of caring, and the spirit of living,” Botsford officials said.
During the holidays, people look forward to traditions – baking cookies with Grandma, trimming the tree as a family, or attending festive parties with friends.
At Botsford Commons, the Giving Tree event has taken its place alongside those treasured traditions among staff, families and residents, according to a news release. Now in its third, very successful year, it is a hand’s down favorite.
Seventy-eight first-grade students from Botsford Elementary visited Botsford Commons, all looking forward to singing holiday favorites and entertaining the residents.
Little did the children know, but the residents and staff had been working hard for months, collaborating with their teachers, to make sure every first grade student received brand new books that would interest them and be at their current reading level.
The residents and staff watched with excited eyes while Santa counted down, “three, two, one” and the students all unwrapped their books simultaneously.
The screams and yells from the excited kids brought tears to the eyes of the staff and residents.
“It was such a joy to see,” said Margaret Lightner, President and CEO of Botsford Commons. “We were all involved in their joy, enjoying that moment with the students was amazing. They loved their gifts and it was beautiful to see the residents’ faces light up – watching the kids in that moment was a gift to us all.”
The event is organized through the Fullness of Life department at Botsford Commons, this year’s event was led by Barb Smith.
Christmas trees are decorated with envelopes, each one labeled with a student’s name. The staff, residents, and families are excited to fill the envelopes with donations, they know they’re giving a priceless gift to these students; they’re giving the gift of reading.
Reading has connected Botsford Commons seniors and these Clarenceville School District students for seven years, thanks to a popular reading program called “Botsford Buddies.” Every month, the children read to the residents, improving their literacy skills and building bonds along the way.
First grade teacher Maureen O’Leary stated, “In all my years of teaching, this event was the most incredible thing I have ever experienced,” said first-grade teacher Maureen O’Leary. “One of my students last year opened her gift of books, hugged them and never put them down. This gift put her on the road to reading.”
The children carried their books home, stored safely in dry cloth grocery bags, donated by Senior Helpers, Residential Home Health, and Kroger.
Botsford Commons Senior Community is a non-profit corporation providing housing and service options for seniors. Located on a 30-acre campus in Farmington Hills. The award-winning community offers a full continuum of care for the area’s senior population including short stay rehabilitation services, long-term care, privately owned condominiums, and rental options for senior apartments and assisted living suites.
Botsford Commons Senior Living Center was awarded a Level III Quality Seal from the Michigan Center for Assisted Living (MCAL) and the Senior Living Center and Botsford Rehabilitation and Continuing Care have each received a Bronze National Quality Award from the American Health Care Association/ National Center for Assisted Living.