Meet Volunteer, Russ Yerge

Meet Volunteer, Russ Yerge

Patient and Family Centered Care is everyone’s responsibility. It’s not just the responsibility of the traditional doctors and nurses who take care of people’s physical bodies. Patient and Family Centered Care reaches beyond physical care. It’s about emotional and spiritual health as well. When people feel safe, protected and confident, their bodies are calm and the conditions are good for healing.

As a member of the Botsford family since February 27, 1979, Russ Yerge is a familiar face. The first part of his 38 years employment was at Botsford Hospital as a security guard, now Beaumont – Farmington Hills. For the nearly past two decades, he has protected the residents of Botsford Commons Senior Community.

A Farmington native, Russ grew up with parents who lived through the depression, a time when resources were scarce and wasting was not an option. Russ worked in the family garden during his adolescence, perfecting what we now call, organic gardening. The trick he says is, “Everything goes back into the soil. Egg shells, coffee grounds, banana peels, you name it, throw it in.”

Russ prides himself on his years of gardening, “I’ve always had a garden and it’s always been organic. It’s a healthier way to garden (without chemicals) and cooking from scratch is always best. It’s also very economical!” His parents taught him well, offering the advice of “eat what you grow and you will have a good mind and body.”

With decades of gardening experience, Russ’ garden is always successful. So successful in fact, his yield of zucchini, cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers and beans are more than he can consume on his own. Fortunately for Russ, he’s made many friends throughout the years and he is more than happy to share. “It’s fun to see people light up when I give them veggies from my garden, they always look so happy.”

Russ shares his crops with everyone on campus including staff, residents and their family members. He enjoys when people share their recipes with him and he appreciates when they make him fresh salsa or homemade zucchini bread to show their gratitude.

Russ’ compassion and care for the patients and residents at Botsford Commons is obvious. He spends a lot of time sharing stories, telling jokes and always leaving people with a smile. Not too long ago, Russ offered an invitation to residents from the independent community to visit his garden at his home just a few miles away. He recalls, “I wanted to show them where the veggies came from.”

The visit was special for everyone and, of course, no one left with empty bags. He said, “Seniors understand the importance of eating what you grow and being healthy. I’ve talked to a lot of seniors over my years and the ones who live the longest are always the ones who ate the most veggies.”

As a security guard, Russ keeps the campus safe and he advocates for the residents who live there, but he does more than that. Russ is a caregiver who feeds people with heart healthy nourishment through their stomachs as well as emotional and spiritual health through their hearts. He reminds us that patients and residents at Botsford Commons have traditions, stories and memories from years ago that should be valued and not forgotten. Patient and Family Centered Care is about more than physical health – is about being heard, understood and protected. Thank you, Russ for reminding us.

Giving Tree event 2017

Giving Tree event 2017

Giving Back Knows No Age

Local seniors gift area students with a chance to read all year long

The holiday season is a time for tradition, gathering and making memories.  Residents from Botsford Commons Senior Community know how to do this; some of them have been celebrating for nearly a century.  The residents know that gathering with friends of all ages is important, even if the generation gap is longer than most people’s lifetime.

Now in its sixth year, the “Giving Tree” event at Botsford Commons is still going strong.  With financial support from residents, staff and families, books are purchased for every first grade student at partnering Botsford Elementary and distributed during this heart-warming event just before the Christmas holiday.

At the event, residents find their seats around the perimeter of the room, a perfect view to watch the first graders sing familiar holiday carols, in their youthful voices.  The songs, led by the students and their teachers, were so familiar to everyone in the room it was hard not to sing along.  Even for the residents with memory impairments, the words sung right out of their mouths with ease, like they were kids again.  It was a beautiful moment, watching people nearly a century apart in age sing the same song, with the same smile and with the same enjoyment.  The spirit of tradition was no doubt, alive and well.

As the final chorus of Jingle Bells came to an end, a loud “HO! HO! HO!” rang out and all the students jumped – Santa was there.   Santa greeted everyone including Mary Slucter, a 99 year old resident at Botsford Commons.  Slucter took the microphone and spoke to the students, “All you children, I’m so glad you’re here today to see Santa and to see me too, I’m 99 years old!”  After a gasp from the students and a chuckle to follow, the room learned it was a student’s birthday, she was turning 7.  Amazing to think 92 years separated them, but the celebration they were sharing was equally exciting for both; the holiday spirit knows no age, that’s a fact.

Santa and his helpful elves were so excited to tell the students they were on the “nice list” and he had gifts for them.  After every child was handed a personalized bag of books, Santa did the countdown and all at once the children opened their gifts.  The yelps, giggles and “look what I got” announcements were a warm feeling for everyone in the room, a holiday memory not only captured in the mind, but also in the heart.

This year’s Giving Tree event at Botsford Commons Senior Community satisfied all the emotions necessary to make up the “most wonderful time of the year.”  The students provided the cheers of excitement with their new books, the seniors showed off proud grins knowing they gifted special kids and the age group in the middle, the sandwich generation, they simply watched.  They watched very opposite ends of the age spectrum celebrate together, sing together and appreciate each other together.  Botsford Commons is proud of the relationship with Botsford Elementary and gather together throughout the entire year, not just during the holidays, and they plan to continue their reading tradition for years to come.

Special thanks to the City of Farmington Hills for their donation of stuffed animals and to Painting with A Twist of Farmington for their donation of a paintings; every child received both.  Senior Helpers of Farmington Hills and Morrison Food Service were also supporters.  To learn more about these generous businesses or Botsford Commons Senior Community, please call 248-426-6903.

Botsford Commons – A Beaumont Community is a non-profit corporation providing housing and service options for seniors.  Located on a 30-acre campus in Farmington Hills, Michigan, the award-winning Community offers a full continuum of care for the area’s senior population including short stay rehabilitation services, long-term care and skilled nursing, privately owned condominiums, and rental options for senior apartments and assisted living suites. Botsford Commons – A Beaumont Community was recently awarded a Level III Quality Seal from the Michigan Center for Assisted Living (MCAL) and a past Bronze National Quality Award from the American Health Care Association/ National Center for Assisted Living. For more information visit the website at: www.botsfordcommons.org.

NEW Parkinson’s Disease Support Group

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 caregiversparkinsons-logo 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

Tour historic ‘polio treatment’ facility April 23

Tour historic ‘polio treatment’ facility April 23

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.

This Albert Kahn building in Farmington Hills, now part of Botsford Commons, is the former home of the Sister Kenny Hospital where children with polio were treated in the 1900s. (Photo: Submitted)
This Albert Kahn building in Farmington Hills, now part of Botsford Commons, is the former home of the Sister Kenny Hospital where children with polio were treated in the 1900s. (Photo: Submitted)

“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.

Farmington Rotary Club President Phil Abraham and long-time rotarian Ginger Barrons with the “polio” torch, which is passed from event to event throughout the world. It was in Farmington in 2015. (Photo: Submitted)
Farmington Rotary Club President Phil Abraham and long-time rotarian Ginger Barrons with the “polio” torch, which is passed from event to event throughout the world. It was in Farmington in 2015. (Photo: Submitted)

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.

Original article here…

Botsford Commons celebrates ‘fullness of life’

Botsford Commons celebrates ‘fullness of life’

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.

Original Article Here…

Kids Will Be Reading this Christmas Story for Years to Come

Kids Will Be Reading this Christmas Story for Years to Come

botsford-santa-2During 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.

Original article here…