June is Alzheimer’s & Brain Awareness Month and the perfect time to highlight our Comfort Care Neighborhood. Comfort Care is devoted to our residents with Alzheimer’s and dementia. It’s a place where staff serve as caregivers, friends, confidantes and even surrogate family members.
“There are days when I’ll be someone’s daughter or granddaughter,” said Brittany Emerson, CNA. “I’m here for their emotional support as well as their physical needs.” She spends her days serving meals, bathing and caring for residents. “I love feeling appreciated and knowing that somebody needs me,” she said.
Jessica Broskey, Memory Care Coordinator, transitioned to Comfort Care after earning her certified dementia practitioner certification during the pandemic. She has been busy setting up the neighborhood to allow residents to thrive. That includes moving the nursery to a central location and helping to set up the residents’ rooms during Covid relocations.
“We had to use a portion of Comfort Care as our COVID unit, and so we needed to move the residents,” she explained. “I made sure that the move was comfortable for them. I worked to set up their photos and their space exactly as they wanted it. After all, this is their home and they should be able to feel comfortable here.”
Anita Neil, CNA works the night shift, helping residents with dinner, personal hygiene and bedtime routines. “Comfort Care is different from the rest of the nursing home,” she said. “We’re a world unto ourselves. You have to meet our residents wherever they are—whether it’s present day or back in World War II. You can learn a lot from them if you just listen.”
She recalls a new resident who was nervous about coming to Comfort Care. Anita took the time to sit in her chair and chat with her that first night. The resident said, “I really think I’m going to like it here. Thank you for all that you’re doing.” “That to me was worth $10,000,” said Anita.