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Cherry Village celebrates recent special observances
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Phyllis Brack, standing, shares her expertise during a painting class at Cherry Village. Residents who participated, from lower left to right, are: Eleanor Dailey, Rosemary Unruh, Geneva Schumacher, Helen Curran, Richard Degenhardt and Bonnie Arnold. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

                A painting class and Mother’s Day Tea were just two highlights of a three-prong celebration during May at Cherry Village Benevolence.

            The short- and long-term-care residence, 1401 Cherry Lane, recognized Older Americans Month, National Nurses Week and National Nursing Home Week with several special events.

            Phyllis Brack, representing Dilly & Doc, was a new addition to the regular line-up of events.

            “We really appreciate Phyllis for helping our residents with this special arts activity,” said Pam Lewis, Cherry Village administrator. “Her painting class was a great addition to the May celebrations; our residents really enjoyed it.

            “Residents also had fun during one of our most popular annual events – the Mother’s Day Tea,” Lewis added. “Several other favorites, such as banana splits and other treats, were offered several times during May.”

            Lewis noted that Activities Director Shelly Estes deserves credit for organizing not only these special events, but also the daily activities. “Shelly provides great opportunities every day. But she really steps it up for the many special occasions we celebrate throughout the year.”

            The three May national observances illustrate that older Americans depend on nurses, especially those who use their skills in a long-term-care setting, Lewis said.

“We are proud that our nurse-to-resident ratio exceeds state standards. We have nearly double the requirement,” Lewis said. “This allows closer relationships between nurses and residents, and more one-on-one care.”

            In addition to registered nurses, the Cherry Village staff includes licensed practical nurses, certified nurse’s aides and certified medication aides. Depending on the time of day, at least two and as many as five nurses are on duty.

            Katie Baker, one of the RNs, said she and her colleagues enjoy the rapport they have with Cherry Village residents.

            “This setting helps us build strong relationships with one another,” Baker said. “We get to know their personal likes and dislikes. When you are independent, you sometimes don’t think about the little things. We always think about the little things.”

            For example, she said, the staff knows who wants a cup of coffee first thing in the morning; who wants ice in their water; and who likes certain treats. In addition, if staff notices a resident is having trouble reaching clothing in a certain area of a closet, they move it to a more convenient location.

            “It’s those little things again,” Baker commented. “Our nurses always look for new ways to make life a little easier for residents. We also know when something isn’t quite right physically or emotionally. We take care of the whole person.”