When Cherry Village Benevolence staff members learned about Linda Farrar and her expertise, they placed a call to her. And they’re glad they did.
Farrar is owner and clinical director of LICA-MedMan, which is based in Lawrence. Her company specializes in building individualized medication plans for residents of long-term-care facilities such as Cherry Village.
“When medication plans are established, the staff has more time to spend one-on-one with residents,” Farrar said. “The less paperwork involved in day-to-day activities, the more time is available to provide that all-important personal care.”
In addition to her medication-management specialty, Farrar also helps Cherry Village navigate the maze of new regulations.
Donna Marbut, Cherry Village director of nursing, said she and her colleagues are seeking as much information as possible from Farrar.
“Linda is a wonderful resource,” Marbut said. “I have been a director of nursing for 20-plus years and I learn something every time I talk with her.
“She is guiding us as we find new ways to provide the best person-centered care possible,” Marbut added. “Cherry Village has emphasized the importance of person-centered care for years and Linda is helping us reach the next level. We are empowering our staff, which means we are empowering our residents.”
For instance, Cherry Village considers each person’s preferences in establishing a plan of care. In part, this means people can get up in the morning and go to bed at night when they want, and eat what they want, when they want.
“These are just a few examples of providing options,” Marbut said. “Cherry Village has been a leader in this long-term-care culture but we always want to find ways to improve.”
Farrar, who is a registered nurse and licensed administrator in Kansas, has been visiting Cherry Village about twice a month since October.
“It is a joy to come here. I don’t often look forward to getting up at 4 in the morning and driving almost four hours,” she laughed. “But the people here make it all worth it.
“They are so eager to learn,” Farrar continued. “They are passionate about doing things right and dedicated to quality care. You can’t teach that. These folks already have it.”
Marbut strikes the right balance of staff management and resident care, Farrar noted. “Donna truly believes in resident-centered care and shares this attitude with her colleagues.
“Donna and others understand the importance of consistent staffing for each resident too,” Farrar said. “If you don’t promote consistency and provide people with options, you will always be a nursing home, not a real home.
“When we help people find a new place to live, we want it to truly be their home,” Farrar added. “You have to remember, they have given up everything to move. It can be tragic if they lose control over their lives. We want to give people control so they can make their own decisions.”
Farrar retired from active long-term-care administration about five years ago, after 16 years of service. She has 29 years of nursing-leadership experience, and has completed additional training so that she can teach and consult on dementia and a range of other topics.
A local family has managed the non-profit Cherry Village, 1401 Cherry Lane, since it opened in 1978.