Johnson Memorial Health Services (JMHS) in Dawson, Minnesota, became our latest Eden Registry Member on February 12, 2019. This stellar organization has services of all types to offer people, as their wants, needs, and desires change. Their new care center has 56 private rooms with private baths that give ultimate privacy to the people who live in that area. They also have guest suites for visitors to stay in. Being connected to the hospital for care needs and having an inside tunnel leading to the assisted living, gives way to opportunities for people to visit back and forth within their community.
When asked what their expertise is, the team took a few minutes, and then came up with what is at the heart of what they do. They said it is relationships. They have genuine, deep, meaningful connections with the people who live, work, and visit there. Their medical director is on-board, as well, and makes sure that staff are looking at people’s overall well-being. Happiness, and what is important to the people living with them at JMHS, is a high priority, as well as their clinical care. They make sure these two priorities go hand-in-hand.
Another area where they shine is in spontaneity. As you might imagine, snow is often a part of their daily life in Minnesota, and this leads to more variety in the daily routine, not to mention some fun and good laughs. During one snowstorm, the person who works the front desk in the town center of their home got snowed in at work. She saw this as an opportunity to trudge into town, pick up some wine coolers, and bring them back for an unexpected evening of playing games and connecting.
The Elders are heavily involved in day-to-day life and have taken it upon themselves to make sure other Elders feel welcomed when they come to live there. Rose Marie, the previous President of the Elder Council, worked with her peers and staff to write a Resident Handbook, which is full of insight into the rhythm of daily life at JMHS and the sense of family they’ve created. The content is told from the Elders’ point of view and is absolutely priceless.
Bringing out the creativity of their staff has emerged during their Eden Alternative journey, and they have different Helping Hands/Activity Teams for gardening, youth interaction, pet/animal, town center, and special events. Baking now takes place in the afternoons, and the smells are amazing every day. They are also looking forward to the new day care for infants and children, which will open soon within their care center. As an organization, they are playing to people’s strengths, which has elevated their engagement to a whole other level.
The entire team continues to think outside the box and always finds ways to say yes. Here, at The Eden Alternative, we can’t wait to see what is next and support them on their journey. Congratulations!