Willow Brook News
Volunteers bring productivity, accomplishment and joy to the lives and establishments they serve and our volunteers are no different. Pictured here is Clayton Eckert, one of our faithful volunteers for memory care. Clayton began sharing his musical talents with the residents when his dad was admitted to our Alzheimer's wing. His dad past away almost a year ago now, Clayton continues to perform for his most appreciative audience. We see a lot of people get involved when their relatives are here and then stop coming, which is very understandable, when their loved one passes. Just a few rare people see the value and have the ability in their schedules to keep coming and bringing great joy to the residents still here. Clayton is a special volunteer and we pay tribute to him for his gift of music and time to our residents.
Last month Willow Brook’s board of trustees and many staff leaders gathered on a Friday evening prior to the board’s Saturday business meeting. We do this each year. A retreat we call it. Sometimes we will invite a speaker to address some aspect of aging services related to our ministries. Sometimes we will seek enlightenment from a seer who, through academic study or extensive experience in the field, will peer into his or her crystal ball and predict where things are heading with regard to innovations in the field, government regulation, or financing structures for communities such as ours.
This year we took a different turn. We settled back into our seats and spent three hours looking in our collective rearview mirror. We talked about our beginnings, going all the way back to 1965 when our founders set up the original corporation. We discussed their motivations and strategies, and early tribulations. We marveled at our humble beginnings – the little nursing home we purchased near Worthington 41 years ago. Then we traced four-decades of Willow Brook history, which is largely a chronicle of construction projects in Worthington and Delaware.
Two of our board members have been with us almost from the start – Leroy Bumpus and Frank Chappell. We asked them to walk us down memory lane where they shared priceless first-hand recollections from our past. Then we finished up with a panel discussion that included five Willow Brook staff members and trustees who answered the question, What is it about Willow Brook – what drew you here, what keeps you here? It was a powerful evening, packed with memories and inspiring stories. I was reminded anew just why I have invested 38 years of my life in this ministry – I love it!
With love to all, Larry Harris, CEO
The good news just keeps coming! U.S. News & World Report has named Willow Brook Christian Home and Cherith Care Center (at The Village) in its "Best Nursing Homes" list that identifies the nations's best nursing homes. Check it out here:
This comes on the heels of our high ranking in the Ohio Department of Aging's Family Satisfaction Survey. The Home is 4th (out of 964), and Cherith 15th. And, both are rated Five Stars (the highest!) by the federal government. Congratulations to the teams serving these facilities! Could we be any more proud?
Each month our HR director, Janis Frey, leads a half-day orientation for new workers at the three Willow Brooks. The session always concludes with lunch at our Courtyard Restaurant at Willow Brook Christian Village. I almost always join them for the meal, so I have the opportunity to spend an hour with the people who sign on with us – nursing assistants, housekeepers, nurses, culinary team members, and most everyone else.
They tell me about their families, their pets, and their aspirations for themselves and their kids. As we talk about Willow Brook, I learn that they are surprised that our nursing homes don’t stink, that we have planted thousands of trees at our communities, and that our original name was Twilight Haven. Everyone is unanimous in their opinion that it was a good move to change that.
Above all, I leave each lunch impressed with the caliber of people who choose to work in our communities. By and large they are individuals who hold a genuine concern for the welfare of the people they have been hired to serve. Some already are making pledges to retire from Willow Brook, even though there often isn’t a gray hair to be found on their heads.
I have fun at the orientation lunches. There is always a lot of laughter at the table. Loud laughter. These are good times for sure, and each month I am reminded anew just how blessed I am to be leading this great ministry.
With love to all,
Larry Harris, CEO
Folks in assisted living at Delaware Run have been experimenting in the kitchen this winter with an old-fashioned, easy scone recipe. Each Tuesday, assistant activity professional Grace Lackey mixes up a new concoction, trying lemon- blueberry, vanilla-chocolate chip, lemon-poppy seed, cranberry-orange and plain English tea scones.
While the scones bake and the smells fill memory care, Grace gets the residents moving with chair exercises, then a Delaware County discussion, which the residents have really enjoyed. We have learned a lot and have put on our outing list some places we would like to see.
When the scones come out of the oven and the tea is done steeping we sit and enjoy the warm treats and the company of neighbors. We’ve had so much fun we decided to take the scone Tuesday theme into March. We have another 35 recipes to choose from. If you have a favorite recipe, email it to us and we will try it!