Cortland Acres welcomes three new employees whose roles are to help residents and families navigate the admissions and discharge processes and provide emotional, psychological, social, and practical support.
Admissions Clerk Rhonda Ends and Social Workers Leann Jones and Lizz Frost Yocum joined the Cortland Acres team this past year. These skilled professionals bring with them a wealth of knowledge, experience, and compassion, said Beth Clevenger, administrator at Cortland Acres.
“Rhonda, Leann, and Lizz are outstanding people and are a great addition to our talented team,” Clevenger said. “Having a skilled admissions clerk and two professional licensed social workers at Cortland Acres will ensure we provide the best resources for our residents and families on a daily basis.”
Admitting a loved one to a skilled nursing facility can be stressful. Ends works closely with the resident and family to complete the application by gathering referral information and documentation about the resident’s health history and daily needs.
“I also follow-up with the health insurance company, ensuring it will cover the resident’s stay,” Ends said. “If not, we go above and beyond and look at other financial assistance options. Once the application is complete, we have a care team that discusses the residents and makes sure they are a good fit at Cortland Acres.”
The Cortland Acres care team consists of physicians nurses, CNAs, therapists, social workers, admissions clerk and administrative staff.
“This group works together to create a care plan for each resident,” Frost Yocum explained. “We sit down and talk with the family and the resident to get a full picture of what the resident will need during their stay at Cortland Acres.”
Frost Yocum said that residents’ care plans are revisited periodically. “If a resident’s situation changes, their daily needs change, or their medical status changes, then the care plan gets revised and updated too,” she said.
Learning about a resident’s life before Cortland Acres, their preferences and dislikes are essential in helping the resident get settled.
“We figure out ways to help make the transition smooth and the resident feel comfortable,” Jones said. “We recommend bringing in familiar things from home to put in the room, and we can put the resident in contact with people they normally talked with at home. We try to create the best environment for success.”
Throughout a resident’s stay at Cortland Acres, the care team knows families experience feelings of guilt or sadness because they could not care for their loved ones at home.
“We support the resident and their family by facilitating conversations, providing useful resources, and answering questions,” Frost Yocum said. “We listen and help ensure the right questions are asked and addressed.”
During a resident’s stay at the skilled nursing facility, they are encouraged to continue some of their outside activities as they are able. They can also participate in various daily activities offered at Cortland Acres, such as gardening, singing, bingo, theme dinners, reading the newspaper, or putting together a puzzle.
“Many of our residents were very active in their local community before they came here,” Ends said. “We encourage them to stay active. Residents can leave the facility, and continue their involvement in community activities. Families can also take their loved ones to dinner, spend time with them at home, or take them on a trip.”
Jones added, “We want the residents to have a fulfilling experience and continue to enjoy life as they did before.”
A resident’s discharge goal is identified during the admission process, and the social workers also assist residents in transitioning back home.
“We are constantly reassessing our short-term and long-term residents, examining the feasibility of them returning home,” Jones said. “We want them to succeed upon discharge and always make referrals for assistance community organizations, home health, senior center, or Meals on Wheels.
“Employment at Cortland is one of the most rewarding opportunities for people who want to work to make a difference in the lives of others.”
The Cortland Acres campus includes a 94-bed long-term care facility, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, and programs, rental apartments in Pineview, and garden and patio homes in The Pines. For more information on the employment opportunities or programs and services offered at Cortland Acres visit www.cortlandacres.org.