State award recognizes Parkside as leader of culture change

Staff reporter

By now the balloons are probably deflated and the ice cream floats are gone but the buzz remains at Parkside Homes of Hillsboro.

The long-term care facility was one of 10 adult-care facilities in the state to be recognized for its efforts to provide resident-centered care with a PEAK (Promoting Excellent Alternatives in Kansas nursing homes) award.

"Parkside Homes and other PEAK winners are leading the way in adopting and promoting resident-directed care," Kansas Secretary of Aging Kathy Greenlee said. "The result is a more satisfying and rewarding experience for both residents and staff."

So, what made Parkside stand out from the others who applied for the honor?

Greenlee explained that Parkside is one of a handful of facilities across the state that has built small households for seniors, a departure from the traditional "medical model" type of facility.

The award selection is based on four criteria.

Resident control

Residents choose what they want for breakfast and the housekeepers cook the food.

"One resident who came to Parkside from another facility was mute and bedridden upon arrival," Greenlee said. "One week later, she was talking and eating regular foods. Her family considers the staff as miracle workers."

Staff empowerment

Many staff members are working on multiple certifications to become universal workers.

"Staff is consistently assigned to one neighborhood and care for all of the residents in the neighborhood," Greenlee said.

Home environment

The facility has a combination of an older nursing home setting and two new households.

"Resident rooms are very personalized with spacious rooms. All nursing stations have been removed and replaced with open living areas," Greenlee said.

Community involvement

Staff goes door-to-door to remind residents of activities.

The Leo Lions youth group, FFA, and MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) bring activities and programs to the residents.

The PEAK awards began in 2002. Hillsboro Community Medical Center was a winner in 2005 and 2006.