Navigating the sea of options for senior living and senior healthcare can be difficult, if not impossible, at times. But a new program at United Church of Christ-related Cedar Community is helping seniors and their families chart a course to confident decision making.
“Every Step with Cedar Community” is an ongoing, educational seminar series geared toward the whole West Bend, Wis., community. To that end, the monthly series is offered on the Cedar Community campus, but also at nearby Moraine Park Technical College, who is partnering with Cedar Community to offer the seminars. The year-round series kicked off May 18 with “Personal Information and the ABCs of Senior Living.”
The goal is “to inform and provide valuable information about senior healthcare and senior living because, quite frankly, all the options and resources can be so very confusing,” says Nicole Pretre, director of business development and gerontologist at Cedar Community. “We also thought it was important to offer the seminars both on our campus, for our own residents to be able to attend, but also off campus, so that the seminar isn’t perceived as just a sales pitch.”
The first seminar dealt with how to store personal information — and what constitutes personal information — so that a loved one has easy access to it in the event of an emergency. The June seminar will focus on medical information; and legal questions about power of attorney for healthcare documents and living wills, among others, will be discussed in July.
“We are fortunate to have so many experts in senior living and senior healthcare among our team members — we’ve been able to … ask our nurses, social workers, therapists, etc., … to help us develop seminars that are informative” for seniors and their adult children, says Pretre.
Future seminars will touch on such topics as low-vision, assisted living, memory care, falls prevention, hospice, coping with grief, downsizing, Medicare planning, wellness programs and the importance of socialization.
“The topic possibilities are endless!” Pretre says.
The Every Step program grew out of the success Cedar Community had in offering service information at a popular in-house spring fair, as well as a new emphasis in providing more in-depth information to its residents, the community, and prospective residents.
The overarching goal is to become an educational resource for the whole community, and for the seminar series to help shape that outcome.
“We want people to know that [the seminar series] is truly an educational resource for the community,” Pretre adds. “And if they want to know more about Cedar Community along the way, we are here to help with that, too!”
Cedar Community is a CHHSM-member ministry founded in 1956. It is ranked among the nation’s 100 largest not-for-profit, continuum of care providers whose mission is “to model Christ’s love for humanity by creating life-enhancing relationships, services and environments.”