Care from the heart

                                                                                                                                                       Photo by Jessica Hildebrand
Social distancing didn’t prevent the residents from enjoying the beautiful spring weather last week. Staff helped them arrange seats on the porch, maintaining the six feet minimal space between all.
By Shari Harris

Just over fifteen years ago, in December 2004, Licking Residential Care Center opened its doors. Manager Sandy Jennings has been there from the beginning, passing medications, fixing lunch and cleaning the kitchen at first. Margaret Little was the manager when the center opened, but Jennings will have held the position for 11 years in June of this year.
A dozen staff members work hard to make the facility a comfortable home for its residents. Currently these residents consist of 14 women and there is room for up to seven more people. The facility is licensed for 34 residents overall, which would require each of the 17 rooms to be semi-private, housing two people per room. But residents have a choice of private or semi-private rooms, so that number has never been reached.
Kitchen staff often become Med Aides and become certified to provide insulin so they can help the residents in many ways. Bo and brother Michael Saiz, Belinda Ethridge and Jessica Hildebrand are Med Aides now. Sarah Chambers and Candace Driskill just joined Rebecca Griffin and Brenda Marler in the kitchen but may continue on to become Med Aides as well. Bonnie Hall is housekeeper for the residence. A nurse comes to see the residents at least eight hours per week and more as needed.
The staff at Licking Residential Care provide the residents their medications; they cook, clean and do their laundry, and assist with showers as needed. But they also recognize there is more to caring for people than meeting these basic needs.
Activities Director Haley Floyd-Joyner engages the residents in games, exercises, Bible studies, trivia and more to keep their minds and bodies active. Monthly parties celebrate birthdays, along with occasional individual birthday celebrations thrown by families. Volunteers from the area frequent Licking Residential Care in normal times, singing, playing games, bringing surprises and supporting the residents emotionally and spiritually.
                      Photo by Jessica Hildebrand
Manager Sandy Jennings is proud 
of the way her staff goes “above and beyond”
 for the residents living at 
Licking Residential Care Center.

The staff “go beyond what they’re supposed to do for them,” states Jennings, running errands for them and doing that extra something to make them feel special. “I have a great staff. They don’t just come in here and clock in; they care about these residents.”
Jennings is also proud of the community support they receive. Even now, when residents have to eat their meals in their rooms, maintain social distance, and when visitors are not allowed, surprises are left at their doors. Ice cream for everyone was the treat one day, flowers to brighten the rooms was another day’s surprise.
Licking Residential Care Center is still open for admissions. However, due to the current restrictions any new admission would have to remain quarantined in their room for 14 days to protect the health of the people already living in the residence.
This deterrent is only temporary. The ladies at Licking Residential Care look forward to the restrictions being lifted. They are eager to return to their regular activities with the wonderful volunteers from the community, and resume their van trips through the area on outings. You can keep up with what’s going on at the facility through Floyd-Joyner’s monthly column in The Licking News. Better yet, leave them a surprise at the door for now or visit them in person when it is allowed again.



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