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Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System (CAVHCS)
Alabama VA 5-star Nursing Home Puts Veterans First
By Tramel Garrett, CAVHCS Public Affairs
Friday, May 15, 2020As Veterans get older, it’s sometimes nearly impossible to safely give them the care they need at home. Furthermore, ensuring a loved one's safety during a pandemic can be overwhelming, but knowing your family member is in a 5-star facility can put your mind at ease.
A 5-Star Community Living Center
Easing the minds of our Veteran families is what our New Horizon Community Living Center (CLC) does, which sets the standard for nursing homes to emulate. Professional care is often necessary for the safety and comfort of our elderly, and our expert staff continues to give the best care possible.
New Horizon CLC was recently named a 5-star facility for the third consecutive quarter. This performance rating places CAVHCS’ community living center among the top performing in not only in the Veterans Health Administration but the country. Maintaining this level and continuing to improve are significant steps in the journey to becoming a high-reliability organization.
This reliability was a key factor in our community living center receiving Veterans from other VA locations during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Veterans were transported by the CAVHCS Fire Department and received a warm welcome from our CLC staff, social workers, and other team members involved. VA took every precaution during this transfer to protect every CLC Veteran involved.
CAVHCS Interim Director Amir Farooqi said, “Staff established contact with the loved ones of our new Veterans immediately to assure them that their family member is in good hands.”
Farooqi stated virtual visits were initiated between the Veterans and their loved ones in efforts to help Veterans and their families feel like part of the CAVHCS family.
Many patients don’t need to be in a hospital but can’t be cared for at home. VA has over 100 community living centers across the country with a mission to restore each Veteran to his or her highest level of well-being.
Making Veterans feel at home
CAVHCS celebrated National Skilled Nursing Care Week, which recognizes the role of skilled nursing care centers in caring for senior citizens and individuals with disabilities since 1967.
This year's theme is “Sharing Our Wisdom,” which showcases purpose and wisdom learned by our Community Living Center Veterans.
Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist Melissa Crawford said, “All of the events and activities are geared around sharing wisdom.” “We held a learning circle in which residents talked about what they wanted to share with the nursing staff and other residents.”
Crawford explained the types of activities CLC Veterans would participate in, such as sports trivia and nutrition bingo. “Activities such as healthy aging bingo are discussions about diverse subjects CLC residents should be aware of at this stage in their life. For instance, who do you ask if you need help? What do you do with old prescriptions?”
Veterans were also given the opportunity to share some wisdom of their own.
Marine Corp Veteran Joseph Worthem shared some words of wisdom, “Stay encouraged; look forward to fellowshipping with others and participate in spiritual services.”
Sharing knowledge gives our CLC staff members a chance to showcase what they learned from our seniors and individuals with disabilities. VA community living centers have taken the concept of making a comfortable, home-like environment instead of an institutional setting comparable to a traditional nursing home.
For more information about VA Community Living Centers visit https://www.va.gov/GERIATRICS/pages/VA_Community_Living_Centers.asp