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Westmoreland Manor Offers a Full Range of Services and Therapy, Including Innovative Care for Persons with Dementia
By Nancy Kennedy


Westmoreland Manor in Greens­burg, PA, has been providing skilled nursing care and rehabilitation services to residents of this region for decades, and its longevity is due in no small part to its capacity for renewal and improvement. At Westmoreland Manor, excellence means constantly seeking to better serve residents and families by identifying their needs and providing programs and services to meet those needs. Thousands of residents and families have benefitted from the skilled nursing care and full range of rehab services provided by Westmoreland Manor’s expert, experienced multidisciplinary healthcare team.

In August, Westmoreland Manor launched an innovative new program for residents with cognitive impairment who live in the facility’s four Secure Units – special environments with keypad doors to ensure their safety and security. The new program provides “Recreational Floor Aides” – eight specially trained staff members who are available to assist in the care of these residents. “The Recreational Floor Aides are able to provide one-on-one intervention when a resident needs that. When a resident with dementia becomes fearful or upset, they know how to de-escalate the situation and help them by re-directing them with activity and attention,” explains Jennifer Fullman, MSW, director of Social Services and Admissions. “The aides were prepared by special dementia training specialists including nursing, our inservice department and our psychologists; they know how to step into the resident’s world and validate their feelings.”

The program was initiated by Vicki Herman, activities director, in conjunction with the nursing department, and it has had a positive impact throughout the facility. The nursing staff reports that it has been a benefit to the nurses, who can call for an aide as needed. Helping one resident can impact the behavior of the residents around him, says Jennifer Fullman: “When one person is having a bad day, it can spill over to the others. Behavioral intervention with one resident can help the whole group.”

Westmoreland Manor’s Secure Units serve nearly 200 residents, with various degrees of cognitive impairment. The residents, many of whom are physically healthy and active, are free to walk around, but benefit from structured activities to help prevent restlessness.

The Recreational Floor Aides program is one of many examples of how Westmoreland Manor utilizes its resources to provide personalized and respectful care to residents. Many people have outdated and even negative ideas about skilled nursing facilities, but a visit to Westmoreland Manor will quickly dispel any misconceptions or myths. “Many first time visitors are pleasantly surprised by what they find here,” says Jennifer Fullman. “For many years, this was known as the ‘county home,’ and it was perceived as an institutional place where older adults went to age and die. Westmoreland Manor has come very far from those days – today it is a lively, warm and nurturing environment where a caring and highly skilled staff is committed to meeting the needs of 400 residents in every way possible. We have an excellent therapy department that provides occupational, physical and speech therapy; we have IV therapy and wound care programs. Westmoreland Manor is equipped to care for short term needs – for those who need rehab therapy after an injury or recovery from surgery, with the goal of going home; good nursing care is the way to get back home. We also have programs for long term needs, for those for whom going home is not an option. Care is individualized and planned on a case-by-case basis. We meet your goals: if your goal is to go home, we will work towards that with you.”

Westmoreland Manor is a dynamic facility staffed by a team of healthcare professionals and support staff who genuinely care about the residents. “It’s rewarding work,” says Jennifer Fullman, who has been at WM for 20 years in various progressive positions. “We form bonds with the residents. We work hard to gain their trust, and we become family. There’s a lot of life in this building. It’s a homelike environment and there’s a lot to do – we have vendors, craft shows, and entertainment. We encourage people not to wait until they need a place urgently – it’s best not to make big decisions during the crisis of a sudden injury or illness. Call us and we’ll arrange a visit - you have to experience it to appreciate all that we have to offer.”

To schedule a tour, call (724) 830-4020. To learn more, visit the website www.westmoreland manor.org



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