Home Means Cookies, Cake and a Little Help From Friends

Marcia HansenMarcia Hansen has heard the praise throughout her life. And now her cookies, cakes, and other baked specialties continue to stir kudos at her new home at Paul Oliver Living and Rehabilitation Center.

“She bakes the most beautiful cakes and great cheesecake, and of course you have to try it,” said Kate Withington-Edwards, activity director for the center.

Providing a home-like setting for elders during their final season of life is more than a mantra – staff at the center do their best to make it happen.

Marcia arrived with a lifetime of baking skills that she regularly practiced for family and friends. She also hoped to continue that in the long-term care facility. Withington-Edwards set up a regularly scheduled baking time for her, and with the help of a volunteer, Marcia selects recipes, helps mix the ingredients and provides great treats for other elders and staff.

“Our desire is that we enhance Marcia’s quality of life,” Withington-Edwards said. “The big thing about our living center is that we are a community and we want to make it as home-like as possible.”

For Marcia, baking made a big difference in where she wanted to live. She had an opportunity to go to another facility, but said she would not have had baking privileges.

“They have excellent care and they try to make you as comfortable as you can be if you don’t feel good,” she said. “They also try to keep your interests up.”

Her interest in baking has led to special treats around the holidays and other occasions. She recently made a barn-shaped cake decorated with farm animals for a special picnic.

“It’s relaxing and fun to see what you’ve created,” she said.

With a four-star rating from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, families can be confident in Paul Oliver Living and Rehabilitation Center’s well-trained compassionate staff, modern facility and beautiful setting.

“We offer an individualized care plan for each resident and because we are part of the hospital have physicians and emergency care available 24 hours a day,” said Connie Napier, R.N., director of nursing for the facility.

For those who need rehabilitation following surgery or stroke, the center also offers speech, occupational, and physical therapists to provide care.Barn cake

Assistance as needed with daily living is coupled with companionship and activities such as trips outside the facility, crafts, music, visits with pets and children, and much more.

Residents are encouraged to personalize their rooms with belongings from home. Staff invites families to share meals with their loved ones in the center’s dining room or in their own room. Paul Oliver Living and Rehabilitation Center also provides laundry and beauty salon services.

“We really do try to meet the emotional needs of residents as well as their physical needs,” Napier said. “Staff works with residents to help them function at the highest possible level.”

Marcia’s talents have become a part of the menu planning for special events.

“Very often these ladies and gentlemen were people who were engineers, homemakers, secretaries and we want to recognize their achievements and skills, and ensure their quality of life improves,” Withington-Edwards said. “We have one man who used to fix auto transmissions. We are trying to find an old transmission to bring in for him to fix.”

Napier said families appreciate the attention their loved ones receive. One family wrote: “No one could do it better than you. You were pleasant, efficient, personable, professional and truly kind and caring. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!”

More information on Paul Oliver Living and Rehabilitation Center can be found at munsonhealthcare.org/polar or by calling 231-352-2208.