Opinion

Abbeyfield starts with plan for future

Abbeyfield board and staff members inaugurated the new year with a working session to discuss their “state of the union” and plan for the future of this independent-living Valley home for seniors.

And, although the residents were not in attendance at the strategic planning meeting, their feedback with comments on their social environment, the building, volunteers, staff services, etc., were heard at the meeting, as notes that had been taken with their opinions on their well-being and quality of life, were read.

The Abbeyfield strategic planning meeting was held in order to: “set goals for the desired future; develop a way to achieve those goals, and; what to do, why to do it and how to do it”.

Among the various topics discussed, the following highlighted the meeting: residents’ well being; wait list; demographic (aging); staffing issues (confidentiality); policies; financial issues; short and long-term goals; building upgrade and maintenance;  the need for more volunteers; equipment, etc.

“Our five-hour meeting with the board of directors and senior staff set the tone and clarified our vision and mandate for Abbeyfield well into the future,” president Marlene Dietrich said in summing up the meeting.

“The discussions were insightful, proactive and compassionate. Everyone took an active part and presented thoughtful opinions and ideas for consideration”.

aShe added that the board and staff’s commitment to serving seniors who may be lonely, and who no longer want to cook and clean and do yard work but who are able to live independently, can take part in the friendly companionship and activities available at Abbeyfield.

Dietrich expressed appreciation to everyone for their participation and continued dedication to making this home such a wonderful place to live.

She added that “we are clear about the problems we may face financially in the future due to rising costs, and will take steps to ensure that we remain diligent.”

The board of directors is responsible for providing a safe environment, nutritious meals and clean and sanitary surroundings for all residents.

Residents are responsible for keeping their part of this communal home clean and safe, and to be civil and respectful of their fellow residents and staff.

Because Abbeyfield does not provide nursing or housekeeping services, the residents are responsible for keeping their own room clean, doing their own laundry, looking after their own medical needs, perhaps with their family’s assistance, and generally, being almost as capable as they would be living in their own home or apartment.

(The services of Home and Community Care to help with personal care and medications can be arranged by the individual resident or his/her sponsor.)

The principles that guides this organization are that the elderly still have an important role to play in the lives of their families, friends and communities; and many elderly people everywhere suffer from loneliness and insecurity and so need care, companionship and practical support in their daily lives.

It is important to point out that Abbeyfield believes in the principle that the social interaction of the residents in their home, with their family, as members of the community and with their work on common projects, are important components of their milieu.

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