It’s been a very good year for residents and staff of the Small House Communities at The Sarah Neuman Center. On April 2, the first Small House residents, staff, families of residents, community members and elected officials, including Mamaroneck Mayor Norm Rosenblum, Senator George Latimer and Assemblyman Steve Otis gathered to celebrate the first anniversary of life in this pioneering eldercare community.
In a festive setting as guests ate cake and tasty snacks, residents spoke of karaoke, birthday dinners and holiday presents, of special friendships and visitors, and especially of how their Small House Community has truly become a home.
Marilyn, a Small House Resident said,
I am much happier down here in the small house … We exercise, listen to music, watch movies, and enjoy special dinners. We are like a family.”
New Role, Much Reward for Staff
The staff has a role far different from that in a traditional nursing home. Called Adirim, (from the Hebrew for noble), the caregivers at the Small House Communities all share cooking, housekeeping and the daily caregiving for the residents. At the anniversary celebration,an Adir at the Small House named Winsome shared the story of one Small House resident she’d worked with before.
In the traditional nursing home, this resident had never spoke, but that changed one day in the Small House, Winsome said.
When she was in the small house I heard her say – May I have some juice – That was a really memorable moment. She is now feeding herself and speaking more and more. That is special.”
Tyrese, another of the Adirim, concurs.
My most favorite memory of working in the small house was when one of our residents began to talk. It felt good to think we had a really made a difference in someone’s life.”
The Small House Communities are based on the innovative Green House® Model where elders live in homes rather than in a more hospital-like environment, and still enjoy the highest standard of skilled nursing care. Life in the Small House centers around the needs and preferences of the residents, including:
- Wake-up times
Each Small House community revolves around a suburban kitchen where meals are prepared each day and shared in a communal dining room. The living room boasts a common hearth as well as a den.
In short, the Small House offers the warmth of living in one’s own home, but with hands-on care.
Irene, the wife of a Small House resident shared this exchange with her husband.
When I was going home one afternoon, I told him that I was going home and his remark was, “to your home.” I said to “our home.” He then said, “that is your home and this is my home.””
There are currently two completed Small House Communities. Ultimately there will be five Small House communities on three floors that will be home to 63 elders. The Small Houses include private or semi-private rooms each with its own bathroom and shower and shared spaces. Each of the five Small Houses will be home to 13 elders.
For more information about the Small House Communities contact gro.e1521595083mohhs1521595083iweJ@1521595083snoit1521595083cenno1521595083C1521595083.