“An Amazing Group of People”

letter from anona's daughter

letter from anona's daughter











The passing of a resident is never easy. Kind and thoughtful expressions, like this beautiful letter, lift our spirits and bind us together in something larger than individual loss:

To the Columbia Basin Administrator,

My mother died two weeks ago, after being in your facility over 5 years. During that time, I have seen a lot of changes at Columbia Basin; not only the obvious facility changes, but deeper cultural changes. Even though I have always felt that my mother was taken care of at your facility, it seems different now. The staff seems connected; like they care about each other as well as their residents.

They were nothing short of amazing through my mother’s passing and I am so glad she was with you. They were professional, compassionate, kind, caring and so very supportive.

They wanted to make sure I was there when she died. Even though I was hesitant and it was difficult, I’m glad I was.

Now I knew my mother and know she was not always easy to deal with, but on her last night, several staff members stopped in to say good-bye to her, hugged her and kissed her and told her they would miss her. A group came in, gathered around her bed and talked about what she had meant to them. The aides kept coming in and talking to her and making sure we were comfortable, keeping her cool and re-adjusting her positioning and making sure I was doing okay and didn’t need anything. Someone brought in a CD player and played soft music. After she died, they cleaned her all up and tucked her perfectly in her bed.

I will never forget what they did for her or for me.

And if that wasn’t enough, a few days later, I received a condolence card that all of the staff signed with nice comments that I will share with my family.

Thank you for putting together this amazing group of people. Please share with them, and anyone else who cares to listen, how wonderful I think they are.

With kindest regards,

Andrea Smith
[ daughter or Anona Chapman ]


What Can I Give?

Georgann with poinsettia
Georgann with poinsettia

BRIGHTEN THE HOLIDAY: Practical and cheery gifts make the season merry for those in nursing homes. At Columbia Basin Care, Georgann Powell enjoys a poinsettia present.

 In a gift giving frenzy? Finding the just-right gift for an elderly family member or friend can be a challenge. To make holiday shopping a bit easier, Columbia Basin Care, the region’s only nonprofit nursing home, offers this list of fun and practical gift ideas for older adults living in care facilities:

• Blankets & Clothes
“Anything soft and comfy,” says Christina Herron, a certified nursing assistant at Columbia Basin Care. She suggests cozy blankets, soft pants, and warm tops.

• Socks & Slippers
“Everyone loves slippers and socks,” says nurse Mario Cardenas. “They love stuff that keeps them warm. To avoid slips and falls, make sure the socks are non-skid.”

• Lotions & Soaps
Things that smell good make great gifts, says nurse Rylee Parke. Some ideas: lotion, body wash, soaps, and shampoo. Also, women always like hair clips, barrettes, and pins.

• Books & Magazines
A newspaper or magazine subscription for someone who can still read is a gift that will keep giving all year long. Those no longer able to read often enjoy being read to, and look forward to a regularly scheduled book “date.”

• Flowers & Plants
“Fresh flowers,” says Aubree Olmstead, Columbia Basin’s administrator-in-training. “When someone walks through the halls with a bright bouquet, faces light up.”

• Snacks & Treats
Most nursing home residents can enjoy occasional sweets and treats without disrupting their carefully planned diets. For those on restricted diets, give sugar-free sweets.

• Stuffed Animals
“You’d be surprised at the people who love the comfort of a soft companion,” says Alesia O’Brien, activity director.

At any age, from children to seniors, the best present of all is presence, she says.

“What people appreciate most is your time,” she says. “Every year at Christmas, we see family members and groups making special visits, which is wonderful. But it’s important to remember that residents like to have visitors throughout the year.”