The Warm Friend has proudly displayed the American Flag for many years. They determined, however, that the location of the flag was not ideal as it was not easy to raise and lower. In need of a solution, the issue of the location of the flag was brought to the Resident Council who worked together to identify a solution. The Resident Council negotiated a remedy together and coordinated a new location for the flag. On Flag Day, June 14, 2019, The Warm Friend hosted a ceremony with Girl Scout Troop 4484 and Boy Scout Troop 43 to raise the flag in the new location, the garden, for the first time.
This is one of many examples of how the resident councils at Resthaven provide an avenue for residents to raise ideas, concerns, and compliments and then discuss suggestions and brainstorm solutions. Resthaven is committed to facilitating active Resident Councils at all of our homes (Maple Woods, Care Center, The Warm Friend) to ensure that each resident has an avenue through which they can be heard.
“The impact of Resident Council at the Care Center is huge! Residents are able to provide input on the day to day happenings, assist in the decision-making processes, and have a voice in their own home,” Abby Waldo, Director of Recreation Therapy, said. “Resident council is more than just a formality. Residents are able to be more involved, have more control over their surroundings, and make things more person-centered.”
At the Care Center, the structure of Resident Council was recently redesigned to make sure that the group is truly resident-run. This has rejuvenated the group. “We currently have a resident council president, vice president and secretary who lead and take notes at the meeting with little assistance from staff. This gives allows the residents to have more ownership and take more control of their environment and care,” Abby Waldo said. Often liaisons from different departments are invited to the meetings so that they can help implement ideas and solutions in a timely manner.
At the Warm Friend, the Resident Council is comprised of two residents per floor elected by their neighbors to serve two-year terms. The Council gathers every other month with the management team to offer valued input and discuss any concerns regarding resident life.
According to Warm Friend Director Susan DeJong, “Many great solutions have been determined with the help of the Resident Council. In addition, the council decides how to spend the funds they raise at the Tulip Time Bake, Book & Puzzle Sale. Examples of their expenditures are seasonal flowers, Christmas decorations, and renting a bus to transport Warm Friend residents to the American Legion concerts in the Summer. The Council’s impact allows residents to take ownership of their home and provide treasured feedback.”