Maria Regina

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While there are many things that make Maria Regina a special place, at its heart is our pastoral care team. Their presence, kindnesses and attentiveness create for our residents a sense of “being known” and cared for as unique individuals. As they tend to the spiritual needs of our residents, they are also ever ready to do those extra things that mean so much. In times of sadness and pain, they stand with us and in times of joy, they are there to celebrate. During this pandemic, although the pastoral care sisters cannot physically be at Maria Regina, they continue their ministry by praying with and for us, making calls to residents and families and assuring that the thread that binds us together remains strong.

The lay members of our pastoral care team have thought of creative ways to use our closed circuit TV to bring comfort to our residents and staff. Brief prayer services, inspiring reflections on gospel readings and the rosary provide the “spiritual uplift” so important in these challenging times. Michele and Theresa continue to be physically present throughout the building, offering kind words and a listening ear to all who struggle with the pain and sadness we are all experiencing.

We are so grateful for their presence in our lives, for their deep faith and for helping us to remember that we are a strong community of faith and hope, who, together, will survive and thrive during these difficult times. Thank you.

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Remember – food is more than nutrition
- S. Elizabeth Looney, CSJ

As COVID-19 brought with it the closure of our favorite restaurants, and eateries, cooking dinner every night has become our new normal. Even for those who love to cook, it has not always been fun. Imagine cooking nutritious, flavorful and balanced meals three times a day for over 100 people. Add to that a multitude of snacks and supplements, and you have some idea of the daily work of the Maria Regina nutritional services staff. And don’t forget the pots, pans and dishes that need washing and sanitizing!

For our residents, so much of life at the nursing home revolves around food. As COVID shut down our congregate dining rooms, requiring that residents eat in their rooms, nutritional services staff focused on creating a tray service that was especially appealing. Extra care was taken to make sure trays looked pretty, and included some of those special treats and deserts residents enjoy so much. Individual food requests were honored as much as possible, and trips to the local food market for special items occurred regularly.

Our dietitians, the rehab team, and other trained staff members checked on all residents eating in their rooms, feeding those who need assistance and encouraging those able to eat on their own.

And at the end of the day, these same staff members went to cook dinner for their own families, to wash their own dishes and to care for their own families. The next morning, they were back in the Maria Regina kitchen feeding our most vulnerable.

Thanks to all of you for embodying the Maria Regina spirit of hospitality, and for all you do every day to care for our residents.

 

 

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COVID 19 highlighted the incredible contributions of our housekeeping department. These women and men faced the challenging job of stopping the spread of the virus by thoroughly cleaning and disinfecting every surface throughout our home. Maintaining the cleanliness of any large building is no easy feat under normal circumstances. As always, the housekeeping staff went above and beyond to protect the health and safety of the Maria Regina community. But what also makes these colleagues so special is the relationships they have with our residents. As they clean resident rooms, they do so much more. For our residents, they are the daily visitors who provide those important “little things” that matter so much – the smiles, small conversations, turning on the TV and finding a favorite sweater.

And, as the workday ends, these women and men go home to clean their own homes and care for their own families, trying to also keep them safe from COVID. We honor these brave and dedicated members of the Maria Regina community. Thank you for your great work.

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A Note From Maria Regina's Administrator, Brenda Burton:

I want to say thank you to all of our wonderful supportive family members during the COVID-19 pandemic. We truly value you as our partners in care. I am happy to let all of you know that we had a focused infection control survey by the Department of Health on Wednesday, 5/27 which we passed with flying colors.

Three surveyors spent the day reviewing our procedures during the outbreak as well as interviewing staff and residents. One surveyor stated she was very impressed with Maria Regina and would not hesitate to refer a loved one here for care. All of our residents have tested negative for the COVID virus and we are currently conducting weekly testing of all our staff. So far, all staff have tested negative for the virus.

I know you want to know when visits can resume. Right now we are still under the directive to restrict visitation. As soon as we can lift the restriction we will send out an alert to you. We so look forward to seeing you all again. Thank you and we all look forward to the return of our families and volunteers.

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COVID 19 has changed life at Maria Regina. Our halls, once teaming with family visitors, are now quiet and our elders miss you terribly. Staff, too, is feeling the loss of your presence.

We understand how frightening and difficult it is not to be able to see, touch and hug your parents, sisters, brothers, friends. As the state mandated we close the facility to all visitors, we knew how hard this would be. But, together, we have tried to make the best of it – zoom video chats, phone calls and outside gatherings. For some of our residents, these forms of communication have not always been successful. For others, they have been a lifeline.

We want you to know that each day, our staff tries its best to touch each and every Maria Regina resident. In addition to our nurses and nursing assistants, the social workers, recreation therapists, rehab staff, housekeepers, dietary, pastoral care and others are on the units, being there for our elders. They comfort the frightened, they share some laughter and they do the “little things” that mean so much.

The good news is that all of our residents to date have tested negative for the virus and we have been able to take them outdoors for some fresh air. At this point, the DOH mandate barring visitation is still in effect.

We know that cannot take your place, but as our caring partners, by staying away, you are helping to contain this virus. Please know that, although we are not perfect, we are doing our very best under difficult circumstances.

We look forward to the day when our doors can open again, when we can care for our residents together and when life at Maria Regina will be made better by your presence.

Comments 0 Rating: Rated 4.5 star by 1 people.

Memorial Day Love

The residents who live at Maria Regina received a red-white and blue Memorial Day Balloon Sculpture  to celebrate the holiday.  Terry Moore, brother-in-law of  Board President  Sister Janet Kinney, CSJ,   crafted one for each resident.   Terry's cheery gift brought big smiles of surprise, delight and gratitude to all.  Resident's  liked the heart -shaped balloon and some said it reminded them that they are loved, especially during this challenging time.   Thanks Terry!

Photos:
CSJ Sisters Dorothy Frederick  and Maureen de Lourdes Stock

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“I was born to be a nursing assistant – to hold, to help, to teach, to inspire. It’s who I am, my calling, my passion, my life, my world.”

Giving and receiving care is a deep and personal experience. It requires trust, understanding and compassion, especially in uncertain times. Bathing, dressing and feeding are all intimate activities which require skill and the knowledge of each elder’s personality and preferences. All care giving happens in the context of the relationship between the caregiver and the receiver of care, and for our nursing assistants, this relationship is at the heart of all they do.

Throughout this pandemic, the work of nursing assistants has become more complex and challenging. Coming to work every day, in spite of the hazards, nursing assistants often working 16 hours a day to cover for those who have fallen ill. And, as with so many of our healthcare workers, they go home each night to care for their children, spouses and parents, hoping that their work does not endanger their own families.

They have remained a constant presence in the lives of our elders, as they laugh and cry with them, hold their hands and wipe their tears. Our nursing assistants personify Maria Regina’s commitment to hope, healing and hospitality.

They are brave, strong and dedicated and we cannot be prouder of these wonderful women. Thank you, thank you - for all you do and especially, for who you are.

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Wives and mothers; daughters and sisters; aunts and friends.

Our nurses are many things to many people – to our Maria Regina elders they are healers, comforters and companions. During these past several months, their dedication and commitment to our residents has been outstanding. They have come to work every day, often working double shifts when colleagues took ill.

 

The Maria Regina community is built upon a thread of intimate relationships between staff and residents. A listening ear, a gentle touch and a smile have all been made more challenging, but not impossible by COVID 19. Our nurses continue to hold the hand of the fearful and sit quietly with the dying.

 

We have never been more proud of their bravery, their professionalism and their compassion. We thank them for all they do, every day, to make the world a kinder and gentler place.

Comments 0 Rating: Rated 4.17 star by 3 people.

Dear Residents and Family Members of Maria Regina Residence,

I am writing to you as President of the Sisters of St. Joseph who sponsor our Maria Regina Residence. Since it first opened in 1967 as a retirement home for our sisters, we have always wanted to ensure that it would provide excellent care and comfort as these sisters faced challenges from aging and illness. Now, as a licensed skilled care facility, we are grateful to extend that same care and concern to our lay men and women residents and their families.

During this time of unprecedented challenges from the global pandemic, we are thankful to the administration and staff for their tireless dedication and professional service. Keeping families informed and continually seeking new ways to help families connect with their loved ones are on-going priorities for us. Our congregation’s mission of unity through love of God and neighbor without distinction is very tangible as all of our sisters and associates are praying for the residents, families and staff of MRR during this most difficult time. We are very aware of the pain and grief of so many who have lost a loved one during this time and pray that God’s peace will enfold all.

We will continue to encourage, support and pray for each and every one of you. Because of our faith and ongoing commitment to you, we will get through this together. We are ever mindful that you have entrusted loved ones to our care and we hold that trust sacred.

Encouraging all to hold on to hope,

 

Sister Helen Kearney, CSJ

President

Sisters of St. Joseph

  

Comments 1 Rating: Rated 5 star by 1 people.

Dear Maria Regina Family,

We have been given a gift by the Montfort Fathers. They have offered to say the Mass intentions for the Maria Regina Chapel from March 17th – May 29th. Each Father will say a private Mass for your intention and hold your loved ones in his prayers. I was assured by Fr. Tom Poth, SMM, that canonically as long as a Mass is said for your intention, we are fulling our commitment to you.

I hope you understand the situation we are in and trust that your intentions are held with the utmost reverence as the Montfort’s offer their private Masses.

Also, please keep your prayers for our Maria Regina family flowing. We rely on the strength of your faith and love to keep us caring for our residents and each other.

With love and gratitude,
Michele

Michele A. Boccia
Director of Pastoral Care
Maria Regina Residence,
A Sponsored Ministry of the Sisters of St. Joseph

Comments 0 Rating: Rated 5 star by 1 people.
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Bringing Christ's healing comfort and power to all.

Call 631-299-3000631-299-3000 to schedule your visit.

Sponsored ministry by the Sisters of St. Joseph

© Maria Regina Residence
1725 Brentwood Road Building 1
Brentwood, NY 11717
631-299-3000631-299-3000

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