Maria Regina

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Click here for our most recent update on visitation: July 1 Family Letter.pdf
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“Unless someone like you cares an awful lot,

nothing is ever going to get better. It’s not”.

The Lorax by Dr. Seuss

Maria Regina Residence is blessed with three amazing social workers who “care an awful lot”, always working to make thing better for all members of the Maria Regina community.

They are the listeners, the hand holders, the advocates and the interpreters for our residents whose voices are sometimes quiet and difficult to discern.In this pandemic, they were challenged to find new ways of being with and “touching” residents, bringing hope and healing in a time of fear and uncertainty.

They have been a lifeline for family members, reassuring them that loved ones were safe and being well cared for. They arranged for phone and Zoom calls so residents could maintain connections with family and friends. And when physical healing was no longer possible, partnering with other staff members,they sat with the dying, offering a supportive presence and words of consolation.

To other staff members they provided a listening ear, an extra hand and a willingness to handle difficult situations. They did whatever was needed to be done, always available to contribute to the needs of the larger community.

These three remarkable women faced their own fears of COVID with grace and courage as they not only cared for the Maria Regina community, but went home each night to care for their own families. We are so grateful for all they do and most of all, for who they are.

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There has always been a special place in the hearts of our residents for the Therapeutic Recreation staff. These dedicated women fill their days with the activities, new learnings and laughter, keeping our residents engaged and upbeat. COVID has made this more challenging by eliminating group programs, decreasing resident interaction with one another and keeping residents their rooms. Never people to shy from a challenge, the department has revamped their programs and created new ways to keep our residents involved and happy.

Focusing on a model “person centered care”, staff developed individualized therapeutic activities to meet the needs of residents. For our more independent residents, they created personalized care packets of puzzles, word searches, books, trivia, sketch pads and playing cards. For those residents with a more reflective bent, they encouraged journaling/ poetry writing to help process their feelings and experiences in these difficult days.

Recreation staff utilized the in-house TV system to keep residents connected offering the “Elder Grow” gardening program, bingo, creative poetry classes, sing-a-longs, resident council, chair Zumba and a myriad of other programs virtually. Facilitating zoom or phone calls, they helped keep residents connected with families and friends.

Visiting residents as often as possible, they made special deliveries of coffee, chocolate, soda, chips, cookies or any other personal requests that could bring some joy to the day. They even delivered “Mr. Softee” as the residents listened to the familiar jingle from the ice cream truck.

Once it was safe, residents were brought out into the garden to feed the birds & water the flowers.Some residents enjoy sun bathing while listening to their favorite music on their personalized IPOD. The outdoor balcony was used so that our frailer residents could feel the air on their skin and smell the earth as raindrop fell.

Their creativity and energy never waned, even as they went home to care for their families. We are so grateful to these courageous and committed staff members who continue to assure that our residents feel connected and loved. They are a living example of the hope, healing and hospitality critical to the mission of Maria Regina. We thank you.

 

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“I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say

’ Because of you, I didn’t give up’”

Christina Fung

 

“Don’t give up” is the ever-present mantra of Maria Regina’s rehab team. With humor, compassionate understanding and a gentle touch, these talented women and men inspire our residents to push themselves further than they thought possible.  

The rehab suite has alwaysbeen filled with positive energy, fun and a sense of purpose that addresses the fear, pain and sense of loss that often comes with a challenge to one’s physical abilities.Whether someone comes to MRR for rehab after an injury or surgery with plansto return to home, or joins our long term care community, each individual is inspired to be their best selves. 

COVID 19 created unique challenges for our physical, occupational and speech therapist since all therapy requires physical contact. No longer able to see residents in the rehab gym, they developed creative and safe ways to treat residents in their rooms. This helped to reduce a sense of isolation and continued to inspire residents to keep moving as much as possible.

As part of the Maria Regina community, the rehab therapists joined other staff members in feeding residents and providing additional hands on care to make sure that each resident received the attention they needed.

While many members of this team have young families, responsible for caring for young children, home schooling and everyday life in a new COVID 19 world, they came to work each day with enthusiasm and energy, caring for our elders and fulfilling the mission of Maria Regina. We thank them for their skill, their commitment, their dedication.  They are among the BEST of us!

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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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Bringing Christ's healing comfort and power to all.

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

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

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