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"Through the Looking Glass"

Illinois Pioneer Coalition

Leslie Pedtke
11/03/2009

Four employees from Aviston Countryside Manor have agreed to participate in a contest titled, "Through the Looking Glass."  Participants move into the nursing home as "residents" to get a feel for what life is like inside a nursing home. The participant that stays the longest will win $500.  Each participant fills out all the necessary paperwork that is involved in moving into long term care including making the decision regarding their advance directives as well as learning about the cost of paying for room and board. 

The first two participants, Leah Schmidt, CNA  and Darlene Huelsmann, Housekeeping, moved in on Monday, Nov. 2nd.  Becky Tebbe, Social Service Assistant and Christopher Ranz, CNA will move in at a later date.

            Leah and Darlene were given a diagnosis upon their arrival.  Leah "suffers" from congestive heart failure and Darlene has had a recent stroke resulting in left side paralysis.  The staff will care for them according to their diagnosis and they must abide by the limitations their diagnosis gives them.   Leah and Darlene are living with current residents. 

            When asked why they decided to do this, Leah said, "It's a chance to realize what the residents experience on a day to day basis and at the end I hope to become more empathetic to them."   Darlene said, "Both of my parents were in a nursing home.  As a woman and being a housekeeper here, I have wondered what it was like for women to care for their homes all their life and to suddenly have to have that taken away."

All the participants will keep a journal chronicling their experience and they will speak at the Southwestern Illinois Pioneer Coalition monthly meeting in January. 




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