Two county nursing homes receive state?s PEAK Award for senior care

Parkside Homes of Hills?boro and Bethesda Home of Goessel were among the six nursing homes in Kansas to be named PEAK Award winners last week by the Kansas Department on Aging.

PEAK stands for Promoting Excellent Alternatives in Kansas nursing homes.

The awards program, begun in 2002, recognizes and encourages nursing homes to move away from the institutional model of care to a person-centered model with residents having more control over their activities and schedules.

Since then, more than 40 homes have been honored, some more than once.

Parkside, which received its first PEAK Award in 2008, was one of three repeat winners this year. The other two were Brewster Health Center, Topeka, and Evergreen Com?munity of Johnson County, Olathe.

Bethesda joins two other homes as first-time winners: Lone Tree Retire?ment Center, Meade, and Kansas Masonic Home, Wichita.

Facilities must submit an application for consideration for the award. The application is followed with a site visit by the KDOA team.

Lu Janzen, Parkside chief executive officer, said the home?s application focused on upgrading in the nursing home to make true neighborhoods, upgrading the bathing suite and expanding resident choices.

Another component was an education program for the residents.

?Each month of the year we focused on a different country to learn about its customs and culture,? Janzen said. ?Residents really seemed to enjoy that.?

She said credit for the award goes to staff and residents.

?It shows that it?s the front-line workers and the residents that work together to attain this award,? Janzen said. ?I have to give staff credit, and am very pleased with the teams that we have in each of the neighborhoods.?

Bethesda Home was recognized for the completion of its extensive remodeling program, which created two distinct neighborhoods within the facility.

Along with that, Bethesda implemented a goal to have consistent staffing within each neighborhood and to schedule work around the residents? daily schedule.

?I think it?s just wonderful to be recognized by your peers and by the state for all the hard work that it?s taken years for us to work on,? said Linda Peters, CEO and administrator.

?It?s been a real journey for us, and the journey continues. We?re certainly not there yet,? she added. ?We?ve always had a reputation for providing wonderful care, but we just felt like we could always do better. There?s always room for improvement.?

Peters said after considerable research and community conversations, the Bethesda board concluded the neighborhood model was the best strategy to pursue.

?Financially and personally, that?s the way we wanted to go,? Peters said. ?Its been embraced by the community at large as well as the people who live here.?

Peters said Martin Kennedy, KDOA secretary, will be at Bethesda Home at 1 p.m. Monday, July 26 to present the award. Peters said the public is invited to attend the presentation.

?The list of new and repeat winners underscores the fact that Kansas nursing homes are truly dedicated to the ideals of culture change,? Kennedy said.

?The emphasis on person-centered care results in a happier, healthier environment not only for residents but staff as well.

?I commend the administrators and staffs of these homes for their vision and commitment to this revolutionary change.?

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