Monday, November 30, 2009

Town Hall II

The second Town Hall I am in charge of is similar to the first one.

We’ll have a Mystery Resident and interview; report from the Executive Director; reports from each of the six department heads; a “Whole House” survey of the residents’ desires for the TV news program offered during breakfast; special prize for the winner of the “drawing”; and whatever else the residents want to discuss.

Since this is the last Town Hall meeting before Christmas, we will have an assortment of Christmas Carols playing during the hour prior to the meeting.

One of the features of the Town Hall is a drawing from those attending, with the winner being taken out to eat by our Executive Director. In my memo to several, I asked “Any volunteers?” The ED, at the time of that memo, had not committed yet. She did later.

In the meantime, this morning a few hours before the meeting, Judy Falloon, the Marketing Director of The Grand Court, prepared a gift package and sack and presented it.

Before that, the ED had said she would again provide an “eating outing” to the drawing winner. I couldn’t turn that down either.

So, I told Judy about the ED commitment, and asked her for a suggestion for a question to ask the Residents - the one first correctly answering would get Judy’s gift.

She said, “How about asking ‘What company owns the Grand Court?’”

The answer, of course, is “Brookdale Senior Living”. We’ll see how many can come up with that answer.

(The preceding was written prior to the actual meeting.)

After the meeting:

Praise the Lord!

What happened today at Town Hall was the best thing, in my opinion, that has happened here since I arrived the end of February.

Each of the residents here has a “pendant” around our necks that provides a means of getting emergency help if we fall, or have a major disability when we are alone.

If we are anywhere within this facility, pressing the “button”, sends our name to one of the nurses or aides, so they can come to our relief. They do so right away.

A BIG problem revealed in this emphasis on the “button”, is that MOST of the residents take off the pendant - either before retiring, or while in the shower - or both.


Pendants are water proof, and should be worn AT ALL TIMES.

At our Town Hall a month ago, I made a strong case for keeping them on by reporting that I have NEVER removed my pendant at any time in the nine months I have lived here.

After our asking the facility to re-emphasize the monthly test of the pendants, they tested every one right here during the Town Hall - today.

Mine was the first.

What we found out was that maybe 40% of them WERE NOT WEARING THEM today. It took a very short time to test those that were present.

“I went to the grocery, but took it off before I left, and forgot to put it back on when I returned.”

I said, “You should NEVER take it off. The very reason being what you’ve just illustrated, YOU FORGET TO PUT IT BACK ON”!

One of them reached for his pendant around his neck, but couldn’t find it.

“I know it works, though”, he said

“I always take mine off before entering the shower. I don’t want to damage it”, another said.

“It’s waterproof!”, I said.

“One time, mine reported a problem when there was none. I must have inadvertently pushed it.”

It seems to me that an occasional “false alarm”, when one is inadvertently pushed is a small inconvenience for the advantage of having the protection. And, after all, the “inconvenience” is to the Aide, not to us.

There were a couple of people who didn’t even have one. Apparently, if you are on “Independent Living”, as I am, you’re not required to have one.

They only cost $10 per month!

“Ok”, I said. “I’m 85 years old. Supposing I’m in my apartment, away from either the living room alarm, or the bath room one. I have a stroke, fall to the floor and am unable to even crawl to the alarm on the wall. My pendant is lying on the bed, across the room. I can’t reach it.

“What will happen to me IF I don’t have my pendant to push?”

“You’ll die!”, several said.

“Exactly!!”, I reply.

“I am unwilling to take that chance!”

An additional two or three times during the meeting I asked,

“What should I do with my pendant tonight before retiring, or before getting in the shower in the morning?”

Those who DID answer, said,

“Leave it on!”

It was also announced that the “in-room” emergency buttons will continue to be checked monthly, as well.

Successful emphasis, in my opinion.

We had another Mystery Resident today. It was an advanced aged mother of 9, whose husband had died between the time Jean and I were here in 2007 and now.

I said,

“Give me all nine names real quick”.

She started out fast, but slowed down at about number 7, but finally finished it.

I presented her a K-Mart gift subscription worth $10, provided by one of the Resident Council members, as we did last month.

The Executive Director gave a report, and introduced a new staff member, who is the new Health and Wellness Director. She announced that there will now be a nurse on the job until 11 PM. Previously, it had been Aides after 8 PM, until 6AM the next day.

I announced “no response” to our letter to 21 churches, asking them to consider providing a Sunday afternoon Worship Service here for the residents who cannot get out. Only my pastor responded, indicating that they are already doing this in two places, and could not come here at this time.

(Later note: One pastor called after this meeting, indicating that he would try this out, to see what interest there is.)

Praise the Lord!

Our survey about the TV news program in the Dining Room during breakfast, was a “bust”, in my opinion.

The survey was as follows:
Dear Residents,

There have been some complaints about airing the Fox News TV program during breakfast. Others WANT Fox. Since we desire to listen to the wishes of the Residents, we have prepared this Survey.
Only one response per resident is permitted:


1. Do you come to breakfast fairly regularly? Yes No

2. Are you interested in the TV News during breakfast? Yes No

3. If you ARE interested, which channel would you prefer?

CNN? Early Show (CBS)? Fox and Friends?

Good Morning America (ABC)? Today Show(NBC)?

Other_________________________ Turn it off?

Thank you,

Resident Council

Pleased return completed form to a Resident Council Member.


I say it was a “bust”, because we got 14 responses, with 7 saying they don’t care; 4 wanted CNN; and 3 Fox News.

Hardly a landslide.

There are still others to vote, who were not at the meeting, but it’s doubtful to me if we get a definitive answer. Management will have to decide somehow.

(Later - We ended up with 7 for CNN, and 7 for FOX. Alternate months? Management will decide. All the others didn't care.)

We had 28 residents total attending, and though not as many as we would want, it is an improvement over the past several months.

Thank the Lord!


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