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Unique Activities, Homelike Feel Set the Community at Holy Family Manor Apart
By Vanessa Orr

For many seniors, it can be a difficult choice to move to a personal care facility because it’s such a change from the way they used to live. But at The Community at Holy Family Manor (CHFM), residents can take part in many of the same activities that they enjoyed in their previous neighborhoods—including an active exercise program, daily religious services and visiting with the children next door.

“A lot of times, seniors have a hard time transitioning into a facility because of the loss of independence; they feel like they can take care of themselves but unfortunately, they cannot, and this can result in depression,” explained Administrator Melissa Armienta. “But at Holy Family, we have many activities in which they can become involved, including Silver Sneakers, Tai Chi, a bookmobile, pet therapy, guided art painting, trivia games, and an annual spelling bee. We also have live entertainment, take-out days when we order from residents’ favorite restaurants, and daily Mass every weekday in our in-house chapel.”

One program truly unique to CHFM is its partnership with Mt. Nazareth Learning Center, which is located in the former Motherhouse for the Sisters of Holy Family of Nazareth. Each week, preschool children from the center visit with residents, and also take part in different activities including a Halloween parade and celebrating Grandparents’ Day.

“When you’re dealing with young kids, it’s hard not to smile and laugh,” said Armienta. “Our residents spend time reading to them and playing the grandparent role. It really brightens everyone’s day.”
At the state-certified personal care facility, staff provides individualized, around-the-clock care and offers assistance with activities of daily living, meal preparation, medication management and more. Its 12-bed Memory Care Unit is specially designed for residents with memory loss, and includes life skills stations designed to stimulate the memories of those affected by Alzheimer’s and other forms of dementia.

“Residents with memory impairment are often unaware of their current surroundings and revert to a childlike or former state,” explained Armienta. “We have a Gentlemen’s Room with a workbench and tools that allows them to build things; the Ladies’ Room features clothing, costume jewelry and more to engage their interest.” Other stations include a movie theater-themed living area, a replica 1950s diner and a patio for residents who like to garden. There is also a sensory room within the unit that includes soothing lights, heat and massage chairs and relaxing music.

Unlike many other facilities, Holy Family has a family-like feel. “We are not a ‘facility’ in a sense,” said Armienta. “While other places are bigger and more impersonal, we focus on a homelike atmosphere. Our Catholic identity also sets us apart; Sisters reside in the home with residents and live our values.

“Our staff really values their relationships with the residents; they like spending time with them, hearing their stories, and learning from what they’ve accomplished in their lives,” she added. “They seem more like family members than paid professionals.”

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To learn more about The Community at Holy Family Manor, visit www.chfmanor.org or call (412) 931-6996 to set up tour.

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