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Mount Vernon of South Park Serves the Senior Community
By Lois Thomson

Mount Vernon of South Park offers two communities for senior living, designed to serve two distinct areas of the senior population.  Mary Moran, Executive Director, talked about the services offered by both the personal care community and the Bridge to Rediscovery program.

Moran said the personal care community provides 24-hour nursing, assistance with all personal care needs, and medication management, as well as onsite physical, occupational and speech therapy programs.

"We also have a wonderful fresh approach to activities, called our Lifestyle 360 program," Moran continued.  "We have 360 degrees of wellness, and it's our approach to life engagement and programs so that we can make every day exceptional for our residents here at Mount Vernon of South Park.  Our Lifestyle program is very important because it brings the five dimensions of wellness into perfect harmony:  intellectual, social, physical, emotional and spiritual.  We try to encompass all of these into scheduling our daily activities."

Additionally, she pointed out that one of the best things about the site is that it has no stairs or elevators.  "We're on a ranch-style layout, and in the middle is a gorgeous courtyard that the residents really enjoy, pretty much for three seasons of the year."

In 2016, Mount Vernon of South Park received the Best Practice in Quality Assisted Living and Personal Care Award, through the Pennsylvania Healthcare Association – the only personal care community so awarded out of 12,000 in Pennsylvania. Mary Moran, Executive Director, said Mount Vernon received it for doing an in depth cause-and-analysis of rehospitalizations. "It revealed that sometimes changes in resident conditions were not detected early enough. To address this, we educated the entire staff – nurses, servers, housekeeping – and if they saw a change in a resident we would deal with it immediately. We were able to keep them healthier longer, and actually reduced our hospitalizations and rehospitalizations. We were recognized for our commitment to quality, and we're very proud of that award."

The Bridge to Rediscovery program deals with memory care.  Moran described the award-winning program as one that celebrates people "as they are today.  We have personalized activities that actually encourage creativity and self-expression.  We work with each of our residents individually."

With a low staff-to-individual ratio, the Bridge to Rediscovery strives for small successes each day that help to create a sense of accomplishment for the residents with memory care needs.  "We want them to feel valued, and feel that they contribute, so our activities are all geared with that in mind.  We look at their strengths and work with them."

As an example, Moran said  Mount Vernon of South Park has some vegetable gardens that are above ground that residents are able to tend.  "And we have a section of flowers and they help with a lot of that gardening.  We do art and we'll set up displays for families and the community to come in and enjoy.  We have walking paths that are secured, so we have many engaging activities for our residents in this very special safe environment.

"Mount Vernon has a very good mix of men and women with a variety of activities that are suited to both.  We put a lot of effort into celebrating the person and making every day 'today' for our residents, focusing on the strengths and abilities they have now, and bridging their past to who they are today."

For more information, call 412-655-3535 or visit www.fivestarseniorliving.org.

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