Ecology of Caring Blog
Tanglewood Assisted Living Centers - Life Happens Here
Mapleridge of Plover
Mapleridge Memory Care of Plover
In September 2007, Jessica Schmidt was able to realize a long-time dream of owning and operating two Maple Ridge homes she had managed in the 1990’s. Jessica, along with her husband Brad (pictured above) and Dr. Randy Wojciehoski purchased the two facilities, now operated under the parent company Tanglewood Assisted Living. When EarthWonders began looking for a partnership in Assisted Living and Memory Care, Tanglewood was a natural choice. EarthWonders has been so grateful and excited to work together and to be able to compliment their personal and professional philosophy that “promotes value and esteem in each caregiver, ensuring highest quality care and compassion for each resident”.
EarthWonders believes that when we take time to connect with nature and find ways to integrate the healthful benefits into our lives, we feel better, work better and live better. Nature’s restorative influence on psychological health, stress relief, and staff productivity can be a powerful tool.
Recently, when being interviewed for a news article, Jessica explained, “If you want to put it in terms of ‘return on investment,’ we truly believe that by helping our staff acquire balance in their lives, they can better provide care for residents. That means less staff turnover, less staff sick days, an enhanced sense of team dedication and commitment, and a positive energy that resonates throughout the residences.” (Read the full article by Michelle Rothmeyer)
Tanglewood’s participation began with the Ecology of Caring staff development training program. Immersed in nature, staff learned a common language – a way to talk to each other as people, forgetting the roles they hold, and making real connections to each other. Within a week, things began to shift. One employee offered to bring residents to her horse farm, another brought in herbs from her herb garden and still others started working on nature-inspired bulletin boards and shadow boxes.
EarthWonders has assisted Tanglewood in developing a plan for their outdoor grounds as well. In late fall, a small area was transformed into the Natalie Dallman Tranquility Garden in memory of a resident whose family donated sculptures incorporated in the garden. The Natalie Dallman Tranquility Garden is meant to be experienced. It is in the soft sounds of wind and water that we “hear” the silence. It is in the simplicity and repetition of The Garden that we “sense” the silence. It is in our hearts and souls that we “experience” the message in the silence…the reminder that each moment is a choice.
Here’s the before picture. The snow caught us off guard and we weren’t able to get a picture in the fall, but as soon as the snow melts and the green appears we’ll post the after.
The Natalie Dallman Tranquility Garden will be dedicated this spring in a ceremony for staff, residents and family members.
Dr. Wojciehoski is a local emergency department physician and medical-legal consultant. He functions as the medical director for both Maple Ridge homes. Tanglewood is the only assisted living company in central WI to offer the expertise of a local, on-site physician medical director. Dr. Wojciehoski points out, “Recent research has shown how important environment is to seniors – especially those suffering from dementia or Alzheimer’s. These patients can progressively become less verbal – unable to effectively communicate – so we need to be able to assess what, within their environment is most disruptive and what is most calming.” EarthWonders provides suggestions for creating a more restorative and healthy environment both indoors and out.
As Building and Grounds Director, Brad Schmidt likes to see Tanglewood adopting more energy saving strategies. Reduce, reuse, recycle has taken on a new meaning, the facilities have converted to eco-friendly light bulbs, and disposable cups and napkins have been replaced by reusable cups and linens whenever possible. Brad feels that all these initiatives help nurture the health and well-being of residents and staff, while preserving the health of the planet, and saving money as well.
EarthWonders Integrated Approach™ has truly been driven by our work with people who strengthened their connection to nature, began to value their health and the health of the planet in new ways, and began to ask how they could do more to protect our world and ensure their children could reap the benefits as well. Our approach is a simple, yet holistic plan to live with care – caring for ourselves, each other, our community, our planet and future generations.
The EarthWonders/Tanglewood collaboration continues to evolve. Tanglewood is a pioneer in providing person-centered care and investing in their staff has ensured quality care and quality of life for those who live and work in Maple Ridge of Plover and Maple Ridge Memory Care homes. We are honored to be their partner in shaping the nature of care. Check back for more exciting news soon to come.