Behind the Scenes with Health Administrator, Charlotte Sibold


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In the simplest terms, the job of Kendal at Lexington’s Health Centers Administrator, Charlotte Sibold, is to oversee the Webster Assisted Living Center and the Borden Health Center — but her day-to-day responsibilities can’t possibly be summed up so succinctly. And with an impressive recent accomplishment and big plans for expansions and renovations in 2019, Charlotte’s role goes beyond simply overseeing operations and ensuring regulatory compliance.

Recently, Kendal at Lexington underwent reaccreditation with the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), a process that occurs every five years. “This year, we asked them to also consider us for accreditation for two specialty services,” Charlotte explains. “Dementia services and person-centered care.” Not only did Kendal receive reaccreditation, but they also received the two specialty accreditations — something not many other communities can claim.

But what does all of this mean for Kendal at Lexington’s health services moving forward?

Prioritizing Person-centered Care

As Charlotte explains, person-centered care is exactly what it sounds like: care that puts the individual at the center. “In year’s past, schedules were really based more on the convenience of the staff than on the residents,” she says. “Now, we really try to base everything on the resident — what do they like to do, what do they want to eat, how do they want to dress, when do they want to wake up. The style of care is really based on the individual.”

And while the shift toward person-centered care has been in the works for the past few years, receiving the accreditation was welcomed validation for Charlotte and the team. “It felt good to hear these two surveyors look at what we’re doing and say we’re doing a good job,” she says. “There are only a select number [of communities that have these accreditations, so it sets us apart.”

In fact, many of the renovations, both those already in the works and planned for the future, are specifically designed to promote better person-centered care. In the Borden Center, each hallway will soon have its own living room, dining room and activities area — a concept Charlotte describes as a “neighborhood model.”

“Breakfast, lunch and dinner will still be prepared in our main dining room, but we’ll be able to do more on demand cooking,” she says. “If a resident really wants a grilled cheese at 2:00 in the afternoon, we can make that there for them.”

Charlotte says she hopes these changes will help make the decision to join a community like Kendal easier on retirees, especially as they look to the future. “Choosing your retirement community is a big decision, and I think it’s nice to know that, if you were to eventually need assisted living or nursing care, you can know going in that your care will be delivered in a different way than other communities,” she says.

Defining Dementia Services

We’ve shared before how the greater Lexington community is focused on becoming more dementia friendly, and with our new accreditation, Kendal has made the same commitment. Similar to the efforts in the community, this begins first and foremost with improved education on the affects of cognitive impairment.

One of the most impactful programs Charlotte and her team have instituted is a “virtual dementia tour” that involves wearing goggles that impair vision, headphones that play distracting noises and gloves with a few fingers taped together. Participants are then put through a series of basic tasks to build understanding of how even simple directions can be difficult to follow when senses are impaired.

“It really makes an impact on the staff and, for many of them, they say it’s one of the best educational programs we provide,” Charlotte says.

Staff members also take an eight-hour Dementia Capable Care course to better understand how to work with people with dementia and how to deliver care at each stage.

And despite all the exciting changes and improvements coming to Kendal at Lexington’s health services, Charlotte says it’s really the people who make her job extra enjoyable. “I’ve worked in the field for so long, but I still look forward to coming to work every day. It’s my motivation in life,” she says. “It’s really an inspiration getting to work with these bright, hardworking, dedicated people. And then the residents and their families — it’s very rewarding work.”

To learn more about the Borden Health Center or Webster Assisted Living, give us a call at (540) 463-1910 or contact us here.

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