To talk with her now, you would never have guessed that Rose Avnet was quiet and tearful when she first came to live at The Episcopal Church Home (ECH).
“Rose was timid and sometimes cried when she first arrived, because it was such a big change for her,” explains ECH recreation specialist Helene Stark, who has been with the nursing home for 12 years. “But hugs and listening go a long way. It didn’t take long for Rose to come out of her shell. She started doing things with the other residents and making friends.”
“Helene is just a doll. She inspires me, and she’s my best friend,” says Rose.
When Rose arrived at ECH, she also needed help to walk after surgery for a fourth hip fracture, but through the therapies available next door at The Center for Rehabilitation, she’s now mobile with the use of her walker, and in nice weather, enjoys getting outside to walk and relax. While she’s not a Bingo player—“I hate Bingo!”—Rose says that Helene is a lot of fun and takes her out along with other ECH residents. They’ve been to the zoo and to movies, and out for ice cream and scenic drives to see holiday lights, among other activities. And everyone loves to watch Helene dance at the ECH parties! “She entertains us,” says Rose.
Weekly discussion groups, where members recall memories or occasionally just share their thoughts with each other, are another favorite activity for Rose. “Ooh, I get in a lot of trouble there!” she says. But Helene adds, “Rose is her own advocate now, and she advocates for other residents when they need something. She’s always helping others.”
Rose’s children felt she should move to ECH so that she had more help with daily activities and medication management. She raised two boys and two girls in Irondequoit, where she lived for 25 years, but moved out of her home after her husband passed away. Now she’s settled into a comfy room decorated with her prized doll collection. At lunchtime, Rose eats in her room so that she can watch her favorite TV program, “The Young and the Restless,” and it would appear that she has a crush on one of the show’s long-time characters. “That Victor is such a handsome man!” she says.
Helene admires Rose’s openness. “She’s so outgoing now, and gives credit where credit is due,” says Helene. “Rose and I agree that there’s a lot that’s good here. There are fun activities every day, and your family knows you’re safe. You’re comfortable, so they’re comfortable, too.”
“I do feel safe here,” says Rose. “I’m very comfortable and I do really enjoy it.”