Definition of Love

October 6, 2017

“Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-8

Can you come up with a definition for love (that accurately describes what love is) in two or three sentences?

It’s not an easy task. No matter how we define love, our definition always seems to be lacking. Trying to define love can be like describing chocolate to a tribesman in sub-Saharan Africa who has never heard of nor tasted chocolate before.

In 1 Corinthians 13, the Apostle Paul wrote one of the most famous descriptions of love. Notice that he does not give a dictionary definition but instead a description of love displayed. Paul describes love in values to live by: Giving over getting – Commitment over feelings -The long haul over the short term.

You can see this love displayed in patience, kindness, humility, forgiveness, integrity, and ongoing perseverance. This kind of love survives and stands the tests of time and tribulations. Does this describe the love you’re seeking? More importantly, does this describe the love you’re sharing?

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Conversation Before Crisis

September 20, 2017

“Our most basic common link is that we all inhabit this planet. We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future. And we are all mortal.” John F. Kennedy

CRISTA Senior Living and Providence Health & Services presented “Being Mortal,” the award-winning film first shown on PBS and based on the book of the same name by Atul Gawande on Thursday, September 14 in the Activity Center at Cristwood Park Independent Living. Like the book, the film seeks to spark conversations about the goals and priorities of people who are facing the last days of their lives.

Mark Longenecker, CRISTA Vice President of Senior Living, opened the event with prayer and an introduction that emphasized the importance of advance care planning and directives. Eighty-two attendees came to watch the film and to ask questions of the three-member panel afterward.

Moderator, Stephanie Mehl, from Providence Hospicce of Seattle, said “We need to talk about death and dying before we can have good end-of-life care in this country,” and that she is seeing a positive shift in our culture as Baby Boomers age and are confronted with their own mortality.

In the film, Atul Gawande explores how our healthcare system focuses on finding a cure instead of how patients’ true wishes can be honored. Doctors tend to approach diseases with a desire to fix or cure them, thereby making it hard to talk honestly about aging and dying, stages of life that cannot be fixed.

Some conversation starters for patients and families can begin with 1. What fears do you have? 2. What are your goals? 3. At what point would you like to end treatment options that might be making your quality of life worse?

Following the documentary, a three-member panel that included Dr. James Gordon, Leslie Palmer and R Eshwar, answered questions from the audience mainly about the differences between palliative care and hospice. Palliative care is multi-disciplinary care involving many health professionals and is focused on what patients and families want for enhancement and quality of life. Hospice is palliative care delivered at the end of life and is not alternative care or withdrawal of medication. It is a positive extension and the next phase of the best standard care.

Attendees were urged to have discussions with family members regarding their wishes and to put those wishes in Advance Directives before a crisis of disease or accident occurs.


Written by: Steffany Perry, Community Relations Associate

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Ten Characteristics to Look for in a Rehab & Skilled Care Facility

August 21, 2017

Rehab, Skilled, and Post-Acute Facilities are not all the same, nor is it easy to determine the best fit for your patient. We’re here to help you navigate the discharge process. Take a look at our Ten Characteristics to Look for in a Rehab & Skilled Care Facility:

  1. A Community a Touch of Home
    Does the community have a home-like feel? Is it cheerful in décor, have a caring atmosphere, pleasant and smiling staff members, and beautiful grounds?  Often times the website portrays a much different picture. Take a tour of the community so you have a better understanding of where you are sending your patients. Skilled Nursing homes would be happy to accommodate your request.
  2. Professional and Caring Staff
    Are the staff members have a strong understanding of the residents to whom they provide care? Are they connected and engaged with their patients, or is there an uncaring or complacent attitude? Often times, you will find this in communities who use nursing agencies to staff their community. Research shows that residents with a strong connection to their have a much more meaningful life.
  3. Engaging Wellness Programs
    Are the activities and wellness programs engaging? Is the staff interacting meaningfully with the residents and patients? Activities which cover a wide continuum of functional abilities, from fully independent to advanced dementia, are critical for healing and connection.
  4. Knowing and Following Standards and Regulations
    Does the community fully embrace the Washington Administrative Code when it comes to Resident’s Rights? Respect, dignity, communication, and notice of fees are a few of the expectations. Is there a robust resident council and are the staff regularly trained in-service on the observance of resident rights?
  5. Additional Services and Amenities
    What ancillary services are provided? This may include transportation to and from medical appointments, regularly scheduled shopping trips, medical appointments and outside activities. Check if there is there a salon on-site, and ask if podiatry and dental services are available.
  6. In-House Therapy Staffing
    Is the therapy staff contracted through an agency or are they employed in-house? Reduced hospitalization rates are decreased with in-house therapy teams for PT, OT, and SLP. Also inquire about restorative therapies and social workers on staff.
  7. Mental Health Providers
    Do residents and patients needing mental health services have access to mental health providers on-site? Ensure the community works closely with mental health agencies and has easily accessible information to state programs (PASSR) as needed.
  8. Medication Management
    Is there a policy and focus on proper management of medications? Stewardship of ABO, Regular review of psychotropic medication use, use of non-pharmacological interventions whenever possible is critical.
  9. Medical Director
    Is there a Medical Director on-site? Some skilled and rehab facilities have collaborated with physiatrists, medical providers, and ARNPs in order to provide oversight to care and give a stronger continuity of care.
  10. Social Services Department
    Is there a Social Services department that provides support to residents and families in the community? Social services aid in discharge planning, community resources, and educational/emotional support for families and residents. With costs cutting efforts in place, this department is often cut. Ensure the community has this important resource in place.

BONUS:  Is there support for Medicaid applications?  With dwindling resources for aging seniors, this is a very common question and often misunderstood the process.

We hope this all helps! If you have any questions, we’d be happy to help answer them. Simply call 206-546-7400.

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