Bayada Health Care Team servicing the Luther Towers Community with service coordinator Cynthia Whisker standing on the right. HUD's Customer Service Representative David Sillery is kneeling in the center of the first row.
Luther Towers I and II residents celebrated the Wild Wild West at their annual picnic this month. The staff donned their hats and boots and a few people, like Lutheran Senior Services Executive Director John Teoli and Board President Phil Keller, wore their sheriff badges for the day. John Wayne even made an appearance as a cardboard figure with which residents posed for pictures.
Luther Towers offers affordable senior housing and assisted living for those 62 years of age and older. Many residents turned out to be served hot dogs, hamburgers, potato salad, baked beans and fruit for the lunch. It is customary during the annual picnic for elected officials to stop by and visit with the seniors. Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams and representatives from Senator Chris Coons' office were among the elected officials who chatted with the seniors.
Newcomers to the picnic this year included the Bayada Health Care team. Luther Towers recently formalized a partnership with the health care group. As a result, a nurse along with physical, occupational and speech therapists and a social worker will be onsite to serve the needs of residents in both buildings.
"So far people have been very receptive," said Service Coordinator Cynthia Whisker.
She says forming the bond of trust is so important and having health care workers on site that the residents see all the time helps to develop that bond. The added benefit is that those residents who are helped by members of the Bayada Health Care team will tell others in the building, so more residents can take advantage of the team's services.
Wilmington Mayor Dennis Williams and Luther Towers Board President Phil Keller
"It makes sense that people can have health care here where they live," added Whisker.
In addition, after residents have been hospitalized and come back to their independent living quarters, they have a health care team on site that can administer to the needs of the seniors as they recover. With the social worker on board, the coordination of discharge from the hospital and the treatment or therapy needs of the person while they are convalescing is more efficient.
"So there's a more seamless process for the patient," said Whisker.
The service coordinator says on site health care seems to be a trend adopted by for- profit organizations and she thinks low income seniors should have the same care. The Bayada Health Care team is training other members of their organization at the Luther Towers communities and when two or more health care workers are needed, Bayada can call on other team members. Executive Director Teoli says the University of Delaware's School of Nursing permits its students to work at the senior housing community. Whisker says she's hoping to provide a physical activity program in the future as an addition to the other services they provide including a beauty shop, a restaurant and a mini-mart convenience food store on site and free transportation to shopping, banks, medical appointments and local concert events. For more information about Luther Towers or to visit, please call Susan Pugh, the Admissions Director, at (302) 652-3737, extension 107 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.