As a nurse practitioner, Monica Church already had the clinical knowledge she needed to find a new home for her parents. “At the time, both my parents were living in their own home, and I was providing all their care. I was cooking their meals, shopping for them and helping them shower twice a week. I knew they would be appropriate for a higher level of care, especially because my dad had been in and out of the hospital and rehab for two years. He was brought up in an era in which families did not put their loved ones into care homes, but it was becoming a real struggle for me. I wanted a place that would help them to be people, and not another number in a line. It was also important that it wouldn’t feel like an institution, so I could get to know people.
“From the minute I walked into Barclay Friends, I knew it was the one. Growing up, my mom loved flowers and gardening and really has a green thumb and my dad was always around agriculture, so they are able to look out their windows and see trees and flowers and connect with their surroundings.”
“My philosophy about nursing homes is that no matter where you go—you could be at the best place or the worst place—you have to be present. The more present you are, the better connection you build. After the fire, my mom and dad went to another community and I visited them every day. The experience with the fire helped me to recognize how much I was able to let go of after they moved to Barclay Friends. I have gotten to know everyone there, even the housekeepers. My favorite moment was the day we came back to Barclay—my mom started crying, but she was the calmest I had seen her. I wouldn’t be able to capture this anywhere else.”
The Jefferis Family
This Summer Snapshot features the Jefferis Family for their kind and generous support of Barclay Friends. The Jefferis family is very well acquainted with Barclay Friends as their loved one, Annetta, was a resident of the community for 18 years—they spent a lot of time visiting our community and are thankful for the care Annetta received.
Brynnley Jefferis is Annetta’s great granddaughter; she is also an eighth grade student who recently completed her capstone project to help improve the lives of seniors with dementia. She sold 103 dozen cookies and raised $1,088 that she used to buy baby dolls, stuffed animals, puzzles and activity items for residents at Barclay Friends and another community.
With her mother and father’s support, she incorporated aspects of every school subject into her project, from researching items that can aid those with dementia to budgeting for baking ingredients. With the help of her grandmother, Brynnley sewed beautiful “fidget” blankets to help occupy the hands and minds of residents with memory care issues.
Brynnley’s dad, Tim Jefferis, has generously volunteered at Barclay Friends by serving as chair of the planning committee of the annual Barclay Friends’ Golf Classic over a 12-year period. He also graciously donated his time as a member of the Board of Directors for six years and still remains a community member of the Board’s Finance and Facilities committee.