Extended Family Model Supports Person-Directed Life for St. Paul Elder Services  

St. Paul Elder Services in Kaukauna and its Green Bay campus, McCormick Assisted Living, have found a powerful vehicle for community engagement through its extended family program. Extended families are made up of groups of people including the residents or tenants of one of St. Paul’s many vibrant neighborhoods and associates from the many areas that support St. Paul, such as health care, leadership or nutrition services.  

Meeting Social and Engagement Needs for All   The St. Paul Elder Services and McCormick Assisted Living campuses are made up of several neighborhoods that are determined by the levels of care and unique needs of those that call them home. Extended family members have access to the neighborhood schedule so that they can participate in one of the daily activities, attend a mealtime or have a one-on-one visit with a resident. While building relationships with extended family members, associates can utilize residents’ life story cards and individual engagement preferences sheets to best understand how members prefer to interact and spend their time. While every member of the extended family has unique backgrounds, preferences and needs, it benefits everyone to belong to a community and socialize with familiar faces.

Keeping it Personal The personal connections built between members of an extended family don’t only benefit the residents in the group; St. Paul and McCormick associates get the opportunity to better understand the people they serve, and they may even get a chance to interact with colleagues they would not see in a typical workday by accompanying extended family members to activities that they do not usually witness or participate in. Building personal connections can help associates stay rooted to the why behind the valuable work they do.

Sharing our Talents   A unique aspect of the extended family program is that there is no prescribed schedule or checklist to follow. As the family gets to know one another, they find opportunities to share their unique interests, whether it’s something they have in common or are introducing to one another. Extended family members may find joy in baking, going for walks outside, discussing favorite books or enjoying music together. There are endless possibilities for ways that family members can bring joy to one another.

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