The center was named Facility of the Year for Life Care’s Northeast Division, and Lauren Gaffney, memory care unit director, received one of two President’s Awards for the division. The awards were presented during the company’s annual management meeting at its headquarters in Cleveland, Tennessee.
The Facility of the Year Award recognizes the center as the premier location in the division, which includes 25 skilled nursing and rehabilitation facilities in Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Criteria for this award include excellent customer service, a strong activities department, an active volunteer program and involvement in the community.
Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley, led by Executive Director Becky Benoit, was praised for its positive state survey results and low turnover, as well as creative sensory programming with llamas, mini horses and rabbits.
The President’s Award recognized Gaffney for distinguished service in a long-term health care management role.
“Lauren Gaffney is one of the most committed employees we are lucky enough to have work in our facility,” said Benoit. “Her dedication and compassion to these residents is something to cherish. There is not a time when she isn’t on the floor, dancing with the residents, engaging them one-on-one and knowing little life details about her ladies. The families feel safe leaving their loved ones in her care.”
Gaffney started at the facility as an occupational therapist before going back to school and coordinating the center’s memory unit. She took on the role of changing a female-only dementia unit into the Garden Unit, decorating each resident’s room herself and changing the three stages of dementia into the three flowers of dementia for added dignity.
As an OT, Gaffney sometimes helps with providing grooming care to residents, which helps out the certified nursing assistants. She is an excellent dementia trainer for facility associates and has also gone to the local hospital to help train its staff on dementia. She is a guest speaker each year for the Bluefin Blowout, which raises more than $300,000 annually for the Alzheimer’s Association.
“We congratulate Becky and Lauren and their fellow associates who, together, have developed such a strong facility,” said Beecher Hunter, Life Care president. “The residents and rehab patients at Life Care Center of Nashoba Valley are the real winners as they benefit from the works of love performed by the team every day.”