Fellowship of Brethren Homes Members Awarded 2014 Continuing Education Grants

By Kim Ebersole

Eight retirement communities that are members of the Fellowship of Brethren Homes have been awarded Continuing Education Grants for 2014. The grants, up to $1,000 per retirement community, are funded by the denomination’s Health Education and Research Fund, which supports nursing in the Church of the Brethren, and are administered by Congregational Life Ministries.

The grants are to be used for professional development workshops focused on clinical concerns and/or supervisory skills, leadership for in-house training for nursing assistants and other direct care staff, or the purchase of reusable resources for in-service training for nursing staff and/or nursing assistants. To qualify, a retirement community must be a dues-paying member in good standing of the Fellowship of Brethren Homes. Invitations to submit proposals are extended to half of the fellowship membership each year; each community is invited every other year.

The following retirement facilities received grants for 2014:

The Brethren Home Community in Windber, Pa.: The community will purchase a PowerPoint projector and software to enhance monthly in-service instruction for the direct-care staff.

The Brethren Retirement Community in Greenville, Ohio: All direct caregivers including nurses, certified nursing assistants, and resident assistants of the community will benefit from the purchase of eight training DVDs on a variety of topics, including dementia care.

Casa de Modesto (Calif.) Retirement Center: The community received funds to purchase continuing education modules through the American Association for Long Term Care Nursing to provide relevant educational resources for the nursing staff.

Lebanon Valley Brethren Home in Palmyra, Pa.: Nurses, certified nursing assistants, and other staff will receive dementia training through the Alzheimer’s Association’s essentiALZ program.

Northaven Retirement Residences in Seattle, Wash.: Northaven Assisted Living will conduct “virtual dementia tours” using program materials from Second Wind Dreams to help direct-care staff identify with and better understand the behaviors and needs of residents with memory loss and dementia.

The Peter Becker Community in Harleysville, Pa.: The community will provide a series of four training events for skilled nursing and personal care staff on the importance of customer service to resident care.

Pleasant Hill Village in Girard, Ill.: Registered nurses will receive training about effective infection surveillance, multi-resistant organisms, end-of-life symptom management, challenging behaviors, and other pertinent resident care topics.

West View Healthy Living in Wooster, Ohio: The community will purchase training videos for staff related to geriatric assessment, fall prevention, patient transfers and ambulation, and disaster preparedness for long-term care.

As a ministry to those who are aging and their families, the 22 retirement communities related to the Church of the Brethren are committed to providing high quality, loving care for older adults. This group, known as the Fellowship of Brethren Homes, works together on common challenges such as uncompensated care, long-term care needs, and nurturing relationships with congregations and districts. A directory of member communities can be found at www.brethren.org/homes .

— Kim Ebersole is director of Family Life and Older Adult Ministry for the Church of the Brethren.