Black Immigrant Daily News
When Jennifer Brown of Nine Turns, Clarendon left Jamaica for the US 16 years ago, she wanted to make a better life for herself, but after working in the senior care sector, she is passing on to her community what she has learnt.
She started the fully licenced and registered, Unconditional Love Senior Care in McCoy Aenon Town Clarendon to provide quality care for senior citizens.
Brown said that the Unconditional Love Senior Care would be nothing like what is offered in Jamaica. She is trying to remove the stereotypical image of senior care homes looking and feeling like a ward in a medical facility or dormitory for wards of the state.
The Unconditional Love Senior Care facility in Clarendon
The actual facility is a refurbished multi-bedroom family house nestled in the sleepy district of McCoy Aenon Town not far from the growing town of Spalding so already the place has a homey feel. Well decorated, the senior care home has a fruit and snack bar, and a grilled veranda, some of the grounds are paved and there is a general assembly area in cases of emergencies. The walls are painted in soft colours and have written on them positive messages.
“When you come here you will not see our residents in nightgowns and pyjamas in the day like they are in a hospital,” Brown said. “I don’t like that; I want a presentation, when anyone walks in they can see the residents properly dressed.”
She said residents are given 24-hour care, and three meals a day and on Sundays, family members may have dinner with residents at the facility.
“Monday to Friday there is dinner at 5 and on Sunday there will be a formal dinner where the residents will dress at 12. Family members who want to come and have dinner with their loved ones are free to do so. There is no separation,” she said.
Between meals, residents have an unlimited run of the fruit and snack bar.
“Home is where the heart is and this is a home away from home so when you come here your family will not be on the outside looking in,” Brown noted.
The facility is big on activities. Brown said that whether it is something to keep the mind active or the body in as good a shape as it can, the residents should be doing something during the day.
“It can be that they want to develop their artistic skills so there will be painting and colouring; we’ll have dominos and bingo but by four they will all have something to do as a group,” she said. “I don’t want them to come here and just sleep. I don’t want them to be depressed.”
Local churches would be invited to have service on a Sunday or members of the resident’s church could come and conduct worship.
“We do not want them to miss out on anything that they are used to doing. It’s an open door here,” she said.
The small staff at Unconditional Love Senior Care was carefully selected and trained to deal with seniors.
“I’m very selective; my workers will be well dressed, respectful, caring. That is the first thing. I need someone who is caring that whenever they see the residents they are the first priority,” Brown said.
Unconditional Love Senior Care, which opened its doors in May last year, is registered and fully certified with the Companies Office and the Ministry of Health.