Warsaw, Virginia – Teamwork and the dedication to treating patients like family members has earned The Orchard, a Riverside healthy living community in the Northern Neck, two national honors.

The American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living honored The Orchard’s approach to long-term care with a 2017 Silver Award, one of just six awarded to Virginia long-term care facilities and 191 facilities nationwide. The Silver Award identifies recipients as one of the nation’s best providers of long-term and post-acute care, as well as assisted living. It’s the second level of three distinctions, with the Gold Award the highest – and The Orchard’s next goal.

The second honor – recognition as a 5-Star Nursing Facility - comes from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. This federal government agency awards a maximum of five stars in its quality rating system, which takes into consideration how well a facility and its staff care for residents’ physical and clinical needs, along with health inspections and staffing.

Pamela Doshier, Administrator at The Orchard, says the awards recognize the team effort it takes to give each resident the best care possible and make sure their individual needs are met.

“We do live by our mission, which is ‘to care for others as we would care for those we love’,” says Doshier. “The staff and I are big believers in putting ourselves in the residents’ place.”

Two recent programs at The Orchard are good examples of this, Doshier says.

A geriatric balance program, designed to reduce falls by strengthening a resident’s core, quads and glutes, responds to each resident’s specific needs during a five-time-a-week exercise class. Some residents perform the exercises while standing, as others with more limited mobility use a chair as support. Doshier says the class used to be held once a week, then three times, until its popularity among residents and effectiveness in reducing falls made it an almost daily event.

Just as regularly, Doshier says, a group of residents are lined up and waiting to start their class when the instructor arrives.

Doshier was also a member of a Riverside team who worked with the lifelong health division to develop a protocol for pain management. They came up with a checklist for residents, who are asked to indicate which alternative approaches for their pain management have worked. Residents may choose from methods like aromatherapy, cold, heat and massage; The Orchard staff tries those options before administering pain medication.

As a result, The Orchard residents report a perfect record for their pain being managed.

These efforts, combined with the daily attention to meeting the needs and expectations of the residents and their families, are important to current residents and future ones.

“People are becoming more and more educated about long-term care, so they are asking those types of questions about classes to improve balance and non-prescription ways to manage pain,” says Doshier. “They are, as they should be, sophisticated in their search process.”

Doshier says the staff was excited to learn about the awards and proud for their roles.

“It takes a team. It takes everybody. I tell my staff you can’t say ‘I am just a housekeeper or dietary aide’. You are a critical component of our team,” she says.

And when word of the Silver Award was announced, Doshier says her staff’s response was, “Well, now we’re going for the gold!

“And I said, well, of course!”

ABOUT The Orchard, a Riverside Healthy Living Community
The Orchard, located in Warsaw on the Northern Neck of Virginia, offers assisted living in its 40-apartment community, along with long-term and short-term rehabilitation care in a combination of private and semi-private rooms. Included in The Orchard’s long-term care is The Garden Memory Support Household, which is the region’s only memory support household licensed for 24/7 nursing care.  The Orchard is part of Riverside Health System, Virginia’s leader in aging related services. With the Riverside Tappahannock Hospital nearby, it is able to deliver a comprehensive and holistic care for older adults to age with dignity and independence. Riverside Tappahannock Hospital has recently been voted as the “Best of Virginia 2017” by the Virginia Living Magazine.

ABOUT AHCA/NCAL
The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) represent more than 13,000 non-profit and proprietary skilled nursing centers, assisted living communities, sub-acute centers and homes for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. By delivering solutions for quality care, AHCA/NCAL aims to improve the lives of the millions of frail, elderly and individuals with disabilities who receive long-term or post-acute care in our member facilities each day. For more information, please visit www.ahca.org or www.ncal.org.

ABOUT the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is a division of the federal government’s Department of Health and Human Services. CMS created the Five-Star Quality Rating System to help consumers, their families and caregivers compare senior living communities more easily. Facilities with five stars are considered to have much above average quality.

Published: August 10, 2017