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Through the Looking Glass II – Aviston Countryside Manor in the News – 2/16/2011

Aviston Countryside Manor – Through the Looking Glass II
From KSDK.com -St Louis News
By Heidi Glaus
Aviston, Ill (KSDK) — In the small town of Aviston, Illinois a rather large lesson is being learned at Aviston Countryside Manor.
“This is home sweet home,” Tara Hamilton, the director of nursing points out.
Five employees accepted a unique challenge to move in and sort of walk in their resident’s shoes.
“It’s really hard to tell someone how to empathize with the residents who live here so I thought what better way to teach empathy than to have them actually live here and see what it must be like,” explains Leslie Pedtke, the nursing home administrator.
They didn’t just move in, they were also given a diagnosis.
“I also had a massive stroke as one of my challenges, so I’m paralyzed on my right side, which requires me to eat pureed food and liquids,” says Nicole Richter, a certified nurse’s aide who took the challenge.
There are also other daily challenges each employee has to deal with; things that are rather common for residents.
“They made me these glasses with super glue all over them so everything is blurry. I can see you, but to play bingo or eating my meal everything is kind of a blur,” Hamilton explains.
After only five days, they realized life here isn’t easy.
“Definitely challenging, very frustrating,” Richter says.
It’s also already changed the way they’ll approach their job, when this competition is over.
“I realize we just need to slow down and take your time, take the time to talk to residents and not just go I’ve got to do this and I’ve got to do this,” Richter says.
“We have some individuals here who haven’t seen a visitor in months, maybe years, so to kind of take notice of those people a little bit more, spend a little more time with them,” Hamilton adds.
In the end, the last one standing will receive $500, but in all honesty, the real winners will be the residents at Aviston Countryside Manor.
Follow the link below to see the news story.

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