Quality, loving care and compassion. These are terms Pat Jahn uses when she looks back on her husband’s skilled nursing experience at King-Bruwaert House. At a difficult and challenging time for herself and her family, Pat found great comfort in her daily interactions with three shifts of dedicated KBH nursing staff.
“The staff in Health Care (KBH’s prior skilled nursing wing) went above and beyond every juncture to take care of Martin, me, and my family,” she said. “They treated Martin as if he was their own father, loved one or husband. He wasn’t just a patient. He was in a circle of loving care.”
Because of the loving care Martin received during his 2-1/2 year residency, Pat decided to make a substantial contribution toward the construction of the new skilled nursing center at KBH. The center is now identified as the Martin Jahn Nursing Pavilion.
The new state-of-the-art nursing center features two 14-bed neighborhoods with spacious private rooms, wheelchair-accessible private bathrooms, and large private showers. Additional accommodations include modern dining rooms; multi-service kitchens; large activity rooms; lounge areas for visitors and staff; and a landscaped outdoor patio, balcony and memory garden.
Martin was comfortable and well taken care of in his skilled nursing home, Pat said. In addition to sharing an abundance of praise for the nursing staff, Pat also recognizes other departments and staff members who contributed to Martin’s wellbeing. Housekeeping and laundry services have been excellent, she said. Life Enrichment programming was always personalized and engaging for Martin. She offers a tribute to Maintenance staff for always being helpful with room or mechanical needs. Pat offers rave reviews of Culinary services and meal presentations.
“A nutritionist worked with us to make sure Martin was receiving enough calories and nourishment,” Pat said. “He didn’t have restrictions so he could eat almost anything. We also chose his preferences – and there was plenty of food that he liked. The food has always been excellent.”
All the personalized care and services Martin received made his living experience so much easier, Pat added. “The staff tried to create a sense of family for him and interacted as much as possible. It was like family taking care of their loved ones. There was such a strong connection.”
Martin passed away in October, 2020 – in the height of the pandemic. It was an especially trying time for families whose loved ones were staying in hospital or skilled care settings. Many new protocols were in place due to the regulatory oversight of the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), including visitor restrictions, sanitary requirements, and mandates for personal protection equipment (PPE).
Although family visitations were restricted, Pat knew Martin was in good hands with people she came to trust. Each day, staff in all departments greeted him warmly and anticipated his interests and needs. During the pandemic, Pat signed up every day for window visits, often tolerating rain, snow, or the warm sun to see Martin. In the hot, summer days, Maintenance provided a large outdoor fan to help cool the patio. Her adult children were also able to see and connect with their father via FaceTime sessions, assisted by Life Enrichment and Social Services staff.
In spending so much time with her husband, Pat had a unique opportunity to experience the present and future of healthcare as she devoted countless hours observing the benefits of a nurturing environment. She knows the importance of having expanded rooms, bright spaces, outdoor sitting areas, and a warm, inviting setting. In getting to know staff so well, she has also come to understand their professional needs and interests. She and her family now prioritize the amenities and accommodations that will be conducive to a happy and streamlined workplace for staff.
“They deserve an environment that makes their job easier,” she said.
Back in May, 2020, Pat joined with other residents to help decorate the KBH campus with blue ribbons and messages of appreciation for the caring staff members who worked with great dedication and commitment during the pandemic. The colorful decorations were placed throughout the campus, bringing great joy to employees.
“I hope the ribbons not only showed the staff how much we appreciate all they are doing, but also helped to boost their morale and make them smile,” Pat said at the time.
Today, Pat continues to have heart-felt gratitude to all those who remain dedicated to making a difference in caring for others.