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State of the Union (House)


March 2023

Excellence in giving care to residents demands constant change, continuous improvement of what we do. We always have projects in the works, discussions and debates about how best to provide care, and in our newsletter, I tell you all about them. This month, though, rather than talk about all those things we’re trying to improve, I want to brag about our staff.

I have never worked with more dedicated people; dedicated to providing quality care, but also dedicated to the quality of life of our residents. Our staff often develop long-term relationships with residents, becoming an important part of our residents’ lives. So little time is spent acknowledging the difficulty, both emotional and physical, that our staff deals with every day and how gracefully they shoulder that burden. It is a privilege to work among them.

One of the nurses who has been instrumental in our approach to care is our new Associate Director of Nurses, Shannon McVeigh. She has lead our team through the pandemic as well as the daily routine with grace and compassion. She is on a path to become our Director of Nurses, and will function as the critical leader of our nursing team.

Because we can’t do without someone in Shannon’s former role, and because of her talents as a nurse and as a leader, Megan Kelley will take over as the Nurse Manager for Union House.

Both of these women have years of experience at Union House and elsewhere. We are proud and grateful to have them. They are important team members to be sure, but they are only two of the more than four dozen people who work every day to give support and love to our residents.

And frankly, they make my job pretty easy.

February 2023

Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody ever does anything about it. We’ve had snow. We’ve had ice. We’ve had weird spring-like days. Just February in Vermont; move along, nothing to see here.

That’s not true; there’s plenty so see at Union House. Our annual ball, for example. Our residents turned out in their finest ball gowns and sport coats, to trip the light fantastic to music from Frank Sinatra to REO Speedwagon. Our activities director, Desirae Sanville, and her crew decked out the dining hall like a casino complete with giant dice and decorative roulette wheel. So many residents had fun dancing and singing. Yours truly was hoarse from crooning.

But wait, there’s more.

February was a big party month. Mardi Gras included fun and games as well. As they say in Louisiana we let the good times roll.

Junior and Matt continue to spruce up our happy home, and nursing welcomed travelers old and new to fill out our staffing schedule.

Cabin fever was kept at bay by our dedicated staff bringing residents out to walk in the sunshine and on the porch, and in one case, to Currier’s market. I am so grateful for their enthusiasm and compassion.

Will March come in like a lion? Go out like a lamb? Will mud season come early. Stay tuned for answers in next month’s State of the Union (House).

January 2023 

The state of the Union (House) is . . .busy! 

Union House has welcomed several new residents and a new administrator (me). We rang in the new year in style, and the fungenda (fun agenda) has kept the residents hopping. We dance, we sing, we read and tell stories, and, of course, we play BINGO. 

Our MDS Coordinator, Matt McWhirter, was our employee of the month, and the kudos board overfloweth; lots of Union House folks have good things to say about their colleagues. 

Junior, the Maintenance Director, installed three new washing machines. He got us a free spa tub and Hoyer lift, generously donated by Heaton Woods of Montpelier. He’s also begun painting resident rooms, many of which haven’t been brightened up in quite a while. If you have any questions about room painting or our other renovations, I’m happy to discuss our plans with you. 

Space is a little tight right now, so we may not always have a quiet place to meet if families or residents drop by, but we’ll do our best to meet your needs right away. If you schedule the appointment, we’re guaranteed a good place to meet. 

Everyone at Union House wants our guests to feel welcome. The leadership team is doing its best to make our employees feel not just welcome but appreciated. In January, we had appreciation days for all our LNA’s and activity aides. 

February looks snowy and fun. Look for invitations to the Ball and our Valentine’s Day festivities. 

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