Key investments made for Fair Haven’s future

For the Sidney Daily News



Fair Haven resident Tom Jacobs pets a lamb at the Shelby County Fair.

Courtesy photo

SIDNEY — Last year was an important year for Fair Haven Shelby County Home.

“We made key investments in our residents, our staff, and the future of our building,” said Anita Miller, executive director.

Her report continues:

We added a new member of our management team late in the year when we hired our first chef, Robert Schmiesing. He has extensive experience in the restaurant industry, and he has taken a liking to the long-term care atmosphere. Schmiesing has some great ideas for the dietary department as we continue, as always, toward the goal of person-centered care.

We continued planning for the building project and make significant advances, thanks to the hard work and dedication of our partners at Freytag & Associates and architect Gene Erbe, and also the ongoing support and counsel from Commissioners Julie Ehemann, Bob Guillozet and Tony Bornhorst. We now have a complete floor plan for our first phase of the project. We informed the Resident Council about every step of the process as we discussed it, and the members could not be more excited to see such a significant investment be made for the future of the county home. We had two separate lunch meetings with Resident Council officers to examine the plans and also to offer input with our interior design consultant.

Our residents have especially enjoyed a new program we debuted in 2016. Every Friday afternoon, we host a Happy Hour. Friends of Fair Haven from across the county graciously donated beer and wine to serve, and we also serve cola and root beer. The residents have really made it their own; they invite family or friends to spend time with them, others break out a deck of cards and play for a while. We believe it is incredibly important to not only plan therapeutic activities for our residents, but offer them special time to spend how they like. Happy Hour has been tremendously helpful in doing that.

In January 2016, we declared in our newsletter that it was to be our “Year of Kindness” and we focused on being kind to each other and noticing when others treat us kindly. It is way too easy to be inundated with bad news, and we wanted to do everything in our power to show the bright side to our residents and their families.

I took time in our monthly newsletter to highlight a special story from across the country, and even the world, of others treating people (even complete strangers) with kindness. We shared with them everything from a world-wide birthday card campaign for a sick child, to a couple from the south buying a new car for a waitress at Cracker Barrel. One great thing was we even had a regional story of kindness that involved Fair Haven’s annual mum sale. A gentleman bought a large number of mums and was giving them away to folks near him who did not have flower gardens or displays. We were happy to provide a quality gift to give to others.

Just like any other year, Fair Haven spent 2016 trying to make every possible improvement in service and atmosphere. We always consider it an honor to serve our residents and their families, and we are excited to see what 2017 has in store.


Fair Haven resident Tom Jacobs pets a lamb at the Shelby County Fair. Haven resident Tom Jacobs pets a lamb at the Shelby County Fair. Courtesy photo

For the Sidney Daily News