beyond every day.
beyond every day.
I’ve praised the Copley at Stoughton staff in this space many times – their dedication, their caring, and their commitment to providing our residents with the absolute best health care possible through good times and difficult times. I’ll commend them every chance I get to anyone who will listen!
Today I’d like to highlight the management team who have been equally committed. In an industry with high turnover rates, Copley at Stoughton has been blessed to have a solid core of leadership:
I can’t imagine Copley without this talented and dedicated team. Day in and day out, they are tremendously loyal, something that springs directly from their caring nature. They showed their true colors through the worst of COVID. Their experience and leadership helped Copley weather the pandemic storm as well as we did. Most have been here 10 years or more, and many of them for 20+ years. They’ve worn many hats and know the facility inside out.
I don’t take Copley’s stability for granted. Organizations that must continually spend time, energy, and resources finding new managers sometimes find themselves in a spiral loop of burnout and chaos that constant change can bring. But Copley has been lucky enough to avoid that. We can focus our efforts on moving forward, pivoting during tough times (such as COVID), and enhancing our services for the good of our residents. If you have ever worked in an environment that relies heavily on its managers for day-to-day operations, you know what a benefit it is to trust that your managers work together seamlessly and effectively!
I think most importantly, Copley’s family atmosphere comes from the top down. We don’t “feel” like family – when you work together for 10, 20 years, you are family. Copley isn’t just a workplace for us. It is a home, and every person under this roof – resident and staff – deserves all the care and attention they receive. This is what I thank the management team for most of all: caring for our residents and staff. Together, we have built a care facility we can all be proud of.
So again, as we enter the season of reflection and giving thanks, I am forever grateful for Copley’s management team and staff.
Happy Thanksgiving –
Judy Johnson, Copley at Stoughton’s Director of Nursing, is another long-time manager – 15 years next February, as a matter of fact.
Judy is an invaluable member of the Copley family, and is also one of those rare people who found Copley as much as Copley found her. As you’ll read below, Judy didn’t even know Copley existed before she applied – she found “a little gem” as she puts it. Sounds like one of those magical moments that happen in a career (if you’re lucky) when you find that perfect position in the perfect environment that you never even knew existed.
Without further ado then, let’s let Judy tell her Copley story in her own words…
What is your typical day like?
There really is no “typical day” in this role! But generally speaking, I start my day by getting any important updates I need about our residents and any other nursing issues that sometimes come up. I often arrive early so that I’ll see staff from all three shifts throughout the day. I like being able to touch base with all of them – and they know I’m always available to them at some part of the day if they need me.
I also do rounds of all the residents, usually a couple of times per day. Those are actually my favorite parts of the day, spending some time with them and especially seeing them at breakfast in the morning in the main dining room.
The rest of the day is spent with administrative tasks including staffing and managing regulatory guidelines to ensure we are always up to date and compliant.
What inspired you to work in health care/long-term care?
My sincere interest in people inspired me to work in healthcare and specifically in long-term care. I want to be part of trying to make people’s days more comforting and secure. That’s reinforced every day as I do my rounds.
Why did you choose to apply to Copley in particular?
To be honest, I didn’t even know Copley existed before I applied. Someone who worked in management at Copley at the time asked me to come and discuss a manager position. But I have to say, as soon as I visited and did the interview, I was all in. Copley can be a well-hidden little gem. Through the years, I have learned much at Copley which has helped me grow both personally and professionally.
Have you worked at other facilities, and if so, what makes Copley different?
Copley is unique as it really does feel like family here. It is on the smaller size which makes it possible to care for the residents in a more personal and home-like atmosphere. We also develop close relationships with families. I personally moved my mother to Copley recently because I trust in the kind care we provide.
COVID was a difficult time for all long-term care staff. How did Copley support you? Do you remember a particular time or situation when you felt especially supported?
COVID was a very difficult time for everyone especially in the beginning. I felt supported by all departments. It was that family feel again – we all worked together to take care of our residents and each other.
What reasons would you give to someone considering working at Copley?
I always tell potential candidates that Copley feels like community and family all in one.
Is there a day or situation that stood out when you thought, “Yes, this is why I work at Copley!”
That’s pretty much every day! When I watch everyone working together to make our residents happy – that is why I work at Copley.
Many of the Copley at Stoughton employees have worked at the facility for years – even decades! Case in point: Chris Simonson, Copley’s Director of Admissions, has been with Copley for 26 years. When a facility retains staff for that long, you know there must be something good going on.
Below we share a bit more about Chris’ role at Copley. As you’ll read, community is a big part of why Chris enjoys her job. The residents are family, the staff are family, and even the residents’ families are part of the Copley family. As Chris points out, “That’s something you just don’t get in the larger corporate-run facilities.”
In short, Copley feels like home for residents and staff alike. And as Chris tells us, that never felt more true than by the way administration supported staff over the past couple of challenging years.
On a typical day, I receive referrals from the hospital for patients who need short-term rehabilitation or long-term care. I review their clinical information to make sure we can meet their needs and work with the hospital case manager to facilitate their transfer to us.
I also consider myself to be a resource for families in the community who have questions about long-term care and how to initiate the process.
I liked the fact that it was and still is a privately owned and operated business.
During COVID, we were closed to admissions. Even so, I was always busy. I still had to reply to any referrals that came in, and I helped the nursing department when they needed me. Steve (Steve Tyer, Copley’sAdministrator) kept everyone employed and never laid anyone off. That was huge for the staff! It goes to show what makes Copley different and just a great place to work.
Aside from the community feel and caring administration mentioned above, Copley is well maintained. It’s a beautiful building, and the grounds are well manicured. It’s nice to drive up to work every morning.
I have worked at other facilities. Copley has a more personal atmosphere. We are part of the community. I think because of this it makes us more approachable and less intimidating. Staff are like an extended family.
If an issue arises that I cannot resolve, I know Steve is right down the hallway and will come to my rescue right away. I don’t have to go through layers of management to get an answer or advice. He will back up his managers if needed.
* * *
Unlike most nursing and skill nursing facilities, Copley is an independent organization. That means, among other things, that all decisions are made right here in Stoughton, not a head office in some other part of the country. But that also means Copley does not have that “corporate feel” – and if you’ve worked at large national nursing home before, you know what we mean.
We’re currently hiring committed, dedicated care providers who want to work in this type of community-based care facility. Find out more about career opportunities at Copley at Stoughton on our Careers page.
You may have heard that one of the best parts of working at Copley at Stoughton is the “family-like” atmosphere. But what exactly does that mean?
Because we are locally owned and operated, we are naturally more connected to the community. When it comes to caring for our residents, that makes all the difference.
In this Copley Spotlight series, we’ll hear firsthand accounts from the people who work here – and why they chose Copley in particular. First up is Copley’s Administrator, Steve Tyer.
I always make a list of what has to be done the evening before and hope that I can at least get 50% of it done. As Administrator, my job is to make sure the facility is operating efficiently, which also means taking care of behind-the-scene details most people don’t see; making and returning calls, submitting requests, dealing with billing issues, and ensuring that all staff have what they need to do their jobs well. I also make a point to visit as many residents as possible to see how their day is going. That’s almost always the most enjoyable part of my day.
I did phlebotomy to earn money during college. I would visit Skilled Nursing Facilities around the greater Boston area, and was naturally very interested in how they operated. At some facilities, I felt that I could run them better than they were being managed.
I also always enjoyed the company of older people, no matter my age. I find their history and accomplishments fascinating. It’s a trait that I have instilled in my children.
When I was doing consultant work about 11 years ago, Copley management asked me to help them through a difficult time. I agreed to manage the facility for three months. Eleven years later I’m still here and as they say, is history.
Copley is one of only two nursing homes in Massachusetts that I am aware of with true community-based owner and management. Copley’s majority owner is from the old Goddard Hospital, so there is already a strong community connection with healthcare, too.
I have lived in Stoughton my entire life. It makes a huge difference to me being here every day and knowing many of the residents, their families, and the staff.
Maria O’Connell Unda (managing partner) and I agreed when COVID hit not to lay off any staff that we hired for a set schedule. We also did what we could to assist them financially by passing along every dollar we received from the state and CMS to them in the form of bonuses. Copley allowed those who needed cash to convert PTO time to assist their families. Most recently we instituted new wage scales for all CNAs and licensed staff to ensure we could recruit and retain competent staff.
The best thing for me in terms of being the administrator is that I don’t have to contact some out-of-town office for any decision. If a staff member has a great idea, we can implement it tomorrow without seeking approval from someone who doesn’t know Copley or understand what we’re asking.
Sometimes nursing homes and Skilled Nursing Facilities are very “cookie cutter” since they are owned or managed by national companies. Copley has a family-centered, homey feel to it because we are independently – and locally – operated.
Very important. My management style is to always do what is right for the resident and never by the bottom line. I am a firm believer that operating that way will make Copley a success for the future and not just for the next month. Most SNFs are bottom-line-driven at all times. I don’t think that’s the best way to run a facility – especially one dedicated to serving the community.
I am proud of the care we give every day. It’s something I take to heart myself. Day in and day out I enjoy the interactions with the residents and making their day more enjoyable. I hope our residents and their families understand this is not the norm with other facilities. It’s part of what makes Copley at Stoughton so special.
In 2016, two nursing homes in Scotland undertook a remarkable project. They created a group program for its residents to see what effects it would have. Administrators there took a scientific approach, studying residents’ reactions to various gardening activities – and they were excited by the results.
Residents were more engaged, both socially and in terms of focusing on daily tasks like caring for their plants. One woman spent more time outside, while another was prompted to start talking more about her grief and her love of nature. Another woman didn’t actively garden herself, but she talked with more of the people who were as she walked the garden pathways.
These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg. We’ve learned from this project and other studies that group activities in general can:
…and so many other inter-related benefits. In fact, “inter-related” is a key idea here. Group activities create a snowball effect of increasing benefits of more exercise, more socialization, and less isolation and loneliness.
Incidentally, studies also show that these benefits to residents have a positive effect on staff. It’s not hard to see that reducing stress and agitation in residents while increasing teamwork and community will help staff in their role as caregivers and supporters.
Copley at Stoughton doesn’t have a formalized gardening program, but we do have many group activities. We’ve seen firsthand how beneficial it is to get everyone out of their rooms, moving around, and socializing.
Still, it is reassuring when I see the benefits of group activities written in black and white. This year more than ever, we want to encourage everyone to take part. People thrive on social interactions, and making closer connections keeps us engaged and vibrant.
On March 8, we celebrated International Women’s Day. It’s a day I take to heart, especially in my industry. Women play a tremendous role in health care. In fact, statistics show Massachusetts leads the country with the highest percentage of active women physicians. This will continue to grow, as according to a report from the American Medical Association (AMA), more than 53.5% of MD applicants in 2019-2020 came from woman.
Obstetrics in particular, has seen a significant rise in the number of women. My father was an obstetrician, as many of you know, and I remember a time when there were almost no women in that specialty. Today, almost 80% of ob/gyns in the US are women.
These are just a couple, albeit powerful, examples. Here at Copley, a large percentage of the staff are women. COVID has not been easy on any of us. But it is women who took on the brunt of it. They are the caregivers here at Copley, but they are most often the caregivers at home, too. They carry the emotional workload for everyone. For many, that burden got to be overwhelming at times. These have not been easy times, but they would have been much harder without their commitment to making the best of everything.
If there’s a clear takeaway, it is we should do more to support the women in our lives. That’s something that we can do every day, at work and at home, and not just once a year.
Author Margaret Cousins said it best:
“Appreciation can change a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into all into words is all that is necessary.”
So thank you to all women, especially those who are so dedicated and committed to caring for our Copley residents. We literally could not do what we do without you!
Physical rehab after injury, elective surgery, or disease is crucial to recovery – and quality of care has a huge impact. Copley at Stoughton provides some of the best rehab care available right here in the Stoughton area, seven days per week.
Copley offers what is called subacute rehabilitation. It is for guests who no longer need the acute care a hospital provides, but who are not quite ready to go home on their own. There are many different therapy disciplines. Physical, occupational and speech therapy have some overlap, but they focus on different areas of recovery:
All rehab programs are customized to each individual and depend on the injury, surgery, or disease, how much it affected you, and how much recovery you need. The overall goal is to increase strength, regain gross motor coordination (such as walking), and fine motor coordination (such as using a spoon or pen). Rehab programs for elective surgeries like a hip or knee, typically take anywhere from seven days to two weeks, as it is a planned and controlled program. On the other hand, surgeries like these that result from an accident may take longer, depending on the extent of the injury and the person’s motivation level.
Monitoring your progress is a critical piece of any rehab program, so you can do what will help most and avoid activities that could set you back again. Once your rehab services are completed at an in-house facility, your therapists will provide you with an at-home program to continue making progress. Pain management may be another aspect of rehabilitation, balancing the need to get your body moving again with the need for your body to rest and recover.
There are many unexpected medical situations that require rehabilitation, but if you are preparing for elective surgery, it is important to schedule your rehab services ahead of time whenever possible. For example, if you are requiring a hip, knee, or another type of non-emergency surgery, plan for your rehab too. You have a choice of where to go for rehabilitation services, so take time to do some research to ensure you’re getting the best care possible and one that is a convenient location for your family and you.
Your best bet is to talk to your primary care physician or your specialist to find out what to expect in your specific case. Copley at Stoughton is available to answer any questions and happy to set up a time to speak to you about our programs so you can make an informed decision.
Steve Tyer, Administrator
There is within the borders of Stoughton a parchment-wrapped record book that states on its first page: “This Book belongs to the Stoughton Musical Society and contains the Rules and Regulations whereby the said Society are governed.” It is dated November 7, 1786, making ours the oldest choral musical society in the United States today.
Why is this important? History is certainly part of it. Stoughton is also one of the oldest towns in America, founded by pilgrims and pioneers who wanted to escape the intolerances of Europe at that time. The tradition continues today. Stoughton famously was the first in Massachusetts to declare itself a “No Place for Hate” town. We have this incredible capacity to be accepting of other people – which is just another way of saying, I think, that we like to be neighborly.
I see that neighborly spirit every day. Copley at Stoughton is not like many of the other nursing homes or skilled nursing facilities. We are much more rooted in community than most. Certainly the fact that we are independent helps. But also the Stoughton spirit permeates the town and everyone in it including Copley. And we are all better for that.
The reason I’m musing on all of this is because we are still going through difficult times. The recent wave seems even harder this time because, well, it’s just been going on so long. We thought we saw light, but it was just a glimpse.
You might wonder why I’m confident we’ll get through it though. I try to imagine the hardships those first pilgrims endured, leaving England for the long ocean voyage to Boston and then heading south through forest and the wilds to stop here in what would become Stoughton. I get so much inspiration from their story, traveling out into the unknown with an open heart. Did it feel like home when they got here? What difficulties did they face? How did they band together to come through the other side okay?
Because they did come out okay, or we wouldn’t be here today. And, we came out of it with the harmonies of the Old Stoughton Musical Society. There is a lesson in that. We come from stronger stuff than we think.
Thank you to all for your words of support over the last several months. And, I hope, we have been a source of support for you too. The health and safety of your loved ones here at Copely are our number one concern, and it’s a responsibility we take seriously. Let’s keep leaning on each other just a little bit longer until the light stays with us for good.
– Steve Tyer
Thanksgiving is a holiday we truly value here at Copley at Stoughton. That may not be surprising – for many families, it is a time to gather and appreciate all we give each other. I find that families at Copley tend to hug their loved ones just a little tighter for a little longer. Maybe it’s seeing the changes from living at home to moving to a long-term care facility that underlines how precious family can be.
Last year, we talked to residents to see what they were most thankful for, and I don’t think it was a coincidence to hear the word “family” from the vast majority. In a time when a pandemic so disrupted family connections, to finally be able to get back together is a joy beyond words. We were lucky to have technology to help keep those connections strong. Although words and even images are great – certainly better than nothing – there is no such thing as a digital hug.
Yes, this Thanksgiving will be extra-special. We may not be entirely through the pandemic yet, but we feel a whole lot closer to the end than we did a year ago. Although we can’t host our big celebration as in the past, our residents are once again enjoying the holiday activities and welcoming their family and friends for visits. Things may not be quite what they used to be, but we are getting there. And for that, I am grateful.