By: Duane Blankenship | Category: Special Interest | Issue: March 2009
The family at Home Sweet Home includes (L to R): (Front row): Ann Lee, Jennie Slobodecki, Jennie’s daughter Darlene Gaskill, Virginia Overstreet, (Back row) Rose Mary Sears, and owner Vernise Smith-Sheay. Not pictured: Reba Bruce.
Specializing in memory care, Home Sweet Home is a lovely residential assisted living facility located between Broken Arrow and Coweta, east of the Golf Club of Oklahoma and south of 141st Street South. The home is owned and operated by registered nurse Vernise Smith-Sheay. She received accreditation as an administrator for residential assisted living while attending Oklahoma State University.
After spending just a few minutes with Vernise and the residents of Home Sweet Home, it is obvious that a mutual love and respect exists between them. The home’s desire and mission is to provide high quality healthcare in a loving and safe environment, while encouraging each resident to function at her fullest potential. The staff takes the task of preserving each resident’s self-esteem and dignity with genuine sincerity.
It’s always difficult watching someone – a parent, spouse or other relative – struggle with an illness or condition that limits their ability to function on their own. Home Sweet Home is a great alternative to placing loved ones in a nursing home, as you can be certain they will be treated with dignity and compassion.
Home Sweet Home was designed to ensure each resident’s security and comfort. But freedoms are also possible without jeopardizing resident safety and without causing undue anxiety. The daily regimen includes exercise and other activities, plus weekly image services such as hairstyling, nail care, and even massages. Daily assistance with hygiene and other tasks of daily living are provided by the friendly, licensed and trained staff. Residents also participate in weekly outdoor socializing when weather permits.
A doctor is always on call, and residents receive 24-hour, seven-day-a-week nursing care and supervision. The facility is licensed by the State of Oklahoma and currently has six beds. An addition is under construction that will add two new beds. The new room is scheduled for completion in mid-March.
In addition to home healthcare, hospice services and wellness care are provided. The home also offers recuperation and respite care, extending relief to caregivers.
Home Sweet Home is a spacious place, and each room is nicely furnished. Vernise has added a touch of creativity to every room, which usually have attractive floral arrangements on display. The tidy and comfy rooms reflect a warm,at-home feeling.
Each dietitian-supervised meal is freshly prepared each day by Vernise herself, and those in residence agree that the food is "finger lickin’ good." A staff member administers daily medications to residents, diminishing the concern that they are not being medicated properly or in accordance with their physician’s instructions.
This is a truly comfortable and cozy environment for your loved one who has been saddled with a memory issue. “We go out of our way to give special attention to each of our lovely residents every day, keeping in mind that the whole person includes mind, body and spirit,” says Vernise.
Blankenship graduated from the University of Oklahoma and has enjoyed a lifetime career in advertising. He started his own advertising business in 1993 and enjoys creating graphic art and writing. Hobbies include hunting, fishing and pencil drawings. Duane and his wife, Janice, have been married over 50 years and are active in their church and community. He has been a contributing writer for Value News/Values Magazine since 2005.