ELLERY – A Chautauqua County nursing home is taking steps to help the mental health of their employees, by creating a new “serenity room.”
This is not the first time Heritage Ministries gave back to their workers, many of whom have had a tough time navigating the pandemic stressors.
A new “serenity room” has opened at Heritage Green in the Town of Ellery, in what CEO and President Lisa Haglund hopes will help destress and relax her workers.
“It’s an amazing room,” Haglund explains. “And we’ve really spent the last three years trying to figure out how we can thank our staff. From free groceries, to sending home meals with them over the holidays, to bonuses, to hazard pay working through COVID. We recognize what our nursing teams, our CNAs, our dietary, and our housekeeping do every day.”
The serenity room features a zero-gravity massage chair, among other stress relief tools.
“So far everyone who’s used the room, it’s been amazing,” stated Haglund. “We’ve actually had posts on social media saying if your employer isn’t doing this for you, you’re not at the right employer.”
Since the pandemic started, almost three years ago, nursing home employees specifically have had a tough time, which is why Heritage is stepping up to help out.
“I think it’s not just the serenity room,” explained Haglund. “I think we all need to step back and be committed to understanding what it’s like to be an employee in today’s environment. As a female CEO with four children at home, who I’m trying to handle, when are you remote learning, when are you in school, when are their sports going on. We have to recognize, I think as an industry, all of us, that our employees are looking for a different balance, and we have to look at a lot of little touches in how we do that.”
Others like Senator George Borrello believe the serenity room, and the care for employees, is a step in the right direction to create a model for all in the healthcare industry.
“I think we all realize the tremendous strain that our healthcare professionals have been under, especially as part of the pandemic, but continues on,” stated Senator Borrello.
In the end, leaders at the Chautauqua County Nursing Home hope the serenity room will not only boost the morale of current workers, but also help in recruitment of new employees.