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2018 Awards Given on October 20th
Each year Friends of Residents gives out awards to honor and lift up individuals in North Carolina that have made significant contributions to improve long term services and supports and impact the lives of those in care. This year at the Evening with Friends on October 20th, four awards were given. 
Best Practice Awards are given to nursing homes and assisted living facilities for providing exemplary programming which reflects person-centered values, supports the rights of residents, and improves quality of care.
Carol Woods Retirement Community
Chapel Hill, NC

The Quest Upstream, is Carol Woods’ participatory action-research initiative to support the inclusion of people living with dementia and the well-being of all Carol Woods’ community members. Carol Woods believes there is an alternative approach to segregated and locked memory care units. Resisting the growing segregated memory care trend, Carol Woods believes each community member has the right to live freely in the manner and place of their choosing. Guided by a community action team, a diverse group of 17 Carol Woods community members and one research partner, work is done to open a space for all community members to be engaged in the important work of creating a more inclusive future, especially persons living with dementia who are often silenced and excluded. You can learn more about the Quest Upstream here.

Eckerd Living Center
Highlands, NC

Uninterrupted sleep through the night is a luxury not experienced by many long term care residents. Most current practice has a model of care that requires frequent night time actions that wake residents from sleep to administer medications, tend to personal needs, or to simply check on resident status. This sleep interruption has a demonstrated association with negative health outcomes not to mention being an aggravation to sleeping residents. Eckerd Living Center wants to change all that. The care team is at the forefront in recognizing undisturbed sleep as one of the most important interventions provided for their residents. By eliminating or minimizing night time interruptions, residents are afforded more restorative sleep needed to maintain and enhance their quality of life. Sleep is recognized not just a state we fall into, but a necessary and vital part of keeping all of us healthy and safe. Learn more about this program here.
Friend's Media Award is given to a journalist or media outlet that distributes information about long term care that contributes to the public interest and promotes quality long term services and supports for residents in care.
Sloane Heffernan—WRAL TV
Raleigh, NC

Sloane Heffernan and WRAL TV were awarded our media award for Sloane's expose’ of the practices documented on film at Universal Healthcare facilities in Raleigh and Lillington, North Carolina. Family members set up recorders in their relative’s rooms which recorded abuse of residents made by their caregivers. These families shared their recordings with WRAL and Sloane reported on and broadcast their findings which led to state inspections and penalties associated with the infractions involved. Sloane shared with Friends of Residents just how difficult this assignment had been for her personally. Her own mother died under suspicious circumstances while residing in a nursing facility in Massachusetts. View Sloane’s reporting on the Universal Raleigh Facility here.

Friend's Sharon C. Wilder Advocacy Award is given to an individual or organization who most exemplifies the advocacy spirit of Sharon Wilder in upholding and protecting the rights of long term care consumers in North Carolina.
Barbara Venditti
Pinehurst, NC

For over 14 years, Barbara Venditti has been on the Community Advisory Committee (CAC) as a volunteer with the Ombudsman Program. For twelve of those years, she led the committee with outstanding leadership, dedication and service as chair. She is methodical in training new members, which keeps the committee cohesive and focused on the residents in the long-term care facilities in Moore County.

Barbara’s compassion is evident when she visits residents to make sure their rights were being upheld.  According to the Regional Ombudsman, Carolyn Pennington, her follow-through is phenomenal, regardless of the time involved. She has exceeded the CAC requirements with her “above and beyond” attitude. While she was chair, she also scheduled educational programs for volunteers and the public, created information packets for those in the community seeking placement, attended family council meetings and served on community panels. She served as the committee’s public speaker and organized the first Culture Change conference in Moore County. More recently Barbara is volunteering at her church as part of a program, Matthew 25. She is a qualified resource to parishioners who may have questions about long-term care placement. She guides families, answers questions, and helps with placement issues and emotions involved.

Please consider donating to help improve long-term care
Your tax-deductible donation supports our mission to improve long-term care in residential and community settings throughout the state. Your support allows us to answer questions on our Consumer Warm-Line, develop workshops for long-term care residents and their family members, and raise public awareness about long-term care issues. Click here to support Friends of Residents in Long-Term Care. Thank you so much for your help!
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