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JGS Lifecare has been providing elder care for more than a century.  It offers a nursing home, both assisted and independent living, visiting nurse and hospice services, and short and long term rehabilitation.

At the end of last year, JGS Lifecare opened a new addition to their facility: the Sosin Center for Rehabilitation. Named for its benefactor, George Sosin, a Jewish war veteran and JGS family member and volunteer, the center is divided into two “homes” each designed to accommodate 12 residents.

The Sosin Center is the first Green House® certified facility in western Massachusetts, and offers physical, occupational and speech therapy in a warm, home-like setting. Each of the two households has its own care team who help each resident direct their own care. The team at the center completed 120 hours of customized Green House training to learn the core values: meaningful life, empowered staff, and real home.

All of the rooms in the Sosin Center are private and offer full bathrooms with showers. Each household has a shared living room, dining room, den and family-style kosher kitchen, all of which provide opportunities for rehabilitation activities and exercises, as well as socialization and an abundance of one-on-one interaction with caregivers.

“It’s not unusual to walk through and see residents socializing by the fireplace, or mixing up a batch of cookies in the kitchen,” says Martin W. Baicker, president and CEO, JGS Lifecare.

Residents of the Sosin Center are part of their own treatment planning, which is designed to optimize their recovery and help them reestablish their independence. They can practice normal daily activities while working with a dedicated clinical support team.

Advantages of the Green House model include superior medical care, increased socialization, and fuller recoveries as measured by less re-hospitalization and reduced medication use.

In additional to rehabilitation therapists, the Sosin Centers staff includes caregivers called shahbazim. These are certified nursing aides who offer a unique style of caring for residents. Shahbazim care for the residents and their environment, including personal care activities, cooking and meal preparation and service, laundry, and light housekeeping.

The Sosin Center also includes a salon and spa, as well as Michael’s Café, a kosher coffee bar and café named in honor of the late Michael Frankel, past chair of JGS Lifecare.

“It’s just a nice place, beautiful place; my grandson thought it was a hotel,” said resident Josephine Calvanese.

“This does feel like a vacation spot,” agreed Shawn Hurley, a chief trainer for the shahbazim at JGS Lifecare. “It doesn’t feel like a health care facility.”

The holistic model of care at the Sosin Center results in a higher quality of care, including better outcomes and more satisfied patients and staff. “This is an exciting program,” said Robert Baevsky, MD, chair, JGS Lifecare Board of Directors. “It allows for greater engagement for those doing the care. They’re excited about being empowered, and having more of a direct, one-on-one impact with the care of patients.”